In the Shadow of the Raven

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Í skugga hrafnsins
Directed by Hrafn Gunnlaugsson
Produced by Christer Abrahamsen
Written by Hrafn Gunnlaugsson
Starring Reine Brynolfsson
Tinna Gunnlaugsdóttir
Egill Ólafsson
Sune Mangs
Kristbjörg Kjeld
Music by Harry Manfredini
Hans-Erik Philip
Cinematography Tony Forsberg
Edited by Hrafn Gunnlaugsson
Release date
  • 1988 (1988)
Running time
124 minutes
Country Iceland
Language Icelandic, German
Budget ISK 200,000,000

In the Shadow of the Raven (Icelandic: Í skugga hrafnsins (About this sound pronunciation )) is the title of a 1988 film by Hrafn Gunnlaugsson, set in Viking Age Iceland. The film was selected as the Icelandic entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 61st Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.[1]

In the Shadow of the Raven is the second film of the Raven Trilogy (also known as the Viking Trilogy) that consists of three 'Viking' films:

Plot summary[edit]

The film is a loose re-telling of the legend of Tristan and Isolde. In the year 1077, Trausti returns to Iceland after having studied theology in Norway. Meanwhile, Grim, the foreman on Trausti's farm, discovers a stranded whale. However, the retainers of the cruel neighbouring chief Eirikur discovers the whale as well. As Grim brings Trausti's mother Edda, the chief of the area, they discover Eirikur attempting to steal the whale. A fight erupts between the different clans and Edda is killed in the struggle. Grim swears vengeance upon Eirikur, and a blood-feud between Trausti's clan and Eirikur's clan is imminent.


Critical response[edit]

In 1991, Washington Post published a positive review of the film, critic Jeanne Cooper noting Hrafn Gunnlaugsson reaches gripping heights. The reviewer noted that the character of the bishop came off as similar to Jabba the Hutt and that Trausti's survival ability came off a Rasputin-like, but noted that this did not distract from the film.[2] New york Times wrote in their own review the same year that In the world of Hrafn Gunnlaugsson's medieval adventure film, "The Shadow of the Raven," emotions are as jagged and windblown as the spectacular Icelandic coastline where the movie was shot. Critic Stephen Holden praised the performances of Tinna Gunnlaugsdóttir and Kristbjörg Kjeld, but panned Reine Brynolfsson as unconvincing. Holden described Sune Mang's performance as "glowering exuberance", but was critical to some of dialog delivery of the cast members, calling it "grunting".[3]

Connections to The Raven Flies[edit]

Though not a conventional sequel at first sight, the film does feature several nods to the original film. The farm Króss is shot at the very same location as Thord's farm in the original film. When Trauti opens up his father's tomb, it's the very same clifftomb featured in The Raven Flies and the father's old helmet and cape and idols of Odin and Thor are the same as in the original film. Also, Gest's throwing knives are also found in the tomb. This heavily suggest that Trausti is the descendant of Thord and Einar.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]