Valhalla Rising Explained: Cast, Plot and Everything You Need to Know!

valhalla rising explained

Nicolas Winding Refn and Roy Jacobsen collaborated on the script for Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2009 period adventure picture Valhalla Rising, which stars Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen.

Taking place in 1096 AD, the film follows a Norse warrior named One-Eye and a little kid as they sail to the Holy Land with a group of Christian Crusaders on a ship. Instead, they’re stranded in a strange place, under attack from mysterious forces and terrifying visions.

The title is taken from the combination of Kenneth Anger’s films Scorpio Rising and Lucifer Rising with a Viking motif shot entirely in Scotland. As a result of the film’s overall positive reception, it only made back a small percentage of its $5.7 million production cost – roughly $731,613.


For Nicolas Winding, The exception to this is One-Eye, whose name is merely a nickname given to him by The Boy and not the character’s genuine name. In the script, characters were given names to distinguish them from one other. As Refn explains in the DVD commentary, this page focuses on the many characters.

  • Mikkelsen plays One-Eye in the film
  • as The Boy, Maarten Stevenson
  • starring Ewan Stewart in the role of The General
  • Gary Lewis in the role of The Priest
  • The Chieftain, played by Alexander Morton
  • Playing the Son of the General, Jamie Sives
  • starring Stewart Porter as the son of the chieftain
  • Gordon Brown in the role of a Viking Christian
  • the role of the Lost Viking Gary McCormack.
  • Charlie Allan in the role of a Viking

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The Gates of Valhalla Open Is Lif Killed Off at The End? and Will Emma Be the Next Monarch?

valhalla rising explained

Yes, we see Lif die in the climactic battle of Kattegat at the end of Vikings Valhalla.

Vikings Valhalla ends with Queen Aelfgifu declaring her authority in the English court and requesting that Emma be sent to Normandy. In order to help Forkbeard, Queen Aelfgifu resolves to travel to Mercia to meet with the lords there.

Godwin begins plotting against Aelfgifu to make Emma Queen while Emma is deported.

Elsewhere When Harald meets with the enemy, he intends to have a formal debate about how to stop the war. Harald first meets with his half-brother Olaf.

Olaf seemed to be second-guessing his decision to support Jarl Kaare. Jarl Hakoon and Kaare, Olaf, and Harald are then introduced to each other.

He states that Kattegat is now prepared for any attacks and offers a formal negotiation with them to end the dispute, but later parties did not agree to this. Olaf originally proposes that all of Kattegat be baptized, but Harlad objects.

As a result, the official conversation is fruitless, and Harald sends a note to Lief informing him that the attack will take place by sea.

We witness Freydis, Lief, and Lif preparing for Olaf’s naval attack while Kattegat prepares for war, but soon realizes that that was not Olaf’s plan as he plans to attack on land and fools Harald.

As a result, a brawl breaks out. As Kattegat’s soldiers are split up into two navies, Olaf and Kare launch an assault on their warriors.

After being struck by a hail of arrows, Hakoon confides in Freydis that she must live since she will be the final monarch of Kattegat.

The struggle between Freydis and Kare then breaks out, and this takes place in the Great Hall, where Freydis triumphs, decapitating Kare’s head.

Even after escaping from Olaf’s troops, Harald tries to battle the soldiers, injuring himself. When Freydis arrives and sees Harald’s condition, he determines that they must leave immediately because the fight has been lost. As a result, both depart on horseback.

In the aftermath of Olaf’s attack on Liv, Lief Erikson takes her to a barn where she died in his arms.

In the end, Olaf’s warriors triumph and gather in the great hall to celebrate with the rest of his army. At long last, Olaf takes the throne and declares himself king of Norway.

It’s just a matter of time before Olaf’s men tell him that Forkbeard and his troops with King Canute are on their way to reclaim Kattegat from him. Olaf has now come to grips with the gravity of his predicament.

With a view of the wreckage in Kattegat, Freydis and Harald ride away on their horses.

Meanwhile, upon her return to the English court from her trips to Mercia, Queen Aelfgifu recognizes Emma as the new Queen and quickly deduces that Godwin has conspired against her.

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valhalla rising explained

It is unknown where in the Scottish Highlands a mysterious silent thrall with one eye is being held prisoner and made to battle to the death by a Norwegian chieftain from Sutherland. A young thrall kid who appears to sympathize with the man brings him meals while he is imprisoned.

When he takes a bath, a vision he had of discovering an arrowhead in a pool comes true. The man uses the arrow to free himself, killing the chieftain and his retinue, and impaling the chieftain’s head on a nithing pole.

The father quickly learns that the youngster is following him as he walks through the land. He’s taken in by One-Eye, who has a vision of the two of them sailing away on a ship.

Some of the Christian Norsemen who are persecuting the heathens of Scandinavian Scotland have heard of them. Asked about his origins, ‘One-Eye’ explains that he originated from Hel and that he and the youngster will sail to the Holy Land on a Crusade with their master.

As soon as the crew sets sail, they are met with dense fog and become stranded in the North Atlantic. After a long period of time without food or water, land is spotted.


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