Fist of the first men

TV show Game of Thrones (2011)
A hill in the foothills of the Frostfangs, the Fist of the First Men is located far from the Wall. It owes its name to its shape evoking a closed hand. It is located near the ruins of a fort once built by early man. A very important place in the mythology of Game of Thrones that the producers found on the side of Vatnajökull in Iceland.
Skaftafell National Park
Skaftafell National Park by Andrewgrandison

“Oh…they keep their Wall.”

Qhorin Halfhand (Simon Armstrong)

Beyond the Wall

Scenes from the Fist of the First Men are particularly numerous in Game of Thrones seasons 2 and 7. It is notably here that the men of the Night’s Watch post up in season 2 to wait for the wildlings and it is still here that Jon Snow (Kit Harington) meets for the first time Ygritte (Rose Leslie), the woman with whom he will break his vows. It was crucial for the producers of the series to find the perfect location. Rather than trying to reproduce it near the studios in Northern Ireland, the teams preferred to go to Iceland and survey the Vatnajökull National Park.

An extreme shooting

The shooting conditions are rather extreme for the actors and directors. The wind blows frequently and the temperatures drop below zero. The snow also complicates things when it comes to the actors walking through this beautiful and hostile territory. Wanting to give a maximum of authenticity to their series, the showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss nevertheless want to film as much as possible in this area. A perfect place to shape the other side of the Wall, that wilderness inhabited by men not subject to the rule of the Seven Crowns where evil is born in the person of the Night King, the master of the White Walkers.

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Costumes made by System D

If the temperatures can go down to -18 degrees, the costumes, heavy and warm, help a lot. Outfits made by the team of Michele Clapton, the costume designer on the first five seasons of the series, sometimes hiding secrets rather surprising. The fur capes worn by the men of the Night’s Watch, for example, were fashioned from IKEA rugs. As a large production, Game of Thrones has never excluded the system D to achieve the desired result. Tips that have inspired thousands of cosplay fans since the broadcast.

Vatnajökull National Park was also the backdrop for the scene in which Qhorin Halfhand (Simon Armstrong) leads a team of men through Museux Pass.


The production of Game of Thrones has mobilized 40 companies specialized in visual effects. Companies in 13 countries.

Poing des premiers hommes
Poing des premiers hommes. Tous droits réservés : HBO.

Vatnajökull National Park

The first national park in Iceland, Vatnajökull is also the largest on the European continent. It thus encompasses 13% of the entire country.

Located in the south-east of Iceland, Vatnajökull is one of Iceland’s treasures, home to many areas of plants and animals such as the arctic fox, reindeer or several species of seals and birds, it attracts many tourists every year and offers a great summary of all the riches of Iceland. The Game of Thrones series returned to it several times during the filming of its eight seasons.

Go there

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By Gilles Rolland

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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