Game of Thrones returns to Iceland for season 8 — in the middle of winter!

706 - Beyond - Jon, Tormund, Gendry, Jorah, Thoros 2

Season eight filming continues going strong in Northern Ireland, yet sooner or later the production will have to move to locations only certain countries can offer. Along with Spain (probably), Iceland is one such country. The Nordic island has a rich Game of Thrones history; it has depicted everything from the lands beyond the Wall to the Vale and Slaver’s Bay since season two. With the White Walkers beyond the Wall and winter setting in as far south as King’s Landing, you may not be surprised to learn this time the show is exclusively returning to film in winter, just as they did last year. Winter is here!

Earlier today, Icelandic news site Vísir reported on the return of Game of Thrones to their land, which will happen sometime in February, before winter comes to an end.

Reportedly, the shoot will take “a few days,” though the dates and locations are, as of yet, unknown. And they may remain a mystery until a few days before filming, not only for us but for the crew as well, as their decision of where and when to shoot will, according to Vísir, largely depend on snow conditions — the more the better, we must assume. For season seven, Game of Thrones filmed extensively in wintry Iceland, but even in the aired episodes it’s apparent there just wasn’t as much snow beyond the Wall as there was back in seasons two and three. Perhaps they are trying to avoid that eventuality.

The only other detail we know so far is that “some of the main cast” are expected to take part in this Icelandic adventure, though that’s not surprising at this point in the story.

Should we watch for more foolhardy quests beyond the Wall, or is the North going to start looking a lot like those lands now that winter —and the White Walkers— are there?

33 responses

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    1. How exciting! I’m in Iceland on Boxing Day for 3 nights before I fly the Amsterdam so here’s me hoping I see some stuff! I’ll have my drone too. A friend of mine went last week and Tormund was on there flight!

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    2. Definitely could be a place south of the wall that’s been frozen over instead of assuming it’s gotta be north of the wall.

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    3. Luka Nieto,

      My thinking is that they were looking for a northern country that would be more wintry than NI but less difficult than Iceland to work in. Right now I am thinking they are going to do with NI and work out the winter production there. I am betting HBO has given them open option on whatever budget they need.

      Looking now to see if someone turns up at Spanish locations.

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    4. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the actors with less screen time have already finished filming their last scenes of the show, or at least will soon. Kinda brings home how close we really are to the end. I can’t wait to see season 8, but I’m also going to try and savor every last minute of this offseason too. Thanks again to WOTW for all you’ve done and continue to do for us GoT nerds 🙂

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    5. Looking at that particular still from S7 really brings home to me what it means to directors and techies when they say “…while we’ve got the light.” It reminds me of the stories one hears about Ansel Adams, camped out in one spot in the Sierra Nevada for weeks on end, waiting patiently for the exact sky conditions and angle of sunlight that would give him the spectacular image that he wanted. When you’re getting close to the Arctic Circle and the sun is low and the days short, it must be even harder to find the perfect light for a shot – even with filler lights and bounced flashes and such. Hats off to the mostly unsung tech crews who make this show happen so beautifully for us!

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    6. i think its Jon or Bran who after sacrificing himself in battle killing the NK..will be the New NK..making a pax between the living and the dead and taking them back to the Lands Of Always Winter for to live in peace..That will prove GRRM ideas about the peace in the world and it will be a ala POTC end…The Dutchman always should have captain.

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    7. Artemisia,

      That fundamentally misunderstands what the Night King is, per the show, and what his relationship to the other dead is. If he dies, everything’s he raised ceases to be animated. They have no independent existence.

      Moreover, per S6E5, the Night KIng is just some dude who got turned into a monster. He’s not an ordained part of Planetos’ natural order.

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    8. “Winter is here.” And as the Hound’s return to Casa Rabbit Stew Sally in S7e1 illustrated, places that used to have temperate climates are now going to be freezing cold and frozen over.

      After all, when Melisandre recited the “Warrior of Light” prophecy in S2e1, she described how:

      “After the long summer, darkness will fall heavy on the world. The stars will bleed…The cold breath of winter will freeze the seas, and the dead shall rise in the North. ”
      ***

      So I’m not sure we can point to Iceland as the location for scenes in The Land of Always Winter. The “frozen seas” could be anywhere.

      PS Melisandre also recounted: “In the ancient books, it’s written that a warrior will draw a burning sword from the fire. And that sword shall be Lightbringer.”

      Let’s see. Do we know a warrior who’s got a unresolved history with fire? Someone who’s only got to learn the secret of the burning sword from Beric Dondarrion to check off all the boxes of the prophecy? Someone who’s christened a Valyrian steel sword with blood from his own hands? Someone who’s such a misanthrope that he’d be the last hero you’d expect to be the one to save humankind? Someone who’s been told repeatedly that he’s been brought back for a reason – the gods have plans for him?

      S6e8:
      Beric (to Sandor): “You’re a fighter. You were born a fighter.”

      S7e6:
      Beric: “We’ll meet again, Clegane.”
      Sandor: “F*cking hope not.”

      🐶🔥🗡

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    9. Mr Derp:
      Definitely could be a place south of the wall that’s been frozen over instead of assuming it’s gotta be north of the wall.

      I just noticed that you already said yesterday pretty much the same thing I just wrote a few minutes ago (that we can’t assume Iceland filming is for scenes north of the wall.)

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    10. Sean C.:
      Artemisia,

      “That fundamentally misunderstands what the Night King is, per the show, and what his relationship to the other dead is.If he dies, everything’s he raised ceases to be animated.They have no independent existence.”

      Do we know this for certain, or was it left ambiguous?

      I thought when Beric suggested to Jon that they should just take out the Big Kahuna to deactivate the undead, Jon replied “You don’t understand” — or something like that. I was left confused.

      Also, when Jon pulverized the WW at Hardhome and Meera zapped the WW in the 3ER’s cave, I didn’t see any wights suddenly collapse.

      I still have no idea what Jon meant…

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    11. Ten Bears,
      I’d say it’s much more likely that all locations in S8 will be south of the Wall. I mean, as it is pretty much no living person is north of it. It’s an assumption that Craster’s son delivered to the NK in 4×04 was actually IN the Land of Always Winter, but if so that would be the only scene they’ve had in the region beyond Thenn or the Frostfangs. I do have a desire to find out more about where the NK and the rest of the Others have been “hanging out,” but I have a feeling it will have to come from the books, if at all.

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    12. Mr Derp,
      Ten Bears,

      Sure, Iceland may represent almost any part of Westeros now, when winter has come. However, there is one beyond the wall location that sort of needs to be revisited. I mean the mountain shaped as an arrowhead and the surrounding area. The fandom has already identified it as the area where the NK was created, but the characters haven’t done that yet. Moreover, the Hound’s vision was sort of excessive and even irrelevant. I mean Jon came to the conclusion that the NK would go from Hardhome to Eastwatch based on common sense and logic, later it was confirmed by Bran’s surveillance, so plotwise there was no need for the Hound’s vision, unless the showrunners wanted to draw our attention to the specific mountain. Therefore, it looks like something important is still supposed to happen there and that knowing its exact geographical location may be pivotal. IDK, maybe, after being defeated, the NK will fly back to his liar and the protagonists will go after him to prevent his awakeing after next eight thousand years or maybe the heart tree at which the NK was created will have to be destroyed or revived to destroy him? One way or another I have a feeling that we should see the mountan shaped as an arrowhead next season.

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    13. I haven’t heard that Richard Dormer was seen in Ireland. I’m almost certain that Beric escaped Eastwatch with Tormund, so I figure he’ll turn up in Iceland. I’m thinking he may not make it to Winterfell…

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    14. Inga,

      “Moreover, the Hound’s vision was sort of excessive and even irrelevant….”
      ——————

      Maybe the relevance was simply that it was The Hound to whom the vision was transmitted. (See second part of my 5:03 pm Comment.)

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    15. Ten Bears:
      Also, when Jon pulverized the WW at Hardhome and Meera zapped the WW in the 3ER’s cave, I didn’t see any wights suddenly collapse.

      Most likely because the writers hadn’t come up with that idea yet (Season 7 also introduces the idea that dragonglass kills wights, which wasn’t the case in any previous season), though the fanwank is that there just weren’t any wights turned by that particular White Walker in camera range at the time.

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    16. There seems to be a lot of nighttime filming going on… I wonder if “The Long Night” is really decending upon Westeros? I’ve always hoped that it was more than just a metaphor. We will have to wait to see if that trend continues during the filming process. Fingers crossed!

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    17. Ten Bears,

      I still believe Lightbringer will ultimately be King’s Landing goin up in a blaze, destroying the NK for good. Any, if not all of the main characters could play a role in making that happen, but it seems likely The Hound will have a major role in making that happen, based on some of the things you mentioned.

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    18. Ten Bears,

      I know your theory and I accept it at least to the point that the Hound will play a pivotal role in the war for dawn. Sure, the fact that it was the Hound who saw that vision was as relevant as the contents of the vision itself. It’s just that S7 hasn’t revealed that relevance. So, the revelation should come in S8 and it should cover both the role of the location and the role of the character.

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    19. Ten Bears:

      I thought when Beric suggested to Jon that they should just take out the Big Kahuna to deactivate the undead,Jon replied “You don’t understand” — or something like that. I was left confused.

      My take on that exchange is that Beric makes it sound as if it’s a simple task. Just take out that dude, and it’s over. Jon’s response is his attempt to tell Beric that he doesn’t understand the power of the NK, that he’s not like fighting a regular man, that it’s a near impossible task. As a matter of fact, that conversation makes me strongly suspect that Beric will die trying to fight the NK one on one. My hope is that his sacrifice will teach Jon something necessary about defeating the NK.

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    20. My god the other thread about Northern Ireland with the first spoilers of S8 already has 281 comments. I am resisting reading so far but part of me fears someone will just post the spoilers in another article so I’m just torturing myself and missing all the fun in that thread – I will resist for now!

      As for Iceland, this is intriguing for me it’s a great country and the interior is very mountainous however the coastal areas are flat with unique landscape, perhaps they could also use this to represent other areas of Westeros during winter? Not sure we will see mountains again unless it’s the Vale or beyond the wall both of which I feel are unlikely given the direction of the story as we know it.

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    21. Mr Derp:
      I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the actors with less screen time have already finished filming their last scenes of the show, or at least will soon.Kinda brings home how close we really are to the end.I can’t wait to see season 8, but I’m also going to try and savor every last minute of this offseason too.Thanks again to WOTW for all you’ve done and continue to do for us GoT nerds

      It’s possible also that the ending is also filmed and complete. We’ve certainly seen very minor characters and extras confirm they have finished filming but overall we are only around a third of the way through the total filming so lots more to come.

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    22. Jon Snowed,

      I personally didn’t find the article all that spoilery. It’s still rather vague what was being reported, but if you want to stay completely clean of any speculation or educated guesses then I would recommend staying clear for sure.

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    23. Thank you both, slightly re-assuring, I’m going to give the article a miss still however if I get spoiled will revert back afterwards.

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