This Photographer Took His Favorite ‘Game of Thrones’ Action Figures on a Tour of Iceland
Earlier this frigid February, I traveled to northern Iceland with Jon Snow — sort of.
Travel + Leisure sent me to the "Lands of Ice and Fire" to see if I could chase the mystery that inspired George R.R. Martin’s series "A Song of Ice and Fire." As part of a photographic tour with Wild Photography Holidays, I revisited the place that birthed the Norse mythology that inspired his fiction, as well as the locations where the HBO series "Game of Thrones" was shot.
Before I left, I called up HBO’s set photographer, Helen Sloan, for advice. She mostly advised me to wear sturdy boots “for those rugged lava fields” and dress warmly, emailing, “You MUST wear layers!” To feel the vibe of the show, “imagine that soundtrack in your head,” she said. “That always works for me.” I did that and went one further, bringing along three Dark Horse figurines from the show — Jon Snow, a White Walker, and Ygritte — to reimagine the show in the photos.
As "Game of Thrones" creator George R.R. Martin wrote, the White Walkers “swept through cities and kingdoms, riding their dead horses, hunting with their packs of pale spiders big as hounds." Here, one visits the Harpa performing arts center, which boasts a rugged volcanic rock garden.
Even a harbinger of never-ending winter can’t resist Jón Gunnar Árnason’s much-Instagrammed “Sun Voyager” sculpture on Reykjavik’s shoreline.
Reykjavik's landmark Lutheran church, Hallgrímskirkja, is an irresistible photo op for both the holy and the damned.
In winter, Iceland is a country of black and white, from pure white snow and black volcanic rock to Jon Snow, who always wears black.
For the man who wants nothing but desolate, blinding, empty whiteness, northern Iceland has it all.
The Dettifoss waterfall, featured in the Ridley Scott film "Prometheus" is Europe’s largest, though only about one-fifth as tall as the Wall built to hold back the White Walkers.
Jon Snow’s sword, Longclaw, casts a long shadow near the Dettifoss’s sibling waterfall, Selfoss.
At Krafla, the geothermal power station, Jon Snow looks like he’s in the wrong movie. Perhaps "The Empire Strikes Back" which was partially shot in Iceland.
Hot, volcanic, steamy, smoldering. (Also note the geothermal springs.)
No shirt, no shoes, no problem. Even in mid-February, this fashionable White Walker prefers fetching bracers and a tasseled skirt for his long stalks across Iceland.
When traveling through the frigid "Land of Ice and Fire," Jon Snow prefers a heavy cape but no hat, since his hair will not be denied.
Dimmuborgir translates as “dark fortress” or “dark city” in Icelandic. Jon Snow’s true name, Aegon Targaryen, roughly translates as “dark stubble.”
Dimmuborgir is also where Jon Snow met — and was repeatedly shot by — his lover, Ygritte.
The area around Lake Mývatn boasts the Mývatn Nature Baths. Considered one of the island’s most spectacular hot springs, it's great for a romantic getaway from the encroaching apocalypse.
Of course, some habits die hard.