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Web Animation / The Saga of Biorn

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"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.

The Saga of Biorn contains examples of:

  • Accidental Hero: It's pretty clear Biorn doesn't give a rat's ass about the nuns, he just wants to die fighting the troll eating them. That doesn't stop the nuns giving him a Christian burial for driving it off.
  • A Good Way to Die: What Biorn is looking for; dying in battle and not dying of old age.
  • All Myths Are True: Biorn's approach to the afterlife represents various religions, including the gates of Valhalla, a Chinese pagoda, an Egyptian gateway, Fluffy Cloud Heaven, and others.
  • All Trolls Are Different: In this case they're blue, skinny, and taller than a church, so it looks more like an ice jotunn.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The Axe Warrior's polearm. He twirls it upwards, and it promptly chops down every single tree around him. The trees then fall 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.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The Fat Warrior comes lumbering towards Biorn, and it seems obvious the ground is going to give way under them. Then a giant eagle scoops the Fat Warrior 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.
  • Cel Shading
  • Cosmic Plaything: Biorn is repeatedly denied the one thing he's looking for: an honorable death.
  • 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: A giant eagle that interrupts one of Biorn's fights. It scoops up the Fat Warrior before he and Biorn can clash.
  • Hell of a Heaven: The Christian Heaven is presented as equivalent to the Norse Helheim, the home of the unworthy dead who die of old age or disease. Both are essentially tranquil and unchanging places, exactly what Biorn seeks to avoid. When Biorn dies saving a convent of nuns and they repay him posthumously with a Christian burial, he ends up going to their Heaven instead of his Valhalla.
  • Heroic BSoD: After the umpteenth botched attempt to get into Valhalla, Biorn experiences one.
  • Honorable Warrior's Death: Bjorn is an elderly Viking trying to find some situation where he can die in battle so he can go to Valhalla.
  • 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 new arrivals are given a horned helmet where it would be appropriate as ceremonial 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: Biorn gets a drinking-horn that never runs out when he's about to enter Valhalla! Needless to say he's very excited about it.
  • 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; the Christian Heaven looks exactly like the agonizingly boring Helheim that he's trying to avoid.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Biorn ends up in Heaven eventually... but it's 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!"
  • Plague of Good Fortune: Biorn 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. Biorn 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 would not want anything to do with getting a Christian burial after he falls honorably in battle. 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 Cop: Biorn is essentially attempting this by seeking powerful warriors who can defeat him.
  • 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 it in the eye.
  • Warrior Heaven: The Norse Valhalla.


Video Example(s):


The Saga of Biorn

Biorn was going to Valhalla for dying in a fight defending nuns... until said nuns bury him in a Christian ritual.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / HellOfAHeaven

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