The popular historical drama series “Vikings” has enthralled audiences worldwide with its gripping portrayal of the Norse world and the legendary Viking age sagas. One question that lingers in the minds of many fans is, “Where was the series Vikings filmed?” In this article, we will delve into the fascinating Vikings filming locations and unravel the secrets behind the mesmerizing landscapes that form the backdrop of this spectacular show.
I. Introduction: The Series Vikings and Its Filming Locations
The ” Vikings ” series premiered in 2013, transporting viewers to a world of Norse legends, gods, and warriors. Created by Michael Hirst, the show primarily focuses on the legendary Norse hero Ragnar Lothbrok and his rise to fame as a legendary Norse king, explorer, and warrior. With its breathtaking cinematography, complex characters, and fascinating storylines, the series has captivated viewers across the globe.
An essential element of the show’s success lies in its authentic depiction of the Viking Age. The series’ unique filming locations are key to this authenticity. From the rugged coastlines of Ireland to the majestic fjords of Norway, the series’ producers have meticulously chosen the filming sites to transport viewers to the world of the Vikings.
II. Where Does The Show Vikings Take Place?
The series “Vikings” takes place during the late 8th to the mid-11th century, predominantly focusing on Scandinavia and the British Isles. Over the course of its six seasons, the show explores a vast geographical expanse, with settings ranging from the legendary Viking homelands in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden to distant lands like England, France, and even the Mediterranean.
Despite its vast geographical scope, the series was primarily filmed in Ireland, with a few additional filming sites in other countries. Ireland served as the perfect backdrop for the series, offering a wealth of stunning landscapes, including rugged coastlines, dense forests, and awe-inspiring mountain ranges. Additionally, the country boasts a rich history and cultural heritage, making it an ideal location to bring the world of the Vikings to life.
III. Where Was the Vikings Series Filmed? – The Primary Filming Locations
Ireland is undoubtedly the most important filming location for the series “Vikings.” The country’s picturesque landscapes and natural beauty provide an authentic backdrop for the show’s various settings. The primary filming locations in Ireland include:
a. County Wicklow
Located in the southeastern part of Ireland, County Wicklow is known for its breathtaking landscapes, which feature prominently in the series. The town of Ashford houses the Ashford Studios, where most of the show’s interior scenes were filmed. Key sites in the region include the Powerscourt Estate and Waterfall, the Blessington Lakes, and the picturesque Luggala Estate, which served as the backdrop for the legendary settlement of Kattegat.
b. County Dublin
The series also used several locations in County Dublin for filming. Key sites include the Ballintubber Abbey and the stunning Lough Tay, which depict various scenes involving the Vikings’ longships.
While the show was primarily filmed in Ireland, it also used some breathtaking locations in Norway. Norway’s majestic fjords and serene landscapes added to the show’s authenticity and accurately represented the Viking homelands. The village of Avaldsnes in Karmøy was among the most significant Norwegian filming locations, providing the perfect backdrop for many scenes in Norway.
In the series’ later seasons, the character Floki, played by Gustaf Skarsgård, embarks on a journey to discover new lands. This leads to the introduction of Iceland as a significant Vikings show location. Known for its unique landscapes, Iceland offers a dramatic and otherworldly setting that perfectly complements the series’ tone. Key Icelandic filming locations include:
a. Vestrahorn Mountain
Situated on the Stokksnes peninsula in southeastern Iceland, the imposing Vestrahorn Mountain serves as a prominent backdrop in many scenes featuring Floki’s expedition. Its stark beauty and dramatic peaks add an air of mystery and intrigue to the unfolding storyline.
b. Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, with its distinctive basalt columns and powerful waves, is another unique Icelandic location featured in the series. The unique landscape of Reynisfjara provided an ideal setting for some of the most memorable scenes involving Floki and his fellow Vikings.
c. Thingvellir National Park
Thingvellir National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its geological significance, as it is located in a rift valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. The park’s extraordinary landscape, characterized by extensive lava fields and dramatic fissures, also played a role in the series, providing an otherworldly backdrop for several scenes.
IV. Additional Vikings Filming Locations
The series ventured to Morocco to film scenes set in the Mediterranean region. In the show’s fourth season, Ragnar and his followers sail to the Mediterranean, searching for new lands to conquer. The city of Essaouira, with its vibrant culture and distinctive architecture, served as the perfect stand-in for the Mediterranean world.
In the later seasons, the series introduced the character of Ubbe, Ragnar’s son, who sets sail in search of a legendary land to the west. The production team ventured to Canada to film these scenes, utilizing the beautiful landscapes of Newfoundland and Labrador to represent the untamed wilderness of the “new world.”
V. Where Is Kattegat in Vikings Filmed?
Kattegat, the primary setting and fictional village in the series “Vikings,” is filmed in various locations across Ireland, with the majority of its scenes shot in the picturesque County Wicklow. The following filming locations in Ireland have been used to bring the iconic village of Kattegat to life:
1. Luggala Estate
One of Kattegat’s most notable filming locations is the Luggala Estate, a private estate in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains. This scenic location, with its cliffs, rolling hills, and the serene Lough Tay, creates an ideal backdrop for the village of Kattegat, giving it an authentic and rugged Norse feel.
2. Powerscourt Estate and Waterfall
Another key location used for Kattegat is the Powerscourt Estate and Waterfall in County Wicklow. This magnificent 13th-century estate, with its sprawling gardens and the highest waterfall in Ireland, has served as a filming site for various scenes in the series, including the distinctive waterfall in Kattegat.
3. Ashford Studios
Most of the interior scenes for Kattegat and other settings in the series were filmed at the Ashford Studios in the town of Ashford, County Wicklow. This state-of-the-art studio facility allowed the production team to create detailed and immersive sets for the village, giving it a unique and authentic atmosphere.
Using these stunning locations in County Wicklow, Ireland, the series “Vikings” has managed to create a convincing and captivating representation of Kattegat, the mythical Norse village at the heart of the show’s narrative. These filming locations have contributed to the series’ success and have played a vital role in transporting viewers to the world of the Vikings.
VI. Was Vikings Filmed in Norway?
Although the majority of the series “Vikings” was filmed in Ireland, a few select scenes were indeed filmed in Norway. The show’s creators chose to incorporate Norwegian landscapes to accurately represent the Viking homelands and add a layer of authenticity to the series.
One of the most significant Norwegian filming locations is the village of Avaldsnes in Karmøy, located on the west coast of Norway. Avaldsnes boasts a rich history and strong connection to the Viking Age, making it an ideal choice for scenes set in Norway. The majestic fjords, serene landscapes, and dramatic coastlines of Norway featured in the series contribute to the show’s authentic representation of the world of the Vikings.
However, it is essential to note that the vast majority of the series was filmed in Ireland, with Norway serving as an additional filming location to capture specific scenes and landscapes. The combination of Irish and Norwegian landscapes helped create the distinct and captivating world depicted in the “Vikings.”
VII. The Impact of Filming Locations on the Show’s Authenticity and Success
The carefully selected filming locations for the series “Vikings” have significantly impacted the show’s authenticity, visual appeal, and overall success. By selecting landscapes that closely resemble the actual environments in which the historical Vikings lived, the series’ creators managed to transport viewers to a bygone era and provide them with a genuine sense of what life was like during the Viking Age.
The stunning landscapes of Ireland, Norway, and Iceland, among other locations, offered diverse backdrops for the show’s storylines. These locations enhanced the show’s visual appeal and contributed to the believability of the settings. For example, the dramatic coastlines of Ireland and Norway were perfect for depicting the rugged and untamed nature of the Viking homelands. On the other hand, the otherworldly landscapes of Iceland brought a sense of mystique and wonder to Floki’s journey to the “Land of the Gods.”
Furthermore, the use of historically and culturally significant locations, such as the village of Avaldsnes in Norway and the Powerscourt Estate in Ireland, added depth and richness to the series. These sites not only provided visually stunning backdrops but also connected the series to the real-life stories and traditions of the Vikings.
The series’ success also owes much to the seamless integration of its filming locations with the production design, costumes, and props. This attention to detail allowed the creators to build immersive worlds that feel both familiar and fantastical. By weaving together meticulously designed sets with breathtaking natural landscapes, the series transports viewers to a time and place as captivating as it is grounded in reality.
VIII. The Historical Significance of the Series’ Filming Locations
The historical significance of the filming locations used in the series “Vikings” is crucial in its overall authenticity and connection to the real-life events, stories, and traditions of the Viking Age. By carefully selecting locations with strong historical and cultural ties to the Vikings, the creators of the series were able to enhance the believability of the show and provide viewers with a sense of immersion into the world of the Norsemen.
For instance, the village of Avaldsnes in Norway, one of the show’s primary filming locations, is a site steeped in Viking history. As the historical seat of power for many Viking kings, Avaldsnes carries a rich legacy that spans centuries. By filming in such a location, the series was able to forge a deeper connection to the real-life events and figures of the Viking Age, thus lending credibility to the show’s storylines.
Filming locations such as the Powerscourt Estate and Ballintubber Abbey also possess significant historical value in Ireland. Powerscourt Estate, with its centuries-old gardens and architecture, serves as a window into the past, providing glimpses of the long-standing heritage of the region. Ballintubber Abbey, a 13th-century abbey, also represents the rich religious history of the region, which is an essential aspect of the series’ storyline.
The series “Vikings” effectively bridged the gap between fact and fiction by selecting locations with strong historical significance. These historically significant sites served not only as beautiful backdrops but also as crucial connections to the real world of the Vikings, adding depth and richness to the show. As a result, historically significant locations contribute to the show’s overall authenticity, enabling viewers to better understand and appreciate the complex world of the Viking Age.
The remarkable landscapes and carefully chosen filming locations play a vital role in the success of the series “Vikings.” By transporting viewers to a world of breathtaking natural beauty, these locations have allowed the series to create a truly immersive and authentic depiction of the Viking Age. From the rugged coastlines of Ireland to the majestic fjords of Norway and the ethereal landscapes of Iceland, the series has left an indelible mark on the collective imagination of its audience, proving that the answer to the question “where was the series Vikings filmed?” is as varied and intriguing as the world of the Vikings itself.