Ever since it was first announced (or at least when it was given a release date), Robert Eggers’ historical thriller, The Northman, has been one of the most anticipated 2022 movies for a number of different reasons. There’s the director’s previous work like The Witch and The Lighthouse, a story inspired by William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, stunning visuals, and one of the most impressive casts put together in recent memory.
If you have been lucky enough to see the new Viking thriller, or are at least planning on experiencing it on the big screen, there’s a good chance you are wondering where you’ve seen members of The Northman cast before. Well, look no further because we’re about to break it down now.
Alexander Skarsgård (Amleth)
Leading The Northman cast is Alexander Skarsgård, who went through a ‘crazy’ transformation in preparation for his portrayal of Amleth, the Viking warrior prince at the center of the film’s narrative.
A member of the expansive and prolific Skarsgård family, the Swedish actor is best remembered for a few of his major roles, with the most notable being on two of HBO’s most popular shows of the past decade-and-a-half. Fans of True Blood will immediately remember Skarsgård’s portrayal of Eric Northman during the show’s seven-season run. And then, Big Little Lies fans will think back to his take on Perry Wright during the show’s run, a role that earned him a Primetime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe, and several other accolades.
Oscar Novak (Young Amleth)
Newcomer Oscar Novak appears in The Northman as the younger version of Amleth before he goes into exile.
Novak got his first big break in show business on the historical drama series, Poldark, on which he portrayed Jeremy Poldark in the fifth and final season. Earlier in 2022, Novak played a younger version of Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne in The Batman.
Anya Taylor-Joy (Olga)
Taking on the role of Olga, a sorceress who joins Amleth on his journey in The Northman, is Anya Taylor-Joy, whose busy schedule has kept her in a number of shows and movies as of late, some of which are earning her a great deal of praise.
By 2022, Taylor-Joy had her most successful performance to date on the Netflix limited series, The Queen’s Gambit, on which she portrayed chess prodigy Beth Harmon and took home several awards, including a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award. She has also appeared in movies like Last Night in Soho, The New Mutants, and Emma in recent years. Taylor-Joy previously worked with director Robert Eggers for the 2015 psychological thriller, The Witch.
Ethan Hawke (King Aurvandil)
Ethan Hawke shows up in The Northman as King Aurvandil, Amleth’s father whose murder sets the young prince on a path of discovery and revenge against those who brought harm to his family and kingdom.
Over the years, Hawke has received multiple Academy Award nominations for roles in movies like Training Day and Boyhood, as well as his screenwriting work on Before Sunset and Before Sunrise. Hawke has appeared in countless movies throughout his career, which goes back to the mid 1980s, including White Fang, Dead Poets Society, Reality Bites, and The Purge. He was most recently on the Disney+ series Moon Knight, where he portrayed the antagonist, Arthur Harrow.
Nicole Kidman (Queen Gudrún)
Portraying Queen Gudrún, the wife of the slain king and mother of vengeful prince Amleth, is Nicole Kidman, who brings years of experience and brilliant acting talent to the expansive The Northman cast.
The Academy Award winner and six-time Golden Globe recipient has spent the vast majority of her career appearing in critically acclaimed movies and shows like Moulin Rouge!, The Hours, Being the Ricardos, Big Little Lies, and The Undoing, but that barely scratches the surface. Over the years, Kidman has also appeared in everything from Days of Thunder to The Others and Batman Forever to Cold Mountain, with dozens of other appearances on the silver screen and small screen.
Willem Dafoe (Heimir)
Willem Dafoe teams up with Robert Eggers again for The Northman, in which he portrays Heimir, a character described as an “impish delight” in CinemaBlend’s review of the revenge thriller. Dafoe previously worked with Eggers on the 2019 psychological horror film The Lighthouse.
The list of Dafoe’s best movies includes everything from his appearances in the Spider-Man movies to The Last Temptation of Christ, and so much in between. Whether it be something like American Psycho, Platoon, or The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, the veteran actor has consistently proven he’s one of the best around. He’s even managed to play one of the best John Wick characters, which is saying something.
Björk (The Seeress)
In one of her rare film appearances, Icelandic singer and composer Björk shows up in The Northman cast as The Seeress, a mysterious fortune teller who foretells Amleth’s destiny from a young age.
Although she hasn’t appeared in all that many movies, Björk is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable faces in the international music scene thanks to her unique vocals, intricate arrangements, and outstanding music videos. However, Björk did receive a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Lars von Trier’s 2000 musical drama, Dancer in the Dark.
Claes Bang (Fjölnir)
Taking on the role of Fjölnir, Amleth’s uncle and the man who is responsible for the death of his father in order to attempt taking over his kingdom, in The Northman is Claes Bang, who looks absolutely frightening in the film's various trailers.
Although most of his career has been spent taking part in various film and TV projects in his native Denmark, Bang has made a splash with international audiences in recent years with appearances on shows like The Bridge, The Affair, and Dracula, on which he portrayed Count Dracula himself. His more recent film roles include The Square, The Girl in the Spider’s Room, and The Glass Room.
Gustav Lindh (Thórir)
Gustav Lindh shows up in The Northman cast as Thórir, one of Fjölnir’s sons who crosses paths with Amleth on his road of vengeance.
Throughout his career, the Swedish actor has appeared in movies like Riders of Justice and Queen of Hearts, and The Circle, as well as a list of TV shows that includes Jordskott, Älska mig, and multiple others released dating back to 2015.
Ingvar Sigurdsson (The Sorcerer)
Taking on the role of The Sorcerer in The Northman is Ingvar Sigurdsson, who doesn’t have all that many English speaking roles but is a major star in his native Iceland.
Over the years, Sigurdsson has popped up in movies like Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, A White, White Day, Lamb, Everest, and One Night in Istanbul, as well as a couple dozen or more roles in Icelandic-speaking movies and shows including Metalhead, Polite People, Undercurrent, The Oath, and Of Horses and Men, to name only a few.
Elliott Rose (Gunnar)
Elliott Rose appears in The Northman as Gunnar, the son of Fjölnir and Queen Gudrún who gets caught up in the bloodshed brought on by Amleth’s return from exile.
Rose’s performance in Robert Eggers’ The Northman is the young actor’s first and only feature film to date. He previously appeared in the 2021 short film, Milk, as well as multiple stage productions in England’s West End, including a musical based on Doctor Dolittle.
Kate Dickie (Halldora)
Kate Dickie shows up in The Northman as Halldora, the latest in a series of projects that have seen the Scottish actress portray characters in historical dramas and her second appearance in a Robert Eggers movie, the first being The Witch.
Most will recognize Dickie for her portrayal of Lysa Arryn, the older sister of Catelyn Stark, on Game of Thrones, making her one of the members of The Northman cast to appear on the popular HBO fantasy series. Dickie’s other notable TV projects include Tinsel Town, The Pillars of the Earth, Peaky Blinders, and The Nest. Her film credits include Prometheus, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and most recently, The Green Knight, in which she played Queen Guinevere.
Ralph Ineson (Captain Volodymyr)
Ralph Ineson is no stranger when it comes to historical dramas of this scale, with his portrayal of Captain Volodymyr in The Northman being the latest in a long line of great film and TV projects from over the years.
Throughout his career, Ineson has portrayed characters like Amycus Carrow in the final three Harry Potter movies, a Ravager in Guardians of the Galaxy, the titular mysterious figure in The Green Knight, and various other movies like Gunpowder Milkshake, Robin Hood, and Robert Eggers’ The Witch. His TV work includes the original U.K. version of The Office, Salvage Hunters, Chernobyl, and Game of Thrones, to name off just a few of his credits.
This is just a portion of the talented actors who take up a spot on The Northman cast, as Robert Eggers’ new Viking revenge thriller is full of great characters throughout its runtime. And, if you want to know what critics are saying about the movie, as well as its cast, check out a rundown of some the reviews so far.
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Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.