White supremacists hijack The Northman: Blockbuster starring Nicole Kidman features Nordic lore popular with alt-right groups who hail its ‘all-white cast and pure masculinity’
- White supremacists have claimed ownership of Hollywood’s The Northman
- Blockbuster features all-star cast including Nicole Kidman and Anya Taylor-Joy
- Film also has an ‘all-white cast and pure macho stereotypes’ of Viking culture
- One 4Chan user posted: ‘Robert Eggers. He is restoring pride in our people with his great films. The Northman is going to be epic… Hail Odin.’
White supremacists have claimed ownership over the new Viking Hollywood blockbuster The Northman, which stars Nicole Kidman and Anya Taylor-Joy.
The epic historical film, which has been released nationwide today, is the latest from Robert Eggers (The Witch, The Lighthouse) and a violent revenge tale taken from Viking legends.
However its ‘all-white cast’, which features famous faces including Alexander Skarsgård and Ethan Hawke, as well as it’s ‘pure macho stereotypes’ have seen the blockbuster championed by supremacists before it was even released.
Posts on Reddit and 4Chan have been celebrating the film, with one 4Chan user writing: ‘Robert Eggers. He is restoring pride in our people with his great films. The Northman is going to be epic… Hail Odin.’
Another person commented: ‘Northman is a based [agreeable] movie, all white cast and shows pure raw masculinity.’
The connection between white supremacy and an interest in Viking culture is not new.
A number of alt-right terrorists have referenced the medieval period during their attacks in recent years, including Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, who killed at least 49 people in a Christchurch mosque in 2019 and Jeremy Christian who killed two women in 2017.
MailOnline has contacted Focus Features for comment.
White supremacists have claimed ownership over the new Viking Hollywood blockbuster The Northman, which stars Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgård
White supremacists have long connected with the idea of Viking culture, with a 2017 Washington Post article noting how the white supremacist Jeremy Christian posted ‘Hail Vinland’ before killing two men in Portland.
Writer David Parry noted: ‘Vinland was the name that a group of 10th-century Vikings, led by Leif Erikson, gave to a grapevine-rich island off what we believe is the coast of North America.
‘For white supremacists, the concept of Vinland asserts a historical claim over North America, stretching especially from the Northeast coast to the Pacific Northwest.
‘They use the myth of Vinland to position themselves as righteous defenders in the wars of race and religion they believe are coming.’
Its ‘all-white cast’, which features famous faces including Anya Taylor-Joy, as well as it’s ‘pure macho stereotypes’ have seen the blockbuster championed by supremacists before it was even released
The white supremacist terrorists who have claimed Viking culture for their own
Jeremy Christian, 38, fatally stabbed two men who came to the aid of two black women he was harassing on a Portland commuter train.
Christian boarded the MAX Light Rail train in Portland during the evening commute and began shouting racist, anti-Muslim and xenophobic slurs at the two young Black women, prosecutors said.
Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23, and Ricky Best, 53, died from knife wounds to the neck, and Micah Fletcher survived after Christian also stabbed him in the neck on May 26, 2017.
He had that month posted on Facebook: ”Hail Vinland!!! Hail Victory!!!‘
Brenton Tarrant, 28, killed at least 49 people and wounded 48 more after carrying out a far-right terror attack at mosques in New Zealand.
During the massacre, which he live-streamed online, Tarrant could be seen using weapons scrawled with white text. He also posted images of the weapons to Twitter before the feed was taken down.
One of the weapons featured a Viking sun wheel design. Celtic and Viking symbols have been adopted by white supremacist groups who believe they represent a pure white race.
‘QAnon Shaman’ Jake Angeli was among the terrorists who attacked the Capital Building in January 2021.
He displayed his tattoos of such symbols, including a valknot on his upper left chest and what appears to be Thor’s hammer on his stomach.
The heavily tattooed Trump supporter sported horns, a fur hat with Viking horns and face paint, occupied the Senate dais moments after Vice President Mike Pence delivered his rebuke to Donald Trump.
He added: ‘American white supremacists want to make Vinland great again, laying out an imagined past in which Vikings are the rightful conquerors of North America, locked in eternal battle with the Skraelings, the Viking slur for indigenous people.’
Mathias Nordvig, head of Nordic studies at the University of Colorado in Boulder, agreed, saying the connection between ‘bloodthirsty barbarians’ and ‘Scandinavians’ had become a ‘cultural trope.’
Speaking to kjzz.org, he said: ‘We have, you know, a long history of, you know, perceiving Scandinavians as barbarians in context of Vikings.
‘This begins already in the Viking period — that is, you know, roughly from the period 700 to late 11th century in northern Europe. English authors talking about Scandinavians in these terms like the ‘bloodthirsty barbarian’ and so on. So that’s become sort of a cultural trope.
‘You see it in later English literature — William Blake, Thomas Gray, they sort of like add spice to their literature by adopting tropes of barbarian Vikings and, and, and such things.
‘And so at some point, on the other hand, what we have then is that this is being turned around, turned on its head.
‘And, and what we see is Scandinavians and, and also Germans, for that matter, in the 19th century, actually using these tropes as positive.
‘And that’s when it starts getting really problematic, where the idea of that bloodthirsty, barbarian Viking, who’s also a colonizer, is then weaponized.
‘And of course, what we see is the, sort of the culmination of that in World War II, where although, you know, most of the National Socialist propaganda was Christian and related to Christian empires in central Western Europe, like the early German empires and so on, there was also some propaganda based off of Scandinavian prehistory and the Viking age.’
And speaking to The Guardian, Dorothy Kim, medieval literature lecturer at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, explained: ‘Invoking the medieval past has now become a more generalised sign of the alt-right.
‘The point is not the specifics of the historical detail or what certain medieval things may mean to certain subgroups.
‘Instead, the point is to gather them all for the maximum amount of attention, to plant as many flags to say: ‘I am a white supremacist,’ and to activate other white-supremacist terrorists globally.’
Nicole Kidman is among the famous faces in the film, which follows a similar plot to Shakespeare’s Hamlet
White supremacist terrorists have claimed Viking culture as their own in recent years, with Jake Angeli (left) and Australian Brenton Tarrant (right) referencing the period
The film follows Prince Amleth who as a child witnessed the death of his father, the king (Hawke), at the hands of his uncle Fjölnir (Claes Bang).
As he flees for his own life, he vows revenge and promises to liberate his mother (Nicole Kidman).
As an adult, Amleth, played by Skarsgård, hears his uncle has been deposed and now presides over a farm in Iceland.
He arranges to be sent there as a slave, bringing him within reach of fulfilling his long-percolating quest.
The film follows Prince Amleth who, after witnessing the death of his father, returns to exact his revenge against his uncle
With its ‘positive portrayal of heterosexual relationships and sex’ as well as ‘intense portrayals of white female beauty’, the blockbuster fits into a criteria of content users of white-nationalist site Stormfront would ‘watch repeatedly’ (pictured, Nicole Kidman)
But despite similarites to Shakespeare’s Hamlet in plot, some viewers have been disturbed by other themes within the film.
According to InsideHook.com, early viewers noted the ‘film’s fixation on bloodlines an unwelcome echo of white supremacy, with its idolatry of the Nordics and veneration of racial purity.’
Social media users have also expressed concern about the film, with one person writing on Twitter: ‘Does the Northman look like white supremacy fan fiction to anyone else?’
Another commented: ‘The alt right completely co-opted the movie 300. Imagine what they’re going to do with The Northman.’
Social media users have also expressed concern about the film, with one comparing the blockbuster to ‘white supremacy fan fiction’
And the film also appears to conform to a criteria created by white-nationalist site Stormfront contributor Yggdrasil in 2001.
His list of what makes ‘content users could watch repeatedly’ included ‘positive portrayal of whites in defense against the depredations of liberalism, crime, and attack by alien races’, ‘positive portrayal of heterosexual relationships and sex, marriage, procreation and child rearing’ and ‘portrayals of white males as intelligent, sensitive and strong – in positive leadership roles and or romantic leads’.
The content also has to show ‘particularly intense portrayals of white female beauty, in non-degrading roles’, while themes such as homosexuality and racial mixing would detract from the film.
And speaking to The Observer, Eggers acknowledged the challenges of the associations, saying: ‘I’m shocked I made such a macho movie.’
According to InsideHook.com , early viewers noted the ‘film’s fixation on bloodlines an unwelcome echo of white supremacy, with its idolatry of the Nordics and veneration of racial purity’ (pictured, Anya Taylor-Joy)
He said: ‘The macho stereotype of that history, along with, you know, the rightwing misappropriation of Viking culture, made me sort of allergic to it, and I just never wanted to go there.’
Meanwhile he also told Digital Spy that the association with white supremacy almost put him off making the film.
He explained he was turned off Viking culture because of ‘the right-wing misappropriation’ but this changed when he travelled to Iceland.
‘The landscapes are so incredibly inspiring that I finally picked up some Icelandic sagas and started to read them.’
The filmmaker has acknowledged the association between white supremacy and Viking culture almost put him off making the film
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