Northman Movie Review

December 15, 2022

Northman (directed by Robert Egger and co-written by Sjón) provides us with a dramatic epic of what it means to be Viking. What it means to be drenched in other-worldly motivations for honor, to compel the human body into directions which are far beyond being dogs.



The saga experience is realized in its excellently crafted mythical historical intimation of the authentic experience of being born in a strange world which necessitates a man to live out his life toward a sacred duty of honoring his mother and father. It is this patrimony, achievable at a king’s scale, which makes for a scar-faced ultimatum of: what is the point to vengeance?


To remedy a known wrong-doing, to take action into one’s own hands, to accord justice, can be injurious to all parties involved due to the incessant voracity in physically overpowering a fellow human being. This is what is stupendous to witness as the heathen-born injure their slaves, whereas the Christian god-believer’s leave the women untouched. Why is that?


Why do we see the ritual of private devotion passed town from man to son, just like Abraham with Isaac, inform a man towards glorious bloodlust rather than a glorious festival without the need for sharp weapons? Without the need for suffering human judgments?


For in such an environment, of such primitive necessity to create a sustaining life-force or vitality, we have the emergence of the electro-motive overdriving of the male body by higher spirits, stronger souls. What motivates these souls is the deathless experience of gaining Valhalla.


The Kingdom of God, however, can be had with such a more pleasant thrill-ride; and yet it is precisely here where the film tacitly demonstrates the finitude of male-leadership. For his destiny is forever bound with the desperate need to be more physically powerful than another family; rather than make aims at bonding and relating. Family is the fate of all.


Yet to inflict injury for the sake of true justice, as a willful balancing power, to beautify the appearance of the human soul versus envelop it with the bitter after-taste of feral survival goals reaching its paragon with Viking beserkering, is simply displeasant to the civilized world and its blind comforts from the awful toil of generations of ice lords summoned to be beyond flesh.


In the outpouring of this culture onto human history, there is this demonstration of success in vitality through such constant day-dreaming. Is that not what God-belief is towards others who do not believe in yours? A dream? The successful extension of true devotion then – for what Viking is honestly false before The All-Father? – is realized with the emphatic extensiveness of the man onto the world to gain Immortal Fame. This is the glory reserved in Valhalla, where the proudest truth-bearers share in the fortunes of fate for being so damn hard on themselves. Towards mania? It is a frightening truth that the world succeeds off of such zesty spirits, who need to believe in the eternity of their Fate.





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