Mosfell, a mound by the churchyard, 2 achealogists digging in the loam searching
for the legendary bones of EGIL Skallagrimsson, viking warrior of the 850 -
1000 AD’s, believed to have been born with Paget’s disease.
In the earth they strike it rich! Egil’s bones. They unearth his huge scalloped
bone skull. As the archeaolgists dust off the dirt, the skull becomes
alive with light and it speaks.
I am Egil Skallagrimsson norse warrior. Who dares to defile my
The shocked archeaologists raise the heavey skull skyward. The skies open and
lightening and thunder plummet striking Egil’s skull as his voice moves across
the landscape of Mosfell. Quickly the two men place the skull on the wall of the
abandoned churchyard and step backward out of sight.
(The voice is booming.)
So, you want to know my people? I will tell you the real Viking story.
Early morning sea-mist rolls across the lowland winter hills of Mosfell,
Iceland. The year is 1000 AD.
Two large blue-black ravens dart at each other in mid-flight, joosting for the right
to carry one shiny silver coin. Spiraling silver lights surround the ravens moving
them toward the wall of the churchyard where sits a large scalloped human skull:
Egil’s ravaged skull.
The two sleek black ravens dive bomb with efficiency at the large skull. The
first raven jets through the large gapping eye socket. The second raven pauses,
drops the coin on the wall in front of Egil’s chin, then hops through after,
disappearing inside Egil’s skull.
EXT. WINTER NORWAY – MID MORNING
Two ravens, dull as night, emerge from a silver spiraling light. The grey
sky glows, edgy with cold. The two omens land in the top of a sparsely leafed tree near the plains by the river Hvita. The cawing ravens spy a ball game played by young boys, surrounded by a gathering of people.
EXT. VIKING DWELLINGS - MID MORNING
A short distance away.
(Preparing his horse.)
Egil eager to go to the ball game grabs at THORD.
Take me to the games with you.
Alright. Hop up behind me here.
EXT. THE TALL TREE TOP - DAY
The two clicking ravens watch the horseman and large boy ride into the crowd. Egil dismounts and races to the group of boys. The players are divided into
teams. Egil is paired against a boy named GRIM.
Grim, several years older than Egil, is strong. The game begins, Egil appears
weaker than Grim. Grim seizes Egil and dashes him roughly on the ground.
You will suffer for this if you do not learn how to behave.
Egil jumps to his feet and leaves the playing field.
Egil is a baby. Egil is a sissy.
Quickly Egil finds Thord in the crowd.
I got knocked down by Grim. He said I did not know how to behave.
He told me I will suffer!
I will go with you. We will take our revenge.
Thord hands Egil an axe he is holding. Together, they walk to where the boys play their ball game. Grim catches the ball and runs. The other boys chase after him.
Egil runs straight to Grim. He drives the axe into his head, right through to the
brain. Egil and Thord turn, and walk back to their people.
EXT. VIKING FAMILY DWELLINGS BORG, NORWAY- DAY
A Norse village in the year 850 AD.
Thatched with sod roofs, and log sidings, stand long low buildings, the homes of the norsemen. Villagers are busy with activities; women cook over a fire, a stack of wood is nearby, animals and children run about, a black smith is dueling with his fire and iron. Another group prepares animal skins for wear. A large loom sits. Its woven project sits.
INT. VIKING FAMILY DWELLING BORG, NORWAY –DAY
Inside the family long house, a husband and his wife tend to a baby.
My father is Skallagrim and my mother is Bera.
The woman who holds the baby, kneels. Over them, the man sprinkles water upon the babe. The baby is large, ugly, and has a mass of black hair.
Three years later, the child is 3. He is overly large, still ugly, strong and looks 7. He is
talkative with a gift for words. He is difficult during games and in play with other children.
Skallagrim prepares to go to a feast at a neighboring farm. Egil wants to go.
Papa, I want you to take me. They are my relatives too!
You are not going. You do not know how to behave around heavey
drinking. You get into enough trouble when you are sober!
Disruntled, Egil watches the group ride away. This does not stop Egil from getting a
horse, and riding after them. He trails them thru the sticky slushy marshland, often loosing sight of the group amist the trees and knolls.
Egil arrives late in the evening at Alftanes farm. He enters the room and finds everyone
drinking and being noisy.
Come in Egil. Why are you so late?
My father does not want me here. He said I am trouble.
Here Egil, sit beside me. Have a drink. Speak up with verse.
I have come in fine fettle to the hearth
of Yngvar, who gives men gold from the glowing
curled serpents bed of heather;
I was eager to meet him.
Shedder of gold rings bright and twisted
from the serpents realm, you’ll never
find a better craftsman of poems
3 winters old than me.
(mumbles, the repeated verse)
The next day Yngvar rewards Egil for his verse by giving him 3 sea shells and a duck’s egg.
Hail young Egil. I wish to give you something. Here, for your
fine poem: three sea shells and a duck’s happy.
Egil looks pleased, takes the gifts and runs off to play.
Later that day they have all gathered again to drink and Egil cites a second poem.
The skillful hardener of weapons
that peck wounds gave eloquent
Egil in reward three shells
that rear up ever silent in the surf.
That upright horseman of the field
where ships race knew how to please Egil
he gave him a fourth gift
the brook-warblers favorite bed.
Egil’s poetry is wildly acclaimed. He rode home on horseback with his father.
EXT. THE BALL GAMES PLAYING FIELD - DAY
Thord and Egil walk back to their people. A third Chief Oleif Hjalti surged to help the Borg. The two groups parted since the other group is outnumbered.
INT. VIKING FAMILY DWELLING BORG, NORWAY- EVENING
Egil enters the room. He tells his father about the ball game. His father looks indifferent.
You have the makings of a true Viking. You will be put in command of
My mother said,
I would be bought, a boat
with fine oars,
set off with Vikings
stand up on the prow,
command the precious craft
then enter the port
kill a man and another.
EXT. WINTER BALL GAME BORG, NORWAY - DAY
Egil, now twelve, is bigger and stronger than grown men. His strength and power can beat all of them. At twelve, Egil takes part in many games. Thord was twenty by then, and they took sides against Egil’s father, Skallagrim.
At a winter ball game in Borg, Egil and Thord side against Skallagrim. Skallagrim is tired so they rest, and then resume play. Egil and Thord are loosing the game, but Skallagrim has so much strength, he seizes Thord, dashes him to the ground crushing him by the blow. Thord dies on the spot. Then he seizes Egil.
Egil’s foster mother, BRAK watches. She yells at Skallagrim.
You attack your own son; my foster-son. You are like a mad beast
At this, Skallagrim releases Egil and charges after Brak. She fled with Skallagrim in pursuit. They run to the Digranes Cliffs. Brak runs to the edge of the cliff and jumps into the ocean to swim away. Skallgrim picks up a huge boulder and throws it. The boulder lands, and strikes her between her shoulder blades. The woman nor the boulder come back up.
This place I now call Braks Sound.
The people still living, return to Borg.
INT. VIKING FAMILY DWELLING BORG, NORWAY - DAY
Skallagrim and other household members sit down at table. Egil is furious. When Egil walks into the room he goes right up to Skallagrims favorite helper who is in charge of the farm workers and Skallagrims farm.
In one single blow, Egil strikes and kills him. Then he takes his seat. All winter the father and son do not speak to each other.
EXT. BRAKS SOUND NORWAY OCEAN -DAY
THOROLF, Egil’s brother has returned from Iceland after a winter there. Now he is preparing his ship for a spring voyage departing from Braks Sound. Thorolf is getting ready to sail. Egil wants to go but he has to get his fathers permission.
I want to go aboard with Thorolf.
Have you discussed the matter with Thorolf?
No, I have not.
You must do so first.
Egil found Thorolf and raised the subject.
I want to go with you.
There is no chance I will take you with me. Your own father does
not feel he can manage you in his house. I do not feel confident
taking you abroad with me, because you will not get away with
acting there, the way you do here.
In that case, neither of us will go.
EXT. BRAKS SOUND COAST OF NORWAY - NIGHT
That night a fierce storm arose. In the pitch of dark, when the tide is high, Egil snuck down to where the ship floated. Egil stowed aboard walking around the awnings. He chopped through all the anchor ropes on the seaward side of the ship. He rushed to the gangway, pushed it out to sea and cut the moorings holding the ship to the land. The ship drifted out into the fjord of Braks Sound.
Thorolf and his men realized the ship was drifting. They quickly jumped in another boat, but the wind is so strong they cannot do anything. Thorolf’s ship drifted over to Anadakil and wrecked itself on the spits.
Egil traveled back to Borg.
Egil was condemned by people for the trick he played on Thorolf.
I will not hesitate to cause Thorolf more trouble and damage
if he continues to refuse to take me with him to Iceland.
EXT. THOROLF’S VIKING SHIP BRAKS SOUND SUMMER - DAY
Thorolf and Egil sail off in the longship that summer to Iceland. Onboard Thorolf took the axe that Skallagrim had given to him and he threw it overboard. So that it will never come up again.
EXT. HORDALAND – DAY
Thorolf and Egil landed their ship. They set off for Sognefjord where Thorolf went to see BJORN to ask his daughters hand in marriage. Her name is Asgerd.
Welcome Thorolf. Come join us. Stay as long as you like.
Bjorn, I have come for a special purpose, to ask you for your
daughters hand in marriage.
I am in favor of this. The matter is settled. I accept your pledge to
marry my daughter Asgerd. We shall have a wedding and a feast
this autumn here on our farm.
When the time came for the wedding celebration and feast, Egil fell ill and could not attend. Egil recovered from his illness and became bored. He wanted to do something. The manager of the farm and the farmhands is named Olvir. Olvir is leaving to collect the rents owed to Thorir, the landowner.
I want to go with you.
Olvir has plenty of room on his ship and welcomes a man as fine as Egil to join them. Egil took his weapons, a sword, halberd and buckler. Their ship sailed but rough weather
with strong unfavorable winds arose. They proceeded vigorously, rowing when they needed to, but got drenched.
EXT. ATLOY ISLAND – EVENING
KING EIRIK owned a large farm there. It is run by a man called ATLOY-BARD. He is a good steward, serving the King well. He is well liked by King Eirik and QUEEN GUNNHILD.
Olvir and his men haul their ship up above the shoreline and went to met Bard at the farm.
We are here to collect the rents due Thorir.
INT. FIRE-ROOM - NIGHT
Yes, well you are drenched. Come into my fire-room. Let us
dry your clothes. Sit.
All the men put back on their dry clothes.
Now we lay the table here. I know you must feel like going to bed.
You must be exhausted after the soaking you had.
Olvir is pleased at the idea. A table is laid and they are given bread with butter and large bowls of curds.
It is a shame there is no ale in the house to give you the welcome I
prefer. You will have to get by with what there is.
Olvir and his men are very thirsty and they drink the curds. After this Bard serves them whey and the men drink this also.
INT. MAIN ROOM-NIGHT
King Eirik and Gunnhild arrive in Atloy the same night. For them, Bard had prepared a feast. A sacrifice is being made to the disir. It was a splendid feast, with plenty to drink
in the main room.
Where is Bard? I can not see him anywhere.
Bard is outside. He is serving his guests.
Who are these guests that he feels more obliged to attend to than
be in here with us.
It is Thorir the Hersir’s men.
Go immediately and call them in here!
INT. FIRE-ROOM – NIGHT
The slave burst into the fire room.
Come quickly. The King knows you are here. He wants to
INT. MAIN ROOM – NIGHT
Drowsily the men jam into the main room. King Eirik is seated in the high seat.
Come Olvir. Sit at my table opposite me. Men, take a seat there.
King Eirik waves the men to sit down the table. Egil sits next to Olvir. More ale is served. Many toasts are drunk, with each toast involving an entire ale-horn. The night wears on. Many of Olvir’s companions are incapacitated; some of them vomit in the main room. Others luckily made it out the front door.
Bring more ale. Drink. Drink more. One more drink all
Egil takes the drinking horn from Bard that he is trying to give to Olvir.
I am clearly very thirsty.
Bard gives him another full horn at once.
Here drink this one too.
Egil takes the horn.
You told the trollwomen’s foe
you were short of feast-drink
when appeasing the goddesses:
you deceived us, despoiler of graves
You hid your plotting thoughts
from men you did not know
for sheer spite, Bard:
you have played a bad trick on us.
Do not mock me Egil. Get on with your drinking.
Egil kept on drinking. He drank every ale-horn handed to him and all those meant for Olvir too.
Bard is now getting embarrassed. Bard walks over to the Queen.
This man is bringing shame to us. He claims to still be thirsty, no
matter how much he drinks!
Queen Gunnhild and Bard mix poison in Egil’s drink. Bard makes a sign over the drink, hands it to a serving woman who is ordered to give it to Egil. Egil suspects fowl play so he takes out his knife, stabs the palm of his hand with it. Then he takes the drinking horn and carves runes on it and smears the runes with his blood.
from the ale that Bard blessed.
The horn split and shattered and the drink splashed out on the straw. Olvir is near to passing out, so Egil gets up and leads him to the door. Egil swings his giant cloak over his shoulder and grips his sword beneath the cloak. They reach the door. Bard chases after them and holds forth another drinking-horn.
Here Olvir, drink one last farewell toast.
I am feeling drunk, and the ale
has left Olvir pale in the gills,
I let the spray of ox-spears
foam over my beard.
Your wits have gone, inviter
of showers on to shields;
now the rain of the high god
starts pouring upon you.
Egil takes the horn and tosses it away. He grabs hold of his sword and draws it forth. It is dark in the doorway. Egil thrusts the sword so deep into Bard’s stomach that the point
comes out through his back. Bard falls down dead. Blood is pouring out of Bard’s wound. Oliver drops to the floor spewing vomit. Egil runs from the room.
EXT. THE FARM- PITCH DARK
Egil dashes away from the building and the farm.
INT. MAIN ROOM - FIRELIGHT
People scattered from the room. They see Bard and Olvir lying on the floor together. They imagine they killed each other. King Eirik asks for a light and he can see Olvir is lying unconscious in his own vomit. The King sees Bard is dead, the floor awash in his red blood.
Where is the huge man who drank all night?
He went ahead of Olvir.
Search for him. Bring him to me.
EXT. THE FARM – NIGHT
The men look around the farm but do not find Egil.
INT. FIRE-ROOM – FIRELIGHT
The King’s men entered the fire-room where they had eaten earlier. Olvir’s men are scattered on the floor and up against the wall.
Has Egil been here?
He ran in, took up his weapons and gone back outside.
INT. MAIN ROOM – FIRELIGHT
He was here. He got his weapons and ran away.
Men. We must act quickly. Take all the ships that are on the island. Tommorrow dawn we will comb the whole island and kill that man.
EXT. SHIPS ON BEACH – NIGHT
Egil headed for the beached ships, but there were lots of people there. All night he kept moving, searching for a ship. He could not find a ship anywhere.
EXT. PROMONTORY OVER LOOKING OCEAN – DAWN
At dawn Egil stood overlooking the ocean. He saw an island off the shore across a very long strait. He decided to swim for it. He took off his helmet, sword, and broke the head off his spear, and threw the shaft out to sea, and then wrapped his weapons in his cloak to make a bundle. All this he tied to his back. Then he leaps into the sea and swims without
stopping all night until he reaches the island.
EXT. SAUDOY ISLAND – MORNING
Saudoy is covered with low shrub. Livestock of all kinds are kept there: cows, sheeps, horses, all from the king’s farm on Atloy. On land again, Egil wrings out his wet clothes and makes ready. The morning sun is shining.
At first light King Eirik had combed Atloy in his search for Egil. He is not found.
The king sent his parties to other islands also.
EXT. SKIFF ON OCEAN – LATE EVENING
12 men were sent by skiff to Saudoy to look for Egil and bring back some livestock for slaughter.
EXT. SAUDOY – EVENING
Egil saw the skiff approaching Saudoy. He lay down in the shrubs hiding before the ship landed.
9 men head for shore. They split up into search parties of 3 each, leaving 3 men to guard the skiff. When the search parties went behind a hill, Egil quickly made his way to the waterfront and along the beach. The men did not notice Egil until he was on top of them.
Egil kills one of the men with a single blow. Another ran away up the slope. Egil swings at him, chops his leg off. The third man leaps back into the skiff and pushes it out to sea, but Egil grabs the moorings, pulls the boat back in and jumps into it. They exchange a few blows and then Egil kills him and throws him overboard.
EXT. THE OPEN OCEAN - MOON LITE NIGHT
Egil picks up the oars and rows the boat away. He rows all night and all day, not stopping until he reaches Thorir the Hersir.
EXT. – ATLOY FARM – DAY
Olvir and his men took time to recuperate after the feast. When they felt better, they set off for home. The king allowed them to leave.
EXT. – THORIR’S FARM – DAY
Olvir got home before Egil. Thorolf and Thorir were already home.
I went to collect the rents but instead of paying, Bard served us
all from the drinking-horns. Bard and the Queen mixed poison in Egils drink.
Egil drank the most and somehow Bard was
killed. King Eirik thinks that Egil killed him. But Egil ran away and we do
not know where he is.
Thorolf and Arinbjorn are very upset at this news. They did not expect Egil to return.
INT. MAIN ROOM – DAYLIGHT OF MORNING
Egil is discovered lying in his bed. When he hears of this Thorolf gets up to see Egil.
How did you manage to escape? What else happened on your travels?
I applaud your deeds Egil. It is my father’s duty to make terms with the king.
People might well agree that Bard deserved to be killed.
(with more weight)
But you Egil, have inherited your family’s gift for caring too little about
incurring the king’s wrath, and that will be a great burden for most people to
bear. But I will try to achieve a settlement between you and King Eirik.
INT. KING EIRIK’S HOME – DAY
Thorir visited the king to speak to him. Arinbjorn and Egil stayed at home to watch out for themselves least they met the same fate as Bard.
King Eirik, I am here on behalf of my kinsman Egil and am proposing pledges
for the judgement you may pass.
King Eirik is still furious and so it is impossible to have a discussion
My father is going to be proved right. He told me no pledges can be made on
behalf of those kinsmen. Make certain Egil does not stay in my realm for long.
But for your sake, Thorir, I will accept money for the death of these men! I shall set the compensation for these men as I see fit.
As you see fit King Eirik.
Thorir left for home. Thorolf, Egil and Arinbjorn stayed the winter together and were well treated.
EXT. LONGSHIPS – SPRING TO SUMMER
Thorolf and Egil equipped big longships and took a crew raiding in the Baltic that
summer. They won a huge amount of booty and fought many battles and the same summer they went to Courland where they lay offshore for a while.
They offered the people a fortnight truce and traded with them, and when the truce was
over they started to plunder again.
They preferred to raid attractive places. They landed on a beautiful estuary with a large
forest. Ashore they split into parties of 12 men. They walked through the woodland and it was not far until the first settlement began, fairly sparse at first.