"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"ERIK THE VIKING"

Screenplay by

Terry Jones



BLACKNESS

Flames begin to lick upwards from the bottom of the screen.
Suddenly all hell breaks loose. Screaming, yelling. Black
figures flash across the foreground, with the flames still
burning behind. There follows a confusion of burning, raping,
killing and looting -- we don't clearly see what's going on.

Suddenly we cut to the interior of a hut. The door is in the
process of being broken down. The camera pans onto the close-
up face of an attractive girl who is staring in horrified
fascination at the door. Her arms are white with fresh dough
and flour.

Suddenly the door bursts open and a wild-looking Viking leaps
into the hut. He holds a sword. He looks around wildly and
then his eyes come to rest on the girl.

This Viking, I'm afraid, is Erik. We are about to see him in
the worst possible light so be prepared. The girl, whose
name is Helga, cowers, and looks terrified but resolute.

Erik glances round.

Then slowly he advances on the girl, forcing her back onto a
chest. Erik holds his sword to Helga's throat with his right
hand, while his left hand searches to find the thongs holding
up his trousers.

He is clearly having difficulties trying to hold his heavy
sword to Helga's throat at he same time as undoing his
trousers. He fumbles and lowers his sword for a moment.

HELGA
Have you done this sort of thing
before?

ERIK
Me? Of course! I've been looting and
pillaging up and down the coast.

HELGA
(looking skeptical)
Looting and pillaging, eh?

ERIK
(on the defensive)
Yes.

HELGA
What about the raping?

ERIK
Shut up.

HELGA
It's obvious you haven't raped anyone
in your life.

ERIK
Sh!

He covers her mouth with his free hand, and looks round to
make sure no one's heard. Then he carries on trying to undo
his trousers, but he is now somewhat more than half-hearted
about it. Helga watches suspiciously.

HELGA
Do you LIKE women?

Erik is clearly shocked and stung by the insinuation. He
stops.

ERIK
Of course I like women... I LOVE
'em.

HELGA
(pointing out the
obvious)
You don't love ME.

ERIK
No... right... this is RAPE... Mark
you, I'm not saying I couldn't get
to like you... in fact... well, to
be quite honest, I prefer it when
there's some sort of mutual feeling
between two people...

HELGA
What -- rape?

ERIK
No. It isn't rape then, is it?

HELGA
Oh, get it over with.

ERIK
(hesitates again)
I don't suppose... no...

HELGA
What?

ERIK
I don't suppose you... you DO like
me at all?

HELGA
What d'you expect? You come in here,
burn my village, kill my family and
try to rape me...

This is too much for Erik. We withers under the irony.

ERIK
I'll kill you if you say anything
about this to anyone.

HELGA
(puzzled)
About raping me?

ERIK
About NOT raping you...

HELGA
You DON'T like it, do you?

ERIK
Well it just seems a little bit crude,
that's all.

HELGA
What about the killing and looting?
That's just as crude, isn't it?

ERIK
Oh well -- you've GOT to do them.

HELGA
Why? Why have you got to go round
killing and looting?

ERIK
To pay for the next expedition, of
course.

HELGA
But that's a circular argument! If
the only reason for going on an
expedition is the killing and looting
and the only reason for the killing
and looting is to pay for the next
expedition, they cancel each other
out.

ERIK
Oh! Stop talking as if we were
married!

HELGA
Well you started it.

ERIK
I just said I didn't feel like raping
you.

HELGA
And I was just saying that rape is
no MORE pointless or crude than all
the killing and looting that goes
on.

Erik vents of his frustration on the already shattered door.

ERIK
Scream.

HELGA
Ah.

ERIK
Louder.

HELGA
Aaagh! Rape!

ERIK
(he'd forgotten about
that)
Oh, thanks.

Two more Vikings burst in with eyes blazing. They have the
very unfortunate names of Ernest and Jennifer, but it doesn't
really matter, for reasons which will become obvious very
quickly. They are also slightly drunk.

ERNEST
Rape?

JENNIFER
Where?

Jennifer the Viking sways and leans against a door post. The
marauder's eyes come to rest on Erik and Helga who are
standing, fully clothed, about six feet apart. They look
slightly puzzled.

HELGA
He raped me standing up.

There is a pause. Erik looks up at Helga. Why has she saved
his face by telling this lie? Jennifer the Viking turns to
Erik.

JENNIFER
You finished, then?

ERIK
Oh... yes... I suppose so...

ERNEST
Right! Me first!

JENNIFER
No! I asked!

Ernest leaps on top of Helga and pins her to the ground.
Jennifer joins in. Erik looks stunned for a moment. Then he
suddenly leaps to Helga's defense.

ERIK
Leave her alone!

He pulls Jennifer off, but Jennifer fights back. Erik forces
Jennifer back until he falls into the kneading trough. They
fight in the dough for some moments, until Erik runs Jennifer
through. The dough is stained red, and the film is rid of
such an inappropriately named Viking once and for all.

Erik then turns his attention on Ernest who is still on top
of Helga. Without a moment's hesitation, Erik runs him through
the back. Ernest screams. So does Helga. Erik turns white,
and pulls out his sword. Ernest falls over into a heap with
his co-misnomer, and Erik kneels beside Helga to find a
bloodstain under her breast where he has inadvertently run
her through. She is clearly not long for this world.

HELGA
Thanks for saving me from a fate
worse than death.

ERIK
I didn't mean to!

HELGA
(gasping for breath)
Oh, that's all right then... it's
the thought... that counts...

Erik cradles her head and tries helplessly to staunch the
blood.

ERIK
You told them I raped you -- why?

HELGA
(dying)
I dunno... you looked so... so
vulnerable...

ERIK
Why should you care?

HELGA
(dying)
Why... should YOU care?

ERIK
Tell me your name?

Helga looks up at him, but dies in his arms, without ever
saying her name.

ERIK
Tell me... what IS it...?

Erik realizes she has gone. He gazes at her for some time.
He looks around at the two dead bodies beside them. Then he
listens to the sound of raping and slaughter continuing on
the outside. Screams and bloodthirsty shuts echo alongside
the roar of flames and the cries of animals. The camera tracks
into a big close-up on Erik.

SUPERIMPOSE THE TITLE: "ERIK THE VIKING"

SECOND TITLE: "TIM ROBBINS"

Mix through to wide shot of the burning village. Figures
running here and there.

Superimpose the rest of the opening titles.

By the last of the opening titles the last of the flames are
dying down.

Cut to a close-up of a very loud-looking Viking screaming
into the camera, as he hurls an axe. This Viking's name is
Thorfinn Skull-Splitter.

The axe thuds into the wall a few inches away from the face
of a frightened girl, Unn, who is pinned to the wall with
her braids spread out. The Vikings are hurling axes at her a
la Kirk Douglas in "The Vikings".

Several Vikings sitting at ale-bench, laugh in a rather
unpleasant way. Erik, however, frowns. He is sitting at a
table on a dais, next to his grandfather, the chief of the
village. His grandfather almost chokes with merriment. Erik's
mother glances at him with some hostility. Meanwhile the
drunken Thorfinn has just lifted the totally legless Ivar
the Boneless up off the floor and presses an axe into his
hand. A tremor of nervousness ripples round the females in
the Mead Hall. Ivar is clearly in no condition to throw
anything, except, perhaps, the contents of his stomach. Unn
winces.

Finally, amidst much giggling, Ivar throws wildly, and the
axe smashes into a jug being carried by one of the serving
girls. The menfolk erupt into drunken hysterics at this. The
women clearly feel that the occasion is getting out of hand.
But before any of them can work up enough courage to
intervene, Thorfinn Skull-Splitter has thrust an axe into
the hands of the even more plastered Sven the Berserk. Now
Sven is not the Viking to let a little matter like not being
able to see straight stop him heaving the axe at a young
maiden. He takes the axe and whirls it wildly over his head.
Even the other drunken Vikings realize this could be
dangerous, and they cower behind the table. Sven lets go of
the axe. Unn shuts her eyes prepared for the worst. There is
a dull thud and a grunt and then a whoop of mirth. Unn opens
her eyes to find that the axe has come to rest in the back
of a totally stupefied Viking who merely slumps forward onto
the table he is sitting at. On the opposite side sits Harald
Missionary, a rather seedy cleric who has long since given
up trying to convert the pagans and found solace in their
mead. He thinks about intervening, but decides that it's a
bit late really and that he might as well finish off his ale-
cup instead. Grimhild Housewife (his only admirer) refills
it for him.

At this moment, however, the axe-throwers have run out of
axes, so, as they go to retrieve the ones they've thrown,
Harald Missionary salves his conscience by lurching across
to the unfortunate Unn. He pokes his dog-eared bible under
her nose.

HARALD
If you were thinking of converting,
my dear, this would be an... ideal
opportunity...

UNN
Not now!

HARALD
(who is used to rebuffs)
No, of course not...
(he hesitates)
You might not get another chance,
you know...

UNN
Go away.

At this moment another axe thuds into the wall, speeding up
Harald's desire to get back to the ale-bench.

HARALD
Yes, of course... I'll pray for you
anyway, my dear...

Suddenly an axe shatters a large earthware vessel.

HARALD
Yes.. That's what I'll do...

Harald scuttles back to the ale-bench as fast as he can.

Erik meanwhile, stares in astonishment as, for a fleeting
moment, he sees Helga, the girl he accidentally killed,
standing there with her braids spread out in place of Unn.
He shakes his head and the vision passes.

In the meantime, however, Ivar's mum (perhaps the toughest
lady in the village) has decided that enough is enough.

IVAR'S MUM
Let her go!

THORFINN
Why?

VIKINGS
Yes, why?

SVEN THE BERSERK
Why should we let her go?

THORFINN
We haven't hit a single braid yet!

The Vikings all guffaw.

Ivar's mum has had enough. She throws the contents of a jug
of ale over Thorfinn. He is shocked, but after the first
shock he grins evilly, because now he's been given carte
blanche to do the thing he enjoys doing most. Without another
thought he throws a vicious right hook at Ivar's mum and
lays her out cold.

Erik reacts with disgust.

His granddad, however, gives a whoop of glee.

GRANDAD
Whoah! Heee! That showed her!

Meanwhile a little shriveled old man is jumping up and down.

INGEMUND THE OLD
Hey! He hit my wife!

Ingemund starts to go for Thorfinn, but Thorhild beats him
to it. She grabs one of the long-handled cooking griddles
from the fires and swings it at Thorfinn.

Thorfinn, however, ducks, and the red-hot griddle hits Sven
the Berserk, who is standing with his back to Thorfinn.

Sven screams and goes berserk, turning round and hitting
Thorfinn who is now standing upright again.

INGEMUND THE OLD
Leave him alone.

Ingemund hits Sven. Thangbrand hits Ingemund and a general
fight breaks out.

Erik's granddad clearly considers this the highlights of the
evening, but Erik looks at it in disgust and at his granddad
in despair. Eventually he gets up and walk out of the Mead
Hall.

His granddad notices and frowns. He knows something's wrong
with his grandson but hasn't a clue what it could be. Erik's
mother frowns and nods to his granddad.

Grandad gets up and fights his way through the melee to follow
Erik out of the Hall.

The snow lies thick over the village as Erik's grandfather
joins his grandson beside the little quay. Erik is staring
broodily into the night.

GRANDFATHER
What's the matter, son?

Erik doesn't reply. His grandfather glances back at the Mead
Hall, whence the sound of the fight drift across the snow.

GRANDFATHER
We're missing all the fun...

ERIK
What's it all about?

GRANDFATHER
What?

ERIK
We toil and labor, we loot and
pillage, rape and kill... and yet...

GRANDFATHER
You talking piffle, son?

ERIK
Where does it all get us, Grandpa?

GRANDFATHER
Who have you been talking to?

ERIK
I met this girl...

GRANDFATHER
It's always the women that start the
trouble.

ERIK
She got me thinking...

GRANDFATHER
So? What'd you do to her?

Erik stops in his tracks -- as if brought up short by the
horror of what he has done.

ERIK
I... I... KILLED her...

GRANDFATHER
That's my boy!

Erik's grandfather gives him a paternal hug. Erik looks at
him and thinks about the generation gap.

CUT TO:

FEET RUNNING IN THE SNOW - DAY

ERIK
Freya!

Erik looks around him and calls out again.

ERIK
Freya!

Erik runs into the distance -- a small figure against the
dramatic wintry landscape.

CUT TO:

REMOTE, BARREN MOUNTAINSIDE

Erik climbs up into shot, and continues climbing until he
reaches a cave. He enters it. As his eyes get used to the
dark he can make out a few signs of life: a cooking pot on a
fire, a straw bed, a pile of rune-sticks.

ERIK
Freya? Freya?

There is a bundle of rags behind Erik. A head rises from it.
This is Freya.

FREYA
Ah... Erik... Erik the "Viking"...

It is not clear whether her words are not a little mocking.

FREYA
Now what CAN you want with me, Erik
the "Viking"?

ERIK
I shouldn't have come.

FREYA
They will make fun of you for
listening to an old woman's stories?

Erik doesn't reply. Freya watches him craftily.

FREYA
Young men are only interested in
fighting and killing.

Erik looks up at her sharply. It is as if she has read his
mind.

ERIK
But has it always been like that,
Freya? From the beginning of time?

Freya doesn't reply. Instead she walks to the mouth of the
cave. Erik follows her. They look out at the grey, desolate
landscape. Nothing but arctic wastes, snow and desolation.
Above them the black clouds boil ceaselessly.

FREYA
What do you see, Erik?

ERIK
I see the world.

FREYA
Is it night or day, Erik?

ERIK
It is day, of course, Freya.

FREYA
Is it summer or winter, Erik?

Erik looks round at the snowy wastes and ten back at Freya,
puzzled.

ERIK
The winter is past, thank goodness,
Freya. It is summer.

Freya puts her face close to Erik's and peers into his eyes.

FREYA
Have you ever seen the sun, Erik?

ERIK
The sun is up beyond the clouds --
where it always is.

FREYA
But have you ever seen it? Think
back...

ERIK
Of course not... but... when I was a
child... I remember a dream.... it
was as if the whole sky was blue...

FREYA
The sky WAS blue, Erik... once.

Erik looks at her.

FREYA
The Old Stories tell of an age that
would come such as this -- when Fenrir
the Wolf would swallow the sun, and
a Great Winter would settle upon the
world. It was to be an axe age, a
sword age, a storm age, when brother
would turn against brother, and men
would fight each other until the
world would finally be destroyed.

Erik looks out across the bleak and gloomy landscape and the
black, boiling clouds in the sky.

ERIK
(almost to himself)
Then... this is the Age of Ragnarok?

Freya turns to go back into the cave.

ERIK
Wait, Freya!

Erik re-enters the cave.

ERIK
Is there nothing men can do?

FREYA
The Gods are asleep, Erik.

ERIK
I will go and wake them up!

Freya turns and looks at him. She clearly enjoys his earnest
enthusiasm, but is afraid he doesn't know what he is talking
about.

ERIK
Tell me what I must do, Freya!

Freya thinks for some moments. The she speaks.

FREYA
Erik... Far out in the midst of the
Western Ocean there is a land... men
call it Hy-Brasil. There you will
find a horn that is called Resounding.
You must take the Horn Resounding,
and three times you must blow it.
The first note will take you to
Asgaard. The second will awaken the
Gods, and the third note will bring
you home. But remember... once you
are in the spell of the Horn, hatred
will destroy you.

Erik turns to go and then hesitates.

ERIK
And will the dead ever return, Freya?

FREYA
That I cannot tell you.

CUT TO:

A BIG CLOSEUP OF A HEAD BEING BANGED ON THE GROUND

It is Thorfinn Skull-Splitter's. The person doing the banging
is an enraged Sven the Berserk.

Suddenly Erik pushes his way through the crowd and separates
them. There is general disgruntlement all round, and murmurs
of: "Who does he think he is?"

ERIK'S GRANDAD
What are you doing, Erik? Thorfinn
just said Sven's grandfather died of
old age.

INGEMUND THE OLD
They must fight to the death.

THORFINN SKULL-SPLITTER
That's right! Sven must kill me.

OTHERS
Yes.
Stay out of this.
What's it to do with you?

Sven grids his teeth and struggles to get at Thorfinn, but
Erik still keeps them apart.

ERIK
Aren't you afraid of death, Thorfinn
Skull-Splitter?

Thorfinn shrugs.

THORFINN
Not death by the sword! It means I
shall drink in Valhalla with the
great warriors.

CUT TO:

HARALD MISSIONARY

Engaged in his usual business of chatting up any available
female.

HARALD MISSIONARY
You don't still believe in all that
Valhalla stuff, do you?

THORHILD THE FEMALE
Go away.

HARALD
Fine... right... just checking.

He moves off.

ERIK
And you, Sven, aren't you afraid of
crossing the Rainbow Bridge to
Asgaard?

SVEN
I will join my grandfather there.

THORFINN
He's not in Valhalla! He died of old
age!

SVEN
You liar!

They start trying to kill each other again, and crash through
a fence into the pig-sty. Pigs squeal and run in all
directions.

ERIK
Stop it!

OTHERS
Leave them alone! Keep out of it,
Erik!

The others pull Erik away.

GRANDAD
There's only one way to settle it.

EVERYONE
Yes!

THORFINN
He MUST kill me!

EVERYONE
Yes! That's right!

Sven struggles again to oblige, and they both topple into
the duck pond. Erik dives back to keep them apart.

ERIK
There is another way.

GRANDAD
Who gets killed?

ERIK
Nobody gets killed.

THORFINN
Oh, well...

He starts attacking Sven again. Erik decides there is only
one way to make his point. He lets fly with his fists and
lays both the antagonists out for a moment.

ERIK
But it will be dangerous. Maybe none
of us will return.

SNORRI THE MISERABLE
Ah well, that's much more sensible
than just Thorfinn getting killed.
Shall we all go and pack now?

SVEN
What are you talking about, Erik?

ERIK
What if we could find Bi-Frost the
Rainbow Bridge?

This causes a sensation amongst everyone watching, on the
lines of "You can't do that" and so on. They scoff at Erik.

THORFINN
(in disbelief)
FIND the Rainbow Bridge?

ERIK
Find it... AND cross it!

Super-sensation amongst everyone -- except for Harald
Missionary who shakes his head sadly.

HARALD
Look! You can't find somewhere that
doesn't exist.

GRANDAD
(to Harald)
Shut up!

Harald shrugs.

SVEN
Only the dead reach Asgaard, Erik.

ERIK
What's the matter? Are you afraid to
try?

Thorfinn and Sven are put on the defensive.

THORFINN
Of course we're not afraid to try,
but...

Erik rounds on Thorfinn, sensing he had the advantage.

ERIK
"But" what?

THORFINN
But...

ERIK
What?

Thorfinn's mental powers find it hard to articulate any
proposition on such a vast metaphysical concept. Sven comes
to his rescue.

SVEN
Nobody's ever crossed the Rainbow
Bridge to Asgaard.

ERIK
We'd be the first!

SNORRI
You mean we'd be dead?

ERIK
No! We'd be the first living men to
set foot in the Halls of the Gods.

Pause. Uncomfortable shifting.

SVEN
But HOW?

ERIK
I don't know -- but I'm not afraid
to try.

THORFINN
Well I'M certainly not, either.

SVEN
Neither am I.

ERIK
Then you'll come.

HARALD
But there isn't such a place as...
Look...

THORFINN & SVEN
Shut up!

ERIK
What d'you say?

SVEN
Well... I'm game.

THORFINN
Me too.

Erik grins. He has persuaded them against their will.

GRANDAD
Aren't you going to go on fighting?

SVEN & THORFINN
No.

OTHERS
Oh...

There is general disappointment all around.

IVAR THE BONELESS
Oh, go on...

GRANDAD
Just have a bit of a fight.

INGEMUND THE OLD
I'll fight someone.

GRANDAD
You're too old.

INGEMUND THE OLD
No, I ain't.

CUT TO:

AN ADZE STRIKING TIMBER

The Viking's ship, Golden Dragon, is being repaired and fitted
out for a journey. Erik is there, directing operations.

The camera tracks through all the activity and finally comes
to rest on Keitel Blacksmith. He is a magnificent mountain
of a man in an Arnold Schwarzeneggerish sort of way. He
hammers a sword, and sparks fly, but his eyes keep returning
to the preparations for the voyage. Clearly something is
worrying him.

His assistant, Loki, sidles up to him.

LOKI
Wish you were going too?

Keitel grunts angrily and plunges the sword into cold water.
Steam and bubbles.

LOKI
But you CAN'T because you're too
busy.

Keitel pulls the sword out of the water and tests it. It
slices like as razor, Loki watches.

LOKI
Ooh, that's a good one! You could
charge Halfdan fifteen for that one.

KEITEL
Yes, it is good. But I told him ten.

LOKI
You could charge him what you like.

Loki takes the sword from Keitel and stacks it alongside a
lot more freshly made swords.

LOKI
You just can't make enough swords
and spears and knives and daggers to
satisfy the demand. You could charge
Halfdan twenty and he'd pay it.

KEITEL
(shocked)
Oh, I couldn't do that! The
Blacksmith's Code says...

LOKI
Yes yes... of course.... the
"Blacksmith's Code"...

Keitel goes back to his forge and pulls out a fresh dollop
of white-hot ore. Loki comes up behind him.

LOKI
If this IS the Age of Ragnarok, Keitel
Blacksmith, it is GOOD to us.

KEITEL
(banging with his
hammer)
Can't make enough swords!

BANG! BANG! BANG!

KEITEL
Can't make enough axe-heads!

BANG! BANG! BANG!

LOKI
But, Keitel, if Erik ever finds the
Horn Resounding... if he ever crosses
Bi-Frost, the Rainbow Bridge... if
he ever wakens the gods..

Keitel stops smiting the metal on his forge. He stares into
space.

KEITEL
They chase Fenrir the Wolf from the
sky...

LOKI
The Age of Ragnarok ends...

KEITEL
The bottom falls out of the sword
business!

LOKI
It's not just YOUR livelihood that's
at stake but your son's, and the
livelihood of ALL blacksmiths.

KEITEL
(this touches a nerve
in his muscular mind)
My brother blacksmiths!

LOKI
That's right.

KEITEL
The Blacksmith's Code says I must...

LOKI
Honour and protect all blacksmiths.

KEITEL
(as if reciting his
oath)
Together we stand!

LOKI
You can't let Erik do THAT.

Loki smiles. He has Keitel playing into his hands, although
Keitel doesn't realize it.

FADE:

CUT TO:

SOME DAYS LATER

The expedition is set to leave. Thorfinn Skull-Splitter taking
leave of his mum and dad.

THORFINN'S MUM
And you've got BOTH axes?

THORFINN
Yes, Mother.

THORFINN'S MUM
And something to sharpen them with?

THORFINN
Yes, Mum.

THORFINN'S MUM
And don't forget: never let your
enemy get behind you.

THORFINN
No, Mother.

THORFINN'S MUM
And keep your sword greased.

THORFINN
Yes, Mother. Goodbye, Dad.

THORFINN'S DAD
And don't forget to wash -- you know --
ALL over.

THORFINN
No, Dad.

THORFINN'S MUM
And if you have to kill somebody,
KILL them! Don't stop to think about
it.

THORFINN
(mildly)
I never do...

CUT TO:

SVEN THE BERSERK

Who is also being lectured. The lecture is coming from his
father -- Ulf the Maddeningly Calm.

SVEN'S DAD
(sotto voce)
It's a tradition.

SVEN
I know, Dad.

SVEN'S DAD
I was a Berserk for King Harald
Fairhair...

SVEN
You went berserk...

SVEN'S DAD
I went berserk in every battle I
ever fought for King Harald...

SVEN
So did your father...

SVEN'S DAD
So did my father and his father before
him.

SVEN
But it's a responsibility...

SVEN'S DAD
But it's a responsibility being a
Berserk.

SVEN
I must only let the red rage...

SVEN'S DAD
You must only let the red rage take
hold of you in the thick of battle.

SVEN
(losing his temper)
I KNOW! I'VE HEARD IT ALL 1 THOUSAND
TIMES!

A sudden silence falls, as all the village turns to stare
nervously at Sven. He goes berserk and demolishes a nearby
hut with his head. Ulf the Maddeningly Calm shakes his head.

SVEN'S DAD
No no... you'll never make a Berserk.
If you let it out now you'll have
nothing left for battle...

IVAR'S MUM
Besides... it's dangerous.

SVEN'S DAD
(gloomily)
It's the end of a family tradition.

In another corner of the village Leif the Lucky is standing
with his pregnant girlfriend.

GIRL
Bye, Leif.

LEIF
Bye... sorry...

GIRL
Yeah... well...

LEIF
You will wait?

GIRL
What d'you expect me to do?

She takes a bracelet off her arm and gives it to Leif.

GIRL
Wear this for luck.

Leif looks at it.

LEIF
That's why they call me... Leif the
Lucky.

GIRL
Please.

CUT TO:

HARALD MISSIONARY

Dumping a bag on board the ship. Grimhild Housewife is helping
him. Snorri looks at him in surprise.

SNORRI
You coming? You don't even believe
in Asgaard.

HARALD
I thought I might do a bit of business
on the way.

SNORRI
You're wasting your time.

HARALD
Listen. I've been in this dump for
sixteen years and I haven't made a
single convert...

SNORRI
There was Thorbjorn Vifilsson's wife.
You converted HER.

HARALD
Thorbjorn Vifilsson's wife became a
Buddhist, not a Christian.

SNORRI
Same thing, isn't it?

HARALD
No, it is NOT.

MEANWHILE IN ANOTHER PART OF THE VILLAGE

Loki is strapping a large consignment of swords onto a pony.
He glances round and then sneaks surreptitiously out of the
village, over the barren hills of Norway, under the boiling
black skies of Ragnarok. Back at the quayside, Golden Dragon
is ready for the journey. Erik addresses the villagers.

ERIK
Well... we'll be off now...

Erik's grandad waits for some time before he realizes that
Erik isn't intending to say anything else.

GRANDAD
You need to say a bit more than that!

ERIK
Oh... er... yes...

The faces of the village-folk turn towards him. There are
many moist eyes. Erik's mother starts to cry.

ERIK
Oh, there, Mum...
(he turns and addresses
everyone)
Don't be sad.... You all know why
we're going, so don't grieve. Maybe
untold dangers do lie ahead of us,
and some of you may well be looking
at the one your love for the last
time...

Someone bursts out sobbing. Erik desperately tries to rally
their spirits.

ERIK
But don't grieve! Even though the
Hordes of Muspel tear us limb from
limb... or the Fire Giants burn each
and every one of us to a cinder...

More crying.

ERIK
...though we may be swallowed by the
Dragon of the North Sea or fall off
the Edge of the World... don't cry.

More crying.

ERIK
No! Don't cry....

By this time most of the village is blubbering profusely.

CUT TO:

HARALD MISSIONARY

He has his arm round his weeping girlfriend.

HARALD MISSIONARY
Sh... There... it's all fantasy,
there's no Dragon of the North Sea,
no Edge of the World...

GRIMHILD HOUSEWIFE
That's what YOU say.

ERIK
(aside to his Grandad)
What's the matter with them?

GRANDAD
Just say something cheerful.

ERIK
Oh... right!
(he can't think of
anything)
Well... CHEERS everybody!

Erik smiles broadly and waves. The entire village stares
back at him with tears in their eyes, and biting their lips.
Suddenly one mother can't hold it back any more.

THORFINN'S MUM
Don't go!

Another mother rushes out and grabs Ivar the Boneless.

IVAR'S MUM
My son! I don't want you to go!

IVAR
I don't want to go, either...

ERIK
Oh gods! Please, everybody! Keep
calm! It's not certain ALL of us are
going to die... and in any case we
may not die HIDEOUS deaths...

More renewed sobbing. Grandad's eyes go heavenwards.

GRANDAD
(to Erik)
I think we should go...

ERIK
Right.
(he turns for a last
salute)
Farewell... for the last time... may
the gods prevent...

GRANDAD
No, don't say anything else!

Suddenly Keitel Blacksmith steps forward. His muscles ripple.
His handsome face radiates heroism and manliness.

KEITEL
Wait, Erik!

ERIK
Keitel Blacksmith?

They stop and turn.

KEITEL
You can't go without me. Who will
repair your swords and mend your
shields?

Renewed sobs from the women.

WOMEN
Oh, no! Ah, lackaday! Not HIM too!

ERIK
What's the matter now?

UNN
If Keitel Blacksmith goes with you...

THORHILD
We'll have no one to do the things
he did for us.

THORKATLA THE INDISCRETE
Or sharpen our knives and make our
pans.

An awkward silence. The others all turn on her and frown --
a bit of shin-kicking goes on. It's clear that Keitel is
popular amongst the womenfolk. Erik doesn't notice.

ERIK
You will have Keitel's assistant,
Loki, to do all that.

WOMEN
Loki? Eurrgh!

ERIK
What's wrong with Loki? He's become
very good at blacksmithing.

WOMEN
Yes... but...

THORKATLA
He's so small and...

The others all shush her up. More shin-kicking.

THORHILD
(innocently)
Oh, yes... we've got Loki... That's
true...

CUT TO:

LOKI

Leading his pony across a bleak landscape. He eventually
stops and looks ahead. There stands a gibbet with two corpses
dangling from it. He is nearing his destination.

CUT BACK TO:

ERIK AND HIS MEN

Getting into Golden Dragon.

Erik notices Thorfinn and Sven quarrelling over Leif the
Lucky.

ERIK
Hey, you two! What's going on?

SVEN
I was sitting there.

LEIF
No, you weren't.

THORFINN
Leif's sitting here. I need a bit of
luck.

LEIF
See.

SVEN
Look, I bagged it last week.

ERIK
It doesn't matter WHERE you sit!

SVEN
Yes it does! We could be at sea for
months.

ERIK
Well, what difference does it make
where you're SITTING?

SVEN
I don't want to have to sit next to
Snorri all that time.

Sven nods towards Snorri the Miserable -- an Eeyore of a
Viking if ever there were one.

SNORRI
Thank you VERY much indeed.

ERIK
Now stop it!

SNORRI
It's SO nice to feel wanted.

ERIK
Leif, you sit there. Even, you sit
there. Harald, you'd better sit over
there...

SNORRI
Trust me to get the missionary.

Suddenly Erik notices Sven's father climbing aboard.

ERIK
What are YOU doing here?

SVEN'S DAD
You may need a real Berserk.

SVEN
I AM one, Dad!

ERIK
We haven't got a spare place.

IVAR
He can have my place. I don't want
to go anyway.

ERIK
Well, you ARE!

KEITEL
Bjorn's not. He could have Bjorn's
place.

ERIK
What's the matter with Bjorn?

THORFINN
Nothing... Halfdan the Black chopped
his hand off last night.

ERIK
He was lucky...
(to Sven's dad)
Sit there.

SNORRI
You can't have Sven's father sitting
next to Sven. They'll argue the whole
time.

ERIK
That's true.
(to Sven)
You'd better sit there.
(to Sven's dad)
You there, and Ornulf there.

SNORRI
Now you've got all the big ones on
one side.

Erik looks around. It is true that all the tall burly ones
are on one side.

ERIK
All right, you go there. You here...

Sven's dad and Ornulf swap places.

SVEN'S DAD
Ohh! I wanted to sit next to Leif.

ERIK
Shut up. You there. You there and
you there.

Ivar and Ornulf swap places. Erik surveys this re-arrangement.

ERIK
That's better.

SNORRI
Now you've got all the ones with
beards on one side and all the
moustaches on the other.

This is true. Erik thinks some moments and then:

ERIK
It doesn't matter.

They start to haul the sail up. Ropes are released. The boat
rocks. Suddenly a voice cuts through the crowd. It is Erik's
mother.

ERIK'S MUM
Wait! Wait! Wait!

ERIK
What is it?
(he is clearly a little
embarrassed)

ERIK'S MUM
Here, son.

She tries to hand Erik what looks unmistakably like a pillow.
Erik is dumbfounded.

ERIK'S MUM
Your father always made sure he could
rest his head at night.

Erik is mortified. The others snigger, though not without
some sympathy for Erik. They've ALL been embarrassed by their
mums at one time or another.

ERIK
I can't take THAT on a voyage!

ERIK'S MUM
It was your father's!

Erik will find it hard to refuse now. But he hesitates.

ERIK'S MUM
It was the pillow HE took with him.
He said it once saved his life.

Erik reluctantly takes the precious object. His mother kisses
him. Everyone has fallen silent now. The relatives stand
helpless on the shore as Golden Dragon starts to drift away
from them. The Vikings sit in their places, hands on the
oars looking back at their loved ones. Erik stands at the
prow of Golden Dragon. For a moment he thinks he sees the
girl he killed, standing, white in death, the spear-wound
still fresh. Erik raises his hand in a half-goodbye. We cut
back to the loved ones, now the girl is no longer there.
They too half-raise their hands. Erik suddenly turns and
gives a shout:

ERIK
Huuup!

The oars go up and then into the water, and GOLDEN DRAGON
commences her voyage.

CUT BACK TO:

GOLDEN DRAGON AT SEA

Snorri is feeling queasy and gazing gloomily at the receding
coastline of Norway. Thangbrand is sitting near him and
feeling equally queasy.

SNORRI
Have a good look... that's the last
we'll see of old Norway.

Snorri is desperately trying to control his insides.

SNORRI
Goodbye home... goodbye family...
goodbye loved ones...
(he starts to throw
up)
Goodbye lunch...

THANGBRAND
Oh! Shut up.

Harald Missionary puts his arm around Snorri.

HARALD
You know, my son, our lord said...

SNORRI
Your lord.

HARALD
Quite... MY lord... said: "The Prayer
of Faith shall have the sick."

SNORRI
I hope the Dragon of the North Sea
gets YOU AND your lord.

Harald Missionary gives him a condescending smile and a weary
shake of the head. He knows the Dragon of the North Sea does
not exist.

HARALD
Darkness and ignorance...

Meanwhile Ivar the Boneless and Sven the Berserk are both
suffering from the effects of the sea.

SVEN
(keeping a wave of
nausea down)
It's not so bad when you're rowing.

THORFINN SKULL-SPLITTER
That's right.

Thorfinn gobs onto the whetstone with which he is sharpening
his axe. Sven can control himself no longer. He rushes for
the side.

SVEN THE BERSERK
I want to die.

This sets off Ivar.

IVAR THE BONELESS
Uh oh!

He leaps up and pukes over the side. Mass puking breaks out
all over the boat.

Keitel Blacksmith looks around at his preoccupied shipmates,
and it slowly dawns upon him that this might be the moment
to try a little sabotage.

He goes to the ship's lodestone, which is hanging from the
mast. Keitel glances around. No one is looking, but this
sort of covert behavior goes against his normally sunny and
open disposition.

KEITEL
(to himself)
The Blacksmith's Code...

He steels himself, takes down the lodestone, snaps out the
piece of metal in the base and throws it over the side. Keitel
hangs it up again on the mast.

THORFINN
Are you all right?

IVAR
No, I'm not.

THORFINN
You don't need to feel bad about
being sea-sick, you know.

IVAR
How can you help feeling bad when
you're sea-sick?

THORFINN
I mean many of the greatest sailors
were.

Pause.

IVAR
I know. I know.

THORFINN
Olaf Tryggvason used to throw up on
every single voyage... the whole
time... non-stop... puke... puke...
puke.

IVAR
Look! I don't feel BAD about it. I
just feel ILL.

Thorfinn pauses and waits for a wave of nausea to creep up
on Ivar.

THORFINN
He used to puke in his sleep.

IVAR
Bastard.

He throws up.

Meanwhile Erik is in the stern, gazing out behind them.

ERIK
Thorfinn... look over there.

Thorfinn leaves Ivar and joins Erik.

On the horizon a sinister sail is following them. Thorfinn
grins with evil pleasure. He scents a fight.

Erik turns to the crew.

ERIK
Break out the oars!

Thorfinn's smile disappears and he spins round to confront
Erik.

THORFINN
What are you talking about?

ERIK
(to his reluctant
crew)
Come on, move it!

Most of the men are being sea-sick.

MORD FIDDLE
We've only just started cooking lunch.

The crew glance at Mord Fiddle and then throw up again.

ERIK
Move it!

Reluctantly the crew take up their rowing positions. Thorfinn
buttonholes Erik (except of course that he doesn't have any
buttonholes).

THORFINN
It's Halfdan the Black!

ERIK
I know. Snorri! Get your oar out!

Snorri is sitting in position but without his oar. Keitel
has meanwhile joined them. He, too, stares at the horizon.
He is a little puzzled by this turn of events. Loki has said
nothing about Halfdan coming after them.

KEITEL
(uneasily)
Do you suppose he wants to stop us
waking the Gods?

Erik looks at Keitel with a certain amount of contempt. Keitel
is not renowned even amongst these Vikings for his brain-
power.

ERIK
What do you think?

KEITEL
But how could he know... unless...

Keitel stops in mid-sentence as he realizes it must be Loki's
doing.

THORFINN
(scornfully)
So are you going to run away from
him, Erik?

Erik turns to Thorfinn.

ERIK
Row, Thorfinn Skull-Splitter.

Thorfinn hesitates.

ERIK
And you, Keitel Blacksmith.

KEITEL
But...

Keitel shrugs and turns to take up his rowing position. He
is still a little confused by this turn of events. Erik
confronts Thorfinn.

ERIK
I gave an order. Or didn't you hear?

There is something about Erik's manner that carries an
authority that Thorfinn cannot argue with.

ERIK
Come on, Ivar.

Erik manhandles Ivar over to his drum and thrusts his
drumsticks into his hands.

Halfdan's ship is twice the size of Erik's and, as Erik is
only too well aware, consequently travels at twice the speed.
There is no real chance of them escaping, unless... Erik
suddenly catches sight of a thick bank of mist in the
distance, and steers his ship towards it.

IVAR
(still feeling ill)
I want to die...
(then, suddenly
catching sight of
Halfdan's ship behind
him)
No, I don't!

ERIK
Row! Row! Row!

Ivar tries to get into the new rhythm, but has a bit of
difficult. As Halfdan's ship gains on them inexorably, GOLDEN
DRAGON glides into the sea mist. There is a tremendous roll
of thunder very close. All the Vikings look scared. Erik,
however, grins.

ERIK
Row! Row! Row!

He doubles the speed. The drum beats faster.

SVEN'S DAD
(shouts out angrily)
We can't keep this up!

Erik grins and then leans on the steering oar. Golden Dragon
curves around to its left. Then Erik lays his hand on Ivar's
drum and silences it.

ERIK
Oars up!

The Vikings ship their oars and sit there in the mist
listening to beating of Halfdan's drum getting closer and
closer.

At the final moment, however, Halfdan swings his ship in the
opposite direction from Erik's and the sound of his drum
disappears into the mist. Erik's men breathe a sigh of
relief... even Keitel Blacksmith...

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:

SOME TIME LATER

Golden Dragon is still drifting in the mist. Erik has his
fish-lodestone and is trying the direction, but the lodestone
is just swinging round uselessly. After trying a few times,
Erik gives up and throws the lodestone away into the boat.
The men peer into the thick mist; they are lost. Suddenly
Erik sees something ahead.

ERIK
The Gates of the World...

MORD FIDDLE
What?

Golden Dragon silently guides between two weird islands.

ERIK
We have passed through the Gates of
the World
(he looks around at
the other)
Now we are in the Unknown...

Golden Dragon drifts on and the mist gets thicker. There is
a crash of thunder. Then a series of flashes lights up the
mist around them. The Vikings are uneasy, sensing a storm
brewing. Suddenly Erik points above them. The others look up
too. They all gasp.

ERIK
(hardly daring to
breathe)
So THAT is what the sun looks like!

Above them hangs a luminous yellow globe, its light just
breaking through the mist.

VIKING
(to each other)
The sun! It's the sun! Look!

SVEN'S DAD
(in wonderment)
I never though I should live to see
the sun again.

HARALD MISSIONARY
Where?

The Vikings all gaze up above them in awe. Harald looks from
one to the other and then tries to follow their eyelines. He
clearly can't see it. Magic music fills the air. Suddenly
the "sun" swoops off to one side and starts swaying from one
side to another.

ERIK
Should the sun do that?

HARALD MISSIONARY
What are you looking at?

ERIK
Look out!

VIKINGS
Ah!

The Vikings scream and flatten themselves against the sides
of the boat, as the "sun" suddenly lurches down on them out
of the sky, revealing for the first time that it is NOT the
sun at all but a strange monster with a long neck that
disappears off into the mist and a glowing globe for a head,
and huge chomping jaws. The Vikings are, understandably,
terrified.

VIKINGS
It's not the sun! It's not the sun!

HARALD MISSIONARY
What is it?

SNORRI
It's the Dragon of the North Sea!

HARALD MISSIONARY
(knowingly)
Ah! THAT'S why I can't see it.

As the Dragon of the North Sea rises up again, however, its
jaw apparently drops off and falls to the deck, and lands on
Snorri.

SNORRI
Aaah!

Keitel nervously picks it up and holds it up for everyone to
see. It is a strand of sea-weed. The Vikings are non-plussed.
They look back at their now jawless monster. Harald Missionary
picks up the sea-weed.

HARALD
Some dragon! Ooh!

He tosses it back amongst his terrifies companions. Suddenly
there is an incredibly loud clap of thunder and flames shoot
out of the mist.

SVEN
Look out!

As... unbelievably... a huge monstrous visage looms out of
the mist... It is a creature from the nethermost depths of
the ocean... and the incandescent globe is no more than a
sprouting on the end of its nose! More fire shoots out from
its nostrils and sends all the Vikings (and even Harald
Missionary) diving for the deck. Then the monstrous head
disappears back into the mist as quickly as it came, taking
its light with it...

The Vikings are paralyzed with fear for one brief moment.

ERIK
Row! ROW!

They all scramble for the oars in a determined hysteria.
Ivar the drummer, in his panic, has set a ridiculously fast
rate and nobody can keep up with it.

ERIK
Slower! Nobody can row at that speed!

IVAR
(hoarsely)
Sorry.

HARALD
What's all the panic about?

SVEN'S DAD
(in a panic, shouting
back over his shoulder)
The Dragon...

Harald gives a patronizing smile.

HARALD
Children afraid of the dark...

Suddenly there is another roar, and flames shoot out of the
mist and across the deck of Golden Dragon. One man, Ornolf
Fishdriver, who hasn't had much to say so far, is set on
fire. Another, Bjarni Jerusalem-Farer, who has and will have
even less to say then Ornolf Fishdriver, leaps out of the
way of the flames and falls over the side.

THORFINN
Man over board!

Thorfinn starts trying to fish him out. Ivar has started to
panic and is beating the drum too fast.

ERIK
Slower! In... Out...

IVAR
Sorry!

SVEN
(his eyes showing
their whites)
We're being attacked! KILL! Kill!
Kill!

SVEN'S DAD
Not now, Sven...

SVEN
I must KILL! Kill!

SVEN'S DAD
It's no good going berserk against a
dragon!

Sven's dad slaps him around the face. There is another roar
from the monster. Erik turns to Ivar.

ERIK
Faster!

IVAR
Make your mind up.

Suddenly the Dragon's head appears out of the mists above
them once again. There is panic amongst the Vikings as some
start to row faster than others. Screams.

ERIK
Keep up the strike!

The Dragon's jaws open. Flame licks out, and down the center
of the vessel. There are screams as the Vikings leap out of
the way. Sven goes berserk again.

SVEN
KILL! KILL!

SVEN'S DAD
Stop it!

The Dragon's eyes dilate and its jaws open. The men throw
themselves to the deck as if expecting more fire. But instead
the creature's fangs crash into the wood of the stern of
Golden Dragon.

ERIK
ROW!

SVEN
DEATH!

SVEN'S DAD
SHUT UP!

ERIK
ROW!

Erik looks around at his terror-stricken crew. He realizes
this is an important moment. It is up to him to save the
situation. Suddenly an idea occurs to him, as he catches
sight of the pillow that his mother gave him.

ERIK
Keep rowing!

Erik dashes to his sea-chest under the mast and pulls out
the pillow.

THORFINN
Erik! Row! What are you doing?

ERIK
(holding up the pillow)
It saved my father!

Erik starts to shin up the mast.

SNORRI
Barmy.

Sven's dad is desperately holding Sven back.

SVEN'S DAD
HOLD it! HOLD it in!

SVEN
DEATH TO DRAGONS!

ERIK
Row!

SNORRI
Has anyone told him we've got a dragon
eating our boat?

Erik has reached the top of the mast and is now right up
with the incandescent globe on the end of the long stalk
that grows onto the monster's nose. He grabs hold of it and
swings across onto the monster's nose. At his moment Sven
breaks free of his dad and throws himself onto one of the
Dragon's teeth.

SVEN
Red mist!

He bangs his head against the monstrous denture. Sven's dad
looks heavenward in despair.

CUT TO:

HARALD MISSIONARY

Who is offering his bible to the petrifies Vikings in the
prow.

HARALD
It's at time like this that you'll
find this book MOST useful, you
know...

Keitel takes the bible from him and hits him over the head
with it.

KEITEL
Row! You idiot!

The monster's eyes dilate wildly as they try to focus on the
tiny figure of Erik on its snout. Erik shoves the pillow up
one of the Dragon's nostrils. Snorri watches Erik
incredulously. He shakes his head.

SNORRI
His father went crazy too... Used to
take forty winks in the middle of a
battle...

Thorfinn frowns -- he has a glimmering of an idea of what
Erik is doing. Erik now plunges his sword through the pillow
in the Dragon's nostril, and feathers immediately fly into
the air.

ERIK
Now... take a deep breath.

The Dragon goes cross-eyed, trying to see what's going on on
its snout.

ERIK
Go on! Breathe in, you cod-brain!

Meanwhile the Dragon's tongue suddenly licks out around its
tooth. Sven instantly slices through it with his sword. The
bright blood spurts, like bursting a sausage. The Dragon
gives an agonized roar and a sharp intake of breath. The
feathers that have leaked out from the pillow are instantly
sucked inside and the whole pillow disappears right up the
Dragon's nose.

For a moment everyone holds their breath. The Dragon's eye
dilate wildly. Then it wrinkles its snout. Then it starts
what is unmistakably a sneeze.

THE DRAGON OF THE NORTH SEA
Ah... ah... ah...

ERIK
Hold TIGHT!

THE DRAGON OF THE NORTH SEA
Ah... ah... ah...

Erik leaps back across the mast.

THE DRAGON OF THE NORTH SEA
CHOO!!

A hurricane of wind and feathers blasts out of the Dragon's
nostrils and hits all the Vikings at once. Everyone is
disgusted by the Dragon's breath.

SNORRI
Urgh! What's it been eating?

But the blast has already catapulted the boat into the sky,
and it hurtles through the clouds. leaving the Dragon of the
North Sea far behind. They all look up at Erik and cheer.
Shot of Erik. He doesn't look too happy.

Neither does Ivar the Boneless, because he too has just
noticed that they are now flying and the ocean is several
thousand feet below them. Ivar screams. The other all rush
to the side to look too.

ERIK
No! No! Get back!

Unfortunately they all rush to the same side and the boat
tips over with far more instability than when it is in the
water. Leif and Thangbrand are catapulted down into the sea.
We watch them descend into tiny dots and tiny unheard splashes
below.

THORFINN
Who was that?

SNORRI
Leif the Lucky.

Others are almost falling out. There is renewed panic.

ERIK
Get back!

Poor Erik is still up the mast but has been dislodged and is
now hanging on by his hands, dangling over the open sea.
Some of the men -- Thorfinn and Sven the Berserk amongst
them -- are hauling themselves up the almost vertical slope
of the deck, trying to redress the balance. Meanwhile Keitel
Blacksmith is dangling by one hand.

KEITEL
I can't hold on! I can't hold on!

Sven worms his way along the edge -- at great peril to himself --
and grabs Keitel's wrist just as his fingers slip.

KEITEL
Aaagh!

SVEN
Got you!

Keitel looks up in Sven's eyes. He is totally at Sven's mercy.
What thoughts are going through his mind? How is he going to
betray Sven in future if he is rescued? Guilt suddenly
overwhelms him.

KEITEL
Let me go, Sven.

SVEN
What are you talking about?

KEITEL
I'm not worth risking your life for.

SVEN
I've got you, Keitel Blacksmith. If
you go... I go too...

KEITEL
For your own sake... For the others...
I...

SVEN
Hang on...

The boat begins to right itself just as Erik finally can't
hold on any more, and he plummets, straight into the ship,
and through the bottom up to his waist. His legs dangle.

At the same moment the prow of the boat tips and suddenly
they are plummeting down towards the ocean. They hit the
water with an almighty splash. Erik is thrown clear of the
hull by the force of the water now cascading up through the
hole he has made.

SNORRI
First we're flying -- now we're
sinking!

ERIK
Well, come on!

He whisks off his helmet and starts bailing. All follow suit.
Night falls.

SOME TIME LATER

The Vikings are still bailing out, but the water is up to
their thighs.

IVAR THE BONELESS
Who are we fooling? It's hopeless!

Ivar flings down the helmet with which he's been bailing.
The others look at each other. They are reconciled to the
fact that they are going to drown.

HARALD MISSIONARY
(hopelessly)
Let's sing something!

SNORRI
Anyone know any good drowning songs?

The suggestion falls flat.

ERIK
Listen! Maybe we won't get to Hy-
Brasil! Maybe we won't find the Horn
Resounding... but at least we've
tried... and at least we shall have
died like men.

SNORRI
Like fish.

SVEN
Shut up.

THORFINN
(raising his sword)
Erik's right! We'll all meet in
Valhalla.

IVAR
I don't want to die!

HARALD MISSIONARY
Isn't there ANYBODY who'd like to be
christened before we go down?

Silence. A distinct lack of enthusiasm.

HARALD
It can't do you any HARM...

SVEN'S DAD
What do we have to do?

HARALD
Nothing... I just immerse you in
water...

THORFINN AND OTHERS
Get lost...

The ship creaks and starts to go under. Erik picks his up
his sword. The others follow suit.

ERIK
Don't let me drown, Thorfinn!

Water starts to pour over the sides of the boat. Erik and
Thorfinn raise their swords to each other.

THORFINN
Till we meet in Valhalla.

They all prepare to run each other through. The boat sinks
rapidly.

IVAR THE BONELESS
I'm too young! Oh Odin! Not me! Please
not me! Perhaps I'd rather drown...

HARALD MISSIONARY
I do WISH you'd let me convert you.

Then Erik pauses in his attempt to kill Thorfinn and looks
around. The ship has sunk, but the prow and the stern posts
are still sticking up out of the water, and the Vikings
themselves are only up to their chests.

ERIK
How deep IS the ocean?

THORFINN
Very deep... usually...

The realization gradually dawns on the Vikings that they're
not going to sink any more.

ERIK
Wait! Nobody kill anybody!

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:

THE SUN SHINING DOWN FROM A BLUE SKY

The Vikings have fallen asleep where we last saw them -- up
to their necks in water. Gradually the warmth of the sun
coaxes them awake -- Thorfinn is the first to look up and
see the brilliant shining orb in the sky.

THORFINN
What is it?

IVAR THE BONELESS
(he panics and turns)
It's the Dragon again!

ERIK
No.. no, it isn't...

Ivar has turned and is staring at something else.

ERIK
Look, the sky is blue...

SVEN'S DAD
The sun! That's it!

Ivar, meanwhile, is recovering from the amazement that has
immobilized him. He taps Erik on the shoulder. Erik turns
and he, too, gasps.

ERIK
Look!

They all turn to see they are standing in the shallow waters
of a natural harbor. Above nestle the white walls of a
beautiful city set in a green and pleasant land.

VIKINGS
Yeaaaah!

The Vikings wade ashore, enchanted by the paradise they see
before them. All at once Thorfinn spies something. He draws
his sword and they all approach with caution to find that
under a weeping willow tree lies the most beautiful girl.
She is raven-haired, scantily dressed and fast asleep. The
Vikings approach her with trepidation, their swords and axes
drawn. They glance around uneasily.

SNORRI
(whispers)
She's got no clothes on!

THORFINN
It's disgusting.

ERIK
Get her weapons.

Sven kneels quietly beside the girl. She stirs. Sven freezes.
The others look around fearfully.

SVEN
(whispers)
She hasn't got any.

ERIK
(incredulous)
She MUST have a knife or something...

But they look. She hasn't.

THORFINN
What kind of place IS this?

IVAR THE BONELES
P... p... perhaps they've got weapons
we haven't even dreamed of...

Suddenly the girl stirs again in her sleep. The Vikings
retreat several paces and grip their weapons, and glance
around as if expecting an ambush.

THORFINN
Let's hack her to pieces.

ERIK
No.

KEITEL
Well, what else do we do?

ERIK
How about making friends?

SVEN
(with disgust)
"FRIENDS"?

VIKINGS
Eurrgh!

ERIK
What's wrong with making friends?

THORFINN
You don't go through all the hardships
of an ocean voyage to make "friends".

SVEN
We can make "friends" at home...

This conversation has woken the girl, Aud.

AUD
Welcome!

The Vikings react with terror, take a step back and raise
their swords and axes.

ERIK
WHAT did you say?

AUD
I said welcome.

ERIK
(suspiciously)
WELCOME?

AUD
Well, of course. We always welcome
friends.

The Vikings look at each other and at their swords. They
don't think they look that much like friends themselves.

ERIK
How d'you KNOW we're "friends"?

AUD
Well, EVERYONE is friends here on Hy-
Brasil.

SVEN
Hy-Brasil?

ERIK
Is THIS Hy-Brasil?

AUD
Well, of course.

The Vikings erupt into an impromptu dance of joy, hugging
each other and waving their swords in the air.

AUD
Please! Please! What are those?

ERIK
What are what?

AUD
Those things in your hands.

ERIK
These? What are THESE? They're swords.

Aud instantly recoils with terror.

AUD
Oh no! NO! Put them down! PUT THEM
DOWN!

The Vikings gradually cease their mock battles and turn to
look at Aud with incredulity.

ERIK
What's the matter?

AUD
PLEASE! You don't know what you're
doing!

ERIK
What?

AUD
Put them down!
(to Erik)
PLEASE make them put them down.

THORFINN
Why?

OTHERS
Yes, why?

AUD
WHY?

ERIK
Yes.

AUD
But surely you know...?

VIKINGS
Er... n... no...

ERIK
Know what?

CUT TO:

CLOSEUP OF KING ARNULF

KING ARNULF
The wonderful blessing under which
we live here on Hy-Brasil!

The king beams. The Vikings shift uneasily. They look out of
place and extremely scruffy in the midst of the scantily
dressed courtiers of Hy-Brasil. Aud sits beside her father
the King.

ERIK
No... we don't...

KING ARNULF
The Gods decreed that if ever a sword
spills human blood upon these shores,
the whole of Hy-Brasil will sink
beneath the waves.

King Arnulf beams rapturously at the Vikings, expecting them
to be overjoyed. Instead they are horrified.

THORFINN
That's terrible!

ERIK
You mean if just ONE PERSON gets
killed?

KING ARNULF
Yes!
(he thinks: isn't it
wonderful?)
The Vikings look at each other,
feeling they haven't quite understood.

THORFINN
You mean... you can't kill ANYBODY?

KING ARNULF
Right! Isn't it wonderful?

The Vikings are non-plussed.

THORFINN
What? Not being able to kill anybody?

KING ARNULF
(bemused)
Well, of course.

ERIK
(interested)
How?

KING ARNULF
(explaining the obvious)
Well... for a start... er... there's
no killing...

ERIK
Well, OBVIOUSLY there's no killing.

KING ARNULF
Well... isn't it great?

THORFINN
But how d'you take revenge?

KEITEL
(guiltily)
How do you punish people?

IVAR
How do you DEFEND yourselves?

KING ARNULF
(getting a little
irritated)
We don't have to. We're all terribly
nice to each other. Aren't we?

COURT
Yes!

Aud catches Erik's eye and gives him a dangerously slow wink.
A pause of disbelief from the Vikings.

SVEN
ALL the time?

KING ARNULF
Well, of course! We HAVE to be.

He turns and conducts the courtiers, who chant in unison:

COURT
"Being nice to each other is what
it's all about."

KING ARNULF
(rising as if to sing)
You see? We're terribly nice to each
other We're friendly bold and free.
We never say anything nasty 'Cause
we dare not...

COURT
(almost singing)
No sirreeeee!

They hold the note while King Arnulf looks anxiously at the
Vikings.

KING ARNULF
Would you like us to sing to you?

ERIK
That's very kind of you, but we're
in rather a hurry... We're...

King Arnulf claps and the court stop singing.

KING ARNULF
What's the matter, don't you WANT to
hear our singing?

ERIK
Oh... well, yes, of course; it's
just we're looking for the Horn
Resounding and --

KING ARNULF
You don't think our singing's going
to be good enough for you?

ERIK
Oh, no no no! It's just the Horn
Resounding is...

KING ARNULF
A lot of people like our singing.

ERIK
I'm sure it's lovely.

KING ARNULF
But you don't want to hear it.

ERIK
(changing tack)
No... no...
(he looks at the others)
We'd love to hear it. Wouldn't we?

VIKINGS
Oh... yes.

KING ARNULF
Well, you'll have to ask us REALLY
nicely.

ERIK
(realizing he has to
be diplomatic)
Er... well... we... we... would be
TERRIBLY grateful if you... all...
would sing for us.

KING ARNULF
You're just saying that.

SVEN
Well, of course he is!

SVEN'S DAD
Sh!

They restrain Sven.

ERIK
Of course we're not; we'd genuinely
like to hear you sing.

KING ARNULF
REALLY?

ERIK
Really.

KING ARNULF
And you're not just saying it because
you think we want you to?

Erik swallows hard.

ERIK
No.
(he bites the lie)

KING ARNULF
Right! Summon the musicians! We'll
do the one that goes "TUM-TUM-TUM-
TUM-TI-TUM-TUM"

COURT
(disappointed)
Oh...

CHAMBERLAIN
REALLY?

KING ARNULF
(apologetically to
Vikings)
It isn't the one we're BEST at.

CHAMBERLAIN
Couldn't we do the one that goes "TI-
TUM-TI-TUM-TI-TUM"?

The rest of the court look hopeful.

KING ARNULF
(whispering)
Not when we've got guests.

VOICE FROM COURT
How about the one that goes "TI-TUM-
TI-TUM-TI-TUM-TI-TI-TUM"?

KING ARNULF
Don't be silly.

CHAMBERLAIN
That was a stupid suggestion.

VOICE
Sorry! I just thought they might
like to hear something that we can
do.

ANOTHER VOICE
Yes! At least we know that one.

YET ANOTHER VOICE
Nobody knows the "TUM-TUM-TUM-TUM-TI-
TUM-TUM" one.

REST OF COURT
No!
Right!
I agree!

ODD MAN OUT
I do!

REST OF COURT
Sh!

ANOTHER VOICE
It's too difficult!

CHAMBERLAIN
Sh!

KING ARNULF
All right. We'll do the one that
goes "TI-TUM-TI-TUM-TI-TUM-TI-TI-
TUM". Ah! The musicians!

The musicians are huge, unshaven, have broken noses and
tattoos, and are covered in black oil -- like mechanics.
Their instruments are like heavy industrial machinery, pushed
in large vats of black oil that drip all over the show.

KING ARNULF
Right... Oh dear...
(he glances across at
the Vikings)
I'm sure you're not going to like
this...

Erik and the others smile reassuringly.

There is a lot of coughing. The King raises his baton and
then brings it down, humming to himself as he does so. There
is a most awful din; caterwauling, crashing and banging,
whining, screaming...

The Vikings look at each other, trying to pick out some tune,
but it's impossible. Ivar the Boneless can't stop himself
bursting out into giggles and this eventually spreads to the
other Vikings. King Arnulf notices and bangs the throne for
silence.

Gradually the din stops. King Arnulf sinks down in despair.

KING ARNULF
(tragically)
We're just not a very musical
nation...

ERIK
No, no... It was very... er, nice.

KING ARNULF
Now I want you to be ABSOLUTELY,
totally, genuinely honest with me.
Did you really, truly, honestly like
it?

Erik thinks for some moments and then decides to make a clean
breast of it.

ERIK
No.

KING ARNULF
(goes hysterically)
They didn't like it! Oh God! I want
to die!

The whole court looks as if it's about to commit mass HARA-
KIRI, while the musicians look rather dangerous. Erik takes
the moment to get down to business.

ERIK
Your Majesty! We come from a world
where there IS no music. Where men
live and die by the axe and by the
sword...

KING ARNULF
Well, how d'you think I feel?

ERIK
The Gods are asleep, King Arnulf.

KING ARNULF
YOU try to be nice to people, when
they're rude about your singing...

Erik feels he is making a mess of all this diplomacy.

ERIK
We must find the Horn Resounding!

The King glares at Erik.

ERIK
Is it HERE in Hy-Brasil?

King Arnulf thinks for a moment and then speaks.

KING ARNULF
I'll tell you what...

ERIK
Yes?

King Arnulf hesitates -- he bites his lip and then takes the
plunge.

KING ARNULF
We'll do the one that goes "TUM-TUM-
TUM-TUM-TI-TUM-TUM". Perhaps you'll
like that better.

Erik gives up. A lot of throat clearing. Aud, the King's
daughter, gives Erik another dangerously slow wink. The
terrible "music" starts up, shattering the calm of the
beautiful city.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:

THE GOLDEN DRAGON

Now afloat once more, riding at anchor in the bay. Ivar is
standing on guard in it. Suddenly he sees something that
makes him gabe in horror. We don't find out what it is,
however, because we immediately

CUT TO:

ERIK

He is deeply in love. He is also in bed with the King's nubile
daughter, Aud.

AUD
Have you ever felt like this about
anyone else?

ERIK
What... you mean "got into bed with"
them?

AUD
No, of course not, silly -- I mean
FELT like this about them?

ERIK
You mean... you HAVE got into bed
with somebody else?

AUD
No, I mean have you ever felt that
for the first time in your life you'd
met somebody you could believe in
with your whole heart... someone
whose goals suddenly seem to be YOUR
goals... whose dreams seem to be
YOUR dreams?

ERIK
HAVE you ever been to bed with anyone
else?

AUD
What does that matter? But you've...
you've... FELT like this before...

ERIK
It was different...

AUD
(just for a moment it
is Helga speaking)
What was she like?

ERIK
Oh... oh, I didn't know her very
well...

AUD
But you LOVED her all the same...

ERIK
We never went to bed together.

AUD
Why do you go on about that? What
does it matter?

ERIK
You've been to bed with somebody
else, haven't you?

AUD
I've never LOVED anybody!

ERIK
I've never been to bed with anybody!

Suddenly there is a banging on he door.

KING ARNULF (V.O.)
Open up! I know you're in there!

AUD
Ah! It's my father!

KING ARNULF (V.O.)
Open up! I know you're in there!

Suddenly the note from Ivar's horn rings out across from the
bay. Erik rushes to the window and looks out to see what
Ivar saw previously: a black ship approaching on the horizon.

ERIK
Oh, no! Halfdan!

There is more banging on the bedroom door.

KING ARNULF (V.O.)
Aud! You've got someone in there
again, haven't you?

Erik gives her a sharp look.

AUD
Quick! Throw this over you!

She throws a shabby bit of cloth over Erik and at that moment
the door bursts open, and King Arnulf enters.

KING ARNULF
Right! Where is he?

AUD
Who, Father?

KING ARNULF
Who? Who? Whoever you've got in here
of course!

AUD
There IS no one.

The King starts prowling round the chamber. Erik stands there,
naked and petrified, with the cloak hanging over his head,
just where it landed.

KING ARNULF
I can SMELL one of those strangers...
That's who it is, isn't it?

Aud keeps mum.

KING ARNULF
This is the fifth one this week.

Before he can stop himself, Erik blurts out:

ERIK
Fifth...

Aud motions him to be quiet, but it's too late. The King
spins round to see who she is signaling to. The King appears
to be looking straight at Erik. Erik can hardly bear the
suspense.

KING ARNULF
Well... where is he?

AUD
There's nobody here, Father. Look
for yourself.

King Arnulf looks around the chamber carefully. He looks
straight through Erik as if he weren't there. Suddenly the
King strides over to Erik and Erik instinctively cowers out
of the way. The King walks straight over to a very small
cupboard no more than a foot high, flings the door of it
open, and starts throwing clothes around the room.

AUD
He wouldn't be a midget, Father!

The King turns on her.

KING ARNULF
Ah! So you admit there IS someone!

AUD
You're losing your temper!

KING
(becoming instantly
pleasant)
Of course I'm not. I never lose my
temper...

Ivar's horn sounds again. A shadow passes over King Arnulf's
face.

KING ARNULF
Oh dear... more visitors!

He strides to the window and sees Halfdan's ship. As he does
so, Erik has to leap out of the way, inadvertently knocking
a chest. The King spins round and addresses the chest.

KING ARNULF
Come out... come out like a man... I
know you're in there...

King Arnulf flings the chest open, revealing nothing but
clothes. He is baffled. He reluctantly starts to leave.

AUD
(gently)
It's all in your own mind, Father...
It's YOU who imagine that I'm always
up here with some man or other....

KING ARNULF
I don't know how you do it, Aud... I
sometimes think you've got some of
your mother's magic...

He suddenly spies a small trinket-box and looks in that. But
he doesn't find any strange man in it.

AUD
There is no magic, Father... My mother
had no magic...

KING ARNULF
She did, I tell you! She could blind
me as easily as the night the day.

AUD
It's your fantasy...

KING ARNULF
But one day I'll catch you... Like I
caught her...

He leaves. Aud closes the door. Erik throws the cloak off
and starts getting dressed.

AUD
The Cloak Invisible. It was my
mother's parting gift.

ERIK
"The fifth one this week"!

AUD
Oh, for goodness' sake!

ERIK
And I thought you said it was
something special...

Aud runs to his side and puts her arms around him.

AUD
That's just what I was trying to
tell you. You ARE...

ERIK
Five this week; how many the week
before?

AUD
You're as bad as my father.

ERIK
And the week before that?

ERIK
Erik...!
(she is really sincere)
I want to help you get to Asgaard.

Erik is torn. He doesn't know whether to believe her or not.
Ivar's horn sounds for a third time. Erik races to the window.
He looks out. Halfdan's ship is even closer.

ERIK
We mustn't let him land!

AUD
Who?

ERIK
Halfdan the Black.

AUD
But, Erik...

But Erik is off out of the door.

AUD
No. Wait! My father will be --

There is a thump and a yell as Erik is set upon by the King's
two musicians.

KING ARNULF
I might have known it was you!

MUSICIAN #1
(pinning Erik's arms
behind him)
I'm not hurting you, am I?

ERIK
What?

MUSICIAN #2
You WILL tell us if we hurt you?

They start to march Erik through the palace.

ERIK
Let me go!

Erik struggles.

KING ARNULF
(to musicians)
Careful!
(to Erik)
They're not supposed to hurt you.

ERIK
You've got to let me go!

MUSICIAN #2
Oh no! We can hold onto you -- just
so long we don't squeeze too hard or
bump you.

In the distance we hear the horn again.

ERIK
Halfdan the Black's here!

They have reached a cell. The musicians starts to chain Erik
up.

KING ARNULF
It's all part of our safety
regulations. You see if someone were
to get hurt they might get angry and
then... well...

ERIK
They'll be more than "hurt" if Halfdan
the Black lands! Ow!

MUSICIAN
Ooh! I'm terribly sorry.

KING ARNULF
Who is Halfdan the Black?

ERIK
He's trying to stop us waking the
Gods.

KING ARNULF
Why?

ERIK
Because that's how he makes his money,
by war and plunder!

KING ARNULF
Don't talk nonsense.

ERIK
He wants to kill US!

KING ARNULF
Not when we explain about the Great
Blessing.

ERIK
You don't know Halfdan the Black.

KING ARNULF
I know that the Great Blessing has
kept the peace for a thousand years,
and will keep it for the next
thousand.

The horn sounds again. Erik is about to argue this point
when Thorfinn suddenly bursts in.

THORFINN
Erik!

MUSICIAN #2
We're not hurting him!

MUSICIAN #1
(to Erik)
Are we?

ERIK
Just let me go!

THORFINN
Halfdan the Black's here!

ERIK
I know!

THORFINN
(to the King)
He wants to KILL us.

They both look at King Arnulf. The King thinks.

ERIK
You don't want him to kill us ON Hy-
Brasil! Do you?

The King thinks some more. The horn sounds once more.

CUT TO:

THE GOLDEN DRAGON

Erik and the Vikings are scrambling into their war gear.
They glance nervously over to where Halfdan the Black's ship
is riding on the waves.

THORFINN
I feel strange.

Erik looks at Thorfinn, shocked.

IVAR THE BONELESS
(his throat dry)
Sort of wobbly and excited?

THORFINN
Sort of...

IVAR
That's fear.

SVEN
But Thorfinn doesn't know the meaning
of fear.

THORFINN
Is it sort of... like a sinking
feeling in your stomach?

IVAR
That's it!

ERIK
But. You're not even afraid of DEATH,
Thorfinn!

THORFINN
I know. I know.

SVEN'S DAD
It's magic.

ERIK
What "magic"?

SVEN'S DAD
I've heard stories of a magic that
strikes fear into the heart so you
cannot fight.

SVEN
(deadly serious)
Yes... I can feel it.

IVAR THE BONELESS
(eagerly)
I always feel like this!

Suddenly Halfdan's ship rises up out of the water, and
revealing the secret of its hidden power. Under the water-
line is another line of oars! The Vikings are dumbfounded.
Ivar drops trembling to his knees. The rest go white. Thorfinn
draws his sword. Erik realizes his men are rapidly talking
themselves into a blue funk.

ERIK
It's not magic! It's just a trick!

THORFINN
(turning on him angrily)
Don't you FEEL it?

Erik looks around at his paralyzed crew. He realizes he is
the only one who can save the situation.

ERIK
Very well! It they're using magic --
we'll use magic of our own!

He leaps out of Golden Dragon and races up to the shore
towards the city of Hy-Brasil.

Erik races into the Forum and gazes up at the high walls of
the Palace. Without a thought he produces two daggers and
plunges them into the stonework. Then he hauls himself up
the sheer cliff of wall up to Aud's bedchamber fist over
fist. It is, indeed, a prodigious feat. He arrives at Aud's
window exhausted. Aud, who has appeared at the window, looks
at him curiously.

AUD
Why didn't you come up by the stairs?

Erik looks around and notices for the first time the
magnificent flights of stairs leading up to the top of Aud's
tower.

ERIK
(rather miffed)
Just give me a hand.

AUD
I mean, you could have killed
yourself.

Erik clambers into Aud's room.

ERIK
Where's the Cloak Invisible?

AUD
Why?

Erik looks around and is suddenly suspicious.

ERIK
I can't see it!
(indignation suddenly
seizes him)
Have you got another man in here?

Erik starts feeling the air as if expecting to find an
invisible body.

AUD
It's in the chest.

Erik races over and grabs the cloak.

AUD
No!

ERIK
I'll bring it back.

AUD
Erik. You don't understand.

ERIK
No. It's YOU who doesn't understand,
Aud. Halfdan has come to kill and
destroy. We brought him here. We
must stop him.

AUD
(pointing at the cloak)
But you don't realize....

ERIK
Goodbye, Aud...

Erik leaps out of the window. For a moment Aud is surprised
and then alarmed as she realizes he's jumped out of the
window, which is some forty feet off the ground.

AUD
Erik!

She rushes to the window in time to see Erik parachuting
down, holding the four corners of the cloak. Erik lands safely
and waves with the cloak.

ERIK
And thanks for the Cloak Invisible!

AUD
No! WAIT! ERIK! The Cloak! The Cloak
Invisible! It only seems to work on
my father!

But Erik cannot hear her. He is already racing back to his
ship.

BACK ON THE GOLDEN DRAGON

Thorfinn is taking "Being Scared" lessons from Ivar the
Boneless.

THORFINN
And a sort of slightly sick feeling?

IVAR
That's it! AND you keep wanting to
go to the lavatory.

THORFINN
Oh, yes! I hadn't noticed that!

SNORRI
Oh, shut up, you two. You're making
us ALL nervous.

Erik leaps into Golden Dragon brandishing the Cloak Invisible.

ERIK
So Halfdan the Black's using magic,
is he? Well, I have a magic to match
his!
(he holds up the Cloak
Invisible)

KEITEL
What is it?

SNORRI
A magic dishcloth.

ERIK
To the oars!

THORFINN
D'you think I've got time to go behind
that bush?

Ivar starts to drum and the Vikings begin to row. Golden
Dragon heads out of the harbor.

CUT TO:

HALFDAN THE BLACK

flanked by his advisers, Gisli Oddsson and Eilif the Mongul.
He gives a nod and Eilif bangs his staff of office on the
deck, as a signal for the galley slaves to speed up. Down in
the galley, the slave master (a diminutive Japanese) stalks
down the decks lashing the sweat-streaked galley slaves and
cursing them in incomprehensive Japanese.

Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) a translation appears
in subtitles.

SLAVE-DRIVER
(subtitled)
Row! You incomprehensible, horizontal-
eyed, Western trouser-wearers! Eurgh!
You all look the same to me! How I
despise your lack of subtlety and
your joined-up writing! You, who
have never committed ritual suicide
in your lives!

SLAVE
(whispering to his
neighbor)
You know, I don't think it would be
so bad, if we knew what he was
saying...

SLAVE-DRIVER
SILENCE! Unceremonious rice-pudding
eaters! How I abominate your milk-
drinking and your lack of ancestor-
worship and your failure to eat your
lunch out of little boxes!

Meanwhile the Vikings are growing increasingly uneasy as
they row towards Halfdan.

SVEN'S DAD
What "magic" have you brought, Erik?

ERIK
You'll see!

At this point, back on the Black Ship, Halfdan gives another
nod and Eilif raps out yet another command with his staff.
This time the prow of the Black Ship opens up like a pair of
jaws. The Vikings see it and panic.

IVAR THE BONELESS
I've done it!

THORFINN
Oh, yes...
(he has too!)

Halfdan nods again and another order is rapped out. This
time a harpoon is fired from the prow. It thuds into GOLDEN
DRAGON and two of Halfdan's dog-soldiers start to winch the
line in. The two ships are hauled closer and closer.

The Vikings panic even more. Erik holds up the Cloak Invisible
and grins round at his men, knowing he is going to surprise
them.

ERIK
Here! Here is the magic from the
King's daughter!

Erik's men watch, half skeptical and half hopeful. Erik enjoys
the moment of suspense. The he throws the Cloak Invisible
over his head and shoulders and grins round at his men
triumphantly, imagining he has vanished from their sight.

ERIK
There! I have become the wind!

The Vikings look at him, rather puzzled. Only Harald seems
to be impressed.

HARALD
How did he do that?

SVEN'S DAD
Do what?

HARALD
Vanish into thin air?

SVEN'S DAD
He hasn't.

HARALD
Well, where is he then?

Harald looks around. He is the only one who can't see Erik.

SVEN'S DAD
He's THERE!

At this point Halfdan's ship suddenly bites into the side of
Golden Dragon. Erik leaps onto the side of Golden Dragon and
swings across onto Halfdan's ship. The Vikings react to the
horror of Halfdan's ship biting into Golden Dragon and to
Erik's blithe leap onto the enemy boat. Erik lands on the
deck of Halfdan's ship, and grins at the ferocious skull-
helmeted dog-soldiers.

ERIK
Ooh! Scary! Scary! Don't we look
mean?

Two dog-soldiers look at each other, totally non-plussed.
Erik grimaces at Halfdan's men, and does a little pirouette
to show them all that he's invisible from every angle.

ERIK
You can't see me! But I can see you!

He breaks into a little dance. Halfdan glares at his advisers.

HALFDAN
What's going on?

GISLI ODDSSON
That's Erik.

HALFDAN
Well, why isn't he scared of us?

Erik, meanwhile approaches one of the dog-soldiers and makes
silly faces at him.

ERIK
Boo!

The dog-soldier topples overboard. The galley slaves watch
another dog-soldier fall into the hold amongst them and lie
there stunned. His sword falls onto the deck between the
slaves. One of the slaves throws down his oar, and picks up
the dog-soldier's sword. The slave-master suddenly appears.
Once again he speaks immaculate Japanese.

SLAVE-MASTER
(subtitled)
Hey! What's going on? Your big-
breasted women give me no pleasure
with their warmed-up fish and...
Urgh!

The slave-master strides down the ship to flay the offending
slave, but another slave trips him up and in a twinkling of
an eye four others have leapt on the slave-master (despite
their chains) and are extracting his keys.

HALFDAN
What's the matter? Haven't you seen
anyone fight before?

DOG-SOLDIER #1
No.

DOG-SOLDIER #2
They're usually too scared of us.

HALFDAN
KILL him!

Erik, still thinking he's invisible, is running amongst the
dog-soldiers, having fun. He runs one dog-soldier through
and kicks another overboard, then he runs past a few more,
right up to Halfdan himself. He whisks the Cloak Invisible
off his head for an instant.

ERIK
(thinking he's
revealing himself)
Here I am!

Then he turns and is off. Halfdan turns to his aides.

HALFDAN
What?

BACK ON THE GOLDEN DRAGON

The Vikings' disbelief has turned to admiration.

SVEN'S DAD
There! THAT'S a true Berserk.

SVEN
I'm just building up to it, Dad.

Sven starts banging his head on the side of the boat.

SNORRI
He's gone batty!

THORFINN
No! The fear's gone!

Halfdan grabs a sword off one of his dead dog-soldiers and
thrusts it into the unwilling hands of his military adviser,
Eilif.

HALFDAN
Fight, damn you! Fight!

CUT BACK TO:

THE GOLDEN DRAGON

Now Sven leaps across onto Halfdan's ship followed by Ivar,
yelling. Snorri looks back at Keitel.

SNORRI
Well! Come on!

KEITEL
I... I...

Keitel is thinking: "Maybe I should let Halfdan win" but he
knows he can't let a thing like that happen, now he is faced
with the reality of it. The companionship of the voyage has
brought them all too close for that.

KEITEL
(under his breath)
Hang the Blacksmith's Code!

Keitel leaps to his feet and joins in the attack. Erik,
meanwhile, is swinging across the deck from a rope.

ERIK
I am the air! I am the wind!

Keitel and Thorfinn are now fighting side by side.

THORFINN
This is life, eh?

Keitel grins and strikes out. Ivar turns on Eilif who has
reluctantly joined the fray. Maybe he's singled Ivar out as
the most harmless. Ivar suddenly realizes he's only armed
with drumsticks. Eilif smiles evilly.

IVAR
Ooh... er...

Eilif's sword slices through Ivar's drumsticks. Ivar turns
to run, but is stopped by a dog-soldier. Eilif takes the
opportunity to run him through from behind.

IVAR
(as he dies)
Ouch.

Erik sees Ivar's demise.

ERIK
Ivar!

Erik leaps to take revenge. He jumps into the galley-pit and
out again a la Douglas Fairbanks in "The Thief of Baghdad"
and dispatches Eilif with a single thrust. Sven and his dad
are fighting surrounded by dog-soldiers.

SVEN'S DAD
Well, go on! Go berserk!

SVEN
GIVE US A CHANCE, Dad!

Snorri appears from behind.

SNORRI
(to Sven's dad)
What about you? Why don't YOU go
berserk?

SVEN'S DAD
I got to keep my eye on HIM...

Sven's dad looks uneasy. He is surrounded and, as a seasoned
campaigner, knows they haven't much chance. Halfdan smiles
to himself. The battle is going his way. Thorfinn meanwhile
is fighting two dog-soldiers but is attacked from behind by
a third.

SVEN
Look out! Thorfinn!

But it's too late. Thorfinn is run through the back. Sven
goes berserk and kills all three dog-soldiers. Sven's dad
looks on, proud of his son for the first time. Maybe their
relationship will never be the same again.

Now Snorri sees something that cheers him up. Slaves are
coming up from below to join the battle. They are armed with
oars and swords. They join the fray, knocking dog-soldiers
overboard with their oars. The dog-soldier are suddenly
outnumbered. Halfdan's smile fades, and he looks around for
an escape route. The tide of battle has now turned
dramatically as dog-soldier after dog-soldier is tossed over
the side or laid low by the combination of Vikings and slaves.
Halfdan and Gisli slip into a lifeboat and sneak off. The
rats are leaving the sinking ship.

BACK ON THE DECK

All the dog-soldiers are dead or overboard. The slaves and
Vikings are cheering and embracing each other. At the other
end of the boat, Sven is cradling the dying Thorfinn in his
arms. All around are jubilant slaves celebrating their
freedom.

SVEN
Thorfinn! You can't die!

THORFINN
I'm not frightened... of anything...

SVEN
You'll see my grandfather in Valhalla!

THORFINN
(dying)
No... he's not... not... there...

SVEN
Tell him I'm coming!

Thorfinn dies. Sven holds him and a tear comes down his face.
The danger has made comrades of the two rivals.

Erik, however, is still fighting a last lone dog-soldier;
but just as he is about to run him through the dog-soldier
is stabbed in the back. He sinks to the floor, revealing
another dog-soldier. Erik is outraged by this act of treachery
and turns on the assassin.

DOG-SOLDIER
No! No! Wait! Please wait, Erik!

The dog-soldier pulls his mask off to reveal he is, in fact,
Loki. Erik is totally non-plussed.

ERIK
LOKI! Where did YOU come from?

LOKI
Halfdan wanted to stop you waking
the Gods... so... I disguised myself
to sabotage their plans.

Erik has meanwhile been joined by the remaining comrades.

LOKI
To save YOU, Erik.

Erik is about to say "But how can you see me? I'm wearing
the Cloak Invisible."

ERIK
But --

LOKI
It was my master Keitel's idea.

All eyes turn on Keitel who looks very uncomfortable.

LOKI
Wasn't it, Keitel?

KEITEL
Well... I... I thought...

Keitel is overcome by the power of Loki's will, but he is
deeply ashamed of his complicity in Loki's deeds. Snorri
gazes at Keitel with growing suspicion.

ERIK
But... How is it you can see me?
(he looks round)
You can all see me?

LOKI
What d'you mean?

SNORRI AND OTHERS
Why shouldn't we see you?

HARALD
I can't see him.

ERIK
I'm wearing the Cloak Invisible....

Erik takes it off to demonstrate.

HARALD
Oh! There you are!

ERIK
(to the others)
You mean... you could see me all the
time?

The Vikings look at each other, mystified.

SNORRI
Weren't we supposed to?

ERIK
Oh... I feel a little... oh...

Erik's knees give way and he faints onto the deck.

CUT TO:

KING'S HALL - SOME TIME LATER

A victory celebration is in progress. It is a little bit
like a Hampstead cocktail party, and the rough, battle-stained
Vikings look rather out of place holding their little canapés.
Suddenly the King claps for silence.

KING ARNULF
We are grateful to you, Erik, and to
your men...

COURT
Yes, we are...

KING ARNULF
And there is only ONE way we can
repay you... Musicians!

King Arnulf claps his hands. Erik rushes over to him, anxious
to avoid another Hy-Brasilian concert.

ERIK
(hurriedly)
Well, we'd love to hear you sing
again, but what we'd really appreciate
would be if you could see your way
to lending... not giving of course...
but just lending us the... um...
the, well, to be quite blunt... the
Horn Resounding.

All the time Erik is talking the doors of the hall behind
are opening and a vast lur or horn is carried in by six
bearers. One or two of the Vikings have turned to look and
are now standing speechless. King Arnulf beams at Erik.

KING ARNULF
It's yours.

Now Erik finally turns and looks at what everyone else is
looking at. Erik's jaw drops. Everyone in the court beams at
Erik, except Aud who is looking sad and disappointed.

ERIK
(when he can find his
voice)
Is THAT it?

A cloud passes over King Arnulf's happy face.

KING ARNULF
Is there something the matter with
it?

ERIK
Oh! No! No... of course not... it's
just I hadn't expected it to be quite
so big.

KING ARNULF
Well, it's not called the Horn
Resounding for nothing.
(aside)
You DO know how to play the horn,
don't you?

ERIK
Yes... oh, yes...

KING ARNULF
Then I expect you'll be leaving first
thing in the morning.

The King manhandles Erik away from his daughter. Perhaps we
have the feeling that she's isn't going to let Erik go as
easily as that... Mix through to later that night. The Vikings
are lying asleep on the Great Hall, beside the Horn
Resounding. The camera closes in on Keitel. Suddenly a voice
comes from the shadows:

VOICE
(whispering)
Keitel! Keitel Blacksmith!

Keitel opens his eyes and finds Loki close beside him.

LOKI
What's the matter, Keitel Blacksmith?
Have you forgotten why you came on
this voyage?

Keitel is silent.

LOKI
Are you going to let Erik wake the
Gods?

KEITEL
How can we stops him now?

Loki looks around and then opens his hand in front of Keitel.
In it is the mouthpiece from the Horn Resounding.

LOKI
Take this and throw it from the cliff
heights. They'll never make the Horn
Resounding sound without it.

Keitel frowns. Then an obvious thought limps across his
muscular mind.

KEITEL
But why me? Why don't you do it?

Somebody stirs.

LOKI
Sh! Hurry!

KEITEL
YOU do it!

LOKI
You'll be able to throw it further
than I could.

Keitel thinks. This is true.

LOKI
It must go far out to sea.

Loki presses the mouthpiece on Keitel. Keitel takes it, but
reluctantly. Another Viking stirs.

LOKI
Surely you haven't forgotten the
Blacksmith's Oath?

Keitel is about to reply and say he's been having second
thoughts about it, but somehow he can't. Loki has such power
over him.

KEITEL
I...

Suddenly another Viking stirs, and Loki hisses at him.

LOKI
Hurry!

Loki pretend to go back to sleep. Keitel (feeling a bit
lumbered) thinks about his task and hesitates... Who knows?
Perhaps he is about to stand firm, but Loki plays his trump
card.

LOKI
(without opening his
eyes)
Or I might have to tell Erik why you
really came on this voyage.

Keitel is caught. He closes his eyes in resignation and then
reluctantly starts to make his way out of the Hall. As he
gets to the doors he trips over Snorri, who wakes. The
mouthpiece falls a few feet away.

SNORRI
Who's that?

KEITEL
It's me. I'm just going to water the
dragon...
(he gives a false
laugh)

SNORRI
Oh...

Snorri notices the silver mouthpiece on the floor, but he
pretends he hasn't.

SNORRI
Oh... clumsy idiot.

Snorri pretends to go back to sleep, but he opens one eye
and watches Keitel Blacksmith recover the mouthpiece, and
then follows Keitel out. Loki gets up too. He follows to
keep an eye on Snorri.

CUT TO:

AUD ON THE SHORE

Gazing moodily out to sea. She is brooding in Erik's imminent
departure. Suddenly a stone falls from above; she looks up
and sees a figure appear on the cliff above. Hurriedly she
withdraws into the shadows. Keitel Blacksmith appears on the
cliff-top. In his hands he holds the mouthpiece of the Horn
Resounding. He examines it, turning over in his mind whether
he is doing the right thing or not. Then he decides he must.

KEITEL
(to himself)
My fellow blacksmiths.

He prepares to throw it.

SNORRI
Keitel!

Keitel jumps out of his skin.

KEITEL
What?

SNORRI
What are you doing, Keitel Blacksmith?

KEITEL
Get away, Snorri.

SNORRI
What have you got there?

Snorri advances towards Keitel. Keitel backs away, dangerously
near to the edge of the cliff. His boot slips and he jerks
himself forward. At the same time Snorri makes a grab for
the mouthpiece. A scuffle ensues, during which the mouthpiece
of the Horn Resounding is dropped. It bounces off the cliff
and falls down to the shore below. Aud steps out of the shadow
and picks it up. She frowns and looks up, and then screams,
as she sees the men fighting.

AUD
No!

But it's too late. Snorri goes white, gives a hideous gasp...
and sinks slowly to his knees -- revealing Loki standing
behind him with a bloody knife. As Keitel and Loki watch
Snorri die, a drop of blood from the knife falls to the
ground. The moment it lands, there is a deep subterranean
groan, and the earth begins to tremble violently. Keitel and
Loki look around in alarm.

KEITEL
Oh Gods! What have we done?

BACK IN THE KING'S HALL

Sven, Sven's dad and Harald are wide awake, but for the moment
paralyzed, as bits of masonry crash around them. The cheerful
figure of King Arnulf appears at the top of a stairway. He
raises his hands.

KING ARNULF
Stay calm! This is NOT happening.

The King then hurries out of a door at the top of the
staircase.

SVEN'S DAD
What did he say?

ERIK
Look out!

The doors of the Great Hall burst open and a wall of water
crashes through, knocking the Vikings off their feet. There
is little doubt that the whole of Hy-Brasil is sinking see a
street go down, a statue sink and then we:

CUT TO:

CLOSEUP OF KING ARNULF

He is standing at the top of the Forum steps addressing a
crowd of anxious citizens. They are keeping surprisingly
good order considering they are already standing ankle-deep
in water, and the whole town is rapidly sinking around them.

KING ARNULF
Now, I know what some of you must be
thinking... the day has come....
we're all going down, etc. etc. But
let's get away from the fantasy and
look at the FACTS. FACT ONE -- The
threat of total destruction has kept
the peace for one thousand years.
FACT TWO -- The chances of it failing
now are therefore one in three hundred
and sixty-five thousand. FACT THREE...

By this time the water is up to people's knees, and several
have crowded onto the lower steps to avoid getting wet.

KING ARNULF
FACT THREE -- Our safety regulations
are the most rigorous in the world.
We are all nice to each other, we
never rub each other up the wrong
way or contradict each other, do we?

CROWD
No.

Rumble. The buildings sink and masonry falls.

CITIZEN
We... er... do seem to be going down
quite fast, Your Majesty -- not trying
to contradict you, course.

KING ARNULF
No, of course you're not, citizen.
But let's stick to the facts. There
has NEVER been a safer, more certain
way of keeping the peace. So
whatever's happening, you can rest
assured, Hy-Brasil is NOT sinking.
Repeat, NOT sinking.

CUT TO:

AN UNFORTUNATE HY-BRASILIAN

Who looks out of a window to see if it's raining, but is
immersed before he can find out.

The citizens in the Forum, however, are reassured by the
King's words -- even though they are now up to their waists
in water. One of them steps forward.

ANOTHER CITIZEN
May I just make a point in support
of what King Arnulf's just said?

KING ARNULF
We'd be delighted -- wouldn't we?

CITIZENS
Yes, we'd certainly like to hear
what one of us has got to say...

Erik, Sven, Sven's dad and Harald struggle out of the Great
Hall, carrying their belongings and the Horn Resounding,
while the citizen is still speaking most articulately in
support of the King. They are ALMOST in a panic.

ERIK
What are you all doing?

CITIZEN AT THE BACK
(cheerfully)
It's all right. It's not happening.

ERIK
(urgently)
The place is sinking!

CITIZEN AT THE BACK
Yes... I thought it was too, but the
King's just pointed out that it can't
be.

CITIZEN
(still speaking in
support of the King)
...and, of course, we mustn't forget
King Arnulf's EXCELLENT eye for flower-
arranging.

There is a smattering of applause. A few people pull their
robes up out of the wet. Erik leaps onto a wall and shouts
to the crowd.

ERIK
Save yourselves! Hy-Brasil... is
sinking.

There are a lot of knowing smiles amongst the citizens.

CITIZEN FROM MIDDLE
Look, you don't know our safety
regulations.

KING ARNULF
It can't happen.

ERIK
But it IS! Look!

KING ARNULF
(ignoring Erik)
The important thing is not to panic.

CITIZENS
Quite... yes... we understand...

KING ARNULF
I've already appointed the Chancellor
as Chairman of a committee to find
out exactly what IS going on, and
meantime I suggest we have a sing-
song!

CITIZENS
Good idea!

ANOTHER
Can we do the one that goes "TUM-TI-
TUM-TI-TUM-TI-TUM"?

Erik looks around in despair.

Meanwhile in another street someone is struggling in the
floodwater.

LOKI
I can't swim! I can't swim!

KEITEL
Relax!

LOKI
I'm drowning! Help!

Loki grabs Keitel round the neck.

KEITEL
Let go!

But Keitel is pulled under. He re-emerges spluttering.

KEITEL
Urrgh! Argh! Let go, you idiot!

LOKI
Help!

KEITEL
You'll drown us bo...

But they go under again. At this point Erik, Sven, Sven's
dad and Harald swim round the corner, pushing the Horn
Resounding. They see the figures disappearing under the water.

KEITEL
Help!

LOKI
Help!

Erik, Sven and Co. swim as fast as they can to rescue the
drowning pair. They struggle to overpower the panic-stricken
Loki, but he puts up a manic fight. Unexpectedly, Harald
Missionary suddenly unleashes a vicious right hook and lays
Loki out cold. There is a moment's stunned silence that is
no unmingled with indignation.

SVEN
(with hurt surprise)
You hit him!

HARALD
Well, it's what you're supposed to
do... isn't it?

SVEN'S DAD
Look!

They look up as Golden Dragon sails around a corner of the
street, piloted by Aud. As the Vikings scramble aboard, the
sound of the "sing-song" reaches a particularly noisy and
discordant climax attract their attention.

BACK IN WHAT WAS THE FORUM

A crowd of unconcerned-looking citizens is sitting on the
last roof and just coming to the end of another appalling
song.

CITIZENS
...Te... Tum!

KING
You know, I think we're getting
better.

CITIZEN #1
(with genuine interest)
How can you tell?

KING
(a bit stumped)
Er...

AUD
Father!

The King looks up.

KING ARNULF
It's all right! It isn't happening!

AUD
But, Father, it IS!

ERIK
Get on board!

CITIZEN #2
No THANKS!

CITIZEN #3
Who do you think YOU are?

CITIZEN #1
Panic-monger!

The roof is now sinking rapidly, though the citizens appear
as unperturbed as ever.

CITIZEN
Leave us alone!

SVEN
Yeah. Leave 'em alone.

AUD
It's sinking! Hy-Brasil is sinking!

KING ARNULF
Well, my dear, I think you'll find
it's all a question of what you want
to believe in.... I have slightly
more experience of these matters
than you...

Unfortunately, at this point, the entire gathering of
citizens, the King and the Forum Temple disappear below the
waves.

AUD
Father!
(tears spring to her
eyes)

Harald Missionary has put his arm around Aud in a fatherly
way.

HARALD MISSIONARY
There, my child... it's at times
like this that this book can be a
great help...

Erik shoos him away.

HARALD MISSIONARY
(with his usual
promptness)
Right!

GOLDEN DRAGON spins alone in the wide ocean.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:

SOME TIME LATER

They are all gathered in front of the Horn Resounding.

ERIK
(to himself)
We must blow the first note... he
note that will take us to Asgaard...

SVEN
(nervously and with
awe in his voice)
Over the Edge of the World.

The other men look up at the Horn Resounding, and begin to
feel a bit nervous.

ERIK
We are going where only the dead
have been before...

Erik takes a deep breath and then puts his lips to the Horn
Resounding. He blows. There is a splutter, and one or two of
the Vikings titter amongst themselves. He has another go.
But again, all he produces is a pathetic spluttering.

SVEN
(not unkindly in his
manner)
Uh! Here! Give it to me!

Sven pushes Erik aside. Sven blow... he becomes redder and
redder. But all he produces is a splutter. He gets a bit
angry.

SVEN
Thor's blood!

Sven's dad looks heavenwards.

SVEN'S DAD
You're not using the right technique.

Sven's dad tries to take it over.

SVEN
No! I'm doing it!

They start to struggle.

SVEN
(getting angry)
You're always telling me... TELLING
me!

Erik tries to separate them.

ERIK
Sven!

SVEN
(to his dad)
Let me do something for myself for a
change!

Suddenly Aud comes forward.

AUD
No! Don't quarrel!

Sven and his dad stop fighting, surprised by the vehement in
her voice.

AUD
We'll never get where we want to go
if we fight.

Aud crosses to the Horn and inserts the mouthpiece. Loki
glances at Keitel. He hadn't bargained for this!

LOKI
Er... don't blow it! You never know
WHAT might happen...

AUD
It has not spoken for a thousand
years... You must bring it to life
with a kiss...

She puts her lips to the mouthpiece and just touches it with
them... almost a kiss... then... very gently... she begins
to blow... a soft... slight note can just be heard... Aud
takes her mouth away from the mouthpiece... and the soft
note goes on... reverberating... A sweet note... a magic
note... the Vikings stand stock-still, enchanted by the
sound... and the sound all the time is getting louder and
the Horn begins to vibrate with the note. As the volume
increases the Golden Dragon itself begins to reverberate
with the sound. Rings of ripples begin to radiate out from
the boat across the calm water. The note grows louder and
louder, and the Vikings, who at first were laughing and
cheering at Aud's success, begin to get rather alarmed. Louder
and louder gets the note and the Horn shakes and the boat
vibrates. Things start to be shaken loose, and fall onto the
deck. Ropes uncoil and run loose. A heavy block suddenly
crashes down to the deck, crowning Harald and laying him out
flat. Louder and louder grows the note, and the Vikings have
to stop their ears for the pain. The water around the ship
becomes more and more agitated. And then another sound is
heard. It is the thunder of water in the distance like a
million distant waterfalls. And suddenly they notice the sea
is running like a river -- all in one direction... sweeping
the ship forward with incredible momentum. In no time they
are engulfed in a mist, still traveling at a rate of knots.

Almost at once an appointed rock looms out of the mist ahead
of them. Erik flings himself at the steering oar, and everyone
is thrown about as the ship veers wildly and just misses the
rock, only to see another looming up ahead of them. The ship
veers again, as a third rock looms ahead. This time Sven has
grabbed a coil of rope, and as they pass the third rock, he
throws it like a lasso over the rock. Loki and Keitel leap
to grab the rope just as the rope goes taut and the ship
comes to a lurching stop, anchored by the rope, but still
swaying and buffeted in the racing waters. Those on board
shout to each other, soaked to the skin. It is difficult to
make out what they are shouting.

LOKI
Help!

AUD
What are you doing?

LOKI
What d'you think? Help! Somebody
help us!

SVEN
Shut up!

LOKI
(pointing at Aud)
She wants to kill us!

KEITEL
She wants to take us over the Edge
of the World!

AUD
You want to get to Asgaard, don't
you?

LOKI
How do we know this is the way?

ERIK
(shouting)
We blew the Horn Resounding.

LOKI
(screaming and pointing
an accusing finger
at Aud)
SHE blew the Horn Resounding.

KEITEL
(shouting)
Don't you see, Erik! She wants
revenge!

ERIK
What are you talking about?

LOKI
(to Keitel)
Shut up!

KEITEL
She knows it was our fault!

LOKI
Keep your mouth shut, Keitel!

KEITEL
No! It's YOU, Loki! I should never
have listened to you!

Loki looks around desperately.

LOKI
You've lost your mind.

KEITEL
We came to stop you waking the Gods,
Erik! But I didn't want anyone to
get hurt!

LOKI
You fool!

Suddenly Loki produces his stiletto and leaps onto Keitel,
stabbing at him.

LOKI
I should have got rid of you long
ago!

KEITEL
Like you got rid of Snorri!

Erik tries to separate them.

AUD
No! No! We are in the spell of the
Horn! Hatred will destroy us.

ERIK
That's right!

For a split second Erik is distracted. He looks across at
Aud and for a moment he sees Freya standing there.

FREYA
Once you are in the spell of the
Horn, hatred will destroy you...

Then it is Aud once more. But in that split second Loki has
stabbed Erik.

ERIK
Arrgh!

Erik staggers back clutching his arm. Keitel gives a roar of
rage, and picks Loki up bodily and hurls him out of the boat
into the maelstrom. The other Vikings look on aghast. Keitel
turns on them.

KEITEL
He killed Snorri! He caused the land
of Hy-Brasil to sink! SHE knew!

AUD
I didn't know!

KEITEL
Now she wants to send us over the
Edge of the World!

AUD
How else d'you think we're going to
get to Asgaard?

The Vikings look at each other amidst the roaring waters and
the thick spray. Erik holds his bleeding arm and looks at
Aud. Should he trust her or not? Suddenly he turns on the
others.

ERIK
(shouting above the
din)
Do YOU know the way to Asgaard, Keitel
Blacksmith?

Keitel shakes his head.

ERIK
Do YOU know the way to Asgaard, Sven?

Sven shakes his head.

ERIK
There is one road before us, and
that leads over the Edge of the World.

Harald sits up as he returns to consciousness.

HARALD
There IS no Edge of the World.

Sven's dad bonks him again. Erik takes the rope and begins
paying it out. With grim faces the Vikings turn and face
towards the roaring of the waters, as Erik edge the ship
further into the mist. The noise is deafening. It would be
almost impossible to hear any voice above it.

The faces of the Vikings betray their fear as they find
themselves emerging from out of the mist at the Edge of the
World. They gape as they find themselves confronted by a
Waterfall of Seas -- stretching on either side of them -- as
far as the eye can see -- water falling and plunging over
the lip of the world. And in front of them -- the blue sky
continues on down and down until it shades into blackness
strewn with stars beneath their feet...

Sven, Sven's dad and Keitel edge to the prow and gasp.

AUD
No! Don't look over the Edge!

Erik lets out a little more rope, until the ship is protruding
over the edge. Sven, his dad and Keitel peer over the side,
and stare down into the abyss. They gasp. From above we see
the prow of Golden Dragon and the backs of the Vikings' heads
in plain view against a backdrop of stars below them.

ERIK
Let me see!

Aud holds him back.

AUD
No. Don't look... The abyss will
suck away your strength.

ERIK
I MUST look! Keitel! Hold this!

Erik turns to see Sven and Keitel trembling... They hold
onto the sides of the ship but their legs can barely support
them.

SVEN
There is nothing we can do...

SVEN'S DAD
Helpless...

Keitel start to laugh.

KEITEL
Ha ha... I believed Loki... I believed
I had a duty to blacksmiths! Ha ha
ha!

Keitel laughs a little hysterically. Aud turns urgently to
Erik.

AUD
YOU still want to go to Asgaard?

ERIK
Of course.

AUD
Do you believe I love you?

ERIK
I... but I...

AUD
You don't have to love me. Just: do
you believe I love YOU?

ERIK
Yes -- I believe you do.

AUD
Then let go!

Erik hesitates, then he decides to believe in Aud. He throws
the rope away. At once the ship shoots off over the Edge of
the World into space... Everything seems to slow down, as
the longship drops down and down... the ship twists slowly
as it drops.... round and round. The Vikings gaze about them
in wonder, as they find their ship if falling in silence
amongst the stars. Harald comes to once again.

HARALD
I'm still seeing stars.

Keitel looks round at him.

KEITEL
We're ALL seeing stars.

HARALD
No! I was hit on the head.

The longship falls and falls through the star-strewn space
until it softly lands in a white wilderness.

On the deck the Vikings are huddles up, covered with rime-
frost. It seems as if they have been lying there half-frozen
for some time.

Perhaps the entire adventure has all been a dream, and they
have been stuck in the Arctic pack-ice the whole time. The
hallucinations of men near to death.

Aud tries to wake Erik.

AUD
Don't sleep... wake... Look!

Erik opens his eyes and, for an instant, he sees Helga. He
blinks and realizes it is Aud who is calling him back to
consciousness. Suddenly colored lights begin to play to his
face.

ERIK
Bi-Frost... The Rainbow Bridge.

Above them the Aurora Borealis stretches up, magnificent and
awesome in the sky. Erik makes his way through the other
Vikings.

ERIK
Wake up!

The others slowly begin to rouse themselves from their icy
slumber and sit up, awed by the sight.

KEITEL
(whispering)
Are we dead?

VIKINGS
The Rainbow Bridge.

They all peer up at the ever-changing colors of the Aurora
Borealis, hanging in the sky above them like organ-pipes.
But something is happening. The lights begin to fade to reveal
a magical city on a mountain. The Vikings realize that this
is journey's end... they have reached Asgaard... the City of
the Gods. The Vikings all catch their breaths and gaze in
awe.

ERIK
Asgaard!

HARALD MISSIONARY
Where?

SVEN'S DAD
Up there, you fathead.

HARALD MISSIONARY
Up WHERE?

Harald look round quizzically at the others. It is clear
that he can see nothing.

ERIK
Look! It's real.

Harald looks around at the others.

HARALD
Hallucinations are real.

It's no use; Harald can see nothing. The Vikings, transfixed
by the sight of their fabled home of the Gods, rise to their
feet. Aud whispers to Erik.

AUD
The second note.

ERIK
The second note to wake the Gods...

Erik kneels in front of the Horn.

AUD
Gently...

Erik blows... a soft gentle note... He takes his mouth away,
and smiles at Aud. Once again the Horn stars to vibrate and
the note gets louder... the ship starts to vibrate... louder
and louder...

The whole landscape starts to vibrate... louder and louder
grows the note until even the stars in the sky are vibrating
and then a magical thing starts to happen... The note fades
as one by one the shimmering stars start to fall out of the
night sky... they fall like silver snow... until the ship...
the Vikings... Asgaard... the whole landscape is covered in
sparkling dust... then in the ensuing silence the first light
begins to glow in the Halls of Asgaard... then another...
and another... Erik stares as is bewitched and slowly begins
to climb out of Golden Dragon.... but Aud tries to pull him
back.

AUD
Erik! You've done what you came to
do!

ERIK
Not quite...

Aud looks at him.

AUD
Blow the third note! The note to
take us home!

ERIK
There is something I must ask the
Gods...

AUD
No living man has ever set foot in
the Halls of Asgaard... The Gods
will never let you return.

Erik looks at her... for a moment... But he knows he has no
choice.

SVEN
I came to find my grandfather.

ERIK
I have to go...

AUD
Then I shall come too.

ERIK
(stares at her)
No... no...

AUD
I don't want to live WITHOUT you.

ERIK
But, Aud... I... I came to find
someone...

Aud is about to say "Her?", but she bites the word back and
looks down at the ground.

ERIK
I'm sorry, Aud... I really am.

Aud kisses Erik, who then turns and climbs out of Golden
Dragon and sets off across the ice. Sven follows.

SVEN'S DAD
Wait for me! I'll be dead soon
anyway...

KEITEL
You can't go without me!

They follow. Even Harald Missionary starts to follow.

HARALD
Where are they all going?

AUD
Aren't you afraid?

HARALD
Oh... There's nothing for ME to be
afraid of.

Harald smiles and sets off after the others. Aud follows.
The stars have fallen to form a shining, winding pathway up
to the City of the Gods. This is what the Vikings head for.

Between them and the Citadel strange huge forms rise up. The
Vikings approach and find the vast skeletons of the slain
giants. The Vikings are but tiny gnat-sized figures wending
their way between the vast figures.

They climb the stairway-path of stars, up the winding road
and eventually fins themselves outside the massive doors of
Asgaard.

ERIK
Valhalla...

Sven turns on Harald.

SVEN
There! It's real! It's solid! Now do
you believe us?

He pats the wall of Valhalla -- the Great Hall. Harald reaches
out, but his hand goes right through the wall.

HARALD
There isn't anything.

Harald Missionary walks straight through the wall and
disappears from sight. The Vikings gasp, and run up to feel
the point where he disappeared. The door is perfectly solid
to them, and they jump pout of their skins as Harald suddenly
reappears again.

HARALD
You're having me on, aren't you?

ERIK
It's Valhalla -- where the warriors
slain in battle go.

AUD
It doesn't exist for him.

SVEN'S DAD
He's just s cynic.

At this moment there is a creak and the great doors
mysteriously swing open. As if mesmerized, the Vikings enter
the Halls of Asgaard. The door slams behind them. They spin
round, but the doors have vanished... No man has ever entered
the Halls of Asgaard and left alive...

Erik slowly starts to cross the vast floor looking around
him as he does so. One by one the other Vikings follow. After
a while Erik stops.

ERIK
Listen!

The Vikings listen. They hear the sound of children laughing
and shouting. Erik and his men follow through the columns
towards a pool of light. The scene that greets their eyes is
not at all what they had been prepared for.

Valhalla is not full of the warriors slain in battle, quaffing
mead on the ale-bench and reliving old battles -- it is,
instead full of children romping, laughing, shouting,
quarreling and playing games... chess, fencing... dice...
tag, etc., around a wide hearth fire. Women are cooking and
doing other housewifely things... weaving, making bread,
etc. It is a thoroughly domestic scene. Suddenly one of them
turns at Erik. It is Helga, whom Erik accidentally killed in
Scene One. She is once again kneading dough. She has a red
stain under her breast.

HELGA
Oh good! It's Mr. Wonderful!

Erik leaps to her side.

ERIK
I've come to take you back to the
land of the living.

HELGA
What a stupid idea.

ERIK
(mortally hurt)
Why?

HELGA
What's the point of being dead in
the land of the living?

ERIK
I'll ask the Gods to give you life
again!

Helga looks at Erik very skeptically. She obviously thinks
he doesn't know what he's talking about. Aud reacts. Erik
takes Helga's hand -- and gets covered in dough.

HELGA
Have you tried to ask the God for
anything?

ERIK
Well... no...

HARALD MISSIONARY
Who is he talking to?

AUD
Sh!

HELGA
Odin!

One of the children, throwing pennies against the wall, looks
round.

CHILD-ODIN
I'm busy.

The Vikings are recovering from their surprise.

VIKINGS
Odin?

HELGA
(getting back to her
kneading)
He's busy.

ERIK
Is THAT Odin?

HELGA
You'll have to wait till he's finished
his game.

ERIK
(shouting across)
Odin!

Odin leaves his game and saunters towards Erik.

ERIK
We have come from the world of
Midgard...

The child whom Odin is playing with points his hammer at the
ground near Erik and a lightning bolt zaps into it. Erik
jumps.

CHILD-THOR
Clear off.

ODIN
No, wait, Thor.

ERIK
You must help us.

ODIN
We don't HAVE to help anybody.

ERIK
Fenrir the Wolf covers the sun --
men fight and kill each other the
whole time.

ODIN
Why should WE care?

ERIK
Because... you're... you're the
Gods....

ODIN
So?

ERIK
Bring the Age of Ragnarok to an end
and stop all this fighting and
bloodshed.

Harald looks around at the Vikings in increasing desperation.

HARALD
This is ridiculous.

VIKINGS
Sh!

HARALD
Right!

The other Child-Gods have stopped playing around now and are
watching Erik and Odin.

ODIN
Erik the Viking! The things you seek
are not in our power. We don't make
men love each other or hate each
other.

ERIK
But you're the Gods!

ODIN
Look... Erik...

Odin whistles. The other children look over their shoulders.
From out of the darkness of the perimeter of the Hall, shadows
emerge... shadows that, as they shuffle and stumble into the
light, reveal themselves to be the heroes that the Vikings
had expected to find in Valhalla. But they are not hale and
hearty giants quaffing mead and reliving their great
battles... they are, in fact, a sorry lot... the slain-in-
battle still bearing the hideous deformities of their fatal
wounds. Most have a sword or an axe buried in some part of
their anatomy. One has been cleft in twain...

The Vikings react to this grisly gathering as more and more
of them emerge from the shadows. They gasp as they notice
Snorri, Ivar, Thorfinn, Loki and Leif the Lucky.

ERIK
Snorri! Ivar!

HARALD
Here we are standing on a bare
mountain top talking to thin air.

We notice that Harald's cloak is being blown about as if he
were indeed on a bare mountain top. The other's cloaks are
still. Sven's dad is gazing across at one horribly mutilated
specimen.

SVEN'S DAD
Dad!

KEITEL
(disbelievingly)
How can you tell?

SVEN'S DAD
I'll never forget him! The BASTARD!

Sven reacts. Sven's dad starts to go berserk.

SVEN'S DAD
He drove me mad!

SVEN
Easy, Dad!

SVEN'S DAD
And his "you'll never be a Berserk
if you lose your temper"...

SVEN
Dad!

SVEN'S DAD
I hate you! I hate you!

Sven's dad collapses against Sven and Sven comforts him,
understandingly. A figure emerges from the throng of dead.
It is Thorfinn. Sven looks up at him.

THORFINN
You won, Sven.

LOKI
What right have YOU to try and stop
men fighting, Erik the Viking? There
is glory in battle. There are riches
to be made and won...

KEITEL
Made by YOU, Loki!

LOKI
By YOU -- Keitel Blacksmith! Don't
you know, Erik, that is why he went
with you? Ragnarok was good for his
business...

KEITEL
It's not my business any more!

Suddenly there is a howl... a bitter howl that echoes above
and around the Halls of Asgaard and that gets more distant
and more distant. Everyone (including the dead heroes and
the Gods) freezes and looks up, listening. Perhaps we cut
away to the boiling sky as it resolves itself into the shape
of a wolf that snarls and slinks away. Odin turns to Erik as
the howling recedes.

ODIN
Fenrir the Wolf has gone, Erik. But
will men cease fighting each other?
THAT is not in our power...

Odin starts to laugh. All the other children start to laugh...
so do the dead heroes. Erik and his men look round uneasily.

ERIK
I have one more request before we
return...

Erik turns towards Helga, who is still standing at her trough
of dough with her arms up to her elbows in flour. Aud watches
Erik with sadness in her heart.

ODIN
Return? You have set your foot in
the Halls of Asgaard, Erik. You cannot
return.

Aud looks round to see how the others react. It is as she
had feared. Erik pales. The blood drains from the other's
faces. Aud whispers something to Harald. Harald looks at her
blankly.

AUD
(whispering)
PLEASE!

HARALD
But you're all imagining this...
whatever it is.

AUD
(earnestly)
You're the only one who can. PLEASE.

Harald look around at the dumbfounded Vikings. Then he shrugs
and wanders off, disappearing through the closed doors of
Valhalla.

ERIK
You mean... we must stay here forever?

As he says this Erik's eyes turn again towards Helga. He is
clearly thinking at least there are compensations... Odin,
however, is laughing again.

ODIN
Stay HERE? Ha ha! This is Valhalla.
This is reserved for those slain-in-
battle.

HORRIBLY SLAIN WARRIOR
(grinning cheerfully)
Yeah! We're the LUCKY ones!

HORRIBLY SLAIN FRIEND OF HIS
Yeah. It's much better than dying of
old age.

The ghastly and dismembered dead warriors all chortle no end
at the dismay written on the face of Erik and his men. At
the same time there is a grinding, wincing sound. All those
around the hearth-place fall back as a vast grating is winced
up from out of the flames. The Vikings look at each other.

ODIN
For YOU there is only the Pit of
Hel!

As Odin says this there is a roaring sound and the flames
and smoke are suddenly reversed and as the roaring increases
the flames are sucked down altogether to reveal the black
Pit of Hel itself. And now the Pit is sucking the Vikings
into it... their hair blows... they try to withstand the
force that is drawing them towards the abyss... The Gods
look on in some amusement. But some of the dead are concerned.

SVEN'S GRANDFATHER
Son! My son!

SVEN'S DAD
Get lost!

SVEN
Dad! Grandfather!

Sven tries to reconcile his father and grandfather, but it's
no use. He is sucked towards the Pit.

VIKINGS
Help!

ERIK
(to Helga)
I tried to save you!

HELGA
Why should you care?

ERIK
I don't know! I just did!

Erik can no longer withstand the force that is sucking him
down to the Pit of Hel. Suddenly, however, Snorri has leapt
from the ranks of the dead. He grabs Erik and tries to stop
him sliding towards the Pit of Hel. But it's no good.

ERIK
No! Let go, Snorri!

SNORRI
I've got you!

ERIK
You'll be sucked down too!

SNORRI
No! Arrgh!

Meanwhile, Ivar and Thorfinn and Leif the Lucky have also
leapt forward to save their comrades. They put up a fantastic
struggle but remorselessly they are all sucked down.

VIKINGS
Aagh!

The Vikings clutch at the stone floor, their fingers trace
blood as they try to cling on... but to no avail. The first
are already toppling into the Pit.

VIKINGS
Noooh!

VIKINGS
Ah!

And the rest -- including Aud -- soon follow.

The mouth of the Pit of Hel, through which the Vikings are
now tumbling higgledy-piggledy, is a round white disc set in
the unutterable blackness of the pit. However, as the Vikings
free-fall slowly towards camera, they are lit up by a faint,
reddish glow from below. They are staring, wild-eyed and
screaming as they fall. As they fall, Erik manages to smash
his axe into the side of the Pit. Thorfinn grabs his leg and
holds onto Sven's foot. Leif clutches at Sven's belt. Sven's
dad hangs onto Sven's foot. Ivar clutches Thorfinn's foot.
Erik clutches Ivar's leg and Aud clutches Erik's. They dangle
like this for some seconds, and look fearfully beneath them.
Then they can see the Infernal Regions of flame and molten
lava... somehow suggesting the face of a huge and sinister
creature. No wonder they're scared out of their wits.

Meanwhile, Odin and Thor appear at the top of the Pit and
look down with mild amusement. Thor casually points his hammer
and a streak of lightning zaps Erik's axe. It instantly glows
red hot. Erik screams. Suddenly we hear a new sound -- a
long, high, sweet note.

AUD
Listen! LISTEN! The third note!

But it's no good. Erik has to let go of the red-hot axe.
Everyone screams as they start to plunge down towards the
Pit of Hel.

CUT TO:

GOLDEN DRAGON

Harald Missionary is blowing the Horn Resounding.

HARALD MISSIONARY
(to himself)
I want to go home... Oooh!

Suddenly Golden Dragon, the Horn Resounding and Harald
Missionary shoot up into the air and disappear from sight.

CUT BACK TO:

THE PIT OF HEL

The Vikings are looking down as they fall -- they are still
scared but gradually start laughing... laughing as they fall
down and down and down until they fall out of sight. We are
left with a blackness and just the white disc of the mouth
of the Pit of Hel above, until the disc changes magically
into the moon. There is a series of splashes.

The note begins to fade and the camera slowly pans down to
reveal the Vikings all fallen into the duck pond back at
Ravensfjord. They are laughing and whooping and splashing
each other.

ERIK
I don't believe it... Ha ha ha! It
brought us HOME!

LEIF
But who BLEW it?

IVAR
Oh! Who cares? We're HOME!

THORFINN
Mum! Dad!

SVEN
We're back!

Sven embraces his father and dances him around with joy.

ALL
Yo hoo! We're here! We're...

Suddenly the joy drains from their faces and they each gape
in horror. What is it they see?

We cut to see that out of the huts the women and children
and old men are emerging -- but they are anything but happy.
In fact they are all bound and gagged. Behind them emerge
the sinister figures of Halfdan the Black, Gisli and maybe
half a dozen armed men. Halfdan and his cronies no longer
look sleek and self-assured. They are haggard and desperate.
Their faces are streaked with dirt and sweat, and their
clothes are torn and soiled. They have clearly been going
through a lean time, since Ragnarok ended, and have descended
on the village for revenge and for whatever plunder they can
find. They have a few sackfuls of booty with them. They herd
the women, children and old men into a pathetic huddle in
the middle of the village. Halfdan is spitting evil and
hatred.

HALFDAN
Throw down your weapons -- or we
shoot the children first.

Erik hesitates... The others look at him. What choice have
they? Reluctantly, Erik throws his weapons into the pond.
The others follow suit. Halfdan watches. His men stand around
him in a tight group with their backs to each other.

HALFDAN
Good... Good... Right, now we'll
just shoot the children anyway...

Erik is paralyzed. What can they do? Half Halfdan's men are
aiming their crossbows at Erik and his comrades, and half
are aiming at the women and children. They raise the crossbows
to shoot. Their fingers tighten on the triggers.

Suddenly there is a scream from above.

HARALD
Look out below!

Everyone looks up and, amazingly, out of the sky falls Golden
Dragon and lands fair and square on top of Halfdan and his
gang, squashing them flat. Harald Missionary staggers blearily
from the wreckage.

GRIMHILD HOUSEWIFE
Harald!

She rushes to Harald, while the Vikings rush to release their
loved ones. Great celebrations all round.

IVAR
Look!

They all turn and see the sun rising. The villagers gasp in
wonder. They've never seen the sun before. Erik looks around
and sees Thorfinn and Sven with their arms round each other.
Aud looks up as Erik smiles at he and holds her to him. Then
they all turn and gaze at the spectacle of the sun returning
to the world.

FADE OUT:

THE END

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