'Watchers on the Wall' appointed to deal with Game of Thrones fans visiting Hadrian's Wall

Heritage chiefs have appointed their own "Watchers on the Wall" to separate fact from fiction for Game Of Thrones fans

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 6:59 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 7:18 am
English Heritage picture of Watchers on the Wall, at Birdoswald Roman Fort along Hadrian's Wall, which the charity has appointed in preparation for the final season of the epic TV series Game of Thrones.

English Heritage says its teams at the iconic North East landmark have been increasingly fielding questions from visitors on similarities between Hadrian's Wall and author George RR Martin's creation, the giant ice wall.

The author himself has confirmed that the feature in the hit TV series was inspired by the Roman wall, one of the region's most famous landmarks.

And with the final series of Game of Thrones returning to screens next month, English Heritage has decided to station its own Watchers on the Wall - in reference to the epic show's Night's Watch guardsmen - at the Roman forts run by the charity along Hadrian's Wall.

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Dressed in black cloaks and shields, they "will be on hand to answer visitors' questions about the series and sort the bloody fact from the even bloodier fiction", the charity said.

"Staff at Hadrian's Wall sites have been fielding more and more questions from visitors about the similarities between the Roman Empire's northern frontier and author George RR Martin's own giant ice wall", it added.

Frances McIntosh, English Heritage's curator of Hadrian's Wall, said: "Today it may not be supersized like George RR Martin's colossal ice wall, but when it was built nearly 2,000 years ago, Hadrian's Wall would have been a huge, hulking sign of Roman imperial strength, and standing on the precipice looking north, you can tell why Martin was inspired by this ancient monument."

The final series of the epic fantasy drama airs next month on Sky Atlantic and Now TV and is returning after a near two-year wait.

The show, and the new Watchers, may also prove a helpful boost to visitor numbers at sites on the wall.

English Heritage's Watchers on the Wall will be at the charity's main four Roman sites along Hadrian's Wall from this week until the final series ends later in the year.

The sites are: Birdoswald Roman Fort in Cumbria and Corbridge Roman Town, Housesteads Roman Fort and Chesters Roman Fort in Northumberland.