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In this blog post you will find your essential guide to the key Ireland Green Knight connections, such as The Green Knight Ireland filming locations, whether the green color of the Green Knight has anything to do with Ireland and a lot more.
Table of Contents
What is The Green Knight movie about?
The Green Knight is an epic fantasy adventure movie by director David Lowery that focuses on the Arthurian legend of the eponymous Green Knight. The movie tells the story of Sir Gawain (played by Dev Patel) who embarks on the challenging quest to take on the Green Knight.
Sir Gawain is not only a Knight of the Round Table of King Arthur and Arthur’s nephew, he is also a compassionate and reckless warrior. The Green Knight (played by Ralph Ineson) on the other hand is an emerald-skinned stranger and tester of knights.
Embarking upon a medieval quest to test his courage and loyalty Sir Gawain enters a challenge with the Green Knight. If Sir Gawain dares to strike him, the Green Knight will be allowed to return a year and a day later in order to strike Sir Gawain.
Sir Gawain successfully beheads the Green Knight, who picks up his own head and promises to return to fulfill the challenge. This supernatural adventure film follows Sir Gawain during the year to come, as he faces all kinds of challenges which question his virtues, morals and chivalry.
Where was The Green Knight filmed in Ireland?
There are two Green Knight filming locations in Ireland. One is Ardmore Studios in Bray, County Wicklow, where principal photography began in March 2019.
The other one is Cahir Castle in County Tipperary. As one of the best preserved medieval castles in Ireland, filming The Green Knight at Cahir Castle was a natural choice.
In fact, it is not the first time that Cahir Castle was chosen as the filming location for a movie about an Arthurian legend. The fantasy film Excalibur (1981) about King Arthur’s eponymous sword was also filmed here. Filming at Cahir Castle for The Green Knight took place in early April 2019.
Are there any other Green Knight connections?
The Green Knight includes the Dublin actor Barry Keoghan in the role of Scavenger.
Fun geeky fact: The Irish actor Michael Fassbender, who is married to The Green Knight star Alicia Vikander (she plays the Lady/Essel), celebrated his 42nd birthday on the set of The Green Knight at Cahir Castle.
Why is the Green Knight green?
Colors convey a lot of meaning in The Green Knight. The green, gnarly complexion of the Green Knight makes him immediately stand out. Although clad as a knight, he rather seems to stem from the natural world. Yet, also the action of being able to pick up his head after being beheaded connects him with the supernatural world.
As the movie unfolds, the color green can be seen as a symbol of nature and supernatural ideas, whose laws on life and death are beyond the rules of the court and civilized men. Green here is connected to the fear of the unknown, uncontrolled and untamed.
I would also add another layer to this, seeing that The Green Knight is filmed in Ireland, where the national color is green: Colonial perceptions of Ireland (particularly from the eyes of the pre-twentieth century British) very often portrayed Irish inhabitants as untamed savages, whose rites and belief systems (e.g. the Celtic Brehon Law) were unknown and considered to be uncivilized.
By filming an English chivalric romance dating from the 14th century in Ireland, this colonial layer of Irish inferiority, yet also English fear of the savage unknown resonates in the film as well.
Additional fact: There are still three Anglo-Irish hereditary knighthoods in Ireland, which have been in existence since the middle ages. The Knight of Kerry is also called the Green Knight.
Where did The Green Knight cast stay in Ireland?
It has been reported that local hotels in Clonmel and Cahir were booked out in order to accommodate the vast number of cast, crew, staff and extras who were involved in filming The Green Knight in Ireland.
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