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Film / Pathfinder

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Pathfinder is a 1987 Sami-Norweigan action film. It takes place in 1000 AD in Finmark in northern Norway and deals with a Sami boy named Aigin who's family is killed by a band of marauding Chudes. The film is loosely based on Sami-folktales. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

In 2007, a lose American remake was released, directed by Marcus Nispel. It kept the time period, but changed the setting to North America. The Sami where replaced by Native Americans, and the Chudes by visiting Vikings. Throught the plot is different, there are some noteworthy correspondences in the adaptation.

Neither film is related to the novel of the same name by Orson Scott Card, or the series of role-playing game manuals and related fiction.


Tropes employed in...

    open/close all folders 

    Both films 
  • Always Chaotic Evil / Barbarian Tribe: The Chudes in the original and the Vikings in the remake.
  • Black Speech: The Chudes speak a made up language. In the 2007, the Vikings speak Icelandic, but in a guttural manner and the intonation is all wrong.
  • Climbing Climax: The climaxes involve dangerous cliff scaling.
  • Fake Native American: Moon Bloodgood as Starfire. While she is amercan, she anglo-korean, not native. Also counting is Clancy Brown and Ralf Möller as Gunnar and Wulfar who are not Icelandic. In the original, the Icelandic Helgi Skulason plays a Chud, who where probably a Finnic people.
  • The Mentor: Raste in the the original and Pathfinder in the remake.
  • Title Drop:
    • In the original, the Chudes need a pathfinder
    • In the remake, the titular Pathfinder is the shaman of the neighbouring village.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: The Scarred Chud, who corresponds to Ralf Möller's charcter in the remake. Both characters attempt to kill the hero and then wants revenge.

    The 1987 film 

    The 2007 film 

  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Quite a few: Starfire, Wulfar, Wind In Tree, Blackwing...
  • Barbarian Hero: Ghost, who is visualised quite similarly to Conan the Barbarins, through more lean. The imagery takes some clear cues from Frank Frazetta, making it no small wonder the Nispel made a straight on Conan the Barbarian film a few years later.
  • Braids, Beads and Buckskins: How the natives are portraited.
  • Brown Face: Averted! The film employed several native American actors such as Russel Means, Nathaniel Arcand and Duane Howard to play the native Americans.
  • Horny Vikings: Frank Frazetta-style vikings, all clad in black and helmets with massive horns.
  • Mighty Whitey: The one to defeat the evil vikings is, Ghost, a Norseman left behind by a previous raiding party.
  • The Mountains of Illinois: Supposedly takes place around the area that will once be New York and there sure are a lot of mountains.
  • I Have No Son: Ghost's father disowns and beats a 10 year old Ghost for not cutting down a baby.
  • Translation Convertion: Modern english stands in for the language the natives around modern New York would have spoken while modern Icelandic stands in for old norse.

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