The night is dark and full of terrors. But as it turns out, so is the early morning.
A geological feature known as the Azure Window, which was prominently featured in the very first episode of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” reportedly crumbled into the sea on Wednesday at 9:40 a.m. following a powerful storm that raged across the Maltese Islands.
The rock formation, sometimes called the Dwejra Window, formerly stood on the western coast of Malta’s Gozo Island, forming an archway that extended outward into the Mediterranean.
On TV, the popular tourist site also provided the backdrop for the violent wedding of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) on the 2011 debut episode of “Game of Thrones.”
It is a very sad day for Malta. The iconic Azure Window collapsed this morning, succumbing to the forces of nature and the passage of time. pic.twitter.com/ovc8Yj9gWH— VisitMalta (@VisitMalta) March 8, 2017
A witness who watched as the famed Azure Window fell tells The Times of Malta that he was also surprised to see the stacks, or the two pillars that supported the arch, get washed away as well.
“There was a big raging sea beneath the window,” said Gozo resident Roger Chessell. “Suddenly, the arch collapsed into the sea with a loud whoomph, throwing up a huge spray. By the time the spray had faded, the stack had gone too."
Joseph Muscat, the prime minister of Malta, said on Facebook that losing the arch to corrosion was “inevitable,” but called the loss of the landmark “heartbreaking” nevertheless.
“Today Gozo has lost one of its iconic beauties,” said Muscat in a statement posted to Facebook. “The inevitable and the much feared has happened. The flagship of the Gozitan touristic sites has sunk in its same birth place from where for thousands of years, it stood high and proud heralding one of the natural beauties our little island is endowed with.”
Also mourning the loss of the natural formation are tourists around the world, residents of Malta, and “Game of Thrones” fans, many of whom expressed their feelings online: