Friday, March 3, 2017

3 Short Paragraphs: The Last King

2016, Nils Gaup (Shipwrecked) -- Netflix

Vikings on skis ! Well, that would be your tagline if you assumed all the Norwegian peoples were vikings. Technically vikings were the sea faring raiders from the Nordic countries, meanwhile at the end of the "Viking Age" there came the civil wars in Norway. Here endeth the history lesson.

Haakon is the illegitimate infant son of the just murdered King. His Birkebeinar loyalists are hard pressed to keep him protected from the assassin Baglers. Skjervald, who only recently retired to become a farmer, is driven to re-join the protective ranks with his best friend Torstein, played by Game of Thrones Kristofer Hivju (Tormind Giantsbane; the only real reason most people are watching the movie), and save the child king.

We've all seen medieval action flicks with chase scenes on horse and with carriage, but have you seen it on skis?  Seriously, the medieval Norse used skis to get around their country, with only a handy spear as a single pole, gliding down serene mountain-scapes, cross-countrying through the pines, and crab walking up the hills. Eventually, the Birkebeinars, made up mostly of farmers and peasant folks, have to stand up against the Baglers, who are backed by the Church & foreign nobility, in order to save their rightful king. Big battle, sacrifices, tragedy, king saved. But I am sure the skis bit will make it into a few adolescents D&D games, if adolescents still even play D&D these days.