Beforeigners is a Norwegian six-part television series that premiered on 21 August 2019. It is the first Norwegian-language series produced by HBO Europe. The show is created and written by Eilif Skodvin and Anne Bjørnstad and directed by Jens Lien. Beforeigners is produced by Rubicon TV AS. In September 2020, HBO confirmed that the series had been renewed for a second season.[1]

GenreCrime drama
Created byAnne Bjørnstad
Eilif Skodvin
Written byAnne Bjørnstad
Eilif Skodvin
Directed byJens Lien
Country of originNorway
Original languageNorwegian
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6
ProducersTerje Strømstad
Jan-Erik Gammleng
Production locationsNorway
Running time45 minutes
Production companyRubicon TV AS
Original networkHBO Nordic
Original release21 August 2019 (2019-08-21) – present

Beforeigners was nominated for Best Drama Series at the Gullruten 2020 awards,[2] thus becoming the first HBO production to be nominated for a Gullruten award. At the Norwegian Series Critics Awards in September 2020, the series was nominated for Best Norwegian Drama, while Krista Kosonen received a nomination for Best Actress in a Norwegian Series.[3]


The series takes place in Oslo, where sudden flashes of light appear in the bay in Bjørvika. A large number of people from different periods in the past—the Stone Age, Viking Age, and the 19th century—suddenly appear in the present. Police officer Lars Haaland (Nicolai Cleve Broch) meets the first "time migrants", who speak Old Norse.

Nearly two decades later, the so-called "Beforeigners" struggle to integrate into modern Norwegian society. Some of the 19th-century individuals have found work as journalists, office workers, and teachers, while most of the old Norse folk are homeless and sleep in parks. The Stone-Agers live at the fringes and in forests. Many modern Norwegians perceive these "refugees" as a drain on society.[4]

Lars Haaland now lives alone with his daughter Ingrid, 17, while his ex-wife lives as a neo-Victorian with a 19th-century husband. Lars is addicted to "time drops", a strong sedative prescribed to newcomers. He battles with his ex-wife about Ingrid because their daughter wants to go Russefeiring, a traditional celebration for Norwegian high-schoolers. More time migrants continue to appear in the harbor on a daily basis.

A woman with Stone-Age tattoos and rotten teeth is found dead on a beach and Lars is put in charge of the investigation. He is partnered with a first-day cop, Alfhildr Enginnsdottir (Krista Kosonen), a young Viking-era woman from the 11th century. She is the first police officer with a "multi-temporal background", but is shunned by some of her colleagues, who consider her unfit for the job. Lars and Alfhildr gradually get used to working together, though they have their own occasional run-ins and disagreements.[5] The autopsy of the dead woman reveals that she was strangled, and has odd cross-hatches on her back. A young girl reports she saw a "green sea monster with glowing eyes" seize the dead woman. As the investigation continues, an individual by the name of Navn (Oddgeir Thune) comes to prominence, becoming a suspect. A second autopsy of the dead woman reveals that she isn't in fact from the past, but rather a contemporary Norwegian. A new trend becomes apparent, where "wannabe time-migrants" shed their 21st-century identities and live as Beforeigners.

Throughout the series, Alfhildr has momentary flashbacks to her Viking past. She is revealed to have been a shield-maiden and not a farmer's wife, as she had declared herself to be in order to attend the Police Academy. In her free time, she seeks a man named Tore Hund (Stig Henrik Hoff). She meets an old friend, Urd Sighvatsdottir (Ágústa Eva Erlendsdóttir), another former shield-maiden. Urd introduces Alfhildr to her community, who are mainly from the Viking era. Before long, they track down Tore Hund, who now goes by the name "Tommy" and has no memory of the past, though Alfhildr and Urd are convinced he is Thorir Hund, who slew Olaf the Stout, and that they were his shield-maidens. An attack by an individual who claims to be a follower of Olaf triggers some memories in Tore, however, and he begins to seek answers.

Meanwhile, Ingrid and her friends go to Russefeiring and attempt to fake a time migration. One of them, Maddie, is high on time drops that she stole from Lars. As she jumps into the water, a time flash simultaneously disgorges more migrants. Maddie is suddenly older, with rotten teeth and visions of the past. The girls are quarantined. Maddie suffers an identity crisis and begins praying devoutly. Towards the end of the season, Maddie journeys to an ancient church and digs up a sword and crucifix. She is met by a Christian Viking who turns out to have been Olaf the Stout.

Odd-Magnus Williamson makes an appearance in the show as a corrupt harbor cop who is dating Alfhildr.



After creating the show Lilyhammer, Anne Bjørnstad and Eilif Skodvin decided to explore science fiction ideas. Skodvin suggested the core concept of "refugees arriving not from a different location but from different times". The story was built around the concept, with two main characters, Lars and Alfhildr, chosen early on. The creators were inspired by shows including True Love, District 9, and the story itself was influenced by The Leftovers and sci-fi classics such as Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four.[6]

Finnish actress Krista Kosonen did not understand Norwegian and had to learn the language, as well as Old Norse, for the role.[6]

Filming took place in Oslo and Lithuania.[6]


  1. ^ Andersen, Jacob. "HBO bekrefter ny sesong av Beforeigners" [HBO confirms new season of Beforeigners]. (in Norwegian). Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Klart for Gullruten-fest – her er alle de nominerte" [Ready for the Gullruten party - here are all the nominees]. (in Norwegian). 3 June 2020. Retrieved 5 December 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Seriekritikerprisen: NRK-serie fikk gjeveste pris" [Series Critics Awards: NRK series receives the most generous award] (in Norwegian). 25 September 2020. Retrieved 5 December 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "TV-serien "Beforeigners" fyller hullet etter "Game of Thrones" – og den er norsk!" [The TV series "Beforeigners" fills the gap after "Game of Thrones" - and it is Norwegian!]. (in Norwegian). 7 August 2019. Retrieved 5 December 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Beforeigners". (in Norwegian). 14 August 2019. Retrieved 5 December 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ a b c Pham, Annika (23 August 2019). "'Beforeigners" Anne Bjornstad on HBO's First Norwegian Original Series". Variety.

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