Otherwise known as the “Dark Fortress”, Dimmuborgir lava field is famed as a shooting location in HBO’s Game of Thrones, serving as Mance Rayder’s wildling camp in Season 3. With the first episode of Season 8 fast approaching, see our beautiful photo gallery of Dimmuborgir below.
See also: Game of Thrones in Iceland | The Filming Locations
or, 8-Day Guided Tour Vacation Package | A Game of Thrones Experience in Summer Iceland
Over recent years, visitors to Iceland have been familiar with Dimmuborgir as one of the many natural attractions found besides Lake Mývatn, itself located in the northeast. Others include Hverfjall volcano and the geothermal valley of Námaskarð Pass.
Instantly recognisable thanks to its gnarled, jet-black volcanic rocks and sweeping surrounding views, Dimmuborgir has become an essential stop for those travelling in the region.
It is widely acknowledged that Dimmuborgir first formed approximately 2300 years after a violent volcanic eruption in the area. The lava that flooded over Lake Mývatn’s surface aided the cooling of the water, creating sharp pillars of molten rock that, over many years, came to solidify.
Dimmuborgir plays an important part in Icelandic folklore, particularly as the home of half-troll, half-ogre Grýla. Living with her pushover husband, Leppalúði, and enormous Yule Cat, Grýla is the mother of Iceland’s thirteen seasonal Yule Lads, favourite Christmas characters among Icelanders.
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During the two weeks before Christmas, Yule Lads are said to enter the homes of locals, stealing milk, skyr and causing no end of trouble. Whereas once the Yule Lads were perceived to be a menace, they are now considered somewhat more placid, even adopting the name “The Icelandic Santa Clauses”.
Because of this impact on culture, Dimmuborgir makes for a fantastic site to visit when blanketed in snow during the winter.
As mentioned previously, Dimmuborgir served as the shooting location in Game of Thrones Season 3. Can you recall when our protagonist, Jon Snow—then a mere brother of the Night’s Watch—travelled northward to meet the King beyond the wall, Mance Rayder? Well, you can thank the land of ice and fire for such staggering scenery (—with the help of a little CGI, of course).
See also: The Story of Icelandic Cinema
The Wildling Camp in which Mance was in charge used fantastic sweeping shots of the Dimmuborgir area, bringing Iceland into the living rooms of millions worldwide. Today, Dimmuborgir remains an important attraction to locals and visitors alike. Make sure not to miss it during your time in the North of Iceland.
And here are some pictures of the shorelines of Lake Mývatn, found only a short distance away:
Are you looking forward to the first episode of Game of Thrones Season 8? Make sure to check out our other GOT themed photo galleries, Photo Gallery of Kirkjufell in Snæfellsnes: The Mountain Like An Arrowhead or Photo Gallery of Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon in South Iceland.