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Series / Trapped

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Ófærð, known in English-speaking markets as Trapped, is a Nordic Noir thriller television series created by Icelandic actor and director Baltasar Kormákur. It was first aired in Iceland in December 2015, and on the BBC in February 2016. A second series was broadcast in 2018-9 in Iceland and 2019 in Britain. The first series had the largest budget of any TV series ever made by Iceland.

The first series begins with a dismembered torso washing up in a small Icelandic port just as a regular ferry arrives, leading to suspicions that it might have been thrown overboard from the ship. The chief of police, Andrinote , is a depressive man who recently returned to his home town after his career as a detective in Reykjavik met a disastrous setback. As the investigation begins, a violent snowstorm blows up, completely cutting off the town from the rest of the world.


In the second series, Andri, now back in Reykjavik, is sent back to the town to investigate when activism against a new geothermal plant and aluminium smelter, driven by a mixture of environmentalism and a more toxic stew of racism and Islamophobia, leads to the gruesome attempted murder of a politician. It becomes increasingly apparent, however, that the violence may derive not so much from politics as a tangled web of feuds within and between two families.

Not to be confused with the U.K. kids' game show of the same name.


This series provides examples of:

  • Asshole Victim: Virtually every murder/ suicide victim on this show is one. Geirmundur was a career criminal, arsonist and rapist who was stabbed to death by his rape victim. Hrafn was a corrupt police chief-turned mayor who was part of a conspiracy to commit arson that resulted in the death of a young woman and the unjust imprisonment of her boyfriend, and who covered up a rape - he ended up being burnt alive by the father of his (indirect) victim. Sigurður, who committed suicide while in police custody, was also part of the conspiracy and helped cover up a murder...though granted, he's more of a Jerkass Woobie.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: In the second season, between Atgeir and Gudrun the forensic officer.
  • Beneath Suspicion: The leader of the neo-nazi gang that captured the mayor is the town hairdresser who she was kidnapped just after an appointment with.
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  • Big Bad Friend: Stefan in season two, who deliberately sets up his best friend Vikingur to be blamed for Pawel's murder.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The second season revolves around a deeply divided and feud-ridden family of farmers.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humour: The real-life shipping company Smyril Line gets a lot of promotion through having its name painted on the side of the ferry. However, the series depicts the captain and chief engineer of the ferry as malevolent sex traffickers.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • The ending of the first season. The conspiracy that resulted in all the deaths and tragedy in the series is exposed and the surviving perpetrators are arrested. However, the two individuals who have been (rightfully) been arrested for the two major murderers committed are themselves victims of said conspiracy and their troubles are only beginning (though in Maria's case, she could possibly plead self-defence). Andri's family is torn apart with his ex-wife making her decision to leave town with her new boyfriend final, taking their kids with her, his father-in-law in prison having been arrested by him, and his mother-in-law blaming him for the arrest. On the plus side, certain characters such as the two Nigerian sisters and Hjörtur get more upbeat endings to their individual stories.
    • The ending of the second season. The murders are solved, although the killer ends up shooting himself, which Andri sees as a personal failure. However, three people have been murdered and others left permanently scarred or traumatised. Outside the actual case, Hinrika's and Bardur's marriage is over and Ebo goes back to Ghana to be with his wife and children, abandoning Vikingur. Andri did manage to rebuild his relationship with his daughter though, and Trausti may have got laid.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: One of the Nigerian girls wets herself in terror when she sees the Chief Engineer approaching the house where she's hiding.
  • The Corpse Stops Here: In the second season, Vikingur is left in this situation when Pawel is murdered. Andri almost immediately decides he's innocent, but pretends to believe in his guilt for longer to string the real killer along.
  • Da Chief: Technically, Andri is one, being the town's police chief. A better example though is &A Elig;var, Commissioner of Reykjavík PD, Andri's superior and (implied) mentor.
  • Domestic Abuse: The town's mayor Hrafn frequently beat his wife Kolbrún.
  • Defective Detective: Andri is a depressive guy whose family life is a disaster and has made some bad mistakes in his past.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: Trausti and the mayor in the second season. Supposedly he spent at least part of the night on the sofa, but...
  • Drowning Pit: Stefan tapes Thorhildur up and leaves her in a stream, the water level of which is rapidly rising from rain.
  • Dysfunction Junction
  • Fed to Pigs: In the second season, Gisli and Halla fed the body of their abusive father to the family's pigs after Gisli killed him.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The Captain eventually informs on the Chief Engineer and deliberately prevents him from finding out where the Nigerian girls are hiding.
  • Homage: With its plot centring around family feuds and fugitives escaping on horseback, the second season has a strong influence from Sagas of Icelanders. Some of the less reasonable characters actively compare themselves to wronged saga heroes who found themselves forced into outlawry.
  • Hope Spot: After Asgeir is stabbed at the cliffhanger of episode eight of the second season, we see him still breathing in his car at the beginning of the next episode, and Andri and Hinrika are tracking the car using its police locator. Then they find the car dumped and on fire, with Asgeir's charred corpse in it.
  • Human Traffickers: The Captain and the purported Chief Engineer (actually just a gangster) of the ferry are smuggling African women into Iceland to work as prostitutes.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Used in reverse when Torfi makes a false confession to Finnur's murder. Andri falsely suggests that the victim was killed by having his throat cut, and the confessor promptly agrees, proving that he's lying.
  • Inbred and Evil: Stefan goes completely bonkers in season two, after discovering that he was a child of Parental Incest.
  • Insurance Fraud: The crime that set into motion the events of the series. In 2008, amidst the global recession, the town's elites - namely businessman Leifur, hotelier Guðni and police chief Hrafn, hire Geirmundur to set fire to Leifur's fish factory so that they could collect insurance money. Their plan resulted inadvertently resulted in the death of a young woman, Dagný, and her boyfriend Hjörtur being falsely accused of starting the fire and imprisoned.
  • It's Personal: In the second series, Andri has extra angst about the case as his estranged teenage daughter Þórhildur is dating Aron, the youngest member of the family that it centres around and the son of the victim of the first completed murder.
  • Killed Off for Real: Asgeir is murdered towards the end of the second season.
  • Last Disrespects: At Gisli's funeral, his son Vikingur gets drunk and proceeds to deliver a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to everyone present.
  • Locked in a Freezer: At the climax of the first season Guðni locks Leifur and Andri in the fish factory's cold room and leaves them to freeze to death. They manage to attract attention by burning rags to set off the fire alarm.
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • Andri's is a case he failed to solve back when he was a detective in the Reykjavík PD. A girl went missing and Andri, desperate to find her, is implied to have attempted to beat a confession out of the prime suspect. His then-partner, Trausti reported him. This failure led to him leaving Reykjavík and becoming police chief of a small isolated town.
    • In the second season, we discover that Trausti's is when in the first season a suspect killed himself by throwing himself out of a helicopter, and Trausti failed to stop him.
  • Nordic Noir
  • Rank Up: In the second season, Hinrika, Andri's second in command in the first season, is now chief of police.
  • Rape as Drama: In the second series, after Vikingur drunkenly makes it obvious to everyone at the plant that he's sleeping with Edo, some Jerkass Poles try to gang-rape Edo, believing or pretending to believe that he's a prostitute who was sleeping with Vikingur for money.
  • Reality Ensues: In the first season, Hinrika and Bardur are a happily married Uptight Loves Wild. Then in the second season they split up, because being married to a perma-stoned New-Age Retro Hippie is embarrassing for a police chief and he refuses to change for her.
  • Secret Relationship: Vikingur is having a secret gay relationship with his workmate Edo - Vikingur is openly gay, but they're keeping it secret because Edo has a wife and children back in Ghana and is afraid that he'd be murdered if his sexuality became known in his homophobic home country.
  • Self-Immolation: The second season begins with Gisli attempting to assassinate the Minister for Industry (who is also his sister) by burning both of them alive. He dies and she survives.
  • Sex with the Ex: Andri with Agnes.
  • Snow Means Death. The premise of the series is murder in a town that's cut off from the outside world due to typically Icelandic violent snowstorm. Death ensues!
  • Wrench Whack: Gisli beat his father to death with a spanner.


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