MOVIE REVIEW: ‘The Last King’ aka ‘Birkebeinerne’ (2016)

J.M. Aucoin . 13th Century, History 1580 2 Comments

The Last King Birkebein movie posterThe Last King (originally Birkebeinerne) is a fun historical adventure film starring Jakob Oftebro as the lead Skjervald and Kristofer Hivju (everyone’s favorite Wildling warrior) as Torstein. They’re just two post-Viking era bros trying to save the king. Y’know. The usual.

Here’s the synopsis:

Based on true events, THE LAST KING is set in civil war-ravaged Norway. Aided by rebel group the Birch Legs, the Norwegian King fights for survival against the Church’s Bishopsmen, who seek to supplant the throne. On his deathbed after falling ill, the King soon welcomes a son, born in secrecy, as half the Kingdom wants him dead. Tasked with guarding the only remaining heir to the throne, two Birch Legs warriors, Skjervald and Torstein, escape with the infant and must traverse treacherous landscapes to protect their future King.

The film is currently on Netflix, but you can also purchase it on Amazon.

Having watched this movie last night, the best way I describe this movie is if Three Men & a Baby was a buddy-cop movie in medieval Scandinavia with a dash of James Bond thrown in. I’ve never seen so many ski chase scenes in my life. For realz.

The Last King Birkebein movie

There was definitely a lack of diaper changing scenes…

The movie is all in Norwegian, but there are subtitles for those who don’t speak the language. I don’t know much about this era to know how much of it is rooted in actual history, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless. The fight scenes are well done and the ski chase scenes (yes, multiple) are exciting. It also had me excited for winter.


Highly recommend this film if you’re looking for a relatively under-represented time period and culture.

J.M. Aucoin

Author. Fencer. Sometimes actor. Full-time nerd. I write swashbucklers & historical adventure novels.

Comments (2)

  • Beorn


    Wait…what?!?!?! A Viking movie I have not heard of. Let’s fix this right now!


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