The Northman


The Northman got a lot of attention when it was released, mostly because the usual suspects were scandalized by the lack of diversity. There are no black people in the film and the protagonist is a man. Worse yet, the female characters are feminine and the male characters are masculine. There are no homosexuals, transgenders or people speaking truth to power. In other words, a crime against the faith.

Of course, this became the story rather than the fact it is one of the best made moves in the last ten years. It is a film made by adults for adults, which has become such a rarity that reviewers struggled to describe it. Compounding it, the film requires some cultural literacy, which is rare among the movie reviewing community. Most of the reviewers think comic books are adult literature.

The Northman is a classic tale. A wronged man commits his life to getting revenge on those who wronged him. He sets out on a journey to exact his revenge, but the journey turns into something else. The black and white world of his imagination gives way to the moral ambiguity in which all of us exist. The story of revenge becomes an exploration of the deeper themes that define the human condition.

In this film, the story is based on the legend of Amleth, which comes from Scandinavian sources that have been lost. What we have comes from the Saxo Grammaticus, a 13th century Danish theologian. Amleth is the young son of a king. He sees his father killed by his jealous uncle, who takes both the crown and his brother’s wife. The son escapes only to return as a man who then gets his revenge on his uncle.

That is pretty much it for the plot of The Northman, but that short trip is one fantastic ride that reminds you that movies do not have to be lectures. They can be incredibly well done stories that leave the viewer thinking about the larger issues raised in the movie, but never explicitly mentioned. That is art. It holds a mirror up to you and your world so you can see things from a different perspective.

It is fair to say The Northman is art. We see Amleth as a young boy, full of curiosity and wonder until he witnesses the murder of his father. Next, we see him as a fully grown man, but more beast than man as his rage makes him a killing machine. We are left to guess what happened to make him into a berserker, but in a few minutes, we have two important plot points of his character arc.

Amleth takes part in a raid in the Kievan Rus and after the fight, he meets a Seeress who tells him that he will take his revenge on his uncle and that his path is intertwined with a Maiden-King. Now we have an important element. Amleth is not just a man on a revenge quest, but a man following his destiny. He no longer has a choice and must wrestle with this as he sets off on his journey.

This is not something you expect to see in a modern movie. Instead, it would have been filled with emotive exposition. Half the film would have been taken up explaining the back story and his emotional state. This film assumes you are mature enough to fill in the blanks and understand the bigger meaning of the story. This is not just a story about a man, but a story about man and his relationship to the world.

One of the clever things about the film is that it blends the dreams and visions with the live action in such a way that you are not always sure if what you are seeing is real or the imaginings of the hero. Toward the end, Amleth faces his mother and comes to realize her role in his father’s death. The way it is shot suggests it could be all happening in his head rather than in the real world. You cannot be entirely sure.

What really makes this movie stand out is the bigger themes. Amleth starts as a man with a lust for revenge. Then he learns that he will get his revenge, but that it is part of a bigger story of which he is only one part. His struggle is in accepting his fate and fulfilling his destiny, even when he seems to have other options and it comes at some cost to those he loves.

This is a theme that comes up often in our literature. If man can have a destiny, does he have free will? If you cannot escape your destiny, then why think at all about the choices that are presented to you? On the other hand, if your revealed destiny is one of many possibilities, are you obligated to fulfill it? Is the revelation part of the calculus or is it a challenge?

This gets to the biggest question of all. What is the point of life? Is it better to live a long and unimportant life or live a short and consequential life? Would you rather die a broken down old or die a young hero? Our nature is to live, but to live for what? This is the choice presented to Amleth. He could have remained a berserker. He could have abandoned his quest for revenge for a simple life. He could accept his destiny.

The Northman is about the oldest questions of human existence. What is the point of our lives and how should we use the time we have? For men, the choice is always between the long quiet life and the short exciting one. If it were only up to men, the latter would be the easy choice, but men cannot be men, or even exist, without women and women naturally want a man to choose the former.

That is what makes The Northman a great film. It presents a classic tale in a way that allows the intended audience to think about the big questions. It is not a lecture or an escape from reality, but a well told story. It is up to the adults in the audience to make of it what they will. That is probably what upset the critics. They no longer have the adult capacity to appreciate this film, so they flung their poo at it.

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140 thoughts on “The Northman

    • Not really, according to all the youtube videos i’ve watched 80% of women compete for 20% of men and then when they can’t get what they want they settle for daddy government! Plus alot of women my age and younger seem to have daddy issues.

  1. This week’s escalation came early. Big Tech just caved (i.e., pretended to cave) to pressure from the regime’s court eunuchs and deplatformed Kiwifarms, the last truly significant site on the internet.

    I know it’s nothing to almost all of you, but Kiwifarms is THE canary—the *last* one. Its owner can move to hosting in Russia or wherever, but that’s not the point. Anytime KF isn’t readily available to anyone looking for the info it catalogs, a total internet shutdown is in effect (effectively).

    Get comfy with your barrels of freeze-dried Mormon chow, boys.

  2. Hollywood has always been a load of dreck with a zigzag line of art embedded within.

    Back in the beginning, with “The Birth of a Nation”, they tried to make art but were constrained by the audience’s understanding of history.

    You can only work with what the audience provides. The more the audience knows, the more subtle leaps you can take in your art. But the key is always what the audience knows.

    • The audience likes explosions, and in The Current Year the Chinese audience also wants giant robots punching each other.

      Still, the movies that do the best tend to be simplistic narratives that appeal to people. Star Wars is the basic bitch hero’s journey, Titanic is the chick crack story about a woman having to choose between the rich guy and the attractive peasant boy, and Lord of the Rings is about power corrupting.

      Every once in a while you get a real work of art for a film, with top notch music and visuals and a more involved plot. But off the top of my head I can only think of Amadeus and There Will Be Blood.

  3. “There are no black people in the film”

    When you make “Zulu” you get black actors. It always irked me that they had Bandaras (or whoever) playing a moose limb central character, if not star, alongside 8th or 9th century Vikings.

  4. Top Gun Maverick is another good one.

    Not quite as deep, but as good as modern cinema gets. Real stunts, minimal CGI, no wokeness, and a fun plot with decent character development. Lot of fun.

  5. Speaking of movies, Amazon’s LOTR series, Rings of Power, had 131 reviews on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) this morning. Most of the top reviews were negative. Fast forward five hours, IMDB now only has 74 reviews. The lowest review rates the movie 6/10.

    In summary, they disappeared nearly half of the reviews, including all reviews that ranked the movie lower than 6/10.

    Funny how everything is manipulated these days.

    • You can tell from the trailers that it’s going to be woke b.s.

      The books and the feature films are about white people in the West slaying the barbarian hoards to defend their people.

      I watched the original Star Wars recently, and couldn’t help but laugh about how much the country has changed as 30 white men launch a successful suicide mission to save their people from annihilation.

      People seemed to have caught onto the woke b.s. in movies as even Marvel has been overrun by groomers. In contrast, The Terminal List has had a great run on Prime despite critics savaging it.

      • Lucas is on record that Star Wars is a metaphor for Vietnam and that the Rebels represent the Viet Cong and the Empire represents the United States.

    • TBF, the kind of license Amazon held for LotR set the show up for review bombing. That said, aggregate reviews will tend to portray overall quality anyway.

  6. After reviewing emperor palpatines speech last night, is their still any doubt left in anyone’s mind they are trying to provoke violence?

    • “The attempt to steal democracy has left me senile and with aphasia, but I assure you my resolve has never been stronger. The war is over. The white supremacists have been defeated, and the MAGA rebellion has been foiled. We stand on the threshold of a new beginning. In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Gay Empire, for a safe and secure society, which I assure you will last for ten thousand years…”

      • I just Lol’d so loud it echoed throughout my Midwest colonial. The thought of a gay empire and people wondering why the population is declining had me going off.

    • The publics reaction to that speech may not be what conservatives expect.

      There is no guaranty that it will result in the expected disgust.

      It might be seen as flex of strength in contrast to the usual weak sniveling coming from Republicans.

      The public may back the strong horse and abandon the weak horse.

      • Listening to the fox news talking heads, I suspect they’re working on a narrative. Biden is the crazy evil guy making Hitler speeches, so when the Republicans get voted back in all the dirt people will believe in democracy again and sign up to go fight in the war they’re planning.

      • Except that Biden is now walking back his strongest and most unequivocal statements made in the speech. Someone in the Dem camp doesn’t like the optics and walking back your statements based upon little more that your enemy’s umbrage is never a sign of a strong horse.

        • Certainly part of the error is that it’s not a great strategy to go with the the “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” line when only a die-hard 20% is “with you”.

        • The light show and the Marines were unimpressive, speaking of optics. Are we supposed to forget the gaffes, the memory lapses, the butt-wiping and hairy legs?

          Biden’s persona is set in stone. Not enough lipstick for that pig.

      • I suspect the public’s reaction will be laughter and puzzlement more than anything. It was a batshit crazy speech with a backdrop straight out of a Steven King novel.

        Nobody guessed that when he said “battle for the soul” he was playing for Team Satan…

        The main purpose of the, gosh I don’t even know what to call it, speech? was to set the predicate to arrest Trump and declare martial law.

        • I was at breakfast with some normies. The reaction was bafflement. They are waiting for someone to say it was a joke. That speech was so nuts that no one can believe it is real.

          • The speech really wasn’t aimed at Normie.

            There were two target audiences. The first, obviously, was the Left. The promise of political violence and eventual genocide is aimed to boost turnout. That audience is actually the less interesting. The main target was Republican “leaders.” Biden both humiliated them and told them what is and what is not permissible opposition and what is expected of them. They will comply, of course, but please send five dollars.

            Take note that the Republican “leaders” are more or less mute. This isn’t just their normal cowardice and corruption. They are weighing how much they can pretend to oppose totalitarianism and still stay in office and make bank. Exhibit A, per usual, is Mitch McConnell. He is nowhere to be seen or heard. He likely is having a conference call with Xi and Klain.

            The Rubicon was crossed last night. Normie is confused because of course he is. So how long until we hear the Democrats are the real fascists? McCarthy is poll-testing the script even now.

            It is shameful and embarassing to watch this, on the one hand, and somewhat fun on the other. Most people are stupid and naturally reluctant to accept bad outcomes, but if they fall into that category they now are in the position of either denying reality or ignoring it. There’s not much difference between the two and both are dishonorable.

            Disengage totally from this hellscape and live as if you are free. This has to run its course and eventually implode.

          • It sort of reminded me of Liz “Born to Rule” Cheney’s speeches as she got close to electoral oblivion: a bizarre mix of nasty threats, overweening arrogance and complete detachment from reality. Let’s hope Biden suffers the same fate as Cheney in Nov.

      • I really don’t get the downvotes to this comment.

        Yes, last night was a disaster for the Left. But in a few days or weeks, even fewer than would have been required just twenty years ago, the Left will still be standing and strutting and the so-called Right’s alleged leaders will be cowering per usual and nowhere to be seen. So the public, however reluctantly, over time will go with the strong horse, which almost certainly will be the Left. Bin Laden nailed that equation. There literally is no one on the so-called Right with the stones, intellect and force of personality to explain fuck you, war. The so-called Right is the Weak Horse.

        There are marginal people who very well may explain fuck you, war, in other ways, albeit prematurely and impulsively, and anyone to the Right of Stalin will be targeted when they do so. That’s likely to happen now, and while “Biden” doesn’t realize it, his hate-filled diatribe was designed to incite an act of terrorism. If that rant fails to produce the intended result, one will be manufactured. They’ve gotten quite good at that.

        Hence, my upvote.

        • tl; dr:

          Last night’s ultimate target audience was a James Hodgkinson from the Right or at least Right-adjacent/claimable. One will be manufactured, if necessary, perhaps in Michigan.

          • Disagree. The FBI has a bunch of unstable guys simmering all the time. If they want an act of terrorism, they just get one of them geeked up and they’ll go shoot up a black church or something.

            No. This speech was exactly what it seems: a declaration that the enemies of the state are enemies of the human race and outside the protection of law. They aren’t trying to provoke anything at all; they are working themselves up to strike.

    • They’re always happy when some SSRI-fried autismo is fooled into thinking amateur terrorism can work, but I don’t think that’s the play.

      The last few times some freak popped off, it barely registered. No individual crime sticks in the public mind during an endless crime wave, and no act short of 9/11 can live up to the extant rhetoric. The regime’s current provocations—e.g., masked antifa patrolling pedo events like Israeli soldiers guarding Joseph’s tomb—aren’t working. The strategic reserve of righty suckers is near dry.

      They’re just escalating, one step a week or so, from the first time Bill Kristol called us “semi-fascists” on Twitter to the day(s) they kill Trump, cancel the electoral pretense, and order the roundup.

      • My one thought was that it was done to try and squeeze what non-believers there might be in the regime proper out in to the open. Jennifer Rubin’s since deleted tweet insisting that the pogram against Trumpistas begin immediately was interesting though

      • I’m not sure a 9/11 would work anymore. Conspiracy is in the public mind. Even covid isn’t working now, much less Pride pox. Economic collapse? That’s 2008. And if they try the alien invasion… seriously?

        • “Economic collapse? That’s 2008.”

          Wrong on that front my friend. Everything you’re living thru now is a continuation of 2008 cause it was never fixed.

          • Right, but that could probably be said about the WOT, or the Kennedy assassination. Point being, people have seen how these events were used to screw everybody. The public isn’t totally awake, but enough are to make deception an increasingly hard game to play.

            I wonder if it’s been like this for a long time, and it only looks as bad as it does now because of that awareness.

          • “I wonder if it’s been like this for a long time, and it only looks as bad as it does now because of that awareness.”

            Yes i think that is correct. It also explains why they’re turning on the heritage population now. They know they can’t continue to support those people in a middle class lifestyle. Those people have figured it out and are angry so now they’re all white supremacists and enemies of the state. Which is why i place so much importance on 2008, it broke the illusion. Not for all at once, but for many in the past 14 years.

      • The only brake thus far has been keeping up appearances for “the world community.” If, as I suspect, Putin is poised to humiliate the Banana Empire, we should expect them to launch a full-bore domestic terror campaign. History almost requires it.

      • Not sure what this “amateur terrorism” thing means. Z has pointed out that the bomb outside JP Morgan HQ in the ’20s was enough to scare the rulers into banning immigration for decades. Not sure that terrorism was particularly sophisticated, yet it was consequential.

        But, if you simply mean that some WN shooting up a grocery store because that’s supposed to ignite the race war and bring about the apocalypse or something, well, yeah.

      • The most telling thing about amateur terrorism is that governments label anyone they don’t like a terrorist, throwing away the value of that word because it means nothing to them. Terrorism is the theory that one can change policies by attacking civilians, but this doesn’t work because tyrants don’t care about their citizens and just rulers have better options for policy change than terrorism.

        Strangely, the “crazy terrorists” never seem to attack the usual suspects of conspiracy theorists, like the UN or World Bank or Federal Reserve or CPS or Blackrock, etc. It’s always a random church or school or retail shopping center.

        Big Brother type politicians also never get assassinated, but they seem to age strangely and their facial structure isn’t consistent even within the same year if you look closely enough. Hmm.

        • “ Big Brother type politicians also never get assassinated, but they seem to age strangely and their facial structure isn’t consistent even within the same year if you look closely enough. Hmm.”

          Maybe the UFOs are really in control. They can apparently disable weapons on US military bases, maybe they caused the Kirchner assasin’s gun to jam.

          The aliens probably don’t extend that level of protection to the victims of the latest school shooting.

      • BPT:

        “They aren’t trying to provoke anything at all; they are working themselves up to strike.”

        You’re half right there BPT. They are trying to provoke AND working themselves up to strike.

        They are trying to lower the flash point temperature.

    • I watched Tucker’s monologue as Biden went onstage. Finally somebody mainstream pointing out how pathetic and not-intimidating these people are! That’s what the public needs to hear. It’s essential because these people are locked on course.

      Yes, I think they want to provoke violence, but do they really want to do that with people who see them for who they are?

      • They want us dead. That’s what the shots were for.

        A point I’ve made for years that I think Tucker made recently is that calling people Nazi’s gives you license to kill them.

        These people WANT US DEAD and I mean that quite literally. We won’t listen to them or obey, so they just would rather kill us and be done with it.

    • Well, I think that they are trying to prepare the ground for the false flag that they are so obviously building up to. Maybe their own zombified true believers might think that it is real, but the rest of us in light of the clear as day plotting? Not too sure of that.

      I have enjoyed some of the memes popping up, particularly those with the image of Moustache Man juxtaposed with the image of Chemically-propped up Joe from the Satanic ritual of last night, both of them standing at a lectern, fists raised and clenched, with similarly rageful faces.

        • JerseyJeffersonian seems like a great guy, he opined and offered some things he has seen. Nothing in that I would or it should seem should deem down voting.

          There is information in his post that does warrant critique: that being the content of the memes.

          Hitler and Hitlerer, Would you like bromide with your cliche?

          Same ‘ol low tier “hitler bad” this other white guy bad.Now, it can be cute, worth perhaps 1.5 yuks. But,

          The Holobaloney is the religionistic tool that is used to demonize All white people. If you are interested in raising our people up, then think a little harder about propaganda.

    • Mr. House:

      “Are they trying to provoke violence?”

      The answer is Yes.

      Cuz they know that they will win such a contest. The final solution. Do not give the enemy what they want.

      “I’ll never be your beast of burden
      My back is broad but it’s a hurting

      I’ll never be your beast of burden
      I’ve walked for miles my feet are hurting”

      Instead, Gandi, Thoreau, Rand.

      Going Galt, civil disobedience.

      His burden grew heavy. Atlas shrugged.

      • “ Thoreau”

        A really bad example of “non violent resistance”

        He is in fact, a perfect example of the kind of hypocrisy the left engages in.

        He was all for non-violent resistance with regards to the Mexican-American war.

        He was also supported “non-violent resistance to slavery until John Brown’s raid.

        Then he viewed John Brown as a martyr. His side ended up violently crushing the South.

        • I cite Thoreau as an example, a template for the use of civil disobedience to advance a cause, not because of any of the causes for which he applied it.

          A idea is not responsible for its misuse.

    • The only reaction from anyone who has related anything to me has been eye rolling and laughter.

      Most people want to know when the puppet masters are going to shuffle his ass off the public stage.

  7. Good movie with beautiful scenery. Interesting history also, referencing the Vikings living up and down the Dnieper river. It was also refreshing not to see Ice Latte or some other former Compton gang member playing a Norse king.

  8. “It is up to the adults in the audience to make of it what they will.”

    Is there an audience of any size left in modern America to understand any of the themes outlined by Z-man? From what I gleen off of cable TV and sites like Netflix and HBO, most movies are simply adult presentations of children’s comic books—making copious use of computer animation effects in lieu of story/plot writing skill.

    Worse, many these movies attempt to legitimize themselves by using historical names and incidents, without telling any of the true historical story. Example, “Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter”. OK, that’s ridiculously blatant, but most movies are more subtle—perverting the history while pretending to be accurate portrayals. Since most history is no longer taught in schools, the movie viewer is instilled with false history through such media.

    Z-man mentions “cultural literacy”—does such even exist given our public school system, and of course our diverse demographics. Does a country where most public school graduates can’t describe what/when the pivotal events in our Nation’s history occurred even be called a Nation?

  9. I have not seen The Northman–although I would like to. However, I did just now pop over to Rotten Tomatoes to see the film’s critical rating. The critics give it an 89-percent freshness rating, while the audience gives it 64 percent. Perhaps if I read some of the actual reviews I would encounter the hurled copralites Z mentions, but an 89-percent freshness rating is pretty dam’ good.

    • To be frank, you have to have read a book to appreciate the film. I recognized the ancient origins of the story, so I could enjoy it at a level the typical movie viewer could not. To be be even more frank, the typical movie viewer is a moron who things comic book movies are art.

      • There is only one instance I can think of in which a comic book —really graphic novel—film rendition was “art”. The screen adaptions from Frank Miller: 300, Sin City, a couple of others. These (the first couple) were excellent and entertaining, but as you’ve mentioned are better understood if one is familiar with the published books.

        In the case of 300, the Spartan saga was not butchered too much. The spirit of the story remained strong, which is really all history gives us after Herodotus’ brief accounting.

        • There were two competing Thrmopylae stories that were considered for turning into a film.
          Option One was Stephen Pressfield’s “Gates of Fire”, which is an excellent historical novel, that takes its subject matter seriously.
          Option Two was a comic book for idiots, where the super buff Spartans face off against monsters, giants and a gay Persian king.
          Which did they pick? The Z man is right.

          • Stephen Pressfield’s “Gates of Fire” was a great read.
            My government school education didn’t delve nearly far enough into Ancient Greek society. Pressfield’s narrative history filled in a lot of blanks.

          • I agree with your sentiment Rick, but must disagree on your glowing assessment of Pressfield’s book. This book is on the favorite list for cadets at the academy, which is how I got wind of it. In that, it serves a pretty good role as a propaganda piece for war and the glory of dying in a cause greater than oneself. I read the book as well.

            But it is *fiction* based upon historical fact—and exactly a good example of what I decry in my postings above.

            What we know of Thermopylae and the Spartan resistance there is sparse to say the least. As such, Pressfield would have had a very short “book” if he stuck to the known history. He didn’t, and in such needed to insert actions and thoughts entirely without basis in fact.

            I’ll end with a memorable example from Pressfield’s book. The Spartans after engaging the Persians in their first day or so of the three day holdout, decide on a “desperate” raid of Xerxes camp in an attempt to kill him (cut the head off the serpent). The attempt fails in the end. The raid is described in great detail and made for a good read much like Homer’s Iliad—but it never happened, nor was such actions typically ascribed to Spartan fighters in other conflicts of that era.

            Perhaps Pressfield has other historical resources I’m unaware of, but until those are pointed out, I’m treating this as a rousing tale, with little historical import—which is precisely what I caution about to those (there are many) who often begin to discuss historical narrative with me based apron a recent movie ticket purchase. 🙁

          • Youre probably a super smart guy but out of character as it may be this is unfortunate midwittery…

            Amusing detail though is how you find it laughably unrealistic that spartans would have impressive physiques. Aside from their extreme (even by classical standards) emphasis on physical training it was also recorded that young spartans were inspected regularly and routinely flogged for insufficient fitness. Although its now disputed early writers often noted that even spartan FEMALES threw discus, boxed, wrestled… etc

            Maybe take up a combat sport? Human beings didnt always look like they do at a walmart checkout in 2020s america.

        • Watchmen was awesome too. Don’t know if I’d call it great art, but I think it improved on the original (no fake aliens). That was too much imo.

        • Jeez, had almost totally forgotten Sin City. I didn’t care at all about the story, but that movie was simply *great* to watch; visuals were fantastic.

      • Hi Z. I thoroughly enjoyed The Northman. It left a lot open to interpretation, for example, the fight to claim the night blade draugr, from the initial confrontation and fight, as to how it may have actually transpired. The raid in the land of The Rus had me on the edge of my seat, and then when you notice what is happening in the background in the barn in the background as the berserkers get their breath back. A film for adults. If I was to recommend a series to you season 1 of The Terror is very interesting. There’s a bit of the magic native but it portrays The Victorian officer class in an interesting light. Iron men on wooden ships. It reflects on something you’ve mentioned before about how men organise and operate is similar to how a ship operates in the age of sail. Men organising around the natural authority as it is tested to manifest itself. I think you’ll like it

  10. The trailer for this was only compelling because there was zero, “diversity”. The trailer presented the film as a 300 of Northmen – angry hardbodies locked in a violent struggle where the acting range was between a wooden rage and a slightly less wooden rage. Your review makes it sound full of story. I may watch it as a result.

    I would like to recommend a film and a TV series that are in my opinion true works of art – both in terms of story/writing and cinematography.

    1. The Last King – Based on the true story of the infant king Knut of Norway. Knut must be protected by the dead king’s guardsman when the brother usurps the throne at the behest of a greater power in the shadows. It is a beautiful film that I won’t spoil and that like any great piece of art reveals a rhyme that with our time and reveals something about what we must do with our time. It shows the spectrum of manhood – gritty warriors facing tall odds against true evil, protecting the future and having tender and humorous moments with an infant under the shadow of great loss. It has a Wagnerian quality to it and the director takes the 10% of what is good of Bergman’s cinematographic aesthetic and jettisons the distasteful 90%.

    2. The Last Kingdom Seasons 1-4 : This is based on the myth/legend of King Alfred’s sell sword. He is the heir to a kingdom in the north of the British Isle who is betrayed by his uncle as a boy, adopted by Danes and becomes the most wanted man on the island. It juxtaposes his character with the ascendant King Alfred and along with it, paganism and Christianity as well as offering two valid but distinct visions of a noble man. It is a gorgeous story. I stopped watching at Season 5 when they introduced a genius black bishop as a central character. I watched an episode where he

    If we weren’t living through the great replacement and confront an evil of resentment bent on our destruction, I might grin and bare it. Given the time we live in, I turned it off and called it good. It is too bad they had to ruin it. You can almost feel the actors disappointment when he shows up – a blight in the middle of a tale based on the true history of the formation of England under the duress of the Nordic invasions. I highly recommend Seasons 1-4 – beautiful characters; beautiful writing.

    Have a good weekend everyone. Be proud of our history. Be proud that we never had to steal someone else’s history or culture. Be proud that we forged our own. Know that despite the degeneracy we live through today, that the fires of Alfred, Uhtrid and Knut and his guardians live in our veins and call us to rise when the moment is right. Know that someday we and our heirs will beam with pride at how we all rose to meet our moment.

    • May you live in interesting times, for to subsist in a time of decadence and faux affluence is to die of boredom in slow motion with nothing real to show for privilege of being alive. But to live in a time of great duty, and be opposed by even greater evil, is to live a life of existential meaningfulness and always at the edge of desperation or victory. This is why some warriors can never return to a peaceful life. They were built for the fight, and must pursue the battle to the end of time or their time on Earth, which ever comes first.

      • These men are the soldier ants in the colony. They look different as they are built for protection of the colony and singled out by their greater physicality as compared to “workers”. They are few in number, but great in importance. No colony survives long without them.

  11. The destiny meme is a proxy for DNA-based proclivity. We are wired by our ancestral history to be biased in a few fundamental ways when confronted with specific stimuli. It’s why a dog snarls was faced with immediate danger. Men (and women) are no different. We have innate urges and reactions to specific kinds of circumstances. A mother can evince incredible physical power when protecting her young and a man will make insane sacrifices in warfare to save his fellow soldiers (diving on a live grenade is the classic example).

    Now here is the white pill for today’s post. We will soon transition from the era of decadent affluence to a rebirth of ancestral hardship and existential threat. Life will present you with a myriad of opportunities to live or die based upon your intelligence, strength, courage, and creativity. Ready or not, the gauntlet will come to you and you cannot refuse entry. Now, do you want to go down as a limp dick whiny cuckold whose last act is voting harder, or would you rather become part of the cure, rise to the occasion, and eliminate as many disease cells as possible on your journey to Valhalla?

    • At some recent point in human history, government “entitlements” programs started undermining and reversing the survival of the fittest.

      In modern welfare states, the least capable are not merely surviving, but thriving: having more offspring than the rest of us.

      If that trend isn’t reversed, we are doomed

  12. I watched it the other day based on Z’s recommendation. Can’t say that I enjoyed it much, nothing but violence and a lifetime revenge motive. Yes it did have the right people in the right roles and no idiotic non sensical diversity but that is not enough.

    I would have liked to see the coming Christian usurpation of this culture start to play out as they were referred to in the movie. There has to be more kill or be killed story line to make an epic movie.

    The ending begs the question , what is this all for and how does it advance our people or a proper civilization. Just to enter Valhalla?

    • Just a quick semantic niggle–people use “beg the question” incorrectly all the time. Properly speaking, it does not mean to raise a question, but rather to avoid it.

      • That is one of many words or idiomatic expressions that have changed in meaning with time, sometimes coming to mean opposite of what it originally did. Numerous examples might be found. One of my pet peeves is when “a light bulb (or alarm) goes off.” In plainer terms, “go off” here means “to turn on, become active.”

        Oh bother, it’s all downhill from here (another example, meant originally “getting easier” in the sense perhaps of a vehicle coasting down a grade. But now often means a situation is deteriorating.

      • I’ve given up on the misuse of “begging the question.” Just as I have given up on people saying “right?” after every sentence. I used to say, “How would I know if it’s right? You’re the one making the statement.” But it felt a little mean.

        • Unfortunately, we’ve gone from prescriptive to descriptive lexicography. In the bygone era before diversity and relativism, when people knew right from wrong and insisted upon the former, correct speech was also insisted upon. But, as you note, doing so came to be seen as being “mean” to cognitively challenged groups, so lexicographers went from prescribing correct usage to describing common usage. Feelings were assuaged, the language and its communication suffered.

      • funny you say that. Another podcaster always admonishes people of incorrectly using the term. Try as I might I get it wrong I guess.

        • Sorry, but the subject was broached, so I have to chime in. “Begging the questions” is a mistranslation of a logical fallacy from Greek(sorry – I took several logic and rhetoric classes). As translated and understood, you make a statement that supposes the thing that is supposed to be proved by the statement. “Drinking is bad because it is harmful.” You have assumed the initial point (Drinking is bad) and simply restate what you are attempting to prove.
          To understand the “begging” part, it is first a mistranslation of “petitio” as in petition. But to make it work, it is because the conclusion, one part of the ‘petition’ is already assumed by the initial statement. “Drinking is harmful” is the initial assumption, which segues to the conclusion “Drinking is bad.” In short, the conclusion pulls (begs) from the earlier part of the “petition.”
          Remember, these fallacies, articulated by Aristotle, are always dealing with persuasion, and this is a way to spot an argument that could lead to a fallacious assumption that a persuader would build an argument on. Remember, if you can get your rhetorical opponent to concede the first premise to you, you will (likely) win. We see this every day in politics – as Z often writes.
          In colloquial use, begging the question does mean as OP indicated. “Dodging the question” is the opposite.

    • “… nothing but violence…”

      I’d argue that there wasn’t enough violence—realistic violence—that is, albeit I’ve not seen this movies, just others of the type.

      Most violence we see, especially in these period pic’s, is waaay too artificial. Battle scenes have “hero’s” meeting “anti-hero’s in the field—Mano a Mano. Fighters being struck down with a single sword/axe blow and immediately dying. Rarely does one see “friendly fire”, which was common. Nor do we see all the back stabbing that was typical of undifferentiated opposing groups. People crawling for safety while bleeding out. Or as in the Roman’s greatest defeat, Canne, wounded soldiers crawling out of the gore and calling for a mercy killing while baring their throat to the Carthaginian “cleanup” crew.

      Of course, no one would enlist for that kind of glory. If it doesn’t make you toss your cookies, it fake and gay.

  13. Just ordered the blu-ray.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that we humans don’t really have free will, even though it feels like we do. Our choices are programmed, pre-determined, whether we fully realize it or not.

    I may not be aware of why I’m making a certain choice, of all the factors influencing how I choose; the likelihood is that I’m not aware of them all.

    • But if I were taken back to the age of 12, and allowed to make all my choices over again, *I’d end up making the exact same choices I did before, for the exact same reasons I made them originally*. So can we really say they were freely chosen, if that particular choice was inevitable, given the person I was at the time? I think not.

    No matter how flawed our choices might seem in retrospect, at the time each one seemed like the right thing to do.

    Although I’ll never be aware of all the thoughts, beliefs, feelings, memories, urges and impulses that together govern each particular decision I make, *they are what caused that decision*. And as long as I was the same person, I’d make that same decision again, for the same (conscious and unconscious) reasons I made it the first time.

    So it turns out— though I may not be aware of all the determining factors— that all of my decisions are determined. The feeling that they are “free” choices is nothing more than an illusion. If I had it to do over again, I’d do it the same way, for the same reason I made them the first time.

    If we could see all the inner factors influencing our choices, we’d realize there’s actually no choice involved.

    • That, I assume, is what Z-man is speaking of when he talks about “destiny”:
      that combination of inner factors, many of which we’re unaware, that together compels us to make the choices we do.

      • I side with Real Bill on this one: that free will is probably an illusion. While I don’t claim to know the history of this philosophical belief in detail, curiously I learnt of it during my literature studies. If not invented, it was popularized by Christianity: no one could be accused of “sin” unless he had a choice to act otherwise.

        A final observation: regardless of whether we have free will or are prisoners of predestination (determinism), our destiny (fate,doom, etc.) can be thought of as “what happens to us” (regardless of prior causes).

    • Sorry Bill, but that’s ridiculous. The only thing you do have is free will. You may be pressured, bamboozled, weakened, blinded, etc. by a hundred different factors or more, but you always have the option of “yes” or “no”. That other things influence your decision or that you would even make the same decision does not take away that it is your decision. While you may choose the same way, and in all probability would/will choose the same way, does not mean you MUST choose that way. That is free will.

      It is not an illusion. What is an illusion is that you can forever escape the consequences of those decisions.

      • While I agree that we can’t escape the consequences of our decisions, we’ll have to agree to disagree about to what extent our choices should be considered “free”.

        Here’s why I think the feeling of freely choosing is a delusion:

        At any given moment, the choice I make is a result of the totality of who I am as a person: my past experiences, present beliefs, suppositions about the future effect of various possible choices, etc.

        Even if I seem to change my mind at the last minute, THAT too had its causes; my sudden urge to make a different choice arose from the totality of who I am at that moment.

        So that— given the person I am at that moment— the choice I make is inevitable.

        But it’s certainly true that the illusion of free will is a strong one. Even while in my head I don’t believe I’m freely choosing, it definitely feels that way.

      • c matt,

        Perhaps I could put it another way:

        When you read my post, you disagreed with it.

        Was your disagreement a choice on your part?

        Were you equally free to agree or disagree with me?

        > I don’t think so: given the person you are, your disagreement was automatic: you had no choice but to disagree. Isn’t that the case?

        So if that choice— the choice of whether to agree or disagree with my post— wasn’t free, but rather was the only reaction you could have had, given the person you are— what makes you think any of your other choices are any different?

        Or if not: why not?

    • Fwiw I take the boring view: we have free will, but it’s limited to ‘who’ to follow. No man is a god or a bot.

    • “No matter how flawed our choices might seem in retrospect, at the time each one seemed like the right thing to do. ”

      Sounds like rationalization to me, like, all my decisions have been good and sound. .

  14. I can’t say I cared for The Northman. Too much gratuitous violence, much of it very graphic. The mood of the film was unrelentingly dark and menacing. It felt like a two-hour immersion into Mordor.

    • Thank you, I’ve not seen it but I figured as much. It seems like the only bar media has to cross anymore is “not be pozzed ass hell” or “not be aggresively awful” in order to generate favorable noise.

    • 90% of movies would improve if they were constrained by the limits of the old Hays Production Code. Graphic violence works OK in the context of an over-the-top action or horror movie (i.e. Kill Bill or The Thing), in anything going for a more somber or introspective tone it detracts. Nudity/explicit sex is almost always gratuitous. This stuff becomes a crutch to make up for lackluster movie-making.

  15. This has been on my list of movies to watch. Wish you would have thrown in a SPOILER ALERT regarding his mom. I’m still looking forward to watching.

  16. “ For men, the choice is always between the long quiet life and the short exciting one. “

    A problem of our age is that it is difficult to find a meaningful outlet for those who want the “short and exciting” life.

    What choices do those men have now? Extreme sports? Wingsuiting into the side of a mountain seems pointless compared to the guys who died exploring the world.

      • No foreign wars for Uncle Sam if you don’t get jabbed and boosted.

        Like everything else these days, now I have to do it myself: teach ’em to walk, use the bathroom, read, cursive, math, situational awareness, basic weapons handling…

    • “What choices do those men have now?”

      Well, if you are a minority, you join a (often inner city) gang and sell drugs and protect territory and make sure no one “diss’s” you.

  17. From your description, the film sounds much like Hamlet in conception if not in outward scene. It’s a shame that, in so many high schools and colleges, Shakespeare is no longer included in the canon. And not just Shakespeare…

    • If you look into Shakespeare, you see that he drew on historical sources for many of his plays. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is clearly based on old story of Amleth, but modified to suit his audience. However, he preserves the essence of the discovery of moral ambiguity by the main character. It is also key to understanding the tragedy.

      I wish that schools would teach more Shakespeare, he has the best handle on tragedy of any English speaking writer.

      • Samuel Johnson provided the best praise of Shakespeare (and was largely responsible for making Shakespeare the hallowed name we now think of), in my opinion. Beyond the snippets (of course Shakespeare is quotable), Johnson said that Shakespeare held a mirror up to the world as the poet of [human] nature. Even when he delved into the supernatural (such as Hamlet and Macbeth), the people in the story react as they would react if that type of person encountered that impossibility.
        The true tragedy is not Hamlet, Lear, or Macbeth, it is that far too few know those works.

      • Teach Shakespeare? Hell, they can’t teach our minorities to speak English. We had Shakespeare for a semester in year 4 of HS in my time. All part of the Western canon. Eubonics was not yet developed. 😉

    • I actually read a little bit about this movie. Turns out the kingdom in West Africa that is depicted here found the source of its wealth and power in the slave trade; as in, taking captured enemies and selling them to Whitey or keeping them for themselves. This supposed all-woman group of soldiers was developed largely because the ranks of men were so depleted by the frequent wars with neighbors and slaving.

      I wonder to what extent this movie will go into that.

      • Sounds like complete bullshit.

        When has that ever been true in a primitive weapon culture. The strength differences alone make it impossible.

  18. “If man can have a destiny, does he have free will? If you cannot escape your destiny, then why think at all about the choices that are presented to you? On the other hand, if your revealed destiny is one of many possibilities, are you obligated to fulfill it?”

    You do have choices. The choice to fulfill your destiny — which is in accord with the development of your innermost character — is one of them. To not fulfill it is to have to try again in a subsequent life.In my opinion.

    • How does Z’s synopsis differ from Hamlet?

      I read Hamlet roughly one trillion times, but I never could make heads nor tails of it; it just seemed utterly purposeless to me.

      Also slightly off-topic, but the more I read of near Ancient history, the more the people who populated the thin strip of coastal land from roughly Denmark down through Holland & Belgium, to just about the northwestern border of France, seem to have determined almost the entirety of known [rather than mere legendary] history.

      Well, them, plus the Northumbrians across the bay [Yorkish & Lancastrian].

      It’s as though everyone else were just sitting around twiddling their thumbs whilst the Franks/Saxons/Danes/Dutch/Flemish/Belgians/Northumbrians were busy creating what would eventually become the modern world.

      He who controls the sea controls the world?

    • Don’t believe in the subsequent life thing, but agree with the rest. Sounds Buddhist – your destiny is to be nothing and until you achieve it you are stuck in a cycle of reincarnation. Sounds pointless, which I guess is the point.

      • I have never really liked the Christian idea of Heaven.

        One short mortal life where so much is left undone and so little understanding is gained, then followed by an eternal paradise where everything is just solved and fixed.

        It seems that the afterlife should be a journey in itself. Not necessarily reincarnation back to earth as a human either. Rather a very long process across multiple lives and multiple forms. Then once fully developed and possessing full understanding the soul escapes the universe and transcends to an unimaginable higher plane of existence.

        • I don’t think most Christians, at least the serious ones, consider heaven some type of idea. Usually it’s is derived from Jesus’ teachings and references to it.

          That said, every time someone dear dies, the descriptions of Heaven are ridiculous.

          • “I’ll bet he’s up there right now, catching the biggest trout you ever saw and cracking open a cold Bud Light, laughing and telling jokes to *insert sportsballer’s name*!”

        • Exactly what is “eternal paradise”? Just as with terrestrial utopia, this would vary a great deal from person to person. It would take godlike intelligence to sort this out. Fortunately, there is God.

          • I’ve always assumed, existence without body would be a pretty good step towards bliss—and I’m not speaking from a situation of great disease or pain. Just the normal day to day of mind-body interaction is a great drag and limitation.

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