Web Animation / The Saga of Biorn
"Some might ask: who is this Viking? And what made him throw a dwarf off a cliff?"
The Saga of Biorn is an animated short created by students of Danish animation school The Animation Workshop.
The plot centres around Biorn, an aged Death Seeker
who's looking for one final battle to send him into the afterlife and join the gods in Valhalla
... but seems destined to be thwarted in his ambition.
Link to the video can be found here.
This work contains examples of:
- A Good Way to Die: What Biorn is looking for, dying in battle and not dying of old age.
- All Myths Are True: As Biorn is given a Christian burial, the gates of Valhalla are replaced by a Chinese pagoda, an Egyptian gateway, and other religions roll by until they settle on Fluffy Cloud Heaven.
- All Trolls Are Different: In this case they're blue, skinny, and taller than a church.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: the Axe Warrior's polearm. He twirls it upwards, and it promptly chops down every single tree around him, causing them to fall down on him and crush him flat.
- Arc Symbol: The symbol of Valhalla appears several times.
- Art Shift: Valhalla and Helheim in the opening are in 2D in an otherwise 3D film.
- Badass Baritone: The narrator and Biorn.
- Badass Beard: Biorn.
- Badass Cape: Biorn.
- Badass Grandpa: Biorn.
- Bait-and-Switch: the Fat Warrior comes lumbering towards Biorn, and we expect the ground to give way under him... then an eagle scoops him up.
- BFS: Two of the adversaries Biorn faces have them. Arguably, Biorn too, depending on how big he's supposed to be. He later gets several made of gold.
- Big Door: Valhalla. In fact, all world religions' equivalents of Heaven have one, reflecting their mythologies.
- Black Comedy: All of it.
- Blade on a Stick: The Axe Warrior's polearm, and the spear that takes Biorn's life, many of the presents he gets before entering Valhalla.
- Cel Shading
- Cosmic Plaything: Biorn.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Valhalla is depicted in dark reds and browns, lit by intimidating torches, and its entrance is a massive wooden door. It is AWESOME!
- Death Seeker: Biorn's motivation is a hero's death which will send him to Valhalla.
- Determinator: Impaled on a rock by a sword, Biorn's response is to stab the Troll in the eye!
- Disney Villain Death: The dwarf thrown off the cliff.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Biorn. It's accompanied by swirling patterns and the symbol of Valhalla in the background!
- Eye Scream: Leaves the Troll running off like a whimpering baby.
- Face Death with Dignity: Biorn simply smiles and closes his eyes...
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: Averted with Helheim - it's more like a big, boring cave.
- Foregone Conclusion:
- At some point, Biorn will die.
- At some point, Biorn will throw a dwarf off a cliff.
- Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Exaggerated, deconstructed, and subverted in the case of Christian Heaven. Biorn ends up reaching Valhalla, only for it to switch at the last minute to Heaven, whose tranquility and lack of booze and sharp objects make it exactly the fate Biorn was hoping to avoid. He is horrified.
- Giant Flyer: The eagle that scoops up the Fat Warrior.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: After the umpteenth botched attempt to get into Valhalla, Biorn experiences one.
- Horny Vikings: Averted. The film, being Danish, uses a wide variety of historically-accurate helmets, none of which have horns. Also, none of the Vikings themselves ever engage in activities associated with this trope. Played straight only in Valhalla, where boozing and throwing weapons around is done for fun, and Biorn is given a horned helmet only as he enters Valhalla, where a ceremonial helmet would be appropriate attire. It has dragons as its horns.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Biorn managed to throw his sword and hit the Troll in the eye, despite being pinned to a rock with a spear.
- Infinite Supplies: Valhalla!Biorn gets a drinking-horn that never runs out! Needless to say he's very excited about it.
- Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: Biorn gets a helmet with dragons as the horns.
- Laughably Evil: All of Biorn's opponents, but honourable mention goes to the Red-Headed Warrior, who somehow manages to stab himself to death by accident.
- Light Is Not Good: as far as Biorn is concerned; Fluffy Cloud Heaven looks exactly like the agonisingly boring place he was trying to avoid.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Biorn ends up in Heaven eventually... the wrong kind of Heaven.
- Nuns Are Funny: They all just look so goofy.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: The main theme for this short - although it's not Latin, it's a growling "hut hut!"
- Our Giants Are Different: The one depicted here is giant-sized and blue, so it looks more like an ice jotunn.
- Plague of Good Fortune: Bjorn is 'saved' from death in battle with several seemingly superior opponents by a series of incredibly unlikely strokes of 'good' luck that kills them before battle is joined. Bjorn starts out amused, becomes suspicious by the third or fourth one, and by the end is reduced to frothing rage over the (un)fairness of it all.
- Post Mortem Conversion: Deconstructed. Biorn is a Norse pagan through-and-through, and does not appreciate being converted to Christianity against his will, especially when it stops him from getting to Valhalla!
- Rated M for Manly: On first impression (it's about a Viking who wants to die in battle and go to Valhalla, after all). Then it gets subverted with comedically weak opponents and the ending.
- Rerouted from Heaven: Or rather, rerouted to Heaven instead of Valhalla.
- Scenery Porn
- Screaming Warrior: Most of the warriors, but especially Biorn, who has a magnificent roar which we hear very often.
- The Speechless: None of the characters speak beyond screams, shrieks, grunts etc., apart from the narrator.
- Suicide By Warrior: Biorn is essentially attempting this.
- The Worf Effect: In-universe. All the opponents Biorn encounters are pathetic adversaries. This does not please Biorn one bit.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Biorn throws his at the Troll and hits him in the eye.
- Warrior Heaven: Valhalla.