The Northman, an epic and brutal Viking film directed by Robert Eggers, is set to release this month, and the reviews so far are hyping it up to be a violent and borderline animalistic viewing experience. Eggers is the well-known director of The Witch starring Anya Taylor‑Joy and perhaps more notably The Lighthouse starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. The Northman is an epic historical drama and marks a stark turn for the acclaimed director, who has previously made psychological horror films.
With The Northman about to hit our screens, let’s take a look at the cast and characters who will populate the action-packed epic.
Alexander Skarsgård as Amleth
Alexander Skarsgård plays the protagonist of the film, the prince Amleth. Amleth undertakes a journey to save his mother and kill his uncle in an attempt to avenge his father, whom his uncle killed when Amleth was a boy. Skarsgård first rose to popularity, maybe somewhat coincidentally, on the television show True Blood in the role of Eric Northman, nicknamed “the Viking” since his character was a Viking before he was turned into a vampire. Skarsgård is not to be confused with his father Stellan Skarsgård or any of his brothers, as at least three of them are also actors. (His brother Bill played Pennywise in the newest It films). Alexander Skarsgård played Tarzan in the 2016 film The Legend of Tarzan, which was directed by David Yates, and also made an award-winning turn as Perry Wright in Big Little Lies.
Anya Taylor-Joy as Olga of the Birch Forest
Anya Taylor-Joy, who was in director Eggers’ first claim to fame, The Witch, stars as Olga of the Birch Forest in The Northman. Taylor-Joy also starred in the M. Night Shyamalan-directed film Split in 2016 as well as the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit. The character Taylor-Joy plays in The Northman, Olga of the Birch Forest, is a sorceress who helps Amleth on his quest to avenge his father.
Nicole Kidman as Queen Gudrún
Nicole Kidman is probably best known for playing the role of Satine in Moulin Rouge!, the 2001 film directed by Baz Luhrmann, and perhaps more recently for her role as Lucille Ball in Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos. Kidman plays Queen Gudrún, the mother of Amleth and Queen to King Aurvandill before he is slain. Amleth’s main goal, aside from avenging his father, is saving the Queen from the clutches of his uncle. Kidman previously worked with Skarsgård in Big Little Lies, in which she played his wife, so it will be interesting to see her in the role of his mother.
Ethan Hawke as King Aurvandill War-Raven
Ethan Hawke plays King Aurvandill War-Raven in The Northman. The plot of the film hinges on the King’s death, as Amleth ultimately tries to avenge it, so it’s likely that Hawke’s screen time will be quite limited. Hawke is well-known for his roles in the 1997 film Gattaca, directed by Andrew Niccol, the role of Jesse in the Before series, and as Jake in the 2001 film Training Day. He can currently be found playing the primary antagonist in the Disney Plus series Moon Knight.
Claes Bang as Fjölnir the Brotherless
Claes Bang is a Danish actor who starred as Dracula in the BBC miniseries of the same name, created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat. Bang plays Fjölnir the Brotherless in The Northman, the uncle of Amleth and the King’s brother. He is the main antagonist of the film and the one Amleth needs to kill in order to avenge his father’s death. Bang also starred in a 2017 film called The Square, directed by Ruben Östlund.
Willem Dafoe as Heimir the Fool
Willem Dafoe will be playing Heimir the Fool, a jester of some sort. It’s no surprise that he’s appearing in Eggers’ newest film, as he previously starred in The Lighthouse. Dafoe is perhaps best known for his role as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin in the Spider-Man series, most recently in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Pixar fans will also remember him as the voice of Gil in Finding Nemo.
Björk as the Seeress
Björk is perhaps better known not for being an actress, but rather a musician. The Icelandic singer has been an active musician since 1975 and has earned a total of 15 Grammy nominations. She plays the Seeress in The Northman, a woman who can see the future. Whether or not her prophecies come true, however, remains to be seen.
Kate Dickie as Halldora the Pict
Kate Dickie is one of the many cast members of The Northman who also held a role in the HBO series Game of Thrones. She played Lysa Arryn on the hit show, the Lady Regent of the Vale and aunt to the Stark children. In The Northman, Dickie plays a character named Halldora the Pict and not much is known about her. Dickie recently played the Queen in the 2021 film The Green Knight, directed by David Lowery, and also played Katherine in Eggers’ The Witch.
Oscar Novak as Young Amleth
Oscar Novak plays the young version of the main character, Amleth. Interestingly, this is not the young actor’s first role, as he played Jeremy Poldark in the television series Poldark, but what is even more interesting is that Novak also played the younger Bruce Wayne in Matt Reeves’ The Batman earlier this year. He will likely feature at the beginning of the film as he witnesses his father’s death and escapes to survive and grow into Alexander Skarsgård.
Gustav Lindh as Thorir the Proud
Gustav Lindh is playing Thorir the Proud, and while not much is known about the character, he might be the half-brother of the protagonist of the film, Amleth. He is a Swedish actor and is perhaps best known for his role in the 2019 film Queen of Hearts, directed by May el-Toukhy.
Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson as He-Witch
Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson is an Icelandic actor who might be best known to audiences for his role in the 2015 film Everest, which was directed by Baltasar Kormákur. He most recently also played Lars in the television series Killing Eve. Sigurðsson plays He-Witch in The Northman, a character shrouded in mystery.
Ian Whyte as The Mound Dweller
Ian Whyte is a Welsh actor who is also a stuntman and former basketball player standing at seven feet and one inch tall. He played a number of roles in HBO’s Game of Thrones, including Gregor Clegane in season two and the giant Wun-Wun in later seasons. Whyte is playing The Mound Dweller in The Northman, and while not much is known about the character, one thing is pretty much guaranteed: he will certainly be tall.
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson as Thorfinnr Tooth-Gnasher
Speaking of Gregor Clegane, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson played Clegane, nicknamed “The Mountain” in the later seasons of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Björnsson is one of the strongest men in the world and has won Iceland’s Strongest Man competition 10 years in a row. He is playing Thorfinnr Tooth-Gnasher in The Northman, and not much is known about this character, either.
Olwen Fouéré as Ashildur Hofgythja
Olwen Fouéré was most recently in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on Netflix ⏤ which was unfortunately not well-received ⏤ where she played Sally Hardesty. She also played Kathryn in the 2015 film The Survivalist, which was directed by Stephen Fingleton. Fouéré plays Ashildur Hofgythja in The Northman.
Ralph Ineson as Captain Volodymyr
Ralph Ineson also starred in Eggers’s earlier work The Witch. Ineson is known for playing the role of Amycus Carrow in the Harry Potter series as well Dagmer Cleftjaw in Game of Thrones. He also played Chris Finch in the classic BBC sitcom The Office. In The Northman, he will play Captain Volodymyr.
Murray McArthur as Hákon Iron-Beard
Another Game of Thrones alumnus, Murray McArthur plays Hákon Iron-Beard in the film. In HBO’s Game of Thrones, he played the chieftain Wildling Dim Dalba.
These are the main players in The Northman, but since the film is an epic, they aren’t the only confirmed cast members. What’s interesting about this cast list is how many of these actors have previously been in television series that share the same themes of The Northman, like Game of Thrones, Vikings, and Black Sails. In smaller roles, The Northman will also feature:
- Katie Pattinson as Shield-maiden
- Ian Gerard Whyte as Thorvaldr Giant-Crusher
- Tadhg Murphy as Eirikr Blaze-Eye
- Phill Martin as Hallgrimr Half-Trol
- Eldar Skar as Finnr the Nose-Stub
- Jack Walsh as Hallur Freymundur
- Elliot Rose as Gunnar
- James Yates as Hrolfur Split-lip
- Edgar Abram as Hersveinn Battle-Hard
- Jack Gassmann as Hjalti Battle Hasty
- Andrea O’Neill as Helga the Nanny
- Rebecca Ineson as Halla the Maiden
- Ísadóra Bjarkardóttir Barney as Melkorka
- Kevin Horsham as Völundur the Smith
- Seamus O’Hara as Audunn the Irish
- Scott Sinclair as Grimr Skull-Hammer
- Nille Glæsel as Gunnhildr Ship-Breasted
- Jonas Lorentzen as Eysteinn
- Ineta Sliuzaite as Valkyria
- Jon Campling as Standard Bearer
- Helen Roche as Hofgythja
- Faoileann Cunningham as Kormlöth
- Joel Hicks as Fengr Shield-Biter
- Chris Finlayson as Grani Battle-Screamer
- Eric Higgins as Ketill the While Sided
- Doa Barney as Melkorka
- Matt Symonds as Ragnar Cold-Mouthed
- Luca Evans as Ivan
- James Harper-Jones as Vasill
- Thomas Harper-Jones as Stanislav
- Sheila Flitton as Lyudmila
- Lily Bird as Maiden King
With that, we have every cast member and character that will appear in Robert Eggers’ The Northman, which arrives in theaters on April 22, 2022.