TV and Movies·Posted on Aug 8, 202226 Locations From Movies & TV I Had No Idea Were Actually IcelandNeed to shoot an alien planet or epic fantasy? Iceland's the place for you.by William BarriosBuzzFeed ContributorFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink Iceland: the home of Vikings, folklore, and Hollywood blockbusters. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF Pana Jan / giphy.com I recently got back from Iceland, and was reading The Witcher whenever we had some down time. Even though that series comes from Poland, I was struck by how at home the fantastical storytelling felt among the fjords, glaciers, and volcanoes of the massive island.I'm far from the first person to be pulled in by Iceland's mythical setting. It's been home to fables since around 800, and the land keeps inspiring new generations of storytellers. Today, many movies and TV shows film in Iceland's sprawling lava fields, glaciers, and black sand beaches. 1. Game of Thrones — Kirkjufell Mountain (and many more locations) Finn Hafemann / Getty Images, HBO / youtube.com The "mountain like an arrowhead" from Game of Thrones is really Kirkjufell Mountain, one of the most photographed locations in Iceland.Also featured in the show are: Skaftafell Nature Reserve — North of the WallGrjótagjá Hot Spring Cave — Where Jon Snow and Ygritte get it onDimmuborgir — An area where Sam is attacked by white walkersThingvellir National Park — Brienne vs. the HoundSvínafellsjökull Glacier — Called "Hollywood's Favorite Glacier" (you'll see why as this list goes on), this location partially served as the Wall itself 2. The Northman — Svínafellsjökull Glacier Gianfranco Vivi / Getty Images, Universal / youtube.com Although The Northman mainly takes place in Iceland, most of its scenes were shot in Northern Ireland. But you can't get ice this cinematic outside of Iceland.Watch it on Peacock. 3. James Bond (A View to a Kill & Die Another Day) — Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Ratnakorn Piyasirisorost / Getty Images, 20th Century Fox / youtube.com Pictured above is Die Another Day, when Bond goes to the Ice Palace. As with many of these movies and TV shows, it can be tough to tell what's directly shot on location, what's a green screen, and what's a mixture of both. It's pretty safe to say that the tsunami surfing scene leaned more toward CGI, though. 4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — Black sand beaches Anastasiia Shavshyna / Getty Images, Disney / youtube.com Like the Svínafellsjökull glacier, Iceland's black sand beaches are also going to pop up on throughout this list a lot. The sand's color is due to the island's volcanic activity, and the most famous (and most often-filmed) beach is near the village of Vík.The otherworldly volcanic sand looks even more alien when you put a crop of lush greenery on top like in Rogue One. 5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Around Mývatn and the Krafla volcano Bahadir-yeniceri / Getty Images/iStockphoto, 20th Century Fox youtube.com Big sci-fi movies are good at stitching together beautiful vistas from all over the earth, throwing in a dash of CGI trickery, and creating entirely new worlds. So while it's tough to say exactly which parts of the Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens are Iceland, the production did confirm that they filmed near the Krafla volcano. 6. Batman Begins — Svínafellsjökull Glacier Gianfranco Vivi / Getty Images, Warner Bros youtube.com Everyone's favorite photogenic slab of ice is back, this time posing as Bhutan in South Asia. Bruce Wayne has to trek across the ice to find Ra's al Ghul, and the sharp peaks of this glacier certainly make the trip look dangerous.Later in the movie, when Bruce Wayne and Ra's al Ghul have a sword fight on a frozen lake, they are also standing on Svínafellsjökull. 7. Interstellar — Svínafellsjökull Glacier Gianfranco Vivi / Getty Images, Paramount youtube.com Christopher Nolan was such a big fan of Svínafellsjökull that he even came back a few years later for Interstellar. One of the most frequently-seen posters for Interstellar featured Matthew McConaughey's character standing on an ice planet. He was really on good-old Svínafellsjökull, which helped create the planet so cold even its clouds freeze. 8. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty — Stykkishólmur Flottmynd / Getty Images, 20th Century Fox youtube.com Iceland is still experiencing the boom in tourism that came from the release of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I'm serious, if you tracked how often people were searching "visit Iceland" over the past decade, you'd see it start to rise around 2013 (when the movie was released). But who would track something so random, that's crazy.The town of Stykkishólmur is the town in which Mitty decides to get on the helicopter as Kristen Wiig sings "Space Oddity," but many more scenes were shot in the country. Other locations include:Seyðisfjörður — Walter Mitty swaps out his bike for a longboard and absolutely shredsVatnajökull National Park — Masking as the Himalayas and AfghanistanGrundarfjörður — The boat harborHöfn — The town Mitty lands in, pretending to be Greenland in the movie 9. The Fate of the Furious — Lake Mývatn Christophe Lehenaff / Getty Images, Universal Pictures youtube.com Charlize Theron's dreadlocks weren't the only thing appropriated in The Fate of the Furious — so was Lake Mývatn. In the movie, the family needs to go to Russia. But the frozen lake that the nuclear submarine bursts through is actually in Iceland! 10. The Tree of Life — Krafla Volcano Ivelin Denev / Getty Images/iStockphoto, Cottonwood Pictures youtube.com The Tree of Life has a lot of scenes showing a barren earth, whether it's just beginning as a new planet or a representation of the afterlife. Iceland is great at doing "barren," and the area surrounding the Krafla Volcano was perfect. The film also shot some scenes at Námafjall, a geothermal area. 11. Journey to the Center of the Earth — Snæfellsjökull National Park Magcs / Getty Images/iStockphoto, New Line Cinema youtube.com In this movie, the filmmakers didn't have to make up a sci-fi setting or pretend that Iceland was somewhere else. That's because Jules Verne wrote into his book Journey to the Center of the Earth that the volcanic tube leading inside our planet was actually at Snæfellsjökull. In the movie, they were true to the book and shot on location. 12. Captain America: Civil War — Vík Mlenny / Getty Images, Marvel youtube.com This time pretending to be Siberia, you may remember the area surrounding Vík as having black sand beaches. Well, that's just one side. In Iceland, you can drive 20 minutes and feel like you're on a completely different planet. So right near those beaches are rocky stretches that, when covered in snow and ice, look a lot like the unforgiving terrain of Siberia. Perfect spot to get a hike in, maybe a road trip, create a tormented super soldier, you know. 13. Justice League — Djúpavík Feifei Cui-paoluzzo / Getty Images, Warner Bros youtube.com On the Strandir coast in the Northwest of Iceland lies Djúpavík, a small fishing village. In Justice League, this is where Aquaman is hiding out. And those are real chunks of ice floating behind Jason Momoa. If there was ever a time to nail your performance on the first take, it's standing in freezing-cold water in Djúpavík. 14. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — Undisclosed location in Iceland Mlenny / Getty Images, Marvel youtube.com Pictured on the left is the Langjökull glacier mountain range, but Marvel has not officially stated where in Iceland they shot part of the latest Doctor Strange. With so many vistas consisting of snowy mountaintops, odds are they had just as many locations to choose from as there are multiverses. 15. Vikings — Skógafoss Jonas Stenberg - Fotografstenber / Getty Images, History / youtube.com Skógafoss is a waterfall tucked into a cliffside that almost feels like CGI when you're standing right next to it. But the crashing water is a reminder that even though Iceland's real pretty, it's also powerful. In Vikings, Floki goes to Skógafoss in the show's fifth season. 16. Blade Runner 2049 — Black sand beaches Arctic-images / Getty Images, Alcon Entertainment youtube.com When I think of the Blade Runner world, my mind immediately goes to the cluttered streets, tightly packed together buildings, and neon lights. But at the beginning of Blade Runner 2049, more of the landscape surrounding futuristic Los Angeles is shown. Bleak yet beautiful? Sounds like Iceland! 17. Lamb — Outside Akureyri Finn Hafemann / Getty Images/iStockphoto, Black Spark Film & TV youtube.com The hills of Iceland play a large role in Lamb, not necessarily in the movie's plot but in its atmosphere. The looming cliffs feel like walls, boxing in the characters in this small and creepy story. The mountain range outside the city of Akureyri was just what the filmmakers needed to maximize the feeling that something bad could come at any minute. 18. Stardust — Diamond Beach near Jökulsárlón Flottmynd / Getty Images, Paramount youtube.com Diamond Beach is not only full of small icebergs that have washed ashore — it's also a black sand beach! Though, to be fair, pretty much all of the beaches in Iceland have black sand. The mini-glaciers (aka "diamonds") on this beach are carried from Vatnajökull (the second largest glacier in Europe) by the Jökulsárlón lagoon's waters. 19. Thor: The Dark World — Outside Reykjavík Kati Lenart / Getty Images/iStockphoto, Marvel youtube.com The Kermóafoss waterfall is in the picture on the left, but the trees above are what the filmmakers behind Thor: The Dark World were more interested in. A battle on "Vanaheim" really takes place right outside Reykjavík, near the Kermóafoss. 20. Foundation — Undisclosed location in Iceland Dominiquemills / Getty Images/RooM RF, Skydance Media youtube.com Foundation has filmed all over Europe, including Germany, Malta, Spain, and Ireland. Like Star Wars, the sci-fi show stitches together many of these different regions into a wholly unique world. So while the filmmakers haven't explicitly stated which scenes were shot in which areas of Iceland, it's safe to bet the black sand beaches were involved at one point. 21. The Tomorrow War — Virkisjokull Glacier Alex Walker / Getty Images, Skydance Media youtube.com Part of Vatnajökull (the second-largest glacier in Europe) is Virkisjökull. It's got plenty of caves and crevices that look great on camera, but according to Chris Pratt, the glacier had never been filmed on before The Tomorrow War. Though since it's part of a national park, it's probably best that too many film crews don't poke around these ice caps. 22. Prometheus — Dettifoss Ratnakorn Piyasirisorost / Getty Images, 20th Century Fox youtube.com Another alien planet, another trip to Iceland. This time we're near Dettifoss, another silver medalist. Remember how I said Vatnajökull is Europe's second largest glacier? Well, Dettifoss is the second most powerful waterfall in all of Europe. Iceland just can't get a #1 spot. 23. Lost in Space — Dyrhólaey (and black sand beaches) Legendary Television youtube.com The black sand beaches are back, and this time, they brought a rock arch. Dyrhólaey is on the south shore of Iceland, and there's even a quaint lighthouse nearby. 24. Oblivion — Hrossaborg crater Tim E White / Getty Images, Universal Pictures youtube.com Hrossaborg means "Horse Castle." That is all. 25. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword — Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon Daniel Garrido / Getty Images, Warner Bros youtube.com Many of the land formations in Iceland have myths surrounding their creation, so it's no surprise that King Arthur, the granddaddy of myths about rocks (and swords in them), would venture to Iceland. 26. Bonus: Death Stranding — The lava fields and black sand beaches inspired the game's aesthetic Artur Debat / Getty Images, Kojimo Productions youtube.com I know, it's not a movie or a TV show. But these days, there's not much difference anyway. On the left is the Sólheimasandur plane wreck near Vík, and what appears to be a lava field from the video game is shown on the right. The game's director, Hideo Kojima, visited Iceland in 2014 and was clearly inspired. Which shows and movies set in Iceland did I miss? Let me know in the comments!