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Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King

For anyone that wasn't aware, a couple of years ago a 2-part miniseries (with a run-time including commercials of around 4 hours) was made of the Ring of the Nibelungs and aired on the SciFi Channel. I'd missed it when it originally aired, but caught it re-running ridiculously late at night on SciFi a few days ago. The movie seemed to draw heavily upon Nibelungenlied, which is an epic poem in High-German. Elements of the story as described in this poem can be found in other older tales (such as the Volsung Saga from the Eddas). But it appears to be most closely adapted from the Nibelungenlied poem.

The miniseries took some liberties with the source material... but still I found it a fun romp and figured there may be a few of you who may want to keep an eye out for this for later viewing. It's not the most brilliantly acted casting, but far from the worst either. (I don't think anything can top bad the way that the 1999 Beowulf film starring Christopher Lambert is atrociously, painfully bad). I'd actually recommend it if you have some time to kill.

One of my minor pet peeves with this telling was how people kept talking of how they would go to Valhalla when they died. Um, Freyja gets half the battle slain warriors, and first half at that. So your odds of going to Valhalla if you die a warrior's death is only 50%. I guess it's a pet peeve, just because I hear so many Heathens TODAY in the here and now, say the same thing.

"Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King is the film version of The Ring of the Nibelungs. It’s the story of a magic ring, once guarded by a fierce dragon, that is unleashed upon the world. Great armies mass to fight for the ring even as fearsome spirit creatures hunt for it. A simple commoner is revealed to be the heir to a forgotten kingdom, and his love for a distant and foreign queen threatens to destroy them both. Will the ring’s curse bring doom to the hero and his companions?

The plot may sound familiar. That’s because The Ring of the Nibelungs is regarded by many critics to be the inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” saga. Some Tolkien fans may downplay the connection, in part due to the dubious political connections of another Nibelungs fan, Richard Wagner. Wagner’s epic “Ring” opera, written in the mid-1870s, drew heavily from the story of the Nibelungs. However, most scholars concede that both men borrowed from common historical sources.

"The only thing that our story has in common with the Wagner opera is that we used some of the same material from the Volsung Saga," says director, Uli Edel. "This story is about 1,500 years old. It was passed down verbally from generation to generation over hundreds of years until it was written down in the 13th century. In the past hundred years, it has been retold in various ways, and in many different versions, but my story focuses on the relationship between Siegfried, the dragon-slayer, his tragic love for Brunhild, the powerful Queen of Iceland, and the lovesick Princess of Burgund, Kriemhild."

Following the massive international success of the film version of “The Lord of the Rings,” there was a surge of interest in bringing the Nibelungs story to the big screen. A well-written script and ambitious production plans led to an impressive $25-million budget, and attracted a cast including Kristanna Loken (Terminator 3, BloodRayne), Alicia Witt (Vanilla Sky, The Upside of Anger), Julian Sands (Warlock, Leaving Las Vegas) Max Von Sydow (The Exorcist, Minority Report) and German TV star Benno Fuermann. The Academy Award-winning visual effects team from Independence Day and Godzilla was responsible for the film’s stunning special effects."

Source: http://www.dancing-ferret.com/darkkingdom/

Official Website: http://www.ring-of-the-nibelungs.com/