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The challenge of rolling beyond the wall

Iceland is a natural set for Game of Thrones since its second season

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The challenge of rolling beyond the wall

Iceland joined Seven Kingdoms in second season of Game of Thrones. Since n, and with exception of sixth installment, series team has come to this country in northwestern Europe to capture some of those landscapes that special effects could never match.

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Recording in territory beyond wall is not easy. At certain times of year, cold freezes hands. The few hours of light — which can be 4 or 5 in winter months — make it possible to take full advantage of filming day. Wear conditions may involve changes in plans at last minute. "It's a lot of work to schedule everything, see how whole team can get ..." But in end we prefer to spend money on ground in locations that in special effects, makes everything more real, said David Benioff, one of creators of Game of Thrones, in a video of making of seventh season.

"When we record here, we need machines that break ice," says Einar Sveinn Thordarson, head of locations for Pegasus Pictures, a game Producer of Thrones in Iceland. It refers to canyon of Stakkholtsgja, a place of complicated access to south of island and about two and a half hours from Reykjavik. Around here walked Jon Snow, Jorah Mormont and a small group of men in search of a living dead who take Cersei in seventh season. When for almost a week Game of Thrones rolled in this place last winter, all snow was real. "It's like being among mountains of sugar, this place in winter is Beautiful", highlights Thordarson to a group of international media, including country, invited by HBO on occasion of launch on DVD and Blu-Ray this Tuesday December 12th of seventh season of Game of Thrones.

Stakkholtsgja Canyon.

The locations of series in Iceland concentrate, especially, on north of island in vicinity of Lake Myvatn and lava fields of Dimmuborgir, where, for example, Savages walked in third season or fell in love with Jon and Ygritte , and south, with Thingvellir National Park that toured Arya and dog in second season, or Dyrhólaey nature reserve. This was place that in fiction has been wall in last sequences of seventh season of series. Iceland puts base and visual effects multiply a show that on screen includes dragons, White Walkers and various monsters.

Thingvellir National Park.

Now, many tourists flock to se places attracted by series. Tourism has become one of main sources of income in country, with an increase in visitors that has gone from 566,000 2011 (year when Game of Thrones began), to more than 1.3 million in 2015 and more than 1.8 million in 2016. However, from Office of Tourism promote Iceland is important to effect of series in this explosion and blame it especially to eruption of volcano Eyjafjallajökull in 2010. "The Tourism of films and series influences, but eruption was what put us on map for many people." "It's funny how something so bad can have a positive impact," notes Gunnar Sigurdarson, press officer for promote Iceland.

Mount Hengill.

For a film wrapped in both secrecy and Game of Thrones, tourism is a drawback. On many occasions y record in places that cannot be easily closed to public. "There have never been problems, producers are very friendly and y know how to treat public." They try to keep m away, but as y do not record in chronological order, you never know exactly what y are shooting. Although, of course, if you see certain characters can draw conclusions ..., says Thordarson with Cascade Thorufoss to bottom, which in series serves as a backdrop to flight of one of Dragons of Daenerys in second season.

But main difficulty of filming in Iceland comes from wear. Although in some delivery have recorded in summer and even with Heat — Thordarson recalls how especially hot filming of Arya's Way and dog towards door of blood (recreated by computer) in Thingvellir — for seventh delivery was waited for cold and The snow were real. "In February and March we made trips to find locations and I think none of sites we pointed out served because when we were going to record y were too dangerous," says Icelandic producer. "Sometimes a couple of hours before you have to improvise." But it is a very diligent group and y do not stop working and adapt to everything, y are very decisive, ' he continues. The fear of leaks has also complicated things and when from HBO y ask to find a location do not give any details, "Just say it is for a battle, for example." "Before I could have script in my car, now that's unthinkable."

Will y return to Iceland for eighth and final season of series? Thordarson confirms it, as it also takes for granted that great television superproduction of moment will return to Spain to give shelve to this history of struggles of power and fantasy with real locations that seem to lie.

Fiction and reality

"The use of both computer treatment is an advantage." If you have rain, you can delete it, for example. Although it is also true that producers hate to hear ' we will fix it in post-production, ' jokes Thordarson. But sometimes, in series as Game of Thrones is essential use of visual effects, allow to multiply by 10 size of wall or that a dragon is trapped in an icy lake that does not exist.

Sometimes, re are or reasons that lead to falsifying reality. For example, before entering famous cave where Jon and Ygritte Intimon, he runs after her in vicinity of lava formations of Kálfastrandavogar. The entrance to cavity is Grjótagjá, a very well visited rmal caves now thanks to series. However, heat due to its waters to more than 40 degrees and scarce space forced to record all interior sequences in set.

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