This Netflix series is in Norwegian but it can be watched either dubbed or with subtitles.
Warning – It contains a couple of scenes of animals being killed which some may find disturbing. There are also a few fist fights. You see them coming so it’s easy to look away and they don’t last long, except one fight in the last episode that is a little longer but even that only lasts a few minutes. There’s also full male nudity at one point from both the back and front but you can’t see his genitals. It’s rated 15 in the UK.
Brothers Magne and Laurits return to the town of Edda with their mother Turid after living elsewhere for years. The town is said to be the last town to convert to Christianity and the location of the final battle between the gods. Magne is dyslexic and his mother tells the school he has had a problem with his temper in the past. As they arrive he helps an elderly gentleman with an eyepatch start his mobility scooter. His wife brushes his forehead and Magne finds he no longer needs glasses and he is incredibly fast and strong.
Magne makes friends with Isolde, an eco warrior who suspects the local factory, Jutul Industries, is polluting the water despite the town being marketed as one that reveres nature. The factory is run by Vidar, and his wife Ran is the school headmistress. Their children Fjor and Saxa are the most popular students. There is something odd about the Jutul family and they rule the town, denouncing anyone and anything that speaks against them. Magne’s growing abilities worry them, and he and some other residents start to ask questions about the water supply.
The most striking thing about this series is how low-key it is. It’s a slow burner and although each episode is only half an hour, and there are six, it feels longer. It’s not what I expected, I thought it would play up on the mythology aspects a lot more, but it’s just as much about the environmental issues. It would be possible to remove all the mythology and still have an interesting show, just not one I could review for Norsevember! It’s kind of part political statement and part fantasy retelling and it’s an intriguing mix that’s a little more complicated than I’ve implied but I don’t want to spoil anything.
It definitely won’t be for everyone; if you’re looking for a mythological retelling you’ll possibly be disappointed at the relative lack of action and if you’re looking for a realistic drama the mythology might put you off. I quite liked it although I couldn’t watch the whole series in one go.
I thought Laurits would have a different role but the actor is good and his character mixes with the other students realistically. All of the actors have decent chemistry and play their parts well, particularly those playing Gry, Saxa’s best friend and Saxa herself, as well as Magne. Laurits even resembles Tom Hiddleston, who played Loki in the Marvel films, which I can’t help think was deliberate even though Laurits isn’t given any abilities himself.
It has been commissioned for another series and I’ll be keeping an eye out for it. I didn’t love it, but I liked it enough to watch the next series.