Fans and locals were appalled to discover that contractors had mistakenly painted white lines down the middle of Dark Hedges, in Northern Ireland. Lined by 200 year old beech trees, Dark Hedges is a beautiful stretch of road near Armoy in County Armagh, but to Game of Thrones fans it is the iconic setting for Kingsroad in the hugely popular HBO franchise.
Last week locals became aware that broken white lines had appeared through the centre of Dark Hedges. This makes a second setback to the celebrated setting, after Storm Gertrude uprooted several of the ancient trees in late January, reports BBC. However, as Game of Thrones – releasing their sixth season in April – uses special effects to render the road paved, it seems unlikely that either issue will affect filming.
Resident of the area Bob McCallion told the BBC that he called the line sacrilege to have the markings removed, which was done on Thursday morning. “It’s a step forward, but there’s a lot of issues here,” he said. “The road has actually been made wider recently which is not on . . . it affects the overall visual impact of the place doing things like this and you’ve got to be very careful that you look at the whole area more or less like a conservation area and try to look after it.”
The Daily Mail reports that the issue particularly enraged tourists who had visited the area especially for photos. “It not only spoils it for photographers but even for visitors just visiting to view the beautiful scene,” Angela Cunning told the Belfast Telegraph.
The Department for Regional Development had claimed the mistake within days, with a spokesperson admitting that “the Ballinlea Road was extended in error.” He also fueled concerns that the removal of the white line might do permanent damage, but believes this unlikely, “given the time of year and the number of vehicles using the Bregagh Road.”
With two months still to go before the release of the new season, passionate fans can enjoy the latest spoilers here.