The life of a family spanning five generations in the 20th century Europe split in half by WW2, centering around the half brothers Barnum and Fred growing up together in Oslo; Barnum with his father, Fred searching for his.




7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Øyevitne (TV Mini-Series 2014)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two 15 year old boys secretly meet up in the forest, only to witness a blood bath. They are seen, but escape trying to keep this as a secret, both in fear of the perpetrator and that their secret is revealed.

Stars: Axel Bøyum, Odin Waage, Anneke von der Lippe
Unge lovende (TV Series 2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Three young women seek love, success and fulfillment in Oslo, Norway.

Stars: Siri Seljeseth, Gine Cornelia Pedersen, Alexandra Gjerpen
Frikjent (TV Series 2015)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After having success in Asia, businessman Aksel Borgen is asked back to his hometown in Norway to save an important local firm despite it being 20 years since he was sentenced and later acquitted for murdering his high school sweetheart.

Stars: Nicolai Cleve Broch, Lena Endre, Anne Marit Jacobsen
Det tredje øyet (TV Series 2013)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A police detective is trying to locate his missing daughter, while solving other cases.

Stars: Kyrre Haugen Sydness, Ida Elise Broch, Marte Engebrigtsen
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A man which is almost obsessed by being anonymous, and never the best in anything. Being second means that you are not noticed, forgotten, but still important as a human.

Stars: Pål Sverre Hagen, Bjarne Henriksen, Giggi Yazicioglu
Mammon (TV Series 2014)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A newspaper journalist revealing fraud in a large multinational company, finds his family involved, ruining his career, family relations, and entangles him in a following mystery.

Stars: Jon Øigarden, Ingjerd Egeberg, Anna Bache-Wiig
Helt perfekt (TV Series 2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A mockumentary about comedian Thomas Giertsen, who has everything: Great girlfriend, big house, lots of cash and funny friends. A perfect life? Still he tends to get in trouble. After all; he's always right.

Stars: Thomas Giertsen, Ine F. Jansen, Jon Øigarden
Kampen for tilværelsen (TV Series 2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Young polish academic Tomasz travels to Norway to find his unknown father. Once in Norway he meet an strange blend of Norwegian middle class and all their made up "problems". The series ... See full summary »

Stars: Bartek Kaminski, Ola G. Furuseth, Tone Beate Mostraum
Gullruten (TV Special 2017)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

The 20th annual award show for Norwegian Television.

Stars: Leo Ajkic, Dan Børge Akerø, Wenche Andersen
Valkyrien (TV Series 2017)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Valkyrien centers on a doctor who runs an illegal, underground clinic in an old bomb shelter, where he treats criminals, emergency patients, and others who can't or won't seek medical help in a regular hospital.

Stars: Sven Nordin, Pål Sverre Hagen, Pia Halvorsen
Aber Bergen (TV Series 2016)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Aber Bergen is an entertaining courtroom drama about the recently separated , but for the time being professional partners, Erik Aber and Elea Bergen. They are two of the country's sharpest... See full summary »

Stars: Odd-Magnus Williamson, Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Line Verndal
Nobel (TV Series 2016)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In NOBEL, two stories carefully intertwine as a returning soldier and family man becomes a pawn in a political international game. As the stakes grow higher he is forced to discover just how far one should go in the name of peace.

Stars: Aksel Hennie, Atheer Adel, Mohammad-Ali Behboudi


Series cast summary:
 Barnum (8 episodes, 2013)
 Fred (8 episodes, 2013)
Mariann Hole ...
 Vera (8 episodes, 2013)
Marianne Nielsen ...
 Boletta (8 episodes, 2013)
Oskar Sandven Lundevold ...
 Barnum as Boy (8 episodes, 2013)
 Vivian (8 episodes, 2013)
Vibeke Juell Bugge ...
 Vivian as a girl (8 episodes, 2013)
Henrik Holm ...
 Peder as a boy (7 episodes, 2013)
 Arnold (6 episodes, 2013)
Ola G. Furuseth ...
 Peder (6 episodes, 2013)
 Egede (6 episodes, 2013)
 Den Gamle (4 episodes, 2013)
Janne Kokkin ...
 Edith (4 episodes, 2013)
 Willy (4 episodes, 2013)


The Half Brother revolves around the life of a family spanning five generations in the 20th century. The book opens in Berlin in 1990, at the film festival, as the Berlin wall is still coming down. It ends in Oslo the day after. But the story begins with Vera, Barnum's mother, on V Day, 1945. At a local level the story is about the half brothers Barnum and Fred growing up together in Oslo; Barnum with his father, Fred searching for his. At a universal level, the story is about Europe after world war II, a continent split in half, which shall become one again. And that too is the quest of this epic: To see two halves become a whole. The narrative chosen for the quest is that of a mystery: Who is the father? As the story progresses, we will realize that it is not just the identity of one father we are looking for. Written by Mette Marit Bølstad

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tv mini series | See All (1) »



Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 January 2013 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

Halvbrodern  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(total run time)


See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews


In 1988, Barnum(Cleve Broch, author with writer's block and low self-worth) is by himself, in a hut on Røst. 1987, he's with Vivian(Kittelsen, very in love with him and she wants a child with him), they just moved in together. In 1945, on the day of liberation in Norway(the setting for all of this), our story starts proper, with the conception of his half-brother, Fred(Kjosås, an anti-social former promising boxer, who, we are told, later disappeared. He's also one of the two most compelling characters… the other is his step-father Arnold(Øigarden, charismatic, and we're not quite sure what he does during the day, and where his money come from)). These three timelines will meet, and we will learn a lot about everyone's background, several generations(albeit the stubborn reliance on age make-up over recasting can be awkward). It's mostly linear with a few flashbacks. In part, it is a detective story, a search for a missing male relative.

The rest of the perfectly cast(everyone gives absolutely solid performances, even the child actors) group of main characters are well worth mentioning, as well. Their mother Vera(Hole, often repressed but doesn't take just anything), her mother Boletta(Nielsen, "fun"), her mother and matriarch Den Gamle('the old one', Nørby, speaks her mind and protects the three generations in a house that, for a very long time, is without a man). All they have left of the latter's late husband is a letter detailing a hunt. It's about relationships, sometimes abusive, between people, family members, friends. Themes include the importance of the formative years, people having children to fix their own messed up childhood and the worth of a child to its parent(s). Everyone in some way in their specific situation, and hurt in different ways, by different people. Young men shunned by their fathers may pull away from the outside, and possibly becoming dangerous, detached – the importance of a strong male role model cannot be overstated.

This is complex, such as in the psychology. It is at its best when the focus is on family: tense, atmosphere-laden and addictive. It smoothly mixes in quirk and black comedy. There is some social realism. It does assume the viewer has knowledge of the culture and recent history of Norway and Denmark. There are weak links along the way: a couple of episodes end in essentially the same way, and near the otherwise satisfying conclusion, it loses something. I have not read the novel that this is an adaptation of.

There is a lot of disturbing(some of it sexual) content and strong language, as well as some bloody, brutal violence in this. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys drama. 8/10

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: