5 curiosities of ‘The Man from the North’ that will surprise you

the north man It has been the great surprise of the cinematographic year. With its powerful staging, clever scripting, and careful staging, it’s quite the pop culture event. The Viking epic set in Iceland in the 10th century is a mixture of mythological and legendary elements. It is also a large-scale historical reconstruction that elaborates a completely new idea about the great plot epics based on the anthropological setting. With its wild, dark and solid air, Eggers’ film exceeded expectations. In particular, he built a new way of understanding the epic in contemporary seventh art.

One of the most surprising points of The Northmane is its ability to dialogue with Viking culture and mythology to a new level. Considered an “immersive experience” by several critics, the film reflects on the idea of ​​the supernatural and the legendary on the same level. At the same time, he pondered about history as part of a completely new conception of time, which is linked to more singular ideas. On the whole, the north man is an epic that also embodies an elegant sense of cultural identity. Also a route of considerable interest that speculates on the condition of man as part of his environment and his most primitive drives.

To achieve such a filmic feat, the director and co-writer carried out extensive research together with his production team. He also surrounded himself with a fair amount of experts. Eggers spent time creating a story where history and mythology create a unified whole. And he did it through the study of the historical and archaeological sources available to him. We tell you five things about the recreation of The Northman about the Viking world.

in the small details of the north man are the important points

For Eggers, the historical section is of special interest, which is why he dedicated more than three years to the investigation of the Viking world. In fact, much of the film’s effectiveness is based on details that may go unnoticed at first glance. From the wool capes and metal chain mail, to the construction of wooden boats. In The Northmanthe recreation of daily life is of special interest.

In fact, Eggers and his production team took care to make every point as realistic as possible. The clothes, hairstyles, games, and even the way their characters react to climate, time, and their perception of nature. In the film, the connotation about what surrounds the characters is as important as their behavior. And in fact, Eggers dedicates a good part of the first part of the film to show what life is like, vicissitudes and pains that they must face. Beyond the central knot of the argument, The Northman he bases his power on creating an emotional experience about the viking lifestyle.

Religion, mythology and life

For the Viking world, religion, mythology and the cultural perception of the supernatural were the same thing. And it was a perception that linked the connection of everyday life with invisible events and the intervention of the gods. But unlike other cultures, this mixture was part of the way in which the Nordic peoples understood their relationship with the mysterious.

In other words, belief was firmly linked to reality and time. Pagan practices were widespread — even though Catholicism was a religion to contend with — and especially sacrificial rituals. At the same time, the conviction that the gods intervened directly in specific situations was part of everyday life.

Robert Eggers moved to the script from The Northman — which he wrote together with the artist Sjon — the sensation of the immediate intervention of the supernatural. The film shows on the screen elaborate rituals of passage and others, to appease the wrath of the gods. Everything, in the midst of elaborate war scenes, clashes between characters and the passage of time. As if that weren’t enough, it makes it clear that for the Vikings, Valhalla and the very existence of the deities was not an idea open to interpretation. In fact, it was a direct connection with the life of the time. For the Vikings, mythology was not a faith-based connotation. It was part of reality and a conscious point about his freedom to act. A concept that Eggers impeccably brought to the plot.

The legend of Amleth as part of the Viking idea of ​​good and evil

Eggers and Sjon decided to tell the story of Prince Amleth (Alexander Skarsgard), orphaned and seeking revenge. But it is not a direct adaptation, but rather links the story to other Icelandic sagas and legends of the Norse world. For Eggers and Sjon, the central idea was to create a story that encompasses several things at once. From the Viking vision of predestination (mother, father, blood, fire, destiny) with the perception of the invisible.

One of the advisers The Northmanis the Neil Price Professor at the Department of Archeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University in Sweden. The expert insisted that the vikings had to be shown from the point of view of their people. This would avoid the repetition of stereotypes and also build an unreal idea about the personality of the Nordic man of the 10th century. The result is a naturalistic and powerful point of view that uses the story of the Viking prince as a backdrop to narrate something else. According to an interview he offered to Inverse, the film was supposed to “narrate complex sequences and shots”, rather than a version of violence.

The precision of appearance in a haunting epic

With the support of Neil Price, production designer Craig Lathrop, and costume designer Linda Muir, they worked on concrete ideas. On the one hand, Lathrop had to analyze the condition of how reality and the invisible mix in The Northman. So, in several of the sequences, the presence of gods, sorceresses and manifestations of the supernatural is everything.

Also, it was analyzed how to achieve the specific look of the Viking people on its social hierarchies, investitures and the power of mystery. For Muir, the clothes her characters wore — or rather, sometimes their various layers of nudity — show their character. For the Viking people, clothing had religious and class stratification meaning. At the same time, a conscious look at identity. From pendants, jewelry, sorceress headdresses, the general appearance of kings and queens. In the north maneverything is shown from an impeccable sense of reality.

The scenes that lend the most weight to the plot of the north man

4179_D029_00035_RC3 Alexander Skarsgård stars as Amleth in director Robert Eggers’ Viking epic THE NORTHMAN, a Focus Features release. Credit: Aiden Monaghan / © 2021 Focus Features, LLC

According to the historical adviser of The Northman, there are texts with ritual descriptions of death and, in particular, appeasing the mood of the gods. Several of them were transferred to the film in the form of shocking sequences due to their realism and rawness. According to Price, although no detailed descriptions of ritualsthe relationship of blood and sacrifices with the sense of Viking faith can be analyzed.

The writers and design team even consulted sources as old as the one written by the Christian clergyman Adam of Bremen. The priest described a blood ritual, in which he cut off the head of a horse. “And then what they do next is so obscene I can’t tell,” wrote cleric 1070. The text, a detailed description of a ritual performed at the Uppsala Temple, is part of the script. The Northman.