A Valkyrie with braces? The Viking Expert Who Helped Create ‘The Northman’ Explains That Controversial Scene

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 A Valkyrie with braces?  The Viking Expert Who Helped Create 'The Northman' Explains That Controversial Scene

If you’ve gone to see ‘The Man from the North’, the latest from Robert Eggers, you will surely remember one of the most impressive scenes in the film in which a Valkyrie makes an appearance: creatures from Norse mythology whose purpose was to collect the most capable warriors fallen in battle and take them to Valhalla. A question that has arisen among more than one viewer after viewing the scene is: Does the Valkyrie have dental braces?

beings of war

It has been said about Eggers’ film that it stands out for its historical accuracy in certain elements and, in fact, the representation of the Valkyrie has to do with a typical practice in Viking culture.

What the Valkyrie wears is a type of dental tattoo. According to Neil Price, a Viking specialist and consultant on the film: “We know that many Vikings modified their teeth (…) what they did was file horizontal grooves along the front teeth.”

Apparently, it is a practice that was discovered only 15 years ago. Price also says that they filled those grooves with a kind of resinprobably from the trees, which was dark red or black and was reserved only for specific members of society.

Price defines the Valkyries as “servants of the god of war”. He advised Eggers not to reference certain images of the Valkyries, in which they appear in “chain mail bikinis” because “we have this idea that they’re beautiful women and that sort of thing (and they actually became that in later poetry where everything was Christianized a bit) but originally were unleashed on the battlefield, they represent what war is“.

The characterization of the Valkyrie in ‘The Northman’ includes other elements such as a helmet and a cape, which is closely linked to another aspect of Norse mythology: the change of shape. This is represented in the figure of the swan, an animal related to this feature: “It is seen in the film very briefly: there is a trailing cape of white feathers (…) She also has a swan on her helmet (the helmet is fictitious)”.

‘El hombre del norte’ continues on billboards, still being among the most viewed since its premiere on April 22.

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