The 13th Warrior
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About

I was grateful to adopt the fanlisting for The 13th Warrior from Tora (thanks, Tora!) because I like the movie a great deal. The story of heroism and friendship is very affecting; the supernatural aspects are scary; and the insight into three different ancient cultures is interesting.

The movie is based on a book called Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton, which is itself based on Richard Frye's translation of ibn Fadlan's non-fictional account of his travels up the river Volga in the tenth century, and also on the Old English heroic epic poem, Beowulf, which is the oldest written work in the English language.

Note: Everything from here on in is a spoiler!

I also like the depiction of the Viking Age culture and the nail-biting terror of the battle scenes. A lot of the imagery in the movie is awesome, from stunning stuff such as the torch-bearers coming down like a fire worm, to the smaller details like the mud and the blood, the mist of breath on the cold air. Although the movie is very violent, its charms include the almost silent romance between Ahmed and the Viking girl, and the humour and significance of his friendship with Herger the Joyous.

It's a very spiritual movie, too. The main motivation for the characters is their respective and initially contrasting spiritual values. It's probably the only movie in recent years to contain not one but two prayers.


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