As Netflix’s historical drama approaches its final season, it’s time to talk about the amazing locations where the series was filmed. It might come as a surprise that although the series is set in medieval Britain, much of the series was filmed in Hungary.
The majority of the scenes were shot on land owned by Korda Studio near Budapest. The opening scene of the fifth season was set in Iceland, but in reality it actually took place in an old quarry outside Budapest. Even Emily Cox (Brida) was surprised how this was possible.
“It didn’t feel like we were in Hungary because it’s supposed to be Iceland. And I suddenly was like, ‘Oh wow, you can actually travel to Iceland if you just drive for an hour, that’s interesting’.” She told RadioTimes.com and other press.
But it wasn’t just the Icelandic scene that was outstanding, Göböljárás was used to partly recreate Winchester Palace, Sussex, in the series. The show’s production manager, Dominic Hyman said that the village was a very beautiful location. Throughout the series we can find other Hungarian locations, such as Lake Velence and Esztergom.
Esztergom castle is a combination of medieval and Renaissance architecture, much of which was lost for hundreds of years until archaeological excavations began in the 20th century. The Esztergom Hills, north of Budapest, were used to depict rural Wales.
This approach of taking what is essentially a Sussex story and setting it abroad may seem strange at first, but when you think about it, it makes sense.
As executive producer Nigel Marchant explained: “I think what Hungary brings to us is this sense of an other world. We don’t really know what England looked like 1,000 years ago, so although it’s not England and we shot it on location, it has this sense of otherness to it that I’ve always really enjoyed.”
The star of the series was delighted to have the opportunity to play Uhtred and thanked the crew for their work.
Alexander Dreymon said regarding the final season:
“I love this job. Playing Uhtred for 5 seasons has been a wonderful journey. And I’m truly grateful to have been given the opportunity to direct. In doing so, I came to fully appreciate the spectacular talent and skill of our cast and crew even more. I can’t wait to share it with our fans, without whom none of this would be possible.”