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Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Björk, Ralph Ineson, Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Claes Bang, Murray McArthur, Ian Gerard Whyte , Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, Kate Dickie
OUR RATING: ★★★★☆
Historical revenge thriller directed and co-written by Robert Eggers. Set at the turn of the 10th century in Iceland, The Northman (2022) follows Viking prince Amleth (Alexander Skarsgård), who sets out on a mission of revenge to seek justice for his murdered father, King Aurvandil War-Raven (Ethan Hawke).
Our Favorite Quotes:'Never seek the secrets of women, but heed them always. It is women that know the mysteries of men.' - Aurvandil and Heimir (The Northman) Click To Tweet
He-Witch: Hear me, Ódinn, All-Father of the gods. Summon the shadows of ages past, when the thread spinning Norns ruled the fates of men. Hear of a prince’s vengeance quenched at the fiery Gates of Hel. A prince destined for Valhöll. Hear me.
King Aurvandil War-Raven: Like a battle-dog returning to its master, I’ve come to be fettered by my queen’s fair locks.
Queen Gudrún: Ever are we bound, my lord.
King Aurvandil War-Raven: Prince Amleth, you have grown too old to be greeted as a child.
Young Amleth: Hail, Lord King.
King Aurvandil War-Raven: But a father never grows too old for a good smothering! How I’ve missed you, my son.
King Aurvandil War-Raven: [referring to the necklace] This was worn round a prince’s neck when I found it. But it was destined for this prince. Wear it always with my love.
Young Amleth: Thank you, Father. My king.
Heimir The Fool: [as Gudrún offer her cup to Fjölnir] Look how the queen’s cup grows wet for more men than her king. What metal might buy a fragrant sip? Sweet silver, or hard iron?
Fjölnir The Brotherless: Silence, dog! By Freyr, you slander your lord and mistress!
King Aurvandil War-Raven: Please you, brother. ‘Tis but a jest. A jest. Heimir keeps a foul tongue, yet I keep him as a deep-sworn friend.
King Aurvandil War-Raven: The enemy had a taste of my liver.
Queen Gudrún: Are you hurt?
King Aurvandil War-Raven: Almost enough for Amleth to be marked my successor. I watched his innocence tonight. He must be awoken to what awaits him.
Queen Gudrún: He is a puppy.
King Aurvandil War-Raven: He’s the same age as my grandfather when he took the throne.
Queen Gudrún: That was different. He had to kill his uncle first.
King Aurvandil War-Raven: Pray my luck-spirits see me to many war fields after I defeat this wound. I refuse to die in sickness nor live the long life of a shameful graybeard. I must die by the sword. I will die in honor.
Queen Gudrún: Fret not. You will die in battle, my lord. The Gates of Valhöll await you, I know it.
Heimir The Fool: [to Aurvandil and young Amleth] Harken to me, you two-legged dogs. Drink the vision mead of knowledge. To learn what it is to live and die in honor. To be in battle slain and in death rewarded by the Valkyrjur’s embrace. The warrior maidens will carry you to the shimmering Gates of Valhöll.
'I will avenge you, Father. I will save you, Mother. I will kill you, Fjölnir.' - Amleth (The Northman) Click To Tweet
Heimir The Fool: And you, little cub, what are you?
King Aurvandil War-Raven: [as young Amleth farts] I smell a clever pupil.
King Aurvandil War-Raven: At every passage, one should turn his eye round, one should spy round.
Heimir The Fool: For a foe might be crouched within upon the floor. Wise in measure should each man be, yet wise enough to be the fool.
King Aurvandil War-Raven: Tell me, how did Ódinn lose his eye?
Young Amleth: To learn the secret magic of women.
King Aurvandil War-Raven: Never seek the secrets of women, but heed them always.
Heimir The Fool: It is women that know the mysteries of men. The Norns that spin and weave at their Well of Fate.
King Aurvandil War-Raven: Live in honor. Safeguard your familial blood.
Heimir The Fool: Know you what that means, Amleth, son of Aurvandil?
King Aurvandil War-Raven: Should I fall by the enemy’s sword, you must avenge me or forever live in shame!
Young Amleth: I will, Father! I will! My blade will not rest till it’s drunk the blood from his open neck!
Heimir The Fool: Now live always without fear, for your fate is set and you cannot scape it.
Heimir The Fool: [to young Amleth] This is the last tear you will shed in weakness. It will be given back when most you need it. Now, behold, as a man.
King Aurvandil War-Raven: Approach, Amleth, and in our blood behold the tree of kings.
Fjölnir The Brotherless: You behold your brother’s gaze in amazement. I knew well you would. Pity you never paid a b****rd’s eyes heed before. Now, behold how swiftly your brother swings his sword.
King Aurvandil War-Raven: Strike, Brother. Strike. But know that bearing a stolen ring makes no half-breed a king. Soaked in my blood, it will soon be sliding off your arm like a serpent. Your kingdom will not last. Let this misdeed haunt your living nights till a flaming vengeance gorges on your death. Strike. Strike! To Valhöll!
[Fjölnir beheads Aurvandil]
Fjölnir The Brotherless: [referring to young Amleth] Bring me the boy’s head!
Berserker Priest: [to Amleth] When we found you as a cub, I knew then that you had a heart of cold iron.
Seeress: Prowl in shadow, slayer of my people. Hide. Even though your brother stole my eyes, I see you.
Amleth: I am no one’s brother.
Seeress: It is not enough to be the man that never cries, Prince Amleth. The prince that turned from his fate. A beast that cares for naught. A beast that wrings tears from the eyes of men.
'Live always without fear, for your fate is set and you cannot scape it.' - Heimir the Fool (The Northman) Click To Tweet
Seeress: Now remember for whom you shed your last teardrop. Remember the oath to right the wrong. Remember the Raven King. Remember. Remember, it contains the salty ocean you must sail upon to the edge of the world.
Amleth: It feeds the freezing river of hate that runs in my veins.
Seeress: It will take you to an island in the north where there will spring a burning lake, bursting from a black mountain’s peak.
Amleth: There I will drown my father’s killer.
Seeress: Follow the vixen’s tail to the dwelling of the ancient one to seek the fated sword that matches your brutal rage.
Amleth: Why speak you my fortune, witch?
Seeress: For where your path of ashes ends, another will begin her journey. A maiden king.
Amleth: Release me.
Seeress: You cannot scape what fate the Norns have spun. Now begone!
Amleth: Who is this Fjölnir?
Eiríkr Blaze Eye: Fjölnir the Brother less. So-called after he killed his brother, the disgraced King Aurvandil War-Raven.
Amleth: I know of him. Why are his slaves bound for Iceland?
Eiríkr Blaze Eye: Fjölnir rules over Hrafnsey. He fled to the backwater frontier with his wife and son after King Haraldr of Norway took his kingdom. Fjölnir killed his brother for nothing. Now he’s a sheep farmer.
Amleth: [as he brands himself with the mark of a slave] Worry not. When I meet your owner, I will thank him for the warmth you gave me.
Olga of the Birch Forest: Your sheep’s clothing does not disguise you, Northman.
Amleth: What say you, spell speaker?
Olga of the Birch Forest: You wish to be a slave, hide your cunning. Show the shepherd you are a sheep.
Amleth: I’ll show the shepherd his death.
'You must choose between kindness for your kin, or hate for your enemies.' - He-Witch (The Northman) Click To Tweet
Olga of the Birch Forest: Why would you stow away to such a hellish place? This ground harbors evil.
Amleth: My fate has brought me here. To find what was stolen from me.
Olga of the Birch Forest: And what is that?
Amleth: A mother. A father. A kingdom.
Olga of the Birch Forest: This is your kingdom?
Amleth: The traitor who stole my kingdom fled here when another king took it from him. I will leave when I’m done with him.
Olga of the Birch Forest: I am Olga of the Birch Forest. And I too vow to escape this island.
Amleth: Then you must face many foes.
Olga of the Birch Forest: As do you. Would you face them alone? Your strength breaks men’s bones. I have the cunning to break their minds.
Gunnar: [as they’re working their farm ] It’s slave work. You’re the chieftain. It’s your temple, and I’m the heir to this holy chiefdom.
Fjölnir The Brotherless: No man knows if he will celebrate next yuletide as a king or as a slave. Best to be prepared for both. And to stave off the latter, the least you can do is show your slaves you’re as strong as they are.
Gunnar: But no one’s watching us.
Fjölnir The Brotherless: Go fetch us some whey. Think on what I said.
Thórir The Proud: Never look me in the eye, slave.
Fjölnir The Brotherless: Well, I wonder what they call a beast like you in the Land of Rus.
Amleth: I am Björnulfr.
Fjölnir The Brotherless: By name alone, you can tell he’s as strong as a bear. But if you’re as untrustworthy as a wolf, I swear I’ll put you down myself.
Amleth: I will avenge you, Father. I will save you, Mother. I will kill you, Fjölnir.
'Evil begets evil.' - Fjölnir The Brotherless (The Northman) Click To Tweet
Olga of the Birch Forest: Did you find it? What you lost? In the house today, was it there?
Amleth: That, and more. It’s a nightmare.
Olga of the Birch Forest: Then you must wake up.
Amleth: It’s their nightmare.
Olga of the Birch Forest: [to Amleth] If you lose me, will you come and look for me too? Will you?
He-Witch: Sit, Amleth, son of Aurvandil.
Amleth: Did our hen-eating friend tell you of me?
He-Witch: [as he reveals the decapitated head of Heimir] No. One much more talkative. An old fool.
Amleth: Poor Heimir.
He-Witch: [referring to Heimir] He speaks of days past and days yet to come. Fjölnir cut out his tongue, plucked out his eyes before killing him, but I made him ones anew.
Amleth: Kind friend. Know that I will avenge you too.
He-Witch: I fear you must address me. Alas, I made him no new ears.
He-Witch: You are still a beast cloaked in man-flesh.
Amleth: Speak, witch.
He-Witch: So be it, slave!
Amleth: I seek the weapon the Norns of Fate chose for my revenge.
Heimir The Fool: Hear me. Forged by the deadliest war-smiths ever to crawl from under the great worm’s belly. A sword of the most secretive rare iron, bound with bone of the jötnar. Weightless in its owner’s hand, yet like a dragon’s fang, its bite can never be dulled, never broken nor bent. Its blade could only be quenched in human blood. It is a battle flame like none other. Its name, Draugr. The Undead. It is fated.
'We cannot escape our fate.' - Amleth (The Northman) Click To Tweet
He-Witch: Yet, difficult is the sword’s nature, for it can only be unsheathed in the dark of night, or else at Hel’s black gates.
Amleth: The Gates of Hel. There will my sword be just. I will enjoy feeding Draugr till then in everlasting night.
He-Witch: Then shall you also enjoy the moment when you must choose between kindness for your kin, or hate for your enemies.
Amleth: That is nothing. My heart knows only revenge.
Amleth: Thank the Norns that the woman’s tide is the only blood that runs in your house tonight, coward. I am a fool. It was foretold that I would slay my father’s killer in a burning lake. Till that day comes, I will torment the man who made my life a hell. Now sleep well, night blade. Yes, we thirst for vengeance, but we cannot escape our fate.
Amleth: Last night, I saw him with you.
Olga of the Birch Forest: Then you know Fjölnir’s touch will not linger on me when I leave this island.
Amleth: You marked him well. And I have found the cold iron that will strike him down.
Olga of the Birch Forest: When will you do it?
Amleth: When I must. For now, I will haunt this farm like a hungry corpse returned from the grave. Fjölnir thinks Amleth is long dead.
Olga of the Birch Forest: Yes, but what of your mother?
Amleth: She will revel in Fjölnir’s anguish. She only feigns her love to protect their child. When I free her, I will bring the boy if I must.
Gunnar: [to Amleth, as the slaves are playing Knattleikr] You’re shaming our family’s name!