Monday, July 7, 2014

The Eyrie of "Game of Thrones" Modeled After Meteora

Fans of Game of Thrones no doubt are familiar with the Eyrie from seasons one and four. The Eyrie is the principal stronghold of House Arryn. It is located in the Vale of Arryn near the east coast of Westeros. The Eyrie straddles the top of a peak in the Mountains of the Moon several thousand feet above the valley floor below. It is approached by a narrow causeway and road. Those who would approach the Eyrie must pass through three way-castles guarding the ascent - and then, must proceed in single file, making them very vulnerable to archers. For these reasons, the Eyrie is considered impregnable to any attack that does not involve dragons.

What many fans of Game of Thrones may not know is that the Eyrie is modeled after a Greek Orthodox monastic center known as Meteora, located in central Greece. About a thousand years ago ascetics and monastics came to Meteora to escape the world (as well as threats of invasion) and enter into deeper communion with God. Six monasteries remain today, perched high on the cliffs. Meteora was largely unknown until James Bond scaled these cliffs in For Your Eyes Only. Since then tourists around the world have become more and more aware of it, and today it is even experiencing a small monastic revival.

Valley of Meteora