[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cover-108906-200-300_4593.jpg]]
-> "''No living persons know it yet, but the gateway to the Kingdom is opening once again''."
-->--'''The OpeningNarration'''

->"''DANSKJÄVLAR!''"
-->--'''Dr. Stig Helmer'''

Riget ("The Realm") is a Danish TV-series created and co-directed by the avant-garde filmaker, Creator/LarsVonTrier. It roots in the MedicalDrama genre, but it also contains copious amounts of [[SurrealHorror surreal]] and ReligiousHorror, dark humor and supernatural events. Entirely filmed on location with hand-held cameras and grimy, sepia-tinted pictures, it has been described by critics as "TwinPeaks meets Series/{{Mash}}".

The setting for the series is the eponymous ''Rigshospitalet'' (The National Hospital) in Copenhagen, with focus on the neurosurgical ward and its employees and their somewhat mundane everyday life. But, as the OpeningNarration expains, something strange is slowly infesting the old building, and it is growing stronger.

Mrs. Sigrid Drusse, an elderly lady with a keen interest in spiritualism, is trailing the source of the disturbances, begrudgingly helped by her son Bulder, who works as a porter at the hospital. Meanwhile war is brewing in the neurosurgical ward between the new, arrogant Dr. Helmer and the more down-to-earth Dr. Krogshøj (AKA Krogen (The Hook)). Helmer has recently botched an operation and is trying to hide the evidence, which will give Krogshøj the advantage. The Head of Department, Dr. Moesgaard is blissfully ignorant of all this as he is busy planning his great reform of the department "Operation Morning Air". Meanwhile his immature son Mogge runs afoul of his professor, the (madly) idealistic Dr. Bondo, after having stolen a head from the morgue and used it for a prank. Dr. Bondo wants to get his hands on a rare tumor in dying Mr. Zakariassen's liver. And when Mr. Zakariassen's family says no, the good doctor is driven to desperate action.

And there is something strange about the pregnancy of Dr. Petersen ...

The series ran for two seasons with a lengthy gap in between. It was never officially cancelled, but the deaths of the actors playing three significant characters prevented any continuation.

An American adaptation, developed by Creator/StephenKing and called ''Series/KingdomHospital'', was created in 2004.

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!!This TV series contains examples of:

* AlmightyJanitor: Krogshøj
* AntiAntichrist: Lillebro
* AuthorAvatar: Trier himself always appears doing the credits to give a closing monologue, in which he usually recaps the plot, delivers some ScriptWank and reminds everyone to: "Take the good with the bad."
* BaitAndSwitchCredits: Usual medical drama credits, with action shots of the regular cast looking tense/concerned/competent interspersed with ambulances and the like. Hang on, why's that OminousLatinChanting there...
* {{Blackmail}}: Krogshøj's speciality. Helmer and Mogge both get to experience it.
* BlindDriving
* BodyHorror
* BrotherhoodOfFunnyHats: Yes, they've got one of these, too. Just [[ItMakesSenseInContext mind your nose, duckling]].
* ButtMonkey: Bulder.
* CatchPhrase: "''Danskjävlar!''"
* ChewToy: Bulder especially - the poor guy can't catch a break. Overall, pretty much half the cast.
* {{Cliffhanger}}: The second series ends with several of these. In the [=DVD=] commentaries, the makers mentioned that it might be just as well that ActorExistenceFailure prevents them from making a third series, seeing as how they had written themselves into a corner.
* CloudCuckooLand: The hospital is pretty much this, in a dark way.
* CloudCuckooLander: Moesgaard Sr., who's blissfully unaware of all the strange things that happens in the hospital and constantly raves about "Operation Morning Air".
* TheComicallySerious: Dr. Helmer, especially when confronted with [[DrinkingTheKoolAid "Operation Morning Air" and other team building exercises]], like everyone at the morning meeting having to announce their presence in song.
* DeadlyGas: [[spoiler: Krüger killed Mary with chlorine gas under the guise of inhalations to treat an imaginary lung disease. At one point we see her ghost exhale green fumes.]]
** [[spoiler: Note that the cut to Mary's ghost exhaling green gas is made right after Drusse realises what happened to her, making this very potent NightmareFuel]].
* DeadpanSnarker: Dr. Helmer and Krogshøj. Sometimes they go head to head.
* DecapitationPresentation
* DoggedNiceGuy: Krogshøj towards Judith Petersen, and Mogge (with a heaping great side of IdiotBall) towards the sleep lab nurse.
* DrFeelgood: Krogshøj extracts cocaine from surplus local anaesthetics and sells it to the other doctors.
* ExternalizingInternalMonologue: ''Thanks, thou watchtowers of Sweden. With plutonium we bring the Danes to their knees.''
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler: Krogshøj]] after his near-death
* FetusTerrible: Judith Petersen's unborn child.
* FlatEarthAtheist: The Sons of the Kingdom, who "plead allegiance to concrete science, and animosity towards the occult in all its forms". While ghosts and demons are running around the corridors in plain view.
* ForScience: Dr. Bondo will do anything to get Zakariassen's tumor. Including [[spoiler: having the diseased liver transplanted into his own body]]. He and his students also repeatedly intone "ForScience" as a group mantra in the second series, complete with collective "thumbs up".
* GreekChorus: The two dishwashers with Downs syndrome.
* GrimReaper: A human-looking version of Death appears at the end.
* TheGrotesque: Little Brother
* HeAlsoDid: Von Trier is otherwise seldom this funny, at least intentionally.
* {{Hellevator}}
* HeyItsThatGuy: Bergman regular Ernst-Hugo Järegård (Stig Helmer), Euro-arthouse fixture Udo Kier, and (if you grew up anywhere in the region) a whole lot of others.
** Lars von Trier actively tried to recruit as many Danish actors as possible from [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/Matador Matador]], probably the most popular Danish television series ever. This includes the actors playing Mrs. Drusse, Moesgaard, Rigmor, and a lot of the supporting cast.
* HollywoodSatanism
* ICannotSelfTerminate: [[spoiler: Little Brother]].
* JerkAss: Mogge was clearly very immature from the beginning, but he really starts to come out as this in the second series.
* LargeHam: Stig Helmer lives this trope and the actor Ernst-Hugo Järegård was a well-regarded ham of Swedish theatre and television.
** He's not the only ham on the menu: the PsychoPsychologist Ole is fond of hamming as well. Dr. Bondo's ham remarkably grows in size when he speaks to his students or colleagues.
* LeftHanging: And HOW! Not only are four plotlines stopped on a massive CliffHanger, but thanks to the death of three vital actors it is highly unlikely that the series will ever get a proper ending.
* LittleOldLadyInvestigates: It's really hard to [[strike: fake your way]] get into the neurology ward, you know.
* LongLostSibling: A few.
* LoveMartyr: Rigmor, [[IfICantHaveYou most]] of the [[WomanScorned time]].
* LukeIAmYourFather
* MadScientist: Dr. Bondo. Check out his little speech to his pathology class about how the dead contribute to the community thanks to having overcome the fear of human contact so sadly prevalent among the living. (This is delivered while standing next to a corpse the students are about to examine ... followed by "Alright, let's get carving", as he reaches for the scalpel). That he's also a twisted version of TheSpock does not help.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: The second season suggests that the first season's "ghost ambulances" were the result of an "ambulance speed record" game involving some of the orderlies and medical students.
* MyBelovedSmother: Mrs. Drusse. She still haven't forgiven her adult son, Bulder, for moving out. Even though it was about 30 years ago, and he moved back in with her after just two weeks on his own.
* NearDeathClairvoyance
* NearDeathExperience
* NeverMessWithGranny: Also Mrs. Drusse. Not technically a granny, poor Bulder having been [[MyBelovedSmother smothered]] too far to stand a chance at such things. He once [[NeverLiveItDown tried to move out]], you know. For about a day. Decades ago.
* NietzscheWannabe: [[spoiler: Krogshøj]] after his near-death experience.
* NightmareSequence: Mogge Moesgaard during the sleeping experiments. Later subverted.
* OminousLatinChanting: The intros have lots of it. ''Obscene'' OminousLatinChanting, if you listen closely. With a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N7iUGqcXLo&feature=related funky dance routine]]. Within the story, [[spoiler: the death of the chaplain in the second series.]]
* OnlyAFleshWound
* OnlySaneMan: Dr. Helmer thinks he is this. Sometimes he may even have a point. [[VillainousBreakdown Other times]], not so much.
* OpeningNarration
* OracularHead
* OrderliesAreCreeps: Averted, as Bulder and Hansen are very nice.
* PoisonedChaliceSwitcheroo: Partly subverted.
* PosthumousCharacter: [[spoiler: [[ManipulativeBastard Aage Krüger]]]]. Many people wish.
* PsychoPsychologist: Ole
* RecklessGunUsage: Rigmor
* RedEyesTakeWarning: Bongo, in the CliffHanger of series 1 ep 2.
* RedRightHand: Krüger painfully grows horns when Mrs. Drusse identifies him as a demon.
* {{Redubbing}}: The abovementioned GreekChorus actors were overdubbed by others, presumably because their Downs syndrome prevented them from delivering their lines satisfactorily.
** Udo Kier was also redubbed. He just delivered his lines in phonetical Danish and was dubbed over afterwards. This was done for both of his roles, but they did have different dubbers for both.
* RefugeInAudacity: When Helmer is caught pretty much red-handed trying to alter the medical records:
--> "You may be wondering what I'm doing here. And do you know, I don't know either? I can't explain at all!"
** Or when he pours everyone coffee while trying to poison Krogshøj and loses track of the fatal cup, and Helmer angrily snatches the coffee away from everyone on the pretext that they are being ungrateful by not drinking it. Even though they were just about to.
* ShoutOut: The spiritist Mrs. Drusse is a character from Danish author Hans Scherfig's novels.
** The name Stig Helmer is the name of the meek protagonist of a Swedish comedy franchise.
* SkywardScream: DANSKJÄVLAR!!! (DANISH F*CKERS)
* TheSocialDarwinist: [[spoiler: Krogshøj]] after his near-death.
* SurrealHorror: So much of it. Do we even have to mention what Dr. Petersen gives birth to?
* {{Understatement}}: "He's been different ever since he came back from the morgue".
* TakeThatKiss: Krogshøj plants one on Helmer. In front of the entire morning staff meeting.
* TitleDrop: In the OpeningMonologue. Look at the quote at the top of the page.
* WorldGoneMad: The whole hospital, pretty much from the get go.

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