Valhalla Rising is a 2009 film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Mads Mikkelsen. The film takes place in 1000 AD and follows a Norse warrior named One-Eye and a boy named Are as they travel with a band of Christian Vikings in pursuit of a Crusade. It has been suggested that they may have instead voyaged west to North America. The film was shot entirely in Scotland.
Chapter I Wrath
A mysterious mute Norse warrior named One-Eye is held captive up above in misty highlands. He is forced as a prisoner to be pitted against other criminals and mercilessly fight to the death. One-Eye continues to survive each fight, ruthlessly slaughtering his enemies by the numbers. While imprisoned, a young boy named Are tends to him regularly, bringing him food and water.
One-Eye is shown to have the ability to foresee events in his dreams. A dream of him bathing in a pond leads him to discover an arrow on the bottom of a water bed. Using the arrow, One-Eye breaks free, slaughters the group and places the head of the warden on a pike.
Chapter II Silent Warrior
With One-Eye leaving the land, he soon realizes that the young boy, Are, is pursuing him in curiosity. Together, they reach a small settlement of Crusaders, Christians ready to embark on a crusade to Jerusalem. The leader of the group, Kare, asks One-Eye to join him. He reasons that one may cleanse his or her soul of sin by committing to the Crusades.
Chapter III Men of God
The Crusaders, One-Eye and Are are seen on a boat destined for Jerusalem. The crew are broken, thirsty and hungry. With no wind for several days, a thick fog shrouds them constantly, preventing them from determining their direction or location. Lost, the crew begins to believe that the voyage is cursed. Some blame the source of the curse to the presence of the boy. Mutiny nearly arises as a crew member moves to murder the boy, however he is quickly killed by One-Eye.
Sensing a change, One-Eye takes a drink from the water around the boat and discovers that the boat is actually in an estuary and no longer at the sea. With the fog dissipating, the crew sees the first sight of land off into the distance.
Chapter IV The Holy Land
Upon landing, to their surprise The Holy Land is not a place of vast empty desert one might expect in the Middle East, but rather resembles the Taiga, with vast forests full of lakes and mountains. The crew sets out to explore the area, finding no animals to hunt, and no food to eat. Nearly starved, the crew continues until coming across some aboriginal burial sites. One of the crew members, Barde, leaves the group to venture on his own.
Upon realizing they have not reached Jerusalem, the crew prepares the ship to depart and head home. While on water, the group is taunted by a single arrow killing one of their men. Terrified, the crew soon realize that they are in Hell.
Chapter V Hell
Upon reaching a nearby shore, One Eye's dreams begin to intensify. He swims to a small island to construct an Inukshuk. Upon returning, One-Eye and the group is confronted by Barde who emerges from the forest naked, with bright blue eyes and covered with strange markings. Barde says he can hear One-Eye's thoughts, and translates that One-Eye is saying they are all going to die. The crew becomes divided, with some trying to attack One-Eye in fear.
Chapter VI The Sacrifice
Arrows from the forest continue to taunt and slaughter ones left behind. Soon after, the band breaks off. Some intend to find friends and relatives scattered in the forest, others intend to stay and die.
Afterwards, One-Eye and Are successfully reach the coastline. They are soon met by a large tribe of aboriginal warriors, who begin to beat One-Eye to death. His final moments are a recollection of the Inukshuk he built, slowly submerging himself into the water with him realizing his future fate.
The tribe leave Are alive and venture back into their native land. The film ends as Are looks off to the coast, with a dream sequence of One-Eye staring back.