Valhalla Rising (2009) Poster


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One-Eye was a nickname for Oden (Odin), who in the Norse legends gave one of his eyes as a sacrifice to the well of Mimer to get wisdom. The sacrifice also gave him the power to see hidden things.
There are approximately only 120 lines of dialogue in the whole film.
Mads Mikkelsen took on the lead role, thinking that it would be quite an easy gig for him, seeing as it had no dialogue. He didn't realize the arduous physical demands of shooting in forebidding Scottish locations.
During the entire "Men of God" sequence, the sea is made of black plastic bags.
Mads Mikkelsen was always first choice for the part of One-Eye as he is an old friend of director Nicolas Winding Refn.
The idea of One-Eye being a mute came to Nicolas Winding Refn in a dream where One-Eye could not talk. Once he woke up he phoned Roy Jacobsen and told him about the idea.
In writing the script Nicolas Winding Refn was responsible for the spiritual, metaphysical and plot related part while Roy Jacobsen was responsible for all the Norse mythological, viking and historical themes due to his extensive knowledge about vikings and Norse paganism.
Mads Mikkelsen's prosthetic eye is actually modeled on the one that Kirk Douglas wore in The Vikings (1958).
Currently Nicolas Winding Refn's favorite of his own films.
Nicolas Winding Refn cites El Topo (1970) as another influence on this film.
Nicolas Winding Refn conceived the film as some sort of acid trip.
Nicolas Winding Refn originally pitched the film as a viking version of his Pusher films. In the end it became something completely different, much to Refn's relief.
Nicolas Winding Refn originally wanted Mogwai to provide the music for the film but scheduling conflicts prevented that.
Mads Mikkelsen has no dialog at all throughout the course of the film.
Although the title shares its name with a book by Clive Cussler, the influence is more from Kenneth Anger's films Scorpio Rising (1963) and Lucifer Rising (1972).
Although Refn playfully refuses to admit on what basis One-Eye wears tattoos other than that "he just knows it", the famous account of the Rus - almost universally considered by scholars to be Swedish Vikings - by Ahmad ibn Fadlan says that the Rus wore tattoos similar to the ones of One-Eye.
Nicolas Winding Refn freely admitted that he had no interest in Vikings.
Dedicated to Oliver Winding, the half-nephew of Director Nicolas Winding Refn.
Cast at the same time as Refn's Bronson (2008). At one point, he was in post-production on Bronson (2008) and pre-production on Valhalla Rising (2009) simultaneously.
The official website for the film refers to Mads Mikkelsen's character as Harald. In the film, however, he is only ever referred to as One-Eye.
The first line of dialogue is spoken seven minutes into the film.
Maarten Stevenson is actually the son of co-star Gary Lewis. Lewis brought him along for the casting and both of them ended up being cast in the film.
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Nicolas Winding Refn's second daughter was born during the editing of this film.
Nicolas Winding Refn has stated that this film is a metaphysical sci fi.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The film was supposed to end with a huge battle scene, with One-Eye fighting an entire army of Indians. Nicolas Winding Refn was given a budget for the scene and he started to plan the battle, before deciding that One-Eye should sacrifice himself so that The Boy might live.
The original ending of the film had One-Eye boarding a spaceship and being flown away. Nicolas Winding Refn, however, decided that it would be too easy for the audience to interpret, and took it out.
The genesis of the film comes from the discovery of a mysterious pile of runes near Delaware. There was been much speculation as to how they got there so far inland so the film seeks to provide an answer of some sort to that.
Among the influences for director Nicolas Winding Refn were a runestone he saw in Delaware and the Mario Bava film Planet of the Vampires (1965).
Originally, there were going to be more attacks on the Viking vessel and intestines were going to be thrown on the boat.

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