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Film / Pathfinder

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Pathfinder is a 2007 film directed by Marcus Nispel.

Around 1000 AD, a Viking tribe lands in what is not yet called North America, looking to establish a colony and wipe out the local "skraelings". Instead, they are themselves wiped out by a band of native warriors, all except one child, a little boy called "Ghost" by the tribesmen for his paleness.

Cut forward 15 years, and Ghost (Karl Urban) is an outsider in the tribe. A new band of Vikings, led by Gunnar (Clancy Brown) and Ulfar (Ralf Moeller), arrives and wipes out most of Ghost's tribe. Ghost escapes, suffering an arrow wound in the shoulder as he flees. He winds up with the Pathfinder (Russell Means), shaman of a neighboring tribe, and the Pathfinder's beautiful daughter Starfire (Moon Bloodgood). Eventually Ghost leaves to take revenge on the Vikings, Starfire coming with him.


Remake of a 1987 Norwegian film, Pathfinder. 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...

  • Always Chaotic Evil / Barbarian Tribe: The Vikings.
  • 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.
  • Black Speech: The Vikings speak Icelandic, but in a guttural manner and the intonation is all wrong.
  • Brown Face: Averted! The film employed several native American actors such as Russel Means, Nathaniel Arcand and Duane Howard to play the native Americans.
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  • Climbing Climax: The climax 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.
  • Horny Vikings: Frank Frazetta-style vikings, all clad in black and helmets with massive horns.
  • I Have No Son!: Ghost's father disowns and beats a 10 year old Ghost for not cutting down a baby.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: Ralf Möller's charcter attempts to kill the hero and then wants revenge.
  • The Mentor: Pathfinder in the remake.
  • 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.
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  • Title Drop: The titular Pathfinder is the shaman of the neighbouring village.
  • Translation Convention: 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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