The New Viking Epic: The Northman

Since the trailer was released, audiences have been braced in their seats for The Northman to finally debut in theaters. This ancient Norse tale inspired other famous movies such as The Lion King, and the original lore inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The story follows a Viking prince, Amelth, seeking revenge on his uncle, who murdered his father and kidnapped his mother. 

This is Robert Eggers’ third film; you may know his work from films like The Witch and The Lighthouse. Eggers brings a tremendous amount of imagination into everything he directs. And in The Northman, this was no different; he set out to make the most historically accurate epic ever. He and his team of historians, costume designers, and woodcarvers/set designers put in hours upon hours of research to ensure this story would honor the Norse culture. 

In the press interviews for the movie, the crew and cast elaborate on the historical accuracy of the storyline, allowing the characters to interact with the supernatural parts of the culture. Throughout Norse mythology, humans always have a close connection with their gods and various other supernatural beings—a couple of which intertwine with this revenge tale. The Norns of Fate are female beings who weave the fate of every living creature on the planet. They are even more powerful than the Norse gods because their fate is written like everyone else’s. The Valkyrie also appears. In Viking culture, if a warrior dies with their sword in hand, the Valkyrie will guide them to Vahalla, a place of great happiness where there are feasts, riches, and reunions with their fallen loved ones. And finally, we see Odin or the Allfather and his berserkers; he is the god of war and death who sacrificed his eye to see all in the world. The berserker warriors are legendary in battle, said to fall into an animal-like trance and take on the form of a wolf or a bear. Some historians believe they would ingest mind-altering substances to achieve the blind fury that made them so feared. As the film progresses, Amelth meets or interacts with each of these beings in some way. 

I am so excited to watch this movie; it includes fantasy elements but also true historical accuracy. Viking and Norse culture has always been fascinating to me. I spent hours watching shows like The Last Kingdom and Vikings. Not to mention the star-packed cast, including Alexander Skarsgård, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ethan Hawke, Nicole Kidman, Björk, and Willem Dafoe—to name a few. I have the highest expectations for this film because the cast is outstanding, and I am a huge Robert Eggers fan. This will definitely be one of the best movies to grace the theater in 2022.