Even though Nordic culture has never gone out of fashion in the pop world, the debut of the man of the north rekindled public interest in the Scandinavian peoples, their traditions, beliefs and the whole historical aspect involving the northern warriors and the invasions of European kingdoms during the High Middle Ages.
Just look at how many productions in different media we have talking about this period. From series like her own vikings to video games with Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and the future God of War: Ragnarokthe truth is that the imagery surrounding these peoples has never gone out of style and the new film by Robert Eggers only reinforces this.
So, if you went to the movies and got excited about the Scandinavian prince’s revenge saga and want to delve a little into Nordic culture, the Canaltech selected 5 of the best viking movies for you to watch. They are titles of very different genres and that show how much, even in the midst of snow and ice, these people are still capable of yielding a lot of good things.
5. The Legend of Beowulf
One of the best ways to understand Nordic culture is through its myths and tales. And one of the most famous to this day is the story of Beowulf, an epic poem dating from the 7th century that tells the story of a legendary hero who inhabited what is now Denmark — and the animation The Legend of Beowulf retells this classic quite faithfully.
Released in 2007, one of the great highlights of the film was the technology used, which transformed all the actors into an animation as realistic as it is strange, but that works within the epic and magical proposal of the original tale. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, the feature brings much of the Scandinavian imagination of the time by showing the hero Beowulf’s deeds against monsters and demons in his journey to become king.
4. How to Train Your Dragon
If you’re more interested in the Scandinavian setting than the actual historical aspect of the thing, animation How to Train Your Dragon It’s a great way to have fun with the Nordic theme — in addition to being a great way to introduce this whole universe of Viking warriors to the little ones, for example.
The story here is quite simple: a young boy son of the leader of a viking village who is not very good as a dragon hunter warrior and who, for that very reason, decides to prove his worth by going after the beast that tales say is the most lethal and terrible. However, upon encountering such an animal, he realizes that things are not quite like that and his life is turned upside down when an unlikely friendship emerges from it.
3. The Adventures of Erik the Viking
This is a small cheat, but well worth it. That’s because the classic The Adventures of Erik the Viking it is a very difficult film to find because it is not available on streaming platforms or videos on demand, making it easier to find it in an old video store or in a collector’s collection. Still, he’s so good he deserves his spot on this list.
Produced by the iconic Monty Python troupe, the film brings the typical comedy of the group by exploring Nordic customs from the figure of Erik, a warrior who accidentally kills a woman and who, from there, needs to go on a journey across the seas. North to find a mystical artifact. And all this mixing good humor with good doses of absurdity and a great care to recreate historical elements – just as they had already done with Brian’s Life and In Search of the Holy Grailfor example.
For this, the film relies on many of the Scandinavian tales and the work of director Terry Jones – who also wrote a children’s book based on this story –, which makes this Viking interpretation something very peculiar.
2. The Silent Warrior
The Silent Warrior It’s not a well-known film around here, but it has its value. Also because it is a Danish film starring a not very well-known Mads Mikkelsen at the time, which went somewhat unnoticed in Brazil.
Still, the film is a great way to immerse yourself in this Nordic world for the simple fact that it was produced by a country that is part of this history. Thus, we follow the journey of a one-eyed mute warrior (Mikkelsen) who has an absurd strength and, therefore, is feared by everyone for being considered an uncontrollable warrior.
But that doesn’t stop him from being captured and made a slave for years, until he finally manages to escape with the help of a boy. So, alongside this unlikely ally, he sets out on a new journey to find out who he really is.
1: The 13th Warrior
The last thing you think about when you look at the poster of The 13th Warrior it’s his relationship with the Scandinavian world, as Antonio Banderas is far from a traditional Norse warrior. However, the film is very interesting precisely because it shows a meeting of two peoples that is almost never portrayed in the cinema: the Vikings and the Arabs.
Thus, we have Banderas playing an Arab nobleman who is exiled and ends up having contact with a group of Norsemen. The problem is that these warriors are facing strange supernatural creatures and the hero is allied with them in an attempt to end this strange threat.
And as much as the synopsis sounds a little absurd, it has an interesting historical feel, as it is an interpretation of Beowulf’s poem, expanding the original tale and embracing other peoples and cultures to the story.
The 13th Warrior is available on Star+.