The Vikings: Farewell Einar


I want to post briefly about the sad passing of actor Kirk Douglas, aged 103, who played Einar in the iconic 1958 film The Vikings. See his interview about the film from 1958 here.

Einar’s funeral scene remains one of the most memorable and influential filmic death-scenes from any Hollywood historic adventure film. His body is processed aloft on a bier whilst the entire army watch, before being loaded onto a longship and sent out to sea from a rocky coastline flanked by torch-bearing warriors. A single flaming arrow is shot at the longship whilst it is still beside the coast, setting fire to the mast. Next, a group of warriors fire a salvo of comparable flaming arrows, some hitting the ship, others the water, as the vessel mysteriously moves out over the calm still sea. We see a close-up of Einar with flames around him, and then…

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