Showcasing some of Ireland’s most dramatic scenery from Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way, VIKINGS: VALHALLA Series 2 is produced by MGM Television and is available now on Netflix.
Set over a thousand years ago in the early 11th century, VIKINGS: VALHALLA chronicles the heroic adventures of some of the most famous Vikings who ever lived — the legendary explorer Leif Eriksson, his fiery and headstrong sister Freydis Eriksdotter and the ambitious Nordic prince Harald Sigurdsson. Loosely based on real-life characters and events, the series also includes many fictional main characters, and was shot on location in County Wicklow in Ireland’s Ancient East, with additional locations and scenery provided from Counties Meath and Kerry.
Season Two finds the heroes shortly after the tragic fall of Kattegat; an event that has shattered their dreams and altered their destinies. Finding themselves suddenly fugitives in Scandinavia they are forced to test their ambitions and courage in worlds beyond the fjords of Kattegat.
VIKINGS: VALHALLA was filmed in a variety of locations across County Wicklow, using state of the art Ashford studios as a base, whilst also creating exterior sets in some of Wicklow’s most majestic natural locations.
One of the key filming locations was the Luggala Estate and Lough Tay. Known as the ‘Guinness Lake’, due to its shape and white sand edging reminiscent of a pint of the Black Stuff, Lough Tay became the harbour of the Kattegat settlement. Production Designer Tom Conroy comments on how they chose the venue because of the “stunning, empty, harsh beauty of the lakeside landscape and because the lake was deep and navigable. When one is at water level, the mountain rises dramatically & vertically – the shape of the lake and the bottom of the mountain lent itself to being extended by VFX to give a believable shape of a Norwegian Fjord.” At the location the production also built jetties, defence towers, harbour side buildings and a protective palisade wall to create the harbour, mooring up to 14 Viking ships, with hundreds of extras as the mariners and townsfolk.
Adding more visual drama to the production, Roundwood Quarry doubles as Jomsburg, the semi-legendary Viking stronghold at the Southern Coast of the Baltic Sea, whilst the sand marsh townsland of Ballyhorsey Quarry doubles for ‘The Ice River’.
Providing a less rugged landscape, farmland in Ashford became the Novgorod republic; and Lough Dan became ‘Campbell’s land’. Other Wicklow locations include Childers Woods which also featured in the 1981 film Excaliber; Ballinrush and Clara Lara.
Highlighting just some of Wicklow’s stunning cliff edged beaches, key filming locations include the pristine sands of Nun’s Beach at Maghermore; the dramatic Bray Head which forms part of Wicklow Mountains, and Black Castle ruin, which has its own stories of adventure and battle to tell, located just outside of Wicklow Town.
In addition, and new to this series, Slane Castle Estate and the Boyne in County Meath are featured as a location, as well as beautiful aerial shots of Kerry’s dramatic scenery, which are used to depict the Viking era landscapes.
VIKINGS: VALHALLA Season 2 stars Hayat Kamille, Sam Corlett, Lujza Richter, Leo Suter, David Oakes, Frida Gustavsson, Laura Berlin, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson and Bradley Freegard.
All eight episodes will be available now on Netflix.
Behind the scenes footage courtesy of Tourism Ireland