The Last King

Norway | 2015 | 100 minutes | Nils Gaup

Set in the vast snowy wilderness of 11th-century Norway, this epic action adventure, based on historical legend, is like "Game of Thrones" on skis, as two members of a warrior clan raise swords and arrows to protect the infant heir to the throne.

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Norway, 1206. The frigid nation is riven by heated factional conflict, and Håkon Håkonsson, the infant pretender to the throne, is in danger in hostile territory: "Today a harmless child—tomorrow our mightiest enemy." How to get him to safety? By ski—a treacherous winter journey through snow-blanketed forests and over mountainous terrain, undertaken by Skjervald (Jakob Oftebro, Kon-Tiki) and Torstein (Kristofer Hivju, "Game of Thrones"). Based on a true tale (even today commemorated by annual ski races in Norway and Wisconsin), the Norwegian title of director Nils Gaup's epic, Birkebeinerne, literally means "birch legs"—Håkon's intrepid rescuers are members of a warrior clan who, legend has it, wrapped birch bark around their calves and feet in lieu of shoes. Grab your popcorn and get ready for swordfights on skis, breathtaking chase scenes on skis, archery battles on skis—plus sweeping, snowy, Warren Miller-like vistas plus stunning Northern Lights shots plus an adorable baby in a backpack, all wrapped up in this two-fisted, red-bearded, hairy-chested, fur-clad hunk of history.

Director Biography
Nils Gaup was born in northern Norway, home to the indigenous Sámi people. He began his career as an actor, graduating from The Norwegian Theater Academy in 1978. He is well known for his film Pathfinder, which has received acclaim from audiences and critics alike and was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film in 1988.

Sponsored by Cupcake Royale

  • Original Language Title: Birkebeinerne
  • Director: Nils Gaup
  • Principal Cast: Thorbjorn Harr, Jakob Oftebro, Kristofer Hivju, Pal Sverre Hagen
  • Country: Norway
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 100 minutes
  • Producer: Stein B. Kvae, Finn Gjerdrum
  • Screenplay: Ravn Laneskog
  • Cinematographers: Peter Mokrosinski
  • Editors: Christoffer Heie, Thomas Täng
  • Music: Gaute Storaas
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: The Kautokeino Rebellion (2008); North Star (1996); Head Above Water (1996); Misery Harbour (1999); Head Above Water (1993); Pathfinder (1987)
  • Language: Norwegian
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Magnolia Pictures