The Valhalla Murders

The Valhalla Murders (Icelandic: Brot, literally "violation") is an eight-episode police procedural television series produced in Iceland, originally airing there in 2019, then released worldwide in 2020 on Netflix and airing for free on BBC Four in the UK.

The Valhalla Murders
Also known asBrot
Genre
Country of originIceland
Original languages
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8 (list of episodes)
Production
Production locations
Running time50 minutes (approx.)
Release
Original networkRÚV (Iceland)
BBC Four (UK)
Picture format16:9 (1080i)
Audio formatStereo
Original release26 December 2019 –
1 March 2020
External links
Website

This is the second Icelandic series to be featured on Netflix, Trapped (Ófærð) being the first one. It is based, with the usual artistic license taken, on a real-life incident. As described in an article on the website MEAWW, "In the late 1940s, an almost similar event took place in remote Iceland. A state-run institution ... housed troubled, young boys, aged between seven and 14, where they were beaten and abused by the staff. Although in reality there was no murder, per se, as shown in the series, it caused quite a noise and the boys were eventually compensated in monetary terms."[1]

CastEdit

EpisodesEdit

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"Never Before Seen"Þorður PálssonÓttar M. Norðfjörd and Mikael TorfasonDecember 26, 2019 (2019-12-26)
Þór Ingimarsson is stabbed to death at Reykjavik Harbour. Veteran police detective Kata is dispatched to investigate, greeting her reporter friend Selma as she arrives at the scene. Þor's paramour Íris is arrested as the initial suspect, but the coroner concludes that the stabbing could not have been performed by a woman. Íris says that a masked man was following them all through that night, which is confirmed by surveillance cameras. Later, another man, Ómar Karlsson, is murdered. Both victims have identical stab wounds on their eyes. Police Commissioner Magnús intends to conceal the connection from the public, but Selma reveals the information at a press conference. The police decide to hire an investigator from abroad.
2"The Return"Þorður PálssonÓttar M. Norðfjörd and Mikael TorfasonJanuary 2, 2020 (2020-01-02)
The foreign investigator is Arnar Böðvarsson, an Icelandic expatriate living in Oslo, Norway. Arnar notes that the victims must have known the killer, because there are no defence wounds. An envelope is found in Ómar's safe, containing a photograph of Þór, Ómar, an unknown woman, and a group of teenage boys. Ómar's son Ragnar recognizes the photograph as of the staff and residents of Valhalla, a boys' home near Borgarnes, and identifies the woman as Brynja Þorsteinsdóttir. Hákon Jensen, the Borgarnes police chief, visits Brynja's home and discovers she is missing. Kata searches Valhalla and finds Brynja's body, with identical eye wounds to the other victims.
3"Valhalla"Þorður PálssonÓttar M. Norðfjörd and Mikael TorfasonJanuary 9, 2020 (2020-01-09)
A child at a farm near Valhalla describes a car that passed by on the day of the murder. Kata retrieves a report on all the boys' homes in the country, including Valhalla, from the Ministry of Justice's archives. Pétur Alfreðsson, the state prosecutor who compiled the report, is interviewed about it but doubts that Valhalla is the connection. Arnar finds another copy of the photograph, mailed to Þór shortly before his death. The police begin working to track down all the boys who lived in Valhalla. Kata meets one of them, Vidar Jonsson, who tells of terrible abuses at Valhalla that were not recorded in the report. Vidar mentions that one boy in the photo, Tommi, disappeared. Arnar meets another, Benedikt, who says there was another staff member at Valhalla — Gummi, who took the photograph.
4"Scars"Þorður PálssonÓttar M. Norðfjörd and Mikael TorfasonJanuary 16, 2020 (2020-01-16)
The police track down Gummi, but arrive at his home moments too late to prevent his murder. Selma records a television interview with Vidar and Benedikt, in which Vidar recounts how each week at Valhalla one boy was taken to a dark room and raped, and displays a hook-shaped scar on his arm given to all the boys as a brand. Andrés Hauksson, a prison inmate and former Valhalla resident, claims to know who the killer is: Steinþór Jónsson, a "psychopath" and bully at Valhalla. Andres doubts that Tommi, the boy who disappeared, simply ran away in the middle of a blizzard. Tommi's parents Dagný and Kristján come to the police station and provide one of his teeth.
5"In Plain Sight"Þorður PálssonÓttar M. Norðfjörd, Mikael Torfason, and Ottó Geir BorgJanuary 23, 2020 (2020-01-23)
Steinþór's fingerprints match those on Þór's photograph, and surveillance footage at a mall shows him arguing with Þór. Armed police raid his last known residence, a halfway house, but he is absent. The DNA from Tommi's tooth matches that of a 30-year-old skeleton found near Valhalla; suspicion naturally falls on Steinþór. Kata locates a car matching the child's description, in a garage containing a wall covered in photographs and information on the victims. Arnar tracks Steinþór to an abandoned power plant — where he finds Steinþór badly wounded at the hands of an inconsolable Kristján, who confesses to the murders. Kata arrives at the plant soon after; Kristján ambushes her and kills himself with her pistol.
6"Hidden Place"Þóra HilmarsdóttirÓttar M. Norðfjörd, Mikael Torfason, and Ottó Geir BorgJanuary 30, 2020 (2020-01-30)
Kata is placed on leave for allowing the perpetrator to gain control of her gun. Arnar questions Steinþór in the hospital; he denies involvement in Tommi's murder, saying that Tommi attempted to assassinate the boys' rapist and must have been killed for it. The police celebrate quickly solving the case, but Arnar notes that Gummi's murder is different from the others — his eyes were not slashed and the shoe prints found at the scene do not match those found at Ómar's house. Selma tells him that Gummi had planned to bring her several photographs. Nevertheless, Magnús moves to close the case and send Arnar back to Norway. Hákon rewatches the interview with Vidar and uses his descriptions to locate the secret room in Valhalla where the rapes took place. He telephones Kata directly, who agrees to help despite no longer having police powers; they scan the room and, finding dried blood, conclude Tommi was murdered there. Further research uncovers that the report on Valhalla was written by Magnús.
7"Crossroads"Þóra HilmarsdóttirÓttar M. Norðfjörd, Mikael Torfason, and Ottó Geir BorgFebruary 6, 2020 (2020-02-06)
Hákon and Kata retrieve a box of old photographs of Valhalla, one of which shows Magnús on scene as a police officer in the investigation into Tommi's disappearance. Furthermore, the handwriting in the report matches the handwriting on a note from Magnús. Hákon and Kata request an investigation into why Magnús did not disclose his involvement with Valhalla, but the request is summarily denied and agents are sent to Borgarnes to seize the documents. Arnar requests that Gummi's death be further investigated, then discovers Magnús did not communicate his request to the department at large. He visits Magnús' wife and is revealed to be their foster child. Selma interviews Magnús live, ostensibly about solving the case, but presents him with copies of the documents and questions him sharply. Magnús walks out of the interview, stunned.
8"Monster in the Dark"Þorður PálssonÓttar M. Norðfjörd, Mikael Torfason, and Ottó Geir BorgMarch 1, 2020 (2020-03-01)
Kata goes directly to Pétur to request the investigation into Magnús. Pétur is the mastermind and rapist behind the Valhalla crimes, with Magnús as his non-participating accomplice bribed to keep quiet. He drugs Kata's drink and hides her, though she manages to stash her phone away. Magnús, having had second thoughts, visits Pétur and finds the unconscious Kata; Pétur beats him with a wrench. Arnar deduces Pétur's guilt and, finding that Kata is missing, goes to Pétur's house to search for her. His fears are confirmed when he sees her phone ring inside, and Magnús tells him she was taken away in a boat. Arnar informs the police and rushes to the nearest marina. In the ensuing confrontation, Arnar is stabbed several times but tackles Pétur into the water; Kata dives in and rescues Arnar. From the hospital, Kata hears that Magnús is being held for questioning and that Pétur is missing. She looks at the scar on her arm Pétur gave her, identical to those of the Valhalla boys.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "'The Valhalla Murders' Season 1: Real-life story that inspired the Icelandic murder mystery". meaww.com. Retrieved 2020-04-11.

External linksEdit