You Might Think…

That as a crazy, one-eyed (FYI: eye damage FREAKS ME OUT, and is a phobia I’ve been unable to overcome in art. So if you recommend something to me that involves eye stuff, and I haven’t seen it, that’s why.) tattooed mute Viking, Mads Mikkelsen would be slightly less sexy than he is normally. You would be mistaken:

Mel Gibson was reportedly working on a Viking movie with Leonardo DiCaprio as the central Viking back in March before he torpedoed his career via domestic violence, but I think whatever the plot of that one would have been, and whoever starred in it, the concept behind Valhalla Rising is pretty astonishing. My grandmother and I were discussing the European settlement of North America this weekend and talking about how daring it was for the Pilgrims to sail West. But how much more insanely daring were the Norse voyages across the Atlantic?  A knarr is so vastly less protected than a caravel. The idea of the world was smaller back then. I can see a guy like Mikkelsen’s character having what it takes, even if whatever that was is foreign to those of us who see the whole world as something we can know and understand and reach relatively easily.