The Similarities Between Alexander Skarsgard's True Blood And The Northman Characters Are 'Not A Complete Coincidence'

If you've noticed the similarities between Alexander Skarsgård's "The Northman" role as Amleth and his character Eric Northman in "True Blood," know in your heart that the character overlaps are no coincidence. In a conversation with Entertainment Weekly, Skarsgård talked about how the narrative of Robert Eggers' Viking epic, "The Northman," sounded like a spin-off for his "True Blood" character, confirming it is "not a complete coincidence." Joking that Eggers' film is a "straight-up sequel," Skarsgård talked about his long-time dream of starring in a Viking movie authentic to its core essence after being inspired by his character's origins in "True Blood:"

"This is a straight-up sequel. I want to credit True Blood a little bit, at least for giving me that idea.

I was kind of harboring this idea, this dream of one day making an epic Viking movie, but in a truly authentic way, that would capture the essence of the old Icelandic sagas and the poetry — that stark, laconic, harsh world and characters and tone. But it was a distant dream 10 years ago."

Well, dreams do come to fruition, and Skarsgård assuming the role of Amleth seems poetic in more ways than one.

'I will avenge you, father'

In "True Blood," Eric Northman was obviously a vampire, and an ancient one at that, as he was over a 1,000 years old. In season 3, Eric's backstory was revealed: his father, Ulfrik, was a Viking king who was killed during a sudden werewolf attack in their home (the werewolves killed Eric's entire family and handed Ulfrik's crown to a cloaked figure). Before his father died, Eric made a promise of avenging him and spent most of his time searching for his father's killer in Scandinavia. On the verge of death during a battle, Eric was turned by the vampire Godric, which made him an immortal from that moment on.

Sounds familiar? Well, not the vampire part, but most of the beats of Eric's origin story in "True Blood" are intensely similar to Amleth's in "The Northman," as the Eggers film is a tale of revenge, betrayal, and mysticism in the Viking era. Revenge tales that stem from familial loss are not rare by any means, as the Scandinavian folk tale of Amleth eventually led to William Shakespeare's "Hamlet," birthing similar stories down the line.

Skarsgård also talked about the experience of filming the "True Blood" scenes that revealed his character's Viking origins:

"Malibu Canyon [in California] doubled for Sweden, but they were a couple of amazing days. I loved it so much. There was something coming out where I was starting to feel like, 'How amazing would it be to tell a Viking story on a bigger canvas, on a more epic scale — not just [with] a two-day flashback but actually have a whole Viking journey?'"

While Skarsgård's dream of making an authentic Viking saga did not become a reality right after, things fell perfectly into place once he was cast in the role of Amleth in "The Northman." The result is a brutal, glorious saga that is truly Eggers-ian in tone, boasting of massive scope and scale, along with remarkable faithfulness to Scandinavian lore.

"The Northman" will hit theaters on April 22, 2022.