An unlikely link to a cult US fantasy series could see avid viewers making pilgrimages to Kings Langley next month.
Parish and borough councillors have been collaborating with popular TV drama Game of Thrones creators HBO Home Entertainment to change the village’s name to King’s Landing – the capital of the programme’s fictional Seven Kingdoms – for seven days only.
The temporary transformation will see Kings Langley’s two main signs given a Game of Thrones makeover in a bid to boost tourism.
The move – which takes place on February 17 – will coincide with the DVD release of the Emmy Award-winning show’s third season. The programme is based on George R. R. Martin’s still-unfinished series of fantasy novels and has millions of fans worldwide.
Borough and parish councillor Alan Anderson, who helped engineer the idea, pointed towards Kings Langley’s historic royal connections which gave it its regal-sounding name.
He said: “This re-naming is a great opportunity to put Kings Langley and Dacorum on the map.
“You can’t ignore the parallels between Kings Langley’s own rich history and the themes in the show such as battling kings and warring families.”
Businesses and restaurants in the village’s High Street are being encouraged to get involved by creating special offers for visiting fans, or introducing a themed item on their menus. Posters will also be displayed in shop windows to support the quirky idea.
Telly fans who do travel the distance to visit the village and take their photo with the sign can also win a Blu-ray copy of all three Game of Thrones series, by tweeting the image to @HBO_UK using the hashtag #KingsLandingUK.
Dacorum Borough Council has ensured that the cost of changing the signs will be covered by the production company.
The show has driven tourists in their droves to Belfast, where part of the series is filmed.