Newsflash for followers of HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones”; it's not season 7 teasers, however. One of the scenic backgrounds used in filming for the show’s first season is no more. The Azure Window, or the Dwejra, was a famous geographical landmark located on the island of Gozo in Malta.

It was a natural arch formed of limestone, comprised of a wide free-standing pillar at sea, connected to the mainland by a mostly flat arch, with the waves crashing down below.

A panoramic spot that has been used as background in at least two Hollywood films and two television series (including “GoT”), the Azure Window has collapsed completely into the sea.

Photogenic ‘natural picture frame’

It was reported on Tuesday, March 7, by none less than the Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, that the Dwejra arch had broken up and fallen apart. The Azure Window had been one of the Mediterranean nation’s top tourist spots.

Local travel website visitmalta.com called it the “most photographed vista of the islands”, due to the penchant of travelers to take pictures of the setting sun through the opening of the arch. However, it being composed primarily of limestone, the Maltese government was well aware that water erosion was eventually going to do the Dwerja in.

Due to its highly scenic shape, the locale near the Azure Window was featured in several visual media.

Movies shot in sight of it were 1981’s original “Clash of the Titans” and the 2002 adaptation of “The Count of Monte Cristo”. On the small screen, it was also used during the 1997 miniseries “The Odyssey”.

In “Game of Thrones” the Dwerja was visible in the background as a one-off wonder during the scenes of Danaerys Targaryen’s Dothraki wedding to Khal Drogo during the 2011 first season.

Interestingly the production was sanctioned for having done damage to a protected ecosystem in the area.

Passing of time

The government of Malta has done its fair share in trying to protect the integrity of the Azure Window, especially after part of the pillar collapsed in 2012. Visitors to the area were warned of fines for walking atop the arch or swimming underneath it.

But nature will not be denied, and the March 8 storm the struck the area finally completed the destruction of the Dwerja. Prime Minister Muscat tweeted a photo of the now arch-less area. One wonders if the upcoming season 7 of “Game of Thrones” will mention this in the credits.

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