Covid pushes spend on first series of Valhalla above €55m

Netflix drama is shot on location in Co Wicklow

Pandemic-related costs pushed up the spend at the production firm behind the Netflix hit drama Valhalla to €55.93 million during the shooting of its first season here.

New accounts for Valhalla One Productions DAC show the business spent €47.94 million during 2021, up from a spend of €7.9 million in the previous six months. This left overall spending on Valhalla Season One across the 18 months at €55.93 million.

The €47.94 million spend in the Covid-19-hit 12 months to the end of April 2021 included a €15.1 million outlay on staff costs.

The series qualified for Revenue 481 movie tax reliefs in the band between €10 million and €30 million, based on official data.


Shot on location in Co Wicklow, Valhalla is a spin-off of the successful Vikings series. It is set more than 100 years after the events of Vikings.

In a report accompanying the numbers, the company’s directors said production on Valhalla’s first series was disrupted and curtailed by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Scheduling was delayed and disrupted “and significant additional and unforeseen costs as a result Covid-19 were and continue to be incurred due to comprehensive Covid-19 risk management protocols and health and safety procedures”, they noted.

Staff costs at the production company totalled €15.1 million in the 12 months to the end of April 2021, which was more than a fourfold increase on the €2.5 million spend on staff costs in 2020. It employed 63 people in 2021, but a note points out that this number was for average monthly employees, with a significantly higher number employed by the company.

Funding for the production was provided by the firm’s parent company, Metropolitan Films International Limited.

Season one of Valhalla arrived on Netflix in February 2022, with the second season following 11 months later in January. Netflix last month confirmed a third season.

Accounts filed last year by Metropolitan Films International Ltd show it received €34 million in movie tax credits in the 12 months to the end of April 2021. This covered Valhalla and other productions. The parent company’s production expenses for that year totalled €104.79 million.

The Revenue Commissioners confirmed earlier this year that the overall value of payments made under the Section 481 film corporation tax credit scheme in 2022 was €127.3 million, down from €137.1 million in 2021.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times