A man, having fallen in love with the wrong woman, is sent by the sultan himself on a diplomatic mission to a distant land as an ambassador. Stopping at a Viking village port to restock on supplies, he finds himself unwittingly embroiled on a quest to banish a mysterious threat in a distant Viking land.
In AD 922, Arab Ahmad Ibn Fadlan is sent to the land of the Bulgar's as an emissary, because he fell in love with the wrong woman. During his journey, his caravan runs into a Vikings camp. They stay the night and the next day a young boy reaches the camp to call the warriors home: The Wendol, creatures of the Mist, have started attacking their homeland, killing and eating everyone in their way. The oracle forces a thirteenth warrior to accompany the Vikings, but this must not be a man from the north. Ahmad does not feel comfortable with the strange men of the north, at first, but when he finds out that the Wendol really exist, he bravely fights alongside the Vikings in an impossible battle against an enemy that can't be stopped. Written by
Julian Reischl <firstname.lastname@example.org> & Darcsyde <email@example.com>
Graeme Revell had composed a complete original score when the movie was slated to be released as "Eaters of the Dead" in 1998. But after the film was deemed unwatchable during test screenings, Michael Crichton took over the project and rejected Revell's original score and brought in Jerry Goldsmith to rescore the film, renamed "The 13th Warrior." See more »
When Herger takes Angus' head, Angus is facing Buliwyf and a waist-high rock, but when Herger walks away and Angus falls, Angus has turned 180 degrees and is facing away from Buliwyf and towards a much taller rock. See more »
Skeld the Superstitious:
Blow-hards the both of you. She probably was some smoke-colored camp girl. Looked like that one's mother.
Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan:
My mother was a pure woman from a noble family. And I, at least, know who my father is, you pig-eating son of a whore!
See more »
The 13th Warrior may not match contemporary action film expectations and neither is it strictly a Beowulf allegory. While the film gives a nod to classic Epic literature, the real magic is grown of roots in history. In "Eaters of the Dead" the novel which inspired the film, writer Michael Crichton drew inspiration from the true story of Ibn Fadlan.
Ahmed Ibn Fadlan was a poet and diplomat who lived in the caliphate of Bagdhad in the 10th century. He received a deputation in the year 921 A.D. to journey to the King of the Bulghars of the Volga as an emissary of the Caliph al-Muqtadir. Fadlan outlined the details of this journey in his 'risala' or 'kitlab' (diary/history). Somewhere along the way Fadlan found himself in the extensive company of an Eastern Scandinavian tribe called the Rusiyyah. The Rus were being raided by the Varangians, a more barbarous tribe with customs rooted in pre-history. In his story, Crichton calls the Varangians by the name of another barbaric European tribe, the Wendols. From their name we get the English words vandal and vandalize - so one can imagine in what sorts of business they engaged.
So this is the background for the film. Is the movie history? No, but if one puts aside obvious errors such as Bulwyf's German plate armour (500 years ahead of its time) or another warrior's Roman helmet (500 years after its time) - the movie is enjoyable. The Rus were not Vikings with a capital V. They were Slavs who went a' viking, meaning raiding. Ibn Fadlan spent years among the Bulgars, Khazars and other Slavic tribes of the North. In all his travels, he gave no more detail than what he wrote of his time with the Rus and of their battles. What Crichton has given us is not history, but it is an entertaining point of departure from which to consider history. Next time you watch this movie, imagine you are Ibn Fadlan, come from a life of civilized luxury and suddenly thrown into this strange world. Try listening to the language, understanding his fear. Imagine that you must face cultures and battles entirely alien to your experience. That is what the 13th Warrior is all about. It is the tale of the journey, of the stranger in the strange land. It is a great adventure film, one I've enjoyed dozens of times.
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