Filming

Day 129: Shooting in Iceland begins

The Svínafellsjökull glacier

The Game of Thrones shoot in Iceland began last Friday, as scheduled (make sure to follow @CatonSet on Twitter for relatively timely, but sometimes cryptic updates). Promptly, Iceland’s biggest news site ran an article about it. Thanks to our Icelandic reader Fridrik the Squealer, we give you the partly summarized translation below:

“Filmmakers started shooting the second season of Game of Thrones this morning by Svínafellsjökull. According to Snorri Þórisson, production manager at Pegasus Films, more than 70 locals are working on the production which intends to wrap on the 11th of December.

“We had some extremely wild weather yesterday but today it’s just perfect – as if we had ordered it out of a catalogue” says Snorri about the site conditions.”

He then goes on to talk about how many actors and crew are there etc. Just around the end he then says that “in addition to Svínafellsjökull [glacier], scenes will also be shot on and around Vatnajökull [glacier] and Höfðabrekkuheiði.”

Some photos from Höfðabrekkuheiði can be found here, here, and here. This last one shows the remains of the Beowulf and Grendel set; it is possible that the production would take advantage of it.

Hear Me Roar: Good luck to the cast and crew in the cold north! This is the final stretch, two weeks from now the entire Season Two will be in the can.

66 Comments

  • there are some pics of a small set built by the Myrdaelingur company who are supporting the GoT production here:-

    http://myrdaelingur.is/EN/Sets.aspx

    Presumably it was built for an earlier movie that they provided support to, but again I suppose it’s the sort of thing that could be re-used, so long as that wasn’t too long ago and it’s still standing. Keep an eye open in any ‘behind the scenes’ photos that get posted :D

  • Höfðabrekkuheiði

    They can keep the actual road signs to reach this place as this name can work perfectly for a wilding village north of the Wall.

  • Seven Hells!!!
    And I thought saying Eyjafjallajökull (the volcano that erupted) was difficult!
    But Höfðabrekkuheiði?!!
    Needs Melisandre’s Sorcery to sort it out.
    It is known!

  • Wow, the shots of that Glacier are truly magnificentl, I can see Mances troops marching there. And those black rocks are perfect for the Frost Fangs. Hope they have some dime left to film some Shadow Cats feasting on corpses. It would further the the Otherworldiness of Beyond the Wall. Even if we only have confirmation on Rattleshirt, I still hope the put Sixskins in there as well (just reread that chapter and Jon’s first warging experiences and him meeting the Brantree are such wonderfull premonitions for DwD)

  • Udi:
    Seven Hells!!!
    And I thought saying Eyjafjallajökull(the volcano that erupted) was difficult!
    But Höfðabrekkuheiði?!!
    Needs Melisandre’s Sorcery to sort it out.
    It is known!

    Haha, I actually find it easier to pronounce than Eyjafjallajökull. But I always sound like a dyslexic walrus when I try to speak Icelandic anyway, so that doesn’t mean much. ;)

  • Lisa,

    I have no idea how ð should sound.

    How should Höfðabrekkuheiði be pronounced? I think I need a phonetic guide for that one.

  • Shinyteapot:
    Lisa,

    I have no idea how ð should sound.

    How should Höfðabrekkuheiði be pronounced?I think I need a phonetic guide for that one.

    It’s like the th in them. The double kk should be pre-aspirated and the u is more like an y (I think, that’s the best I can do with English, in German it’s easier to say how it should be pronounced). ;)

  • Those are wonderful pictures of Höfðabrekkuheiði!

    Off-topic, but does anybody know where they shot the scenes for Harrenhal? In Northern Ireland maybe?

  • Yikes! Cajunman gets grief over how to pronounce “Thibodeaux” and “Atchafalaya” !Icelanders have us beat hands down!

  • So presumably, the only characters on the official cast list shooting in Iceland are Jon, Ygritte, Qhorin and Rattleshirt – all the rest will be extras or featured extras.

  • Where are the Reeds??? I am going to Svínafellsjökull someone right now if the Reeds are not in the show, someone is going to suffer, I am going to Vatnajökull their heads over and over with a very big Höfðabrekkuheiði wilding weapon!!! ;-)

  • Lisa,

    I love that picture of the Quartheen gate. It looks far more imposing than in the Hibberd pic. Shame that the quartheen women are standing in the back row. Can’t see if they are wearing their “traditional” outfit.

  • I definitely like what I see of the Qartheen gate! Curious about the garb of the female part of the population, though. We’ll see (soon hopefully).

    As for Icelandic jawbreakers, I seriously wonder what the name Höfðabrekkuheiði really means. Icelandic is closer to Old Norse than the modern versions of the other Scandinavian languages and it almost sounds like what would mean “Head fracture heath” in Norwegian. That sounds like dangerous territory! Any native speakers who could give a translation?

  • Lise Bollum,

    I think, brekku comes from brekka which means slope. It does look very similar to brekke in Norwegian, though. And höfðað would be a form of höfuð which does mean head. Sorry for all that smart-assery but I just finished my Icelandic homework and am still in the “translation mode”. ;)

  • Epic fail,

    Well I don’t think there’s any Sam – at any rate he’s still tweeting from London at the mo – so that would probably rule out Mormont’s force altogether, and so far as I know all of the Craster stuff was filmed in Ireland. I think it’ll just be the scouting party of Jon, Qhorin et al and Rattleshirt’s group and then distant views of wildling hordes.

  • Lise Bollum:
    I definitely like what I see of the Qartheen gate! Curious about the garb of the female part of the population, though. We’ll see (soon hopefully).

    As for Icelandic jawbreakers, I seriously wonder what the name Höfðabrekkuheiði really means. Icelandic is closer to Old Norse than the modern versionsof the other Scandinavian languages and it almost sounds like what would mean “Head fracture heath” in Norwegian. That sounds like dangerous territory! Any native speakers who could give a translation?

    In this case, “Höfða” is a form of “Höfði” which means “Cape”, such as in a geographical cape, not the superhero cape. Lisa was right with “brekka” or “brekku”, it’s a slope or hill. So in essence, it’s somewhere around “Capehill Heath” or thereabouts. I guess. It sounds meaningful in Icelandic but when you’ve translated it, it’s just a series of things from nature. Lakerivermountain. Capehillheath.

    Whatever. There you go.

  • Just want to wish all the Icelandic extras good luck.Given the nature of the locations its safe to say it will be somewhat of an endurance. But it WILL be worth it.
    Curious as to how the actors and extras will be able to find any grip from their “medieval” style, smooth soled boots. Last year we had plenty of hard falls by folks in costume, and that was just on a ground frost in an NI field.
    Hope the weather plays ball and every one stays safe. Winter IS coming.

  • Oh yeah. How come the bits of set from Beowulf and Grendel are still there? I would have thought the authorities would have made the production company leave the place as they found it.
    The two dwellings look to be constructed from biodegradable materials, maybe its a tourist attraction?. I think they sit well in their surroundings, and are a pretty cool thing. Isn`t the hut in the rocks the “witchs” shack.?

  • Such beautiful sites…wow! I’m sure that the scenes north of The Wall will be amongst my favourites come next season…

  • Some more language fun, let’s deconstruct Svínafellsjökull :) It’s actually not too bad, quite English when you look at it the right way. Meaning: Pigmountain glacier. Not really so Englishy? Well, first part as in swine, second as the -fell (hill or high moorland) of Winterfell(!), and jökull is cognate (and sounds closer than it looks like) with the -icle in icicle. So there :)

    Native speakers and other Scandinavians, please correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Hear Me Roar,

    Nice one. Too me it looked like this. All those languages look just like that one illustration to me. (You’ll have forgive me as I am not well educated and quite bigoted). So I learned something today. Svine!!!!

  • Two Feathers,

    I’m not sure why it was left there, but I actually went to the location on a trip to Iceland the year Beowulf & Grendel came out. The director wrote an article at the time, about shooting in Iceland, that basically gave directions to the village set. It definitely wasn’t a tourist attraction, but it was only a few miles off the main highway, so I stopped by to check it out.

    Here are a few shots: http://photobucket.com/beowulfset

  • Hear Me Roar:
    Some more language fun, let’s deconstruct Svínafellsjökull :) It’s actually not too bad, quite English when you look at it the right way. Meaning: Pigmountain glacier. Not really so Englishy? Well, first part as in swine, second as the -fell (hill or high moorland) of Winterfell(!), and jökull is cognate (and sounds closer than it looks like) with the -icle in icicle. So there :)

    Native speakers and other Scandinavians, please correct me if I’m wrong.

    Dead on. Not the -icle part, though. But still. Dead on.

  • Squealer,

    Oh, not the icicle part? Thought I had it :P
    Origin of icicle – Middle English: from ice + dialect ickle ‘icicle’ (from Old English gicel). Which is in Swedish (i.e. proper Germanic, but rarer word, not the fancy french glaciär) jökel, and related to ickel.

    Anyway, cool how you can still see the English (via proto-Germanic) connection in the name :)

  • There’s a good old viking curse – I think it occurs in Njal’s saga where Skarp-Hedin insults Flossi at the Althing by calling him the ‘Mistress of the Svinafell Troll.’ Every ninth night the Svinafell Troll was accustomed to emerge from its lair, capture an unsuspecting viking warrior and ‘use him as a woman.’

  • FYI, an Icelandic news program, Ísland í dag (Iceland Today) is bringing a report from the shooting location in about half an hour. Footage from location coming up…

  • D.B.Weiss: “Some characters that make it through the books don’t make it through the show.”

    Has this been revealed before??

  • Ser Moller,

    They’ve said they wanted to surprise the book readers in this upcoming season, so that book readers are more entertained. If they said how they are planning to do it, I hadn’t noticed.

    There are many great but inconsequential characters that don’t officially die in the books but are at one point never mentioned again that could easily die without damaging the story arc as it exists.

  • Ser Moller:
    D.B.Weiss: “Some characters that make it through the books don’t make it through the show.”

    Has this been revealed before??

    Well there were a couple examples of this in season one (Mago, Marillion ((sorta))), so Dan might be referring to that. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same happened in season two as well.

    Any chance this video may find its way online?

  • Winter Is Coming,

    I think Dan was referring to season 2 when he said that, but maybe I am wrong.

    It will be posted online soon, I don’t know whether it can be viewed outside of Iceland. It can probably be posted on YouTube by someone with the know-how if not. The footage showed the location at Svínafellsjökull, interview with David, Dan and Chris Newman (along with some members of the Icelandic crew).

  • Ser Moller: It can probably be posted on YouTube by someone with the know-how

    Cool, looking forward to seeing it…. Just get Gunnar Víking’s people on it; they’ll hack that video off… literally, with steel.

  • StrongBelwas: Just enjoy the beautiful icelandic language between

    you know, i think Icelanding looks slightly similar to English and German. I think I can actually understand the subtitles, and it sounds AMAZING. I will learn this language someday!! :D