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The 13th Warrior (1999)

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.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,462 ( 134)

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan
... Queen Weilew
... Herger - Joyous (as Dennis Storhoi)
... Buliwyf - Leader
... Melchisidek
Anders T. Andersen ... Wigliff - King's Son
... Skeld - Superstitious
... Weath - Musician
Mischa Hausserman ... Rethel - Archer
Neil Maffin ... Roneth - Rider
Asbjørn 'Bear' Riis ... Halga - Wise (as Asbjorn Riis)
... Helfdane - Fat
Daniel Southern ... Edgtho - Silent
Oliver Sveinall ... Haltaf - Boy
... King Hrothgar
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Storyline

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 <julianreischl@mac.com> & Darcsyde <madklingong1@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

arab | viking | warrior | combat | battle | See All (167) »

Taglines:

Fear reigns. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bloody battles and carnage | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

27 August 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eaters of the Dead  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$160,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,267,756, 29 August 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$32,698,899

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Since Michael Crichton published his novel "Eaters of the Dead" in 1976, the basis of this film, it has become regarded as one of the most notorious hoaxes in Librarianship Circles. The Ahmad Tusi Manuscript that Crichton referenced in his bibliography as being the source of this story, is completely made up. The name of the translator Fraus Dolus is in fact two Latin words meaning both 'hoax' and 'fraud'. The University of Oslo, where this manuscript is supposed to be kept, have (since the book was published), on an annual basis had to send out letters telling enquirers that they have been the victim of a hoax. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Herger the Joyous: Where did you learn our language?
Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan: I listened!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Legends of Tomorrow: Beebo the God of War (2017) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Based loosely upon historical fact
4 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

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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