Northmen: A Viking Saga (2014) – A Historical Film On The Viking Age
‘Northmen: A Viking Saga’ is a 2014 historical film directed by Claudio Fäh. The movie was produced by Swiss Elite Film Produktion AG (from Zürich) in collaboration with Jumping Horse Film GmbH (from Hannover, Germany) and Two Oceans Production PTY Ltd. (from Cape Town, South Africa).
‘Northmen: A Viking Saga’ depicts the hectic voyage of a crew of Norwegian Vikings under the leadership of Asbjörn who are banished from early medieval Norway during King Harald Fairhair’s reign (late 9th century/early 10th century) and end shipwrecked on the distant shores of Scotland. They face a perilous journey on land finding shelter after they get ambushed by the guardsmen of Princess Inghean, the daughter of King Dunchaid of a local Scottish clan.
Eventually, they meet a hermit Christian monk right in the middle of a forest who aids and guides them to a stone tower where they rest until King Dunchaid sends away a contingent of mercenaries to track down the Norsemen who kidnapped his daughter. From that point forth, the Norsemen (accompanied by the rather skillful hermit warrior monk) rush down to the seaside in order to find several boats so as to reach the Danelaw located southward in England.
With respect to reception, the film scored mixed reviews on such average rating websites as Metacritic, Internet Movie Database (IMDb) or Rotten Tomatoes. However, very much unlike other Hollywood-based productions focusing on the Viking Age, it should be mentioned that ‘Northmen: A Viking Saga’ is quite accurate concerning the Norse society, clothing, customs (incorporating also references to the Norse mythology), as well as much of the historical background (given the fact that Norwegian Vikings are known for having recurrently raided both Scotland and Ireland during the early Middle Ages while the Danish Vikings subdued the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms) albeit being mixed with a significant amount of artistic license. It is also important to note the fact that the filming locations were Germany and South Africa, instead of Scotland.
The film stars the following actors:
- Tom Hopper as Asbjörn (the chieftain of the Norwegian Vikings)
- Ryan Kwanten as Conall (a warrior hermit monk)
- Ken Dunken as Thorald (a very skilled Norse archer)
- Leo Gregory as Jorund (part of the Norse crew)
- James Norton as Bjorn (part of the Norse crew)
- Darrell D’Silva as Gunnar (part of the Norse crew)
- Johan Hegg as Valli (part of the Norse crew)
- Danny Keogh as King Dunchaid (father of Princess Inghean)
- Charlie Murphy as Princess Inghean (daughter of King Dunchaid)
- Ed Skrein as Hjorr (one of the two leaders of the mercenaries who are tasked to hunt down the Norsemen)
- Anatole Taubman as Bovarr (the other leader of the band of mercenaries; brother of Hjorr)
Documentation sources and external links:
- Film trailer on www.youtube.com
- Film reviews on www.imdb.com
- Filming locations on www.imdb.com
- Film reviews on www.metacritic.com
- Film reviews on www.rottentomatoes.com
- The film’s official website on www.northmen-themovie.com
- Northmen: A Viking Saga on www.wikipedia.org (in English)
- eOne goes on Viking saga with Salt on www.screendaily.com
- A review on Northmen: A Viking Saga on www.australianmedievalists.wordpress.com