House Stark versus House Lannister versus House Baratheon versus House Targaryen versus . . . House Windsor?! Queen Elizabeth II gazed upon the Iron Throne rather longingly during a Tuesday, June 24 visit to the Belfast, Northern Ireland set of Game of Thrones.
Along with husband, Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip, the British monarch, 88, was given a tour of Titanic Studios by the HBO show's creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss, and was photographed meeting and chatting with core cast members Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Kit Harington (Jon Snow) Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Conleth Hill (Lord Varys).
And while the longtime ruler of the United Kingdom eagerly checked out plenty of set props, costumes and sprawling sets where key scenes have been shot on the George R.R. Martin-based saga, Prince William and Harry's regal grandmother declined one notable offer: She said no when asked to sit down on the Iron Throne of swords.
Dressed in a lovely pale yellow number, the Queen did, however, accept a miniature version of the famous chair where Robert, Joffrey and others once sat before their untimely ends. She is visiting Northern Ireland for three days, and has met with the country's First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness during a tour of the Crumlin Road jail.
All about a less-than-secured monarchy over the Seven Realms of Westeros, Game of Thrones' fourth season memorably wrapped two weekends ago, on June 15. Author George R.R. Martin has said that England's historical War of the Roses was a key inspiration in his Song of Ice and Fire books.