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07 Jun 2016

Michelin Star chef reveals inspiration from Game of Thrones® Territory

‘Valyrian Steel’ kitchen knives – inspired by mythical Game of Thrones® steel – is latest element of Tourism Ireland campaign

The latest element of Tourism Ireland’s 2016 Game of Thrones® campaign has been revealed – special ‘Valyrian Steel’ kitchen knives inspired by the mythical steel from the Game of Thrones® series.

‘Valyrian Steel’ is known to Game of Thrones® fans as the sharpest and most durable steel in all the seven kingdoms – and as one of the few things that can kill White Walkers. Tourism Ireland has created a set of three special kitchen knives made from a re-imagining of ‘Valyrian Steel’, unveiled today (Tuesday, 7 June), following the airing of episode seven of the sixth season of Game of Thrones®.

To demonstrate the knives’ practical applications in the real world, Tourism Ireland has called on an expert – and who values the function and effectiveness of a top quality blade more than a professional chef? The knives were delivered to Stephen Toman, at his Michelin-starred OX restaurant in Belfast, where he used them to create a banquet worthy of Westerosi knights – rack of lamb from the Mourne Mountains in Co Down, braised liver, smoked celeriac and wild garlic. The knives now sit in pride of place in a secure case in OX.

Tourism Ireland has released a short film and images of these mythically inspired kitchen knives – on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – in 10 markets (including Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Scandinavia). The short film:
  • tells the story of the making of the knives, including how the iron ore and other raw materials were sourced around Northern Ireland;
  • includes a demo of Stephen Toman at OX using the knives to create a special Game of Thrones®-influenced meal; and
  • shows the knives in their specially-crafted display case in OX.
This special set of kitchen knives is part of a wider Game of Thrones® campaign being rolled out worldwide by Tourism Ireland in partnership with HBO, celebrating Northern Ireland as Game of Thrones® Territory. As part of the campaign, 10 intricately carved wooden doors are popping up in locations across Northern Ireland. The doors are being unveiled by Tourism Ireland each week as the series unfolds – in restaurants, pubs and other venues near filming locations. The campaign is also being rolled out by Tourism NI in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

  Judith Webb, Tourism NI; Brian Twomey, Tourism Ireland; and Stephen Toman, OX, with the special ‘Valryian Steel’ kitchen knives in OX Belfast.

Notes To Editors

The ‘Making of’ film

  • The video includes the master craftsman in action – as he smelts, folds and forges a real world equivalent of the mythical steel seen in Game of Thrones®, into something more practical i.e. modern-day kitchen knives. The craftsman use real world equivalent methods to recreate the closest thing the world has ever to Valyrian Steel. And, what’s more, the materials have been sourced from one of the main filming locations for the Game of Thrones® series – Northern Ireland.
  • The video then cuts to the stylishly-lit kitchen at OX, with chef owner Stephen Toman putting the knives through their paces – vigorously using them and demonstrating their sharpness, quality and durability. Viewers see the chef carefully slice, chop, hack and peel the food to create a Game of Thrones®-influenced meal, testing the sharpness and quality of the blade, with a short commentary evaluating the knives’ capabilities.
  • Finally, viewers see the knives in their final home – a special display case in OX.

The knives
  • In the set, there is a paring knife (12cm blade), a utility knife (17cm blade) and a chef’s knife (23cm blade).
  • To make the Valyrian-inspired Damascus steel, a master craftsman melted a mixture of higher carbon steel, then forged this out into a knife. The beautiful handles are made of bog oak.
Tourism Ireland 2016 Game of Thrones® Campaign
  • The kitchen knives are part of a wider Game of Thrones® campaign currently being rolled out worldwide by Tourism Ireland. The campaign, created in partnership with HBO, is showcasing Northern Ireland to millions of Game of Thrones® fans worldwide.
  • An exciting feature of the 2016 campaign is a series of 10 intricately carved doors, depicting moments inspired by this season. Earlier this year, the Dark Hedges – known to the people of Westeros as the Kingsroad – were battered by Storm Gertrude. Tourism Ireland saved the trees that fell that day, to turn them into a piece of Game of Thrones® inspired history for fans – creating 10 beautifully engraved doors, each one telling the story of the latest episode in season six.
  • The doors are being unveiled by Tourism Ireland each week as season six unfolds, in restaurants, pubs and other venues near Game of Thrones® filming locations – so, by the end of this season, we’ll have a brand new Game of Thrones® trail linking the major filming locations around Northern Ireland.