Easter is in full swing and while the people devour their weight in chocolate, we bring you the most entertaining tidbits of news to crop up over the last week.
The new Game of Thrones episode landed and the Icelandic countryside once again featured as a backdrop. We thwarted Iceland the supermarket for legal rights to the name ‘Iceland’ and our Eurovision representatives, Hatari prepare to take over Europe. Read on for more news from Iceland.
Italian pianist releases Game of Thrones medley – shot in Iceland
Revered Italian pianist and composer, Costantino Carrara has released a Game of Thrones medley video to his YouTube channel. The video presents Carrara playing a grand piano in the beautiful Stakkholtsgjá valley close to the Þórsmörk highland reserve in South Iceland.
Þórsmörk is a particularly remote location and Carrara’s grand piano had to be airlifted there by helicopter. The finished result is quite breathtaking and perfectly captures the essence of the Game of Thrones epic.
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The same valley serves as the setting for the scene in which Jon Snow and his brigade of brave men travel Beyond the Wall to catch a wight in Season 7.
The new episode of Game of Thrones premiered in Iceland on Monday. The long-awaited Season 8 instalment featured scenes from Iceland including a CGI manipulated Skógafoss waterfall.
[MILD SPOILER] This is not the first time that Icelandic nature has featured as a backdrop for a romantic scene involving Jon Snow; Jon and Ygritte’s legendary love cave is a real cave called Grjótagjá situated in the North of Iceland.
Rúrik Gíslason earns more modelling than playing football
The professional Icelandic football player, Rúrik Gíslason is currently earning more as a model than he is on the football pitch.
The SV Sanhausen and Icelandic National player lives in Heidelberg, Germany and is currently juggling both professions although it may seem like modelling could serve him better in the long run.
His modelling career is handled by Monika Kisterman, a staunch name in the fashion industry who has previously worked with Naomi Campbell, Marc Jacobs, Dolce & Gabbana and other well-known brands.
In an interview with Stöð 2’s reporter Auðunn Blöndal, Kisterman boldly states, “He is better than David Beckham. His love is football but when he is older he can work a lot in the international modelling business”.
Gíslason shot to fame last summer when Iceland faced Argentina in the World Cup. Before kick-off, Gíslason had only 30,000 Instagram followers but once the final whistle blew, he was up to over 100,000.
Gíslason now has over 1 million Instagram followers and shows no signs of slowing down. Watch this face.
Hatari film their Eurovision postcard
In less than a month, Iceland’s Eurovision representatives, Hatari, will grace the big stage in Tel Aviv. The BDSM industrial anti-capitalist outfit has been spotted filming their Eurovision postcard in an amphitheatre in Tel Aviv; the finished product will be televised before their live performance at Eurovision.
In the video above, the band, dressed in white kimonos, can be seen practising their dance moves and seem to be relishing the whole process.
Iceland has not made the Eurovision finals since 2014, however, many believe that Hatari’s ‘Hatrið mun sigra’ (‘Hate will prevail’), will gain European support. Many expect them to not only make it through to the qualifying rounds but to score well in the final. Will hate prevail? Only time will tell.
Björk DJs at a high school dance
So you’re at your high school dance plucking up the courage to ask that person you like to dance to a song, played by none other than singer, songwriter, composer, actress and all-around superstar, Björk! The students of Menntaskólinn við Hamrahlíð (MH high school) were the lucky recipients of this private DJ set and the evening will surely go down as a night to remember.
Iceland wins out over Iceland
Forget Kramer vs. Kramer, this is serious; Iceland the country has finally won rights to the trademark ‘Iceland’ over British supermarket chain, Iceland.
The long-running dispute finally reached a conclusion when the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) ruled that Icelandic companies are well within their right to use the word ‘Iceland’ for marketing.
Find out more about Shopping for Groceries in Iceland
In the past, Iceland, the retailer, has pursued aggressive legal actions against Icelandic companies using the word ‘Iceland’ in their marketing strategies. Such tensions have not, however, discouraged the presence of Iceland stores in Iceland and the retailers currently boast 5 stores in Iceland, including a branch in Akureyri.
Although a major win for Icelandic companies, the absurdity of the entire battle is not lost on us: a Nordic country established since the 9th century AD has to fight for the rights to its name against a business that has only been in operation since the 1970s? That is a bit silly.
Little Grey and Little White, two beluga whales travelling from Shanghai to Iceland have been delayed. The pair were due to arrive on the 16th of April but due to bad weather, they will now arrive a little later than expected.
When will they get here? Whale have to wait and sea.
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Have you heard any peculiar or interesting news from Iceland that we’ve missed? Will you be supporting Hatari at the Eurovision Song Contest this year? Be sure to leave any comments or questions in the box below.