Game of Thrones, the bloodiest, sexiest, dragoniest show to ever hit our premium channels, may be fantastical, but the dramatic sets are almost entirely real. Location scouts wandered all over Europe looking for real places that could bring George R.R. Martin's epic to life. They found them in both well-known and obscure areas of the U.K, Scotland, and Mediterranean coast. Here's where Tyrion, Jon Snow, and Hodor have been hanging out.
Where many of Game of Thrones sets are well-defined, the show's Iceland filming locations are extremely varied – largely because inclement weather demands it. The show has filmed at Lake Myvatn, a desolate, shallow volcanic pool in the country's lava column-studded north, and Parliament Plain, a stretch of ancient, forbidding rock, but filmmakers have also rolled in the shadow of Esjan Mountain, which sits just outside the capital city of Reykjavik. That's the thing about Iceland: The country is so uniformly wild that location scouting means, essentially, going outside. On days when it snows, the cast stays closer to the capital. On days when the weather is better, they shoot scenes where the weather is miserable by trekking out onto Iceland's fractured seaside plains.
More information: IcelandAir encourages prolonged stopovers in Reyjavik for Europe-bound American travelers. In the spirit of the show, the airline is now offering four-night tours of the island nation that visit key GoT locales.
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