Stunning Locations in Iceland Where Game of Thrones was Filmed
May 16, 2019
The majestic scenery of Iceland is bewitching for all. But, fans of HBO’s flagship show 'Game of Thrones' have a special bond with these familiar vistas.
After filming season 1 in Ireland using fake snow, the showrunners turned to Iceland to scout for new shooting locations. They kept returning to Iceland over the coming years, to film many of the show's iconic scenes over there.
Because Iceland’s terrain is as diverse as it is dramatically stunning, the showrunners were able to use it as the setting for many scenes based in the Vale, Winterfell, beyond the Wall and even Mereen.
Arya and The Hound
On the way to Vale, they set up camp by this waterfall (in Iceland's Gjáin canyon) in season 4.
The Hound wakes up next morning to find Arya practicing swordplay, and they have a (yet another) heated argument.
Iceland offers special tours that cover such locations from the show.
Jon Snow and Ygritte’s Steamy Encounter
That’s right. This cave from season 3 actually exists in the real world.
It's not just a set in some studio. The Grjótagjá lava cave can be found near Lake Mývatn of Iceland. Real-life couple Kit Harington (Snow) and Rose Leslie (Ygritte) actually fell for each other while filming the show amongst the beautiful vistas of Iceland.
Brienne of Tarth vs The Hound
This area near Hengill volcano may seem familiar: it’s the backdrop for one of the show’s epic showdowns.
The season 4 finale’s pivotal fight scene between Brienne and The Hound was shot here over 3 grueling days. Actress Gwendoline Christie (Brienne) described it as one of the toughest sequences she’s ever shot.
Arya Leaves for Braavos
After Brienne defeats the Hound and Arya leaves him to die, she escapes and pauses for a moment atop the Öxarárfoss waterfall, before deciding to board a ship to Braavos.
Jon Snow and Co. Fight Bear
With over 11% of Iceland covered in glaciers, the Gigjokull glacier was chosen as the perfect setting to stage the group’s thrilling battle with an undead polar bear in season 7.
The Bloody Gate
Does this seem vaguely familiar?
In 2 scenes of season 4 (one with Sansa and Littlefinger, another with Arya and the Hound), this area of the Thingvellir National Park was portrayed as the well-guarded entrance to Vale of Arryn.
This incredible jet black beach from season 7 may have left an impression on you.
On their quest to capture a wight alive, Jon and Co. land their boats at this black sandy shore (Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland) near the Eastwatch fortress.
Daenerys and Jon On a Dragon-ride
In season 8, Dany and Jon get off the dragons to share a moment by this waterfall (Skogafoss).
For the show, this waterfall was transformed into a bigger, two-tiered waterfall using CGI, but eagle-eyed fans were still able to pinpoint its location.
Known in the show as the “mountain shaped like an arrowhead”, it has appeared in the visions of both Bran and the Hound.
It's called Mt. Kirkjufell, and it also appeared in season 7, as the mountain that Jon and his wight-capturing gang encounter, beyond the Wall.
Thanks to the popularity of such locations from Game of Thrones, Iceland’s annual tourism numbers have jumped from 500,000 to about 2.4 million tourists annually!