Iceland on the list of favourite destinations

The Game of Thrones actor Iain Glen is very fond …

The Game of Thrones actor Iain Glen is very fond of Icelandic nature and says he will be back even though his last trip was very different than planned due to the severe snowstorm in December. Photo/Juliette Rowland

Iain Glen is in a hotel room somewhere in South Africa where he is currently shooting. We found a time in the busy day to chat in a video call over half the world, discussing worlds and spaces; the long career, the Game of Thrones and his acting in the Icelandic film Napoleonic Documentary, which premieres here next Friday. Glen is very easy going and it is like talking to an old friend, not a famous celebrity. He leaned back in his seat, dressed in a red t-shirt and started talking. And the African sun shone through the window.

Iceland is a favourite

Obviously, your work is leading you around the world. Do you have a favorite country?

“Iceland!” says Glen loudly, and the reporter says that’s definately the right answer.

Glen says he appreciates the privilege of traveling and seeing the world through his work.

“It’s eye-opening to travel, but I often see countries in a different way from a tourist, as I work with locals and often spend a considerable amount of time in the places. I’ve been very lucky. And if I talk about favourite places, Iceland is definately on the list. I’ve worked there five times; the first time I was there was working on the film Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie and Daniel Craig years ago. We were driving around on glaciers and lagoons. Then I went there a couple of times to shoot Game of Thrones and I’ve also acted there in other films, including the Operation Napoleon.”

Got caught up in the bad snowstorm

This past December, Glenn planned to spend a few days in Iceland on a winter break, but it was different from what he set out to do. Before describing the trip, he talks about what it is about Iceland that fascinates him.

Iain Glen is in the Icelandic movie The Napoleon Files …

Iain Glen is in the Icelandic movie The Napoleon Files and here he is with the icelandic actress Vivian Ólafsdóttir. Photo/Juliette Rowland

“The landscape in Iceland is very different from anything else. The land is so beautiful; it is so vast and this incredible light. When I’m there, I feel alone with nature. It feels like a country almost untouched by human habitation. I go not only to Iceland for work, but also for a vacation, but I was right there just before Christmas, with my wife and my two youngest children. We were caught in the storm that lasted four days and were caught in a very cold storm. We planned to stay there for three nights with the intention of staying a few nights at the tourist destination Torfhús Retreat , located near the Golden Circle, with a stop in the Blue Lagoon. What happened first was that we became stuck in the Blue Lagoon for twelve hours because of the weather. We ended up in Reykjavík at three in the morning and from there we drove to Torfhús. We did not do anything there, literally, because all the roads were closed. We did not ride horses, not swim in caves, not drive on snowmobiles on glaciers; we did nothing! We were just stuck inside, and even had to be ferried three times a day between houses to get to the food,” he smiles.

“It was very dramatic and really the trip was ruined in many ways, but there’s something extraordinary about being in the power of nature. It reminds us—people—that we can’t control everything, if you think about it philosophically. Iceland has this power,” he says, “and he says he is not going to be discouraged by this experience or by any further visits to Iceland.

This is an excerpt from a longer interview in Morgunblaðið this Sunday.


Light rain


4 °C


Later today

6 °C



9 °C

Warning: Yellow Orange More