The Dev Patel with The Green Knight filmed at some historic sites in Ireland, including several castles and scenic countryside
David Lowery’s The green knight was filmed in Ireland and uses a number of memorable locations from the medieval past of the British Isles. Real-world locations contribute to the film’s grainy and brooding portrayal of Arthurian life. While magic and mystery abound in The green knight, the superb Irish locations keep the film anchored in the material world of the true Middle Ages.
For a limited series film, The green knight was successful at the box office and received positive reviews from critics. The green knight is an adaptation of the medieval poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, one of the texts that has most fascinated scholars over the past seven centuries. It stars Dev Patel as Sir Gawain and Alicia Vikander in a dual role as two of his lovers. And the supernatural elements and impenetrable symbols of history have long been a subject of debate.
The green knight was filmed entirely in Ireland between March and May 2019, with covers in September. The Republic of Ireland has become a popular filming destination, with The iron Throne one of the most remarkable productions to use its hills to imitate a medieval fantasy setting. Unique sets from the film also include a pair of historic castles.
Cahir Castle, Ireland
The first castle used in The green knight is Cahir Castle, located in County Tipperary. First built in 1142 by Prince Thomond Conor O’Brien, the castle is very well preserved and a popular tourist destination. The castle was used as a location in the 1981 film Excalibur and the 2000s TV series The Tudors, as well as for the upcoming Ridley Scott film The last duel.
The sinister castle, located on an island in the River Suir, houses the court of King Arthur in The green knight. It is here that Gauvain takes up the strange challenge of the Green Knight and spends much of the first act. The film begins there, with Gwain’s mother summoning the Green Knight. The stone walls of the castle are also used for a number of interior scenes.
Charleville Forest Castle
The other castle used in The green knight is the Chateau de la Forêt de Charleville, also known as the Chateau de Charleville. Charleville was built seven centuries later than Chateau de Cahir and, as such, has a Gothic Revival design with more elaborate construction. It was created less like a medieval castle and more like a 19th century medieval castle idea. The castle is located near Tullamore in County Offaly. In the past it has been a filming location for Northanger Abbey and the pilot episode of Reign.
The Château de Charleville is used in The green knight like the house of the mysterious Lord who makes an unusual bet with Gauvain. Its somewhat anachronistic architecture contributes to the dreamlike aspect of the sequence. It is here that Gauvain is tempted to chivalrous chivalry by an apparent double of his low-born lover Essel, a crucial moment for the themes of medieval history.
Located in Bray, Ardmore Studios is Ireland’s only ‘four walls’ studio and one of its most important filming locations. The studio’s history dates back to 1958, and it has been used for everything from classic films like My left foot and Brave Heart to modern television series such as Dreadful Penny. In addition to sets, it provides digital sound and lighting installations for film production.
The green knight filmed at Ardmore studios, and it is likely that many interior scenes were shot on film sets in the studios. This could include the climactic scenes in the Green Chapel and the Chalet where Gauvain meets the ghostly Winifred. Weta Digital also contributed to the CGI effects of the film, meaning that some outdoor scenes could also have been filmed on a soundstage with a backdrop added later.
In addition to filming in the studios of Bray, The green knight also shot around the surrounding County Wicklow. The county is located on the east coast of Ireland and is known as the “Garden of Ireland”, reflecting its lush green landscapes and rolling hills. Many earlier projects have been shot in Wicklow to help portray a medieval world, including the television series Vikings and In the Badlands.
Wicklow’s natural surroundings could have been used in many scenes of The green knight, like the momentous moment when the Arthurian hero meets a tribe of giants. The idyllic but gloomy scenery contributes to the feeling that the film is set in an ancient world that exists without the rational laws of modernity. The infamous Irish weather is also noticed in the thick mists that appear at many points in the film.
The green knight also shot around the town of Sligo, a well-known Irish seaport. The town is located in the northeast of the Republic of Ireland near the border with Northern Ireland and is a popular tourist destination for its waterfront views and connection to Celtic culture. Sligo was also a filming location for the TV adaptation of Normal people, which is partly located in the city.
There aren’t many clear scenes by the water in The green knight, but County Sligo was probably used for some of the exterior scenes as Gwain wanders through very Christian England in the Middle Ages. Social media posts during filming in 2019 show the cast and crew traveling to Sligo as “Knights of the Red Bus.”
In an interview with THR, director David Lowery described the shooting of The green knight like “a good time” but also “a nightmare” for him and Patel. The film’s release has also been delayed for over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed Lowery to reissue the film. Ultimately, the overseas filming created a memorable film, with the use of quaint Irish castles and backdrops contributing to the evocative and immersive Arthurian world of The green knight.
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