Thursday, 12 September 2019

Hope - Freedom - Justice

Bring Hope to those who have none,

Freedom for those in chains,

Justice to those who are wronged.

(Word-Hoard of The Hooded Man)

Our English Forefathers put freedom above everything they held sacred; freedom was the one thing they would fight and die for. They valued their freedom to say what they wished to say, to live as free men and women according to the customs and the laws of their Forefathers. They valued their freedom to choose their own beliefs and religious beliefs. They fought against those who sought to impose their will upon them, to dictate what they could say, what they could do, and what they could believe in. They defied kings and priests alike in their struggle to stay free men and women.

The names of those great Folk-Heroes of eld ring through Time and Space to their kinfolk of today. Boudicca the Iceni, Hengest and Horsa, AEtheflaed, Widukind the Saxon, Raedbad the Frisian, Ragnar Lodbrok, Edric the Wild, Robin i' the Hood, Hereward the Wake - these Folk-Heroes rise above the crowd to become god-like heroes of our Folk. Even when Christianity held sway over our people great men arose to continue the fight for freedom from invasion - Admiral Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, Sir Walter Raleigh - these late-comers still retained that love of freedom and the love of a free nation. 

A spate of films and TV Series based upon warrior-hood and heroism have been made during the last couple of decades - Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were shown at the turn of the millennium and over the 2012 period. The Vikings, The Last Kingdom, The Ice-Man (Otzi), Alpha, and The Last Warrior were more recent; The Vikings and The Last Kingdom have no doubt opened people's eyes to the Heathen Vikings and were not too complementary in their portrayal of the Christians. The latest to appear was in 2018 when the film 'Redbad' appeared, here in England as 'Rise of the Viking'; no doubt the name-change was due to the fact few would have known who Redbad was. 

Rise of the Viking is based upon Redbad the Frisian who fought tooth and nail against the growing oppression of the Christian Franks. The Frankish King, Pepin of Herstal, named after the figure who is thought to have been involved in the murder of the last Merovingian King, Dagobert II, tries to use Christianity in order to impose his will upon the Northlands, starting with Frisia. In the film Pepin is murdered by his son, Karl Martel ('Karl the Hammer'), who then takes up this agenda with even more fire and blood. The Christian King and his Christian Priest, Willibrord, are seen to be ruthless tyrants intent on murder and terror designed to crush the will of the Frisians. 

The pupil of Willibrord, Boniface (from England I believe), is portrayed as less brutal, and the wife of Redbad, who is also a Christian, is seen to believe in the ways of Christ but in a far different way to that of the Christian Church of the time. The visual effects of rows and rows of shields bearing the Christian Cross, and the huge towers of the Christian Franks bearing Christian Crosses, gives the impression of subjugation, suppression and ruthless terror upon others. Compare this with the barbaric look of the Heathen Frisians, their fierce eyes  blazing with the glint of freedom! Redbad, however, like the ancient Zarathustra, believed that the Heathen Frisians should abandon their customs of sacrificing human life which he believed was wrong - and indeed seems to have been introduced from outside of the Ur-Religion. 

Not seen in the film was the fact that the father of Redbad, Aldigisl, was a Christian, but Redbad revived the Heathen Religion and worship of Woden. In the film Aldigisl did not condemn the sacrifices that were their custom, but ensured that those who were chosen by lot (runes) were sacrificed 'out of their own free will'. One of the things that stood out in this film, which I believe was done in the Dutch Tongue (with English subtitles and English spoken by the Danes and Franks), was how many words in this tongue could be understood even in  modern English, many still retained in different dialects of English. This tongue seemed to ring deep into the Blood Memory.

Redbad's Mother is a Priest of Freya and Seeress of Freya, and his wife is Frea, the Anglo-Frisian name for Freya. Noteworthy, both the first love (Fenne) and his wife (Frea) are Shield-Maidens who fight with courage and bravery beside their menfolk in the fight for freedom. Written into this film is Archetypal Myth in the form of Redbad not wishing to be leader (Aragorn), being sacrificed to Woden by being cast adrift in a boat that floats ashore in the land of the Danes, found by Frea who becomes his wife, and then living amongst the Danes - like Ingus he sailed over the waves. 

Redbad and Frea have a son, Poppo, who is saved from death at the end through the courage of Fenne who throws herself into the path of a spear thrown by a Frank. The fight against the Franks is a long and hard struggle, and amongst the Frisians are cowards and traitors who in fear sell themselves out to the Franks. The mass of Frisians refuse to bow to the Christian Priests and at one point the new church built by Pepin in Friesland is set afire and burnt to the ground, which bodes not well, and he orders a stone one to be built and then butchers and massacres more Frisians. 

Karl Martel, in the film, murders his own father, Pepin, and then proceeds - in the role of a ruthless power-hungry tyrant - to murder the heir to the throne who is a mere boy. He is married to the sister of Redbad, and in typical fashion of a tyrant, he brutally abuses her before going on to 'convert' the Frisians. Jurre leads the Frisians into battle, but it is the tactics of Redbad that win the day against Karl Martel - and the Frisians hail Redbad as their leader. But he would still not take up this role as yet. The battle-cry chanted as the Frisians go into the fray is - 'For Woden!' (The name 'Woden' is used throughout the film, not 'Wodan' which is the Dutch spelling.)

Aldigisl, his father, often pushes Redbad to become a true leader, even though he will not accept the role he is destined for - this is Archetypal Myth. His father says to him -

'It is not about you; it is not about me; it is about the Folk.'

With the felling of the Sacred Oak Tree Redbad, Frea and Fenne are taken prisoner by the Franks, and the baby Poppo is taken too. His mother is slain but whispers in his ear -

'They cannot kill our world - You know who you are!'

But despite the treasonous work of Jurre's father who sells out to the Franks, in secret an agreement is made between the Frisians and the Danes, the Danes coming over in their longships to fight with the Frisians, and the time has been set for the battle. 

Here, Willibrord, in his usual vicious fashion as Priest of the Religion of Peace (Christianity), tries to forcibly baptise Redbad, who at first gives way. As he is ducked under the water his father's words can be heard urging him not to give way, not to yield to tyranny, at the end of which he hears - 

This is not about you. 
This is not about me,
'It's about  our Folk and Nation'  
'Now stand up Redbad - Rise!'

He stands, and then comes the famous speech that comes down to us in history. He asks if his forefathers will be in Heaven, to which he gets the reply - 'No'. He asks again and gets the same reply. Then he rolls off the names of his forefathers, his family, all of whom are 'good men' but gets the same reply - 'No!' He then cries out, asking why he should take up such a religion, and then exclaims - 'I would rather be in hell with my friends than in heaven with my enemies!' A sword is thrown to him and the Frisians fight and beat the Franks who flee to Dorestad, taking baby Poppo with them.

The scene is set for the last battle, where Redbad uses the advantage of his Mother's teachings to wait for a Lunar Eclipse that night. The Christians fall about in panic, no doubt due to their superstitious beliefs; Redbad gives a final rousing speech to his men, balls of fire are hurled into the ranks of the Franks, and the Frisians hurl themselves upon the ranks of shields bearing the Cross of Christ. The Danes attack from the other side and the battle ends when Karl Martel is defeated, and allowed (by Redbad for some reason) to get away; he orders his man to throw the spear at Poppo, but Fenne throws herself into the way and dies on the spot. Her courage in sacrificing her own life brings shame upon the cowards and traitors who bowed to tyranny. 

At the end of the film it is stated that Wilibrord and Boniface are made saints and go into the history books, whilst Redbad is cut out of the history books and his memory is erased completely. Indeed, his name was smeared and his life-struggle distorted. He lives on, however, in legend - which never dies

This film captures a heroic age in which free men and free women are willing to fight and die for the freedom of their Folk and Nation. Even in these times there are cowards and traitors who will not fight and bow to terror and tyranny. Redbad is a true Folk-Hero who frees his Folk from thraldom and tyranny; after his death things change and Boniface is murdered by 'brigands' (?) giving Karl Martel the chance to renew his vicious attacks and slaughter and subdue the Frisians. But for a time - a small point in time - Redbad holds back these Forces of Evil against all odds. This is all part of an unfolding wyrd, because after this the Danes build a defensive wall against the onslaught of the Franks, and then the hordes of long-ships leave the Northlands to push back the Frankish invasions. England was no doubt picked because the Christian English aided the Franks at the time - Danes, Swedes and Norwegians poured over the seas, the most famous Folk-Hero being Ragnar Lodbrok. Again, these Forces of Evil were held in check, pushed back, but again the people gave in to the Christian yoke.

For Woden!

For the White Dragon of Ingus!

No comments:

Post a comment