When Men Were Men

The Thirteenth Warrior

by Angry White Female

I was asked to review this movie, so here goes, albeit a couple years after release.

I highly recommend this movie to all Eurofolk, provided they understand that it is a "cross-dressed," Hollywood version of ancient White history. It combines the deeds of the Rus Vikings from the epic poem Beowulf with the writings of a 10th-century Muslim poet named Ibn Fadlun. The 13th Warrior is based on the novel Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton, in which the added flavor of cannibalism is injected into White history. Though the story is compelling, it injects Ibn Fadlun, played by Antonio Banderas, into the role of the 13th Warrior of Beowulf. (Actually, there were 15 warriors in Beowulf, and Ibn was not one of them.) In real life, Ibn wrote about the Rus and disappeared from history soon after he and the warrior party set off.

Typical 20th-century Hollywood revisionism, in other words. The historical changes made by the producers are subtle enough there's the danger that lemmings might take them for real since they don't read European classics anymore. Nevertheless, it is a movie that does capture the brave, fighting spirit of the Folk of the North, before they became feminized.

The cast, except for the Spaniard Banderas, is impressive, although, as you'd expect, Hollywood couldn't resist throwing in gratuitous non-Nordics to add multiculturalism to the plot. If you can get past this and the historically incorrect swords, helmets and clothing, you'll love the movie. Just ignore the conspicuous black-haired "Vikings," the guys in kilts with Celtic accents, and the treacherous Brit passed off as a Viking prince. Immerse yourself in the spirit of the folk. Ancient anachronisms and misplaced multiculturals there may be by the boatful, but don't let that sway you into not renting this flick because it does provide a decent scoop of echt Viking spirit.

The story...

The movie begins with Ibn Fadlun, an Arab poet whose camel-riding party stumbles into a 922 AD Rus village. The Northmen are joyously celebrating their departed King's imminent arrival in Valhalla (in Yahweh-speak, heaven). There are what appear to be Arabic women belly-dancing in the mead hall to Middle-Eastern music as the men lustfully watch. Some of the men appear to be short and Slavic. But according to Ibn's real account of the appearance of the Rus: "I have never seen more perfect physical specimens, tall as date plums, blond and ruddy." Later, he describes them as ALL having red or blond hair, just as Tacitus described Germanic tribes back in Roman times.

Ibn cannot speak the language, so Omar Sharif translates. They watch as the Rus King and all of his possessions are burned on his pyre ship bound for Valhalla. As was the custom, a young women joined the King in death, chanting:

Lo, there do I see my father.
Lo, there do I see my mother, my sisters and my brothers.
Lo, there do I see the line of my people back to the beginning.
Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me to take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla --

Where the brave can live forever.

Contrast that with your atomized, self-actualized individuals, your soul-mate marriages and your chummy eulogies. Who says we aren't evolving backwards?

The next morning, Ibn walks into a tent and finds the warriors blowing snot in a communal bowl and passing it around the table, where others can drink, spit and wash their faces in it. That was in Ibn Fadlun's real account of the Rus, but is widely believed to be an embellishment due to Semitic cultural bias. In reality, the Rus king's warriors had women wash their hair and faces for them.

Ibn was then instructed by the "Angel of Death" (using bone magic rather than runes) to be the 13th mercenary to accompany the Northmen back to their homeland to defend the folk from the "Eaters of the Dead." The bone lady (Arkan, if memory serves) says, "The 13th warrior must be no Northman," so Ibn must go along. In real life, the FIFTEEN warriors in Beowulf sent to defend King Hrothgar's folk from Grendel (called Wendol in the movie) and his mother were all Northmen. The real Ibn was never heard from again after he and the warrior party departed. This is where the epic poem Beowulf gets rewritten. In this Hollywood cross-dressed version there must be a multicultural element, hence the no-longer-present Arab becomes the hero of the movie. At this point, to avoid confusion, I will reluctantly refrain from interjecting too much factual information on Beowulf (I don't want to write a book). But I do recommend you read it.

The next few scenes represent Hollywood revisionism at its subtle best. As the men are preparing to leave, one of the great characters in the story, Herger the Joyous, played wonderfully by Dennis Storhoi, is being sent off by three of his women. ALL three appear to be light-skinned non-Whites.

Ibn's war mount is a beautiful White Arab. The Vikings ride huge, slow DRAFT horses*, teasing him for "bringing a dog to war." Naturally, Ibn has to show off the virtues of his smaller horse to gain their respect. We are expected to believe the great Vikings conquered, created and explored using horses who moved at the speed of a snail.

*[Anyone who knows a little about Norse or horse history knows the Vikings used FAST PONIES at war, not oversized farm horses heavy as tanks. The Norwegian Fjord is the war pony (13-14 hands) they most likely used, and the one often depicted on runic drawings of the time. This pony was extremely versatile, very useful in war for its strength, intelligence, good nature and ability to withstand cold. Its fine genes continue today, and provide the foundation stock for the great Icelandic pony. Ibn's Arab was a desert-dweller, a breed that does not keep well in the snow! Draft horses were used for farming and transporting heavy war materials and troops. The movie producers must have known this, because they threw in a few Jutlands -- Danish draft horses -- and put the Wendol on mounts that were the size of Fjords. The horse switch was intended to make Ibn look good at the expense of the Northmen, while making the lemmings think Ibn "really showed 'em."

On the trip, Ibn learned the language of the Norse in three nights! In truth, he always had an interpreter with him and never learned the language. Anyway, the new King (Buliwye), played brilliantly by the strapping 6'5" Czech-born Vladimir Kulich, asked the Arab to teach him to draw sounds. The movie never mentioned Ibn's written historical observation of the former King's name being WRITTEN on a piece of wood, then attached to his funeral ship. No runic writing is mentioned, nor is the primary reason the Rus were on the Volga: to set up a trading centers, which eventually became the lifeblood of the economy. The intention, again, is to make the Northmen look like savages, illiterate savages.

They finally arrive and find King Hrothgar's kingdom in shambles. The roof of his great mead hall leaks, and there is no fence or any kind of defense. Queen Weilow, played by the brown-haired Diane Venora, is apparantly the mover and shaker by virtue of the moviemakers' wildly exaggerated portrayal of Hrothgar's incompetence. She is their guide. They have a few little skirmishes with the Wendol (the flesh-eating bear people that never really existed). Before one skirmish, they stand around waiting for an attack when a little girl is spotted running toward the fortress. Of course, Hollywood would never portray Northmen selflessly trying to save her from the approaching flesh-eaters, so Ibn decides to risk his life and heroically saves her. Then he informs them the "fireworm" is mounted cavalry with torches. As if the Hrothgar's Northmen, after having been virtually wiped out by them, didn't figure this out before. Oh, it's cavalry! Okay. Duh!

They then embark on a journey to find the bear people and kill the mother (the earth Goddess the Wendol revered) and the leader. Of course, since the movie depicts the Northmen as thuggish and ignorant, it takes the Arab poet, born and bred in the sand, to figure out how to find the bear people. Duh. Where do bears live? In caves. How do you hunt bears in winter? Go into their cave with spears. Of course, the Northmen, great hunters, couldn't figure this out, so the Arab had to. After the mother had been killed, and the Rus King Buliwye had been poisoned, they had to find a way to get out. The Wendol were approaching, and the Northmen had accepted they would die fighting, until Ibn figured out that the water flowing out of the cave would lead them out. Yes, we are supposed to believe the sand-dweller knew of these things, but not the native people who were the first to sail around the world. It's enough to make a lemming wonder how they made it to North America or anywhere for that matter.

I will not tell you of the inspirational ending of this movie, but despite my cynical comments, I highly recommend the movie for several reasons:

1) It is an opportunity to see "when men were men."

2) It captures the bravery and valor of our Nordic ancestors.

3) There are no black Vikings.

4) Antonio Banderas' acting is overshadowed by his betters'.

5) The music is wonderful.

In conclusion, I must say the movie is pretty gory, but it is done in good taste considering the spirit of the times. Women, do not be deterred from seeing this movie. If you don't like the plot, you'll be content to stare at the strapping men the entire time. You can even dream of a future when men will again be men. Oh, and lemmings should not watch this movie unsupervised.

For additional information about the movie:


To purchase Michael Crichton's book, Eaters of the Dead:


To purchase the video:


Vladimir Kulich fan site:


Dennis Storhoi fan site:



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