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So I'm superstitious, but you don't eat bread because there's evil spirit Gluten in it?

"Don't go to sleep tonight, robbers! Here come Detective Motherless and her squires! We'll grab the city by the balls and bring evil to its knees!"
— Urd, after deciding that a police siren isn't good enough
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Beforeigners is a Norwegian series that explores the ramifications of time holes that periodically deposit people from the past into the present day. Created by Anne Bjørnstad and Eilif Skodvin and premiering on HBO Nordic on 2019 August 21, the first season ran six episodes, and in 2020 it was confirmed to be renewed for a second season, which aired on December 2021 with another six episodes. It is currently available in international markets on HBO Max with English subtitles.

For two decades now, the time holes have deposited "timeigrants" from the Stone Age, the Viking Age, and the 19th century into the present day. The time holes are said to be a global phenomenon, but the series focuses exclusively on the city of Oslo. The series is also a Police Procedural, focusing on veteran police detective Lars Haaland as he is paired with rookie cop Alfhildr Enginnsdottir, Oslo's first police officer of "a multi-temporal background" to investigate the murder of a supposed Prehistorian woman, which in turn leads them deep down the rabbit hole.

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This series provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Alfhildr, Urd, and Ada. The first two are former shieldmaidens (to the point of Urd mocking Alfhildr for claiming she was a farmer's wife, as she's utterly clueless about household duties) and the latter is a retired military operative, with all the training it brings.
  • Allegory: The timeigrants are an allegory for the plight of refugees in the real world.
  • Already Met Everyone: The Völva reveals she met Alfhildr already when they were both still children and that's how she knew about the "bright vest", rather than Tore ever mentioning it.
  • Arc Villain: Jack the Ripper/ John Roberts is the lead villain of season 2.
  • Ascended Meme: In-universe, John Roberts embraces the "Push it back in the water" meme as his actual misanthropic take on life and humanity.
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  • Bad Future: The season finale of season 2 features an alternative timeline were the Völva and Olaf Haraldsson rules a theocratic Norway. To hammer it further it's color corrected to look like The Handmaid's Tale.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: The "Scotland Yard team" turns out to be two imposters, who had juuuust enough creditentials to simply waltz into the Oslo police investigation and then carried the rest on mere bluff, playing along with the real police. By the time anyone has any sort of suspicion, they are long gone from the scene.
  • Beneath Suspicion: Alfhildr manages to enter the main police station thanks to being a cleaning lady there in the alternative timeline. There is barely anyone there to pay any attention to her in the first place, while she's rummaging through the case files to get a clue she needs.
  • Big Eater: Alfhildr eats more than a coal miner and is always eager for more.
  • Brain Bleach: Lars points out even if Alfhildr will delete the related video, he will still be unable to delate his own memory of being peed on by her.
  • Brick Joke: It has a rather fast pay-off in just two scenes and for quite a morbid joke, but still. One of Sturla's friends end up stuck in seatbelts, since he never used them prior. As result he stays in car and the other two Norse fellows end up taking Gregers for Lars and pick a fight with him - all while the only person capable of identifying Lars is struggling to get out of the car.
  • Buddy Cop Show: He's a single dad with a secret drug problem. She's a Norse shieldmaiden. Together, They Fight Crime!
  • Butt-Monkey: Played both for drama and laughs with Gregers. In season one, he's taken for an addict and the source of temproxate the girls were high on during their accident, while it was all Lars fault. In season two, he ends up taking a beating that was aimed at Lars. In both cases, he takes his troubles with amazing amount of patience and grace (and even considers the fight he was in a matter of defending family honour), even if in both cases he has every reason to be angry at Lars.
  • By-the-Book Cop:
    • Despite his drug problems, as an officer on duty, Lars is very strict and follows all the protocol, for better or worse. This is why the opening case is even a case to begin with - his colleagues just wanted to report it as a random drowning and go for a lunch.
    • Alfhildr really, really tries to be this, but whenever things go hairy - and they often do - she switches into a Cowboy Cop. Which is still an improvement over her rather hot-headed private personality.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Season one as whole a is pretty whimsical Buddy Cop Show with few dramatic bits here and there. Season two is the exact reverse proportion - the humour is significantly toned down and less frequent, while dramatic tension takes the foreground.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Alfhildr's patronymic Enginnsdottir, meaning "no man's daughter" turns out to be one, as she was discovered as a child by Tore Hund after she appeared in the Oslofjord out of nowhere after going through a time hole in reverse.
  • Cringe Comedy: The series gets an entire mileage from having Fish out of Water set-up for variety of jokes and comedic situations.
  • Color Wash: The alternative timeline was not only deliberately filmed during different season, but the resulting footage was then desaturated, giving it the dull coloring.
  • Conlang: The Mesolithic language is a full-blown conlang created by the show's writers.
  • Contemporary Caveman: Referred to as "Prehistorians", they come from the Mesolithic Age.
  • Couch Gag: In the opening titles, Lars drives through the city, and Alfhildr is either walking through town or riding with him as they see various effects of the timeigration on the city and people, such as:
    • Stone Age people sitting in trees, spearfishing in a river, squatting on a concrete spillway eating the fish
    • A Victorian man riding a penny farthing bicycle; another riding a horse and cart, while listening to music on headphones
    • Homeless timeigrants in government-supplied outfits sleeping in a park, passing time on grass verges, drifting about in a sensory-overloaded daze
    • Two Victorian women riding an electric scooter
    • Street signs with added runes for the benefit of Norse people
    • Graffiti reading "The past is the future" and "BEFOREIGNERS GO HOME" with the response "OK, men vordan?" (more or less, "OK, but how?")
    • A Stone Age man in a loincloth carrying bags of shopping, including a large pack of toilet rolls
    • The episode set in London takes note of various commercials aimed at Victorians and a prehistoric man in the Beefeater uniform, standing guard. The London Eye has a massive "out of order" sign on it and judging by the state of it, for quite a while.
    • The final episode of season 2 has glimpse of the theocratic hell-hole Norway became under Olaf: armed guards everywhere, people in stocks, harassment of random people by police and ever-present crosses. Even the music is altered to a choral performance.
    • Alfhildr looks at at an ancient ruin of a church as they drive past it, possibly contemporary to her time or even destroyed by her people.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: During one of the investigations, the only witness Lars and Alfhildr end up having is a young girl, who not only just landed in modern times, but is also stoned on sedatives in the arrival center. So when the girl describes a traditional Norse sea-monster as what captured the victim, Lars instantly assumes she must be just scared and tripping, while setting up Alfhildr to chase after the monster lead, knowing she will make an ass of herself during a briefing. What they both realise on their own is that the girl was telling the truth, but what she took for a monster was simply a trawling net, giving them a very solid lead in their investigation.
  • Daddy's Girl: Ingrid, Lars' daughter, is consistently sticking with him and they have a genuine bond going. There is also the fact how overbearing Marie, her mother, can be at times.
  • Defective Detective: Not as dramatic as other examples, but Lars is a divorced drug addict with little to no personal life.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: One of the running themes and source of both comedy and drama. The timeigrants rarely embrace modern sensibilities and if so, only to a limited extent, leading to a lot of clashes with modern people - and often also modern law.
  • Drink-Based Characterization: Olaf REALLY likes milk, bordering on Trademark Favorite Food. This also creates a strong contrast with all the heavy drinking all other Norse characters do.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Olaf Haraldsson has a rather... spotty care for driving safety and who has the right of way. This culminates in him attempting to snort a line of coke while already driving angry and ignoring signs, leading to a crash that badly wounds him and kills the Völva.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Well, modern drugs are bad. While Vikings getting high on shrooms is mostly played for laughs and they do it purely recreationally, Lars addiction to temproxate is shown for all its destructive effect. And it's not the drug itself (since it's a medical-purpose sedative), but how it destroys Lars' relationships, put his friends and family in danger and slowly drives him to do more and more reckless things just to get another fix. He also quickly slips down the slippery slope once resigning from police and having no more distractions from doing more drugs. This is all done with surprising amount of tact, but the message is still clearly there.
    • Pretty much all the problems that happen to Olaf the Stout, down to nearly dying in a horrible car crash (which he has no less due to trying to snort a line), are fueled by his quickly growing out of any control addiction to cocaine.
  • Dying as Yourself: Urd's desire to do this is why she refuses to undergo chemotherapy, as she believes it will sap her of who she is. She gets her wish when she takes a bullet for Tore Hund before the cancer can get her.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • The Völva and Olaf Haraldsson are as strange bedfellows (and almost literally so) as they go: she's an Old Faith witch and a seer, he's a Catholic saint and a Knight Templar, but they both hold their personal grudges against Tore Hund.
    • Ben Joseph couldn't care any less about the cause of the Neo-Luddites, but they are helpful for his own cross-time chase after Jack the Ripper, creating an uneasy alliance.
  • Eternally Pearly-White Teeth: Both played straight as well as subverted. While quite a few beforeigners have rotten teeth, others have a strangely healthy set. It becomes a plotpoint later on when Madde swims through the waters where timeigrants usually appear, vanishes beneath the waves and reemerges mere moments later (with a bunch of timeigrants in tow), with her teeth being completely rotten - an indicator that there was more to her disappearance than her just being submerged in water for a few seconds.
  • Evil Luddite: There's an entire terrorist group of these, founded by beforeigners from the 19th century, who were the original deal. The Neo-Luddites are successful enough at what to do that they managed to disrupt the entire Internet by preventing clocks from syncing with each other, but it's also mentioned the actual luddites from 19th century are so incompetent with any modern technology, the usual result is a hilariously failed attempt at vandalism.
  • Fantastic Drug: Temproxate. Originally developed to treat sensory overload in timeigrants, it is also illegally trafficked and sold as a recreational drug. It has addictive properties, as Lars deals with a temproxate addiction for much of the first season. As the drug is stereotypically associated with timeigrants, it's not uncommon for them to be falsely accused of being drug dealers, unfortunately.
  • Fantastic Racism: Timesism. There is considerable prejudice against the timeigrants. Most Prehistorians and Norse are homeless, and even the 19th-century arrivals are often accused of drug trafficking for no reason.
  • Fantastic Slur: "Viking", of all words. They prefer to be referred to as people of Norse descent, and "the V-word" is considered offensive.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Olaf Haraldsson is a power-hungry, rather self-centered guy that would stop at nothing from fulfilling a prophecy that saw him as "a king reborn from water", which he interprets as it fits him. All his actions, both past and present, are just faux pleasantries and equally hollow acts, as he never meant a single word of playing the nice guy or the religious icon, seeing it all as mere means to achieve his goal.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Lars starts as probably the biggest enemy for Alfhildr in the force, being stuck with the last partner he could possibly want to get. She pays back in kind, up to the point of blackmailing him with his addiction. Over the course of the series, however, they get much better, to the point Alfhildr admits Lars is the only friend she has in the police.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Quite possibly the Central Theme of the series are the timeigrants dealing with a society centuries more advanced than their home.
  • Friend on the Force: Inverted with Alfhildr and her timeigrant friends. When she badly needs a search party, she just gets them on premise to help locate the murder site, before rain will wash everything away. Lars later helps Alfhildr to present the final result in much more professional light, reporting things like "use of traditional hunting techniques" and "borrowed trained tracking dog" from "local timeigrant community".
  • Get It Over With: Alfhildr is pretty sceptical about the Völva, especially when she gets really pushy about having sex. But eventually just sighs and decides to play along, drinks up a drink she knows to be laced and rolls with everything that follows.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Isaac Ben Joseph was admitted into a mental hospital after arriving to 21st century to discover that all of his descendants were murdered in The Holocaust.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Inverted. Everyone is perfectly fine with Ingrid having an abortion after turning out pregnant from a one-night stand, especially since it's so very early into the pregnancy. She's the only person that has second thoughts about it. She ultimately decides to keep the baby.
  • Good Stepmother: Gender-flipped. Gregers is a good step dad to Ingrid and they seem to be doing remarkably fine, all things considered. And he's proud as hell when she tells him she's glad he's around.
  • Going Cold Turkey: A reliable way of dealing with temproxate addiction. Alfhildr mentions she spent a week strapped to a bed and simply sweating it out, while Lars neighbour, who used to peddle him the drops, is aware of a herbal treatment to ease on the process.
  • Hands-Off Parenting: Part of the reason why Ingrid prefers Lars - he's always supportive to her, but for the most part, she's allowed to act freely and to make her own choices, which is heavily contrasted with how pushy and judgemental Marie can be.
  • Helpful Hallucination: Lars starts to see Kalv, thinking at first he's a real guy. It escalates in the second season.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Urd puts herself in the way of a gun meant for Tore Hund, earning herself a place in Valhalla.
  • Hidden Depths: Wenche is a four times champion of the East Norwegian Police in track shooting.
  • Hiding Behind the Language Barrier: After being confronted in a gym by Lars over his threats to Ingrid and managing to de-escalat the situation, Sturla Arnesson decides to call him "that whore's father" in Norse to a friend. Unfortunately for him, Alfhildr is there, too, and Lars forces her to traslate. The end result is Lars losing his temper and cold-cocking Sturla with a 5kg lifting weight.
  • Historical Domain Character: Tore Hund and Olaf the Stout. Jack the Ripper joins the crowd in season two.
  • Horny Vikings: In the Nordic countries at least, the arrivals from The Low Middle Ages are these. Just don't call them the V-word.
  • Hot Witch: The Völva maintains glamorous looks intentionally, being an avid practicioner of Sex Magic. That and being really damn vain.
  • Hypocrite: After just doing a line of coke, Olaf tries to talk back to Madde over wearing trousers - she instantly calls him out, but for him, the whole argument is just a mere excuse to get rid of her.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Deconstructed. Othilia Winther, the Victorian-era reporter, , while doing her job in the perfectly appropriate fashion for her times, from modern perspective practices blatant yellow journalism and her sensation chasing does nothing good to anyone. This particularly backfires on her in season two, when both Isaac Ben Joseph and Jack the Ripper intentionally keeps giving her sensational clues, knowing she will stir up a frenzy over them.
  • Idiot Hero: Less of a fool and more of "lacking full, formal education". Alfhildr is as competent as she has to be in her police job and is really good at it, but many trivial things and basic knowledge are beyond her or need to be explained to her. Almost all of it is played for laughs, but she cause an awkward pause when asking what Holocaust is.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Played for Laughs. When winding off after a hard day with Wenche in the shooting range, Alfhildr puts all five bullets through the exact same hole. However, since the shot was just too good to be true, she herself doesn't believe it and agrees that Wenche won their competition.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Played for Laughs. Regardless of timeline, one of Sturla's friends get his left eye either burned with a pipe by Gregers, or punched and swollen by Alfhildr.
  • Insult of Endearment: Wenche starts calling Alfhildr "Alfie", first to dismiss her, but it eventually morphs into endearing territory.
  • Irony: In a bar, a bunch of neonazis are listening to a German song they clearly don't understand, but that mentions "Deutschland" a lot. Said song is "Keine Überdosis Deutschland" (no overdose of Germany) and has decidedly left-wing lyrics.
  • It Gets Easier: In one of his flashbacks, a clearly shell-shocked teenage Tore is assured by his father that he will get used to "it". "It" means raiding settlements. Considering the sort of reputation he gained later on, the old man was right.
  • Kavorka Man: Jack the Ripper of all people. Despite how creepy and rather unappealing he is, he easily gets laid and finds female companionship even easier.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Alfhildr is admitted to the police force and instantly assigned to a homicide unit, simply because the police badly needs a good PR after recent blowback from what appears to be a hate-fueled timeigrant murder. She turns out to be surprisingly good at her job.
  • The Lad-ette: The only thing that makes Alfhildr not be mistaken for a guy is her face and her silhouette. She a tomboy that drinks, fights, is a slob and lacks any sort of refinement, while being also the most pro-active of the cops in her division.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Timeigration takes a toll on people's memories. It's also mentioned timeigrants often suffer from various levels of damage to their hippocampus, affecting their ability to form memories in general.
    • None of the timeigrants remember how or why they came here.
    • Tore Hund has lost all of his memories and doesn't regain them until an encounter with Alfhildr followed by an attempt on his life.
    • After Madde's trip through time and back, she has no memories of what happened, only for them to be awakened when Olaf calls her.
    • Olaf doesn't remember the time he spent with Madde until he has a seizure in orientation class.
  • Like a Duck Takes to Water: While they are relatively rare cases, some of the timeimgrants adopt very easily to modern times and mores. There are few outstanding examples:
    • Navn could give Keyrock run for his money. Despite being a Mesolithic hunter-gatherer, he adopts to modern lifestyle with ease, up to establishing both a legit fashion brand and just as successful crime empire, living a wealthy and respected lifestyle with a loving wife and gated mansion.
    • Alfhildr has assimilated to 21st-century society better than most of her contemporaries, to the point she manages to finish a police academy, despite previously being a shieldmaiden. This might be Foreshadowing for having lived in modern times as a child before being stranded in the past and forgetting her past.
    • Othilia Winther, a journalist from 1870s simply continues her job as if nothing really changed. Unlike pretty much everyone from her time period, she nearly completely switched to modern fashion and short from her dated word-choices, nobody would know better she isn't just an eccentric reporter.
    • Olaf Haraldsson is shown having relatively easy time adapting to modern times and even social media, which he uses for his own cause of recognition. This eventually culminates with staging an elaborate legal scheme that will allow him have a DNA checked and compared with remains of king Magnus the Good, his son, something that he would be denied normally.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Like you wouldn't believe. Certain characters seem to always wear the exact same clothes. At least some of them have some sort of in-universe justification for it, but Lars seems to be simply an owner of exactly two shirts.
  • Made of Iron: Alfhildr gets up from her hospital bed after a serious operation and gets herself a soda. This confuses both Lars and her doctor, who were both expecting few days of recovery at the very least, while she's unaware she shouldn't be able to do something like that.
  • Match Cut: 4th episode of second season ends up with one to Munch's The Scream painting, which John Roberts was watching in an art gallery in the opening scene.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane:
    • The old Saami shaman's prophecy: just pure coincidence and random nonsense, or she had a genuine vision of the future?
    • Is Kalv just a figment of Lars's mental illness, or is he actually an avatar of Odin? Season two seems to suggest he - and Odin, too - are just drug-induced hallucinations (although Odin appears as a woman whom Lars has apparently never met, but who turns out to be a real person in the alternate timeline).
  • Meaningful Echo: Early on, after finding a lead Lars throws at Alfhildr half of a huge pile of sale certificates and tax reports to go through, to find their suspect in them. She asks him if this is a joke (especially since he previously set her up with a Snipe Hunt), to which he seriously replies this is what actual police work looks like. Few episodes later, when Alfhildr finds a clue in a different case, she presents an immense workload to all her colleagues in what appears to be searching for a needle in a haystack of medical paperwork. Wenche instantly asks if she went out of her mind, to which Alfhildr repeats Lars' line word-by-word, showing her increased professional dedication (and also calling out the notoriously lazy Wenche).
  • Mental Time Travel: While acting in the alternative timeline, both Alfhildr and John Roberts are lying unconscious in the metro tunnel in real world. Alex access it by some sort of tech gizmo, body-surfing for a short while into his equivalent in that timeline.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: What starts looking like a drowning case escalates to a murder case, which in turn reveals a human-trafficking business, few other murders, a terrorist organisation and two different governmental conspiracies, among other things.
  • Nice Guy: Gregers, with all his old-timey gentleman sensibilities, is also a genuinely nice, responsible and respectful man. It's further contrasted by showing variety of timeigrants to be ultimately bigoted and judgmental, even if on surface level displaying various pleasantries. He's so damn nice, he even has a great stepdad-stepchild relationship with Ingrid and befriends Lars, ex-husband of Marie.
  • No Man of Woman Born: Alfhildr fulfills being "one that is not born", and thus "can not die" - and her patronymic Enginnsdottir means "no ones daughter", too. She survives being stabbed into a neck, then taking out the knife and using it to kill John Roberts. Then she recovers from it within hours. This might be a case of Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane, since there is a highly unlikely chance for such a wound not being fatal, but she still recovers from it too fast and too easily, leaving her doctor stupefied.
  • No Name Given: The Völva is never given a name. She's only referred to as (the/that) Völva.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted. Alfhildr is on her period in the first episode, and she initially stuffs her pants with moss until Lars buys her some sanitary napkins. She describes them as like having a soft kitty in your pants.
  • Noble Bigot with a Badge: Lars, to some extent. He doesn't like the timeimgrants, not so much out of bigotry, but because his wife left him for a Victorian man (and lifestyle), his previously upmarket neighbourhood is now a beforeigner ghetto and he's addicted to temproxate, developed for the timeimgrants.
  • Not Quite Dead: Olaf the Stout didn't die as the history books suggested; instead, he timeigrated to the 21st century.
  • Old Maid: Wenche is an unpleasant, cat-owning woman in her 50s. Pretty much everyone steps on the eggshells around the subject, which she often brings up on her own, specifically to argue with people.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Jack the Ripper’s ultimate goal turns out to be to negate the existence of the human race via time travel, thus eliminating all human suffering.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Gregers has this realisation after calling Ingrid a harlot. He instantly apologises and realising he can further blabber something stupid, excuses himself from the room, being clearly ashamed.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: The modern Norwegians operate under this assumption when they're presenting displays of modern social and sexual norms which are pretty much incompatible with medieval religion to Norse Christians; provoking the question "Is Norway still Christian?"
  • Political Overcorrectness: One of the main sources of humour is the problem Norway is facing when trying to accommodate people from the past and how exactly integrate them into the modern society with its values. This also means doing a lot of PR moves that aren't the smartest, but are intended solely for "feel good" value - including getting Alfhildr to a homicide unit, out of all places they could put the "Viking mascot" into the police force.
  • Population: X, and Counting: There is a tally post in London, keeping track of timeigrant arrivals, both daily and total, within the Great Britain jurisdiction. The current total stands at 5,383,148 people - and that's the recorded number, while there are also unregistered arrivals.
  • Pun-Based Title: before + foreigners = beforeigners
  • Rape and Revenge: Before even admitted into police, Alfhildr tracked on her own a guy from her times who happened to rape her when she was 12. She finally finds a chance to confront him soon after joining the force, beating the guy in a bar's restroom into a bloody pulp before Lars intervenes. The only reason she gets away with Police Brutality charges is because she blackmails Lars on his temproxate addiction and the "victim" is a criminal in modern times, too, so he would endanger himself by pressing charges.
  • Real Men Love Jesus:
    • The current ring champion in the underground fighting arena is a devout Christian. It's implied he comes from the 11th century.
    • Olaf the Stout would be an archetypical example, to the point of being declared a saint. Turns out it's just a sham and a power display, while he just doesn't really care about religion itself.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gregers delivers on to Lars, once he realised he's a drug-addict and all the problems Ingrid and Gregers himself went through were caused by his addiction. Lars admits his failings and then pointedly retorts with everything he finds vile and hypocritical about Gregers, including stealing Lars family.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Three guesses what happens when you end up giving a firearm to someone used to fighting with a sword - and that's after being already professionally trained how to use a gun.
  • Recovered Addict: Lars is this in season 2, doing his very best to stay clean out of temproxate and also regain his police badge. Notably, his hallucinations get only more and more intense as he's longer and longer off the drops.
  • Red Herring:
    • Trine "Ada" Syversen and her entire subplot is nothing what it appears to be. More, she is being framed by the actual perpetrators as a very handy scrapegoat.
    • No, Isaac Ben Joseph isn't Jack the Ripper. He's genuinely chasing the guy through the centuries, but his actual motives and actions are murky enough to make him look suspicious to everyone.
  • Replacement Goldfish: As far as Lars is concerned, Gregers is using his own ex-wife and daughter as replacement for the family he lost when time-shifted. And he might be right, given how Gregers instantly shut-up when Lars chewed him back in their argument.
  • Retired Monster:
    • Tore Hund. He is known in historical records as a cunning and infamously brutal cheiftain and has an in-universe Memetic Badass status among timeigrants from his time period. But when finding himself in the 21st century, he works as a bike courier, delivering food and lives a very mundane life with a modern wife and a young daughter. While the series toys for a while with the concept this might be just a result of his amnesia, as he keeps regaining his past memories, he sticks to his far more peaceful and calm persona.
    • Ada used to be a highly-trained military drone operator. When she eventually was discharged from service and realising what kind of things she was really doing with few button presses, she joined a luddite cult as sort of penance and a way to deal with her severe PTSD. How much of it was genuine is to be seen in second season.
  • Sex Magic: The Völva claims she will be able to see into Alfhild's past by having sex with her. Alfhildr asks if this is true, or the Völva is just a "horny lesbian". The völva incredulously asks how one excludes the other.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: The Plucky Comic Relief trio that was hanging with Urd and Alfhildr in season one is nowhere to be seen later on and not evem mentioned again. Meanwhile Lars' Mesolithic neighbour is reduced to a background extra.
  • Shown Their Work: The show's creators have an academic background in lingustics and sociology, and they used that expertise and their connections with the linguistics community to create the Mesolithic language and make sure the depiction of Old Norse was as realistic as possible. Per Word of God:
    "Old Norse is very well documented in the sagas, we know how the language was, but we do not know how it was pronounced. Therefore early on, I contacted researchers, professors who helped us. We also constructed the language that stone-age people spoke, and even with the language from the 19th century: We worked on it to make it sound right. We also had a language coach to help actors on set. The full process was long. But then, people do spend time on costume and make-up. Why not invest in language, which is such a big part of a person’s identity?"
  • Sleepwalking: Timeigrants suffer from this a lot, particularly those with memory issues. Alfhildr case is mostly played for laughs, especially when she sleep-walks in just her underwear and pair of sun glasses to her job, but this does get her in trouble with the health department and she starts to look for a treatment.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Played for laughs - Lars is afraid of planes and flying, but tries to pretend he's not. Alfhildr, a timeigrant from 11th century who has never flown before, eventually asks if holding his hand will make it easier for him.
  • Slut-Shaming: As part of being a massive Jerkass, Sturla Arnesson first threatens Ingrid with lethal consequences if she has an abortion, but in the same time has no qualms to call her a whore when talking with his friends. Unfortunately for him, Lars overheard it and completely lost it, bashing Sturla's head with a lifting weight and knocking him cold.
  • Straw Nihilist: John Roberts was apparently always pretty misanthropic, even before being part of Project 19 and starting to travel through time. However, that experience made him just plain Misanthrope Supreme.
  • Super Senses: It's implied to be a by-product of the same weird brain activity patterns that allow certain individuals to travel back in time. Both John and Alfhildr are capable to see things in such slow motion, it allows them to Dodge the Bullet.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: For a series with such outlandish premise, it still dabs into Police Procedural territory (despite technically being a Buddy Cop Show). Most notably, the presence and amount of paperwork that accompanies investigation - not for the sake of jokes, but to show the actual effort it takes from the officers to solve a case. Almost all clues and cases are solved by tediously digging through huge piles of unsorted and at first glance unrelated documents, like national registry of boat certificates or medical records of thousands of people. On more personal level, Lars follows the protocol to the letter, even if this often creates additional obstacles, because the end result are confessions and evidences that are legit and can't be easily shaken off due to technicalities - and every time he or Alfhildr break said protocol, they face realistic consequences.
  • Take a Third Option: Let the cancer kill you or undergo debilitating therapy that may be worse than the disease itself? Urd chooses to perform a Heroic Sacrifice instead.
  • Talk About the Weather: Since Alfhildr has only the most basic grasp of English, when Lars leaves her alone with two Scotland Yard agents, she awkwardly mentions it is raining outside - a phrase she just mastered on their flight to London.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Borderline, since Ingrid is 19, but it's treated like the standard case in-universe.
  • They Fight Crime!: He's a contemporary detective with a variety of reasons to dislike the beforeigners, and she's a Viking shield-maiden joining him on the force.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Lars' only realises he's having hallucinations, rather than Kalv being real, by the end of the first season, but he remains unsure if this is just his drug addiction, going insane or an actual old gods intervention. In season two, his hallucinations are pretty unreliable, bordering on Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane. He himself dismiss them just as a result of his brain being either on or depraved of a "fix" of temproxate and acts accordingly - which means ignoring them. However, when we finally got to see the situation from Alfhildr perspective when Lars actually has to get high, it is revealed Lars is in fact Off the Wagon and was probably high most of the time, and the Helpful Hallucinations he's having are mundane and exist only in his mind, while he's the real actor behind them. This includes having a god-damn hacker server build in the basement of his apartment building, without having any recollections of it when sober.
  • The Topic of Cancer: Urd is suffering from cancer, and her agony over the debilitating effects of any treatments for cancer lead her to delay seeking treatment and participate in increasingly reckless behavior.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Heavily downplayed, but still present. Alfhildr is trying her very best to both fit in and be a good police officer. Her friendship with Urd, and thus by extend other rowdy Vikings, is having bad effect on her professional performance. And general ability to stay sober. However, this is predominately used for comedic purposes and this friendship oftentimes pays off in positive way.
  • Troll: When tracking the final of the three girls that could have expose him, Jack the Ripper trolls her and the 19th century priest accompanying her by playing along their exorcism, shaking in convulsions, gagging and falling on the ground unconscious. When they start to congratulate each other over defeating the monster, he just casually stands up and tells them he simply couldn't resist the urge to mess with them.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Alfhildr is female and a timeigrant (Norse, on top of that), which makes her a perfect candidate to get hired as a PR move by the police department. She's only mildly aware of her status.
  • Unfazed Everyman:
    • The "Saracen" social worker that handles Olaf. Given his literal job is handling time-travellers and their outlandish claims, it's not hard to see how he developed such attitude.
    • Lars develops this sort of "relationship" with his hallucinations, just rolling with them as part of his life, rather than being freaked out.
  • Unishment: Lars and Alfhildr are taken off the Ben Joseph case... only to be assigned instead to a murder of the tarotist killed by the actual "Jack the Ripper".
  • The Unpronounceable: Exaggerated. While Norse names tend to be tongue-twisters, Alfhildr's name isn't really the case. Still, while presenting her to the team, the police chief managed to mis-name her four times, including after she corrected him. Twice.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Unlike John Roberts, Alfhildr lacks both sophistication and sheer training needed to control her Super Senses, but that doesn't prevent her from using them.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: It is made blatantly clear from the start that Olaf the Stout is nowhere near the saintly figure that got ingrained into Norwegian history. More, he actively milks that image for his own goals and seems to be really good at PR, regardless of era he's working in. However, it doesn't last forever, since, you know, the guy is now around and more and more people are figuring out what he really is. The final nail comes in form of Madde revealing his drug issues, which instantly melts any sort of credibility Olaf worked for.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Alfhildr and Wenche become this in season 2.
  • Wham Episode: Both seasons end with one:
    • In the first, we find out that it's possible to go back in time using the time holes, Alfhildr was born in modern times, Madde spent a considerable amount of time in the past, Olaf the Stout is alive in the present day, he's friends with Madde, Kalv is more than just a temproxate-induced hallucination, and Urd dies to save Tore Hund.
    • In the second, it's reveal at least few different governments are perfectly aware of the ability to time travel in both directions, which they hide from the public and are using for their own goals. Alex, one of the cops, is revealed as a plant to Oslo police as part of said conspiracy. Lastly, Alfhildr is revealed to be the very pregnancy Ingrid is carrying and part of some Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane prophecy that makes it for her literally impossible to die.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Almost said verbatim by Gregers after he and Marie googled Ingrid's one-night stand, only to find he's not only a Viking, but also a dumb meathead working as Mr. Fanservice weatherman. As far as she's concerned herself, it was nothing more than a random one-night stand, so she doesn't actually see anything in him.
  • Woman Scorned: While crying herself after being dumped, Madde's friends comfort her and eventually ask her to simply go for blood after the jerk. One of them asks if she simply has some dirt on Olaf - and she goes through with it, revealing his drug problems by sending cops to his place. This undermines pretty much all of his plans as a result, since he instantly becomes a Persona Non Grata.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: The alternative timeline created by the vortex moves at much faster pace than the default world - it's mere minutes to everyone outside, but Alfhildr spend there few days.
  • You're Insane!: After hearing his Motive Rant and being asked for help with his omnicidal plan, Alfhildr is left completely unphased and simply calls John Roberts "one crazy fuck".

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