Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Ms. Hen reviews the GAME OF THRONES tour in Iceland

Ms. Hen gets stabbed at The Bloody Gate

Game of Thrones Tour
Iceland, Gray Line

When Ms. Hen was planning her trip to Iceland, she noticed there was a GAME OF THRONES tour. She had tried to watch GAME OF THRONES, but she was grossed out by the misogyny in the first three episodes of the first season. But she wanted to go on the tour. She didn’t want to be someone who goes on a tour and has never watched the show, so she watched the second season in two days, since she found out that had the most scenes filmed in Iceland. She was hooked! She watched all six seasons by the beginning of March, to get ready for her adventure in Iceland.

When she got on the bus for the tour, she was startled by a man in a costume with a sword taking tickets. He was the tour guide, Theo, and he talked for the entire eight hours of the tour. He was extremely entertaining, or Ms. Hen thought so, but he had a bit of a dirty mouth, and she could understand why some people who live sheltered lives would be offended by his remarks. Ms. Hen does not live a sheltered life, and she is used to perversity, and sometimes even enjoys it in the right context.

Theo had been an extra on GAME OF THRONES for many seasons: he was in the Night’s Watch, he was a Wildling, and he was a sentry overlooking the Bloody Gate. He had lots of inside stories about GAME OF THRONES, including one about the costumes of the Night’s Watch. He said they were made of very thin material, and they were designed in South Africa. The men who were the extras in the Night’s Watch were all Icelandic, and even though they were used to the cold, they were not used to being soaked in such flimsy clothes in the rain. They were told to act like they were suffering, but they didn’t have to act, because they already were.

The first stop on the tour was the Laxness Horse Farm, where the horses from GoT lived. Icelandic horses are much smaller than other horses, and they are a pure breed. Other horses are not allowed to come to Iceland, so they had a hard time filming GoT with the actor who plays the Hound, since he is so large. The scenes with him in Iceland are shot in an awkward way, as Ms. Hen remembers. The people on the tour got to feed the horses at the farm! Ms. Hen was excited about this, since the horses were so beautiful.

The tour went to the waterfall where the scene was filmed when the dragon kills the little boy in the field, and afterwards Daenerys chains the other two dragons in the dungeon. Ms. Hen was amazed that this area passed for the Mediterranean, even though it is in Iceland. The scene was filmed in the height of summer when everything was green.

Ms. Hen and the tour got to go to the Bloody Gate, in Thingvellir National Park, an ancient site where the Vikings held their Parliament. Ms. Hen was awed by the Bloody Gate, she even climbed down into it, though she is not a very agile hen. She thought she might fall, but she didn’t. The rock formations are beautiful. Ms. Hen learned about the authenticity of the show. Theo told the group that there was a poor extra who had to carry a crate full of lemons back and forth doing the takes over and over because the producers and directors wanted the show to be authentic. They didn’t want a crate with a few lemons on top, or the little plastic lemons; they had to have a crate full of real lemons for Sansa because Littlefinger knew she liked lemon cakes and he wanted her to be happy. She might have been happy, but the extra carrying the crate was not.

Ms. Hen at The Bloody Gate

Also, there was a scene in which a rabbit was cooking on a spit, and the directors wanted a real rabbit, because if it were fake fur and plexiglass, it would burn black smoke and have an odor. Theo showed a picture of an arm, and he was wondering if someone actually donated their arm to the show, since the people wanted it to be so authentic. Ms. Hen knows that was a joke.

The group went to a Viking village where the scene when the Wildlings kill the people in their house and tell Ollie to go tell the crows that Mance Raider is coming. Theo told a disturbing story about how he had been an extra in many films, and he liked doing evil things. He said he got to play a zombie, and he thought it couldn’t get better than that, because zombies were so evil. Then he said he got to be more evil, because he played a zombie Nazi, and he was so excited because he thought that was the absolute worst character to play.

At the Viking Village

But then, in GoT, he got to murder a six-year old girl, and he decided that was the utmost evil part to play, a child murderer. He described in detail the young actress who played the little girl, and how every time he had to pretend to kill her, she did a better job acting. He said she is going to be a famous actress someday.

At the Viking village, he demonstrated different ways to stab and punch someone while filming to make it look realistic for the camera. Ms. Hen thought it was interesting, because it’s something a hen doesn’t hear every day. Also, the village was situated overlooking a waterfall, which was lovely. Iceland is full of waterfalls, almost to the point where Ms. Hen wanted to say, “Oh, no, not another waterfall!” But she couldn’t, because how could a hen say that?

Ms. Hen says, "Oh, no, not another waterfall!"

Ms. Hen thought the GAME OF THRONES tour was one of the highlights of her trip to Iceland. She would recommend the tour to anyone, especially with the exuberant madman Theo at the helm of the ship.

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