Alexander Skarsgård Is Ready For Battle In A New Image From Robert Eggers' The Northman

"I will avenge you, father. I will save you, mother. I will kill you, Fjölnir." 

This repeated mantra dominates Amleth's (Alexander Skarsgärd) journey in "The Northman," the upcoming historical epic from "The Lighthouse" director Robert Eggers. A new image of Skarsgärd as Prince Amleth has just been released exclusively by Total Film, courtesy of Focus Features. The image in question captures the grittiness of an authentic Viking saga, in which Amleth seems to be absolutely battle-ready, driven by his urge to enact revenge on his uncle. Co-written by Eggers and Icelandic poet Sjón, "The Northman" is expected to play out like a classic revenge tale, culminating in war, rage, and brutality.

Check out the newly-released image below.

The Return of the King

Based on the trailer and the images released so far, it seems apparent that Eggers' "Northman" is dedicated to authenticity. The involvement of Sjón, along with historians whose expertise lies in Vikings and Icelandic culture, brings a unique brand of faithfulness to the story Eggers wishes to tell. This is also captured by the new image, in which Amleth is seen grimy and bare-chested, ready to charge into battle with ax in hand.

Interestingly, the aesthetics of "The Northman" — which features cold, drab color palettes that capture the ruggedness of the wilderness in medieval Scandinavia — are reminiscent of Egger's 2015 film "The Witch." This can be attributed to the return of cinematographer Jarin Blaschke, who has worked with Eggers previously, capturing bleak vignettes that evoke a sense of beauty and horror at the same time. The cold bleakness of "The Northman" is often punctuated by blood-red flames and orange hues, particularly present in scenes of bloodshed and violence, embedding the themes of rage and revenge within the ambit of the film.

"The Northman" follows a narrative arc similar to that of "Hamlet," although the figure of Amleth existed in medieval Scandinavian legend, wherein the tale is said to have descended from an old Icelandic poem. As per the trailer, "The Northman" opens with a young Amleth witnessing his father's murder at the hands of his uncle Fjölnir (Claes Bang), which catapults into quiet, sworn revenge that Amleth must enact at any cost, years down the line.

In an interview with Total Film magazine, Eggers talks about the opportunity to execute grand, sweeping battle scenes, which are an integral part of "The Northman:"

"I was utterly terrified, but it's a major privilege to be able to do something like this. It's been exciting. The studio let me use all my head of departments from my last two films, and I was able to work with the top Viking historians in the world, which was incredible."

Alongside Skarsgärd and Bang, "The Northman" also stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, and Björk.

"The Northman" is expected to release in theaters on April 22, 2022.