The real Ennis, Alaska town: Where was True Detective filmed? The Night Country locations

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Set in the Alaskan fictional village of Ennis, True Detective was filmed primarily in Iceland.

The popular crime drama series fourth season, taking place on the polar night, when the sun remains below the horizon in continuous darkness for several days or months, is called Night Country.

Ennis Alaska

Reminiscent of the icy and isolated environment of films like The Thing and 30 Days of Night, the story revolves around a scientific station located 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle, where the eight men who operate the facility vanish without a trace.

This new installment stars Jodie Foster and former world boxing champion Kali Reis as detectives Liz Danvers and Evangeline Navarro.

Welcome to Ennis, Alaska, and our spoiler-free guide to all the filming locations of True Detective. You'll find the locations in order of appearance.

The Tsalal Arctic Research Station

Tsalal Arctic Research Station
The fictional Tsalal Arctic Research Station seems loosely inspired by Arctic polar stations like the remote Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station located at the geographic South Pole in Antarctica (lower pic).

The exterior of the station might be an isolated resort in Iceland like the hotel featured in the A Murder at the End of the World series.

Many interior scenes were filmed at the RVK Studios located outside Reykjavík.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps by clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
  Image courtesy of HBO and Map - Map

Ennis, Alaska

Ennis True Detective
As the Alaskan local press reported, the showrunners looked to the northern villages of Kotzebue, Nome, and Barrow (Utqiagvik) for inspiration on how to recreate the town of Ennis.

Director and writer Issa López traveled to these three communities with several members of the team during pre-production.
Image courtesy of HBO - Maps: Kotzebue / Barrow / Nome

Board of Trade Saloon Nome Alaska
The crew also filmed some establishing shots of Nome and Kotzebue that appear from time to time in the show, including the Board of Trade Saloon and Casino on Nome's Front Street.

Situated on the northern edge of the Bering Sea, near the Arctic Circle, Nome is known because it became a prominent center during the Alaska Gold Rush in the late 19th century.
Image courtesy of HBO - Map

Ennis Police Department
However, the thriving film industry and the country's steep tax credit for film and television shows brought almost all the production to Iceland.

The Ennis Police Department is the post office in Dalvík, located in northern Iceland near Akureyri.
Image courtesy of HBO and Google Maps

True Detective location
The car crash scene was filmed near the police station, on the same street in Dalvík.

The village's main street was transformed into an entire set, and the area was decorated with old wooden electricity poles and American signs.
Image courtesy of HBO and Google Maps

Ennis Alaska Night Country
Some other scenes in Ennis were filmed in Keflavík, the town where Iceland's international airport is located, near Reykjavík, in the southwest of the country.

Hafnargata, the village's main shopping street, was covered with artificial snow for several days of filming.
Image courtesy of HBO and Google Maps

Qavviks's Burger Joint
The dodgy hotel is actually the Hotel Keilir in Keflavík, a convenient accommodation where a double room costs about 200 USD per night.

Qavviks's Burger Joint is actually an Irish pub.
Image courtesy of HBO and Google Maps

Ennis Value Center
The Ennis Value Center of the polar bear scene is actually a movie theater, situated next to the hotel, also in Keflavík.
Image courtesy of HBO and Google Maps

Ice Rink Laugardalur
The 'ice sculpture' in the second episode was taken to the Ice Rink Laugardalur (Skautahöllin í Laugardal) in Reykjavík.
Image courtesy of HBO - Map

The coffee shop is a café called Bakkabrædra, which, as in the series, is across the street from the Ennis police station in Dalvík.
Image courtesy of HBO - Map

Artic Chalet
The Artic Chalet motel is actually the Hotel Vogar in Stapavegur, just outside Reykjavík.

With spectacular views of the Keilir cone volcano, you can stay here for around USD 160 per night.
Image courtesy of HBO - Map

Ennis Airport
In the fourth episode, Akureyri International Airport served as Ennis Airport.
Image courtesy of HBO - Map

True Detective drehorte
According to critics, Night Country has been hailed as the best True Detective season since the original one!

Can you help to improve this article about the filming locations of True Detective? To complete and correct this report, any feedback, info, or images that you may have are more than welcome, thank you!

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1- Anonymous - Feb 6, 2024, 11:59 AM
Lol, "The best True Detective season since the original one!" is more like the worst one so far.

2- Anonymous - Feb 24, 2024, 11:19 AM
Issa Lopez should be ashamed of herself and hopefully would never make another show in her life.

3- Anonymous - Feb 29, 2024, 4:42 PM
The story wasn't that good, but the two detectives were great actors!


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