Pros: rethinking Scandinavian myths in new realities; adding a current environmental issue to the story; a new look at Thor’s personality; Norwegian species Cons: a set of clichés that have already been repeatedly used in other fantasy dramas with teenagers “Ragnarok” / Ragnarok
Genre drama, fantasy
Creator Adam Price
Starring: David Alexander Schoholt (Magne), Jonas Strandt Gravli (Laurits), Teresa Frostad Eggesbe (Saksa), Herman Tömmeraas (Fjore), Henrietta Steenstrup (Thurid), Gisli Orn Gardarsson (Vidar), Odd Magnus Williamson (Erik), etc. .
Year of release 2020
The series takes place in the fictional town of Edda. The guy Magne moves there, whose mother gets a job in a local influential industrial company owned by the Jutul family – that is, local rich people who influence all spheres of life. Upon arrival in the city, Magne encounters an elderly woman who utters a prophecy and awakens supernatural powers in him. For a guy who is not used to attracting attention to himself, this becomes a big test, leading him on the path of realizing his essence. He also begins to become interested in environmental changes, finding out that the source of environmental pollution is the Yutul factories.
The starting point of the series is quite good – it is a rethinking of Scandinavian myths, taking place against the backdrop of current environmental problems. The plot centers on teenagers, so we get brief information about the intricacies of mythology in the first school lesson that Magne attends. Also, as an addition, each episode begins with mythological terms that carry clues about future events.
The writers do not waste time, immediately revealing to the viewer that Magne is the god of thunder named Thor, who needs to awaken and curb his supernatural powers. Other mythological characters also appear in the series, given a modern interpretation (different from the Marvel version in Thor: Ragnarok).
Because the series’ protagonist struggles to understand and accept his transformation, the series has the potential to go in a dark, yet interesting direction. Magne is an angular guy who does not strive for achievements, whose essence others perceive as a manifestation of mental abnormalities. However, the showrunners take a very disappointing approach by imitating American teen series, leaving Ragnarok without the Scandinavian spontaneity. If the first episodes still cope with the fantasy intrigue, then everything then happens according to the hackneyed scenario of a romantic school drama, written without much inspiration, in which special effects flash much less frequently than cool students within the school walls.
Lest there be any doubt that the showrunners are emulating the concepts of once-popular projects, the series even captures a distinctive soundtrack – the song “Midnight City” by M83, which has already been used many times in cinema, exhausting it to the point of impossibility.
What’s most disappointing is how the writers portray the Jutul family as a unified force of antagonists. It all starts with a clue leading to their industrial company, which is supposed to explore the theme of the environmental crisis. Following this, a closer acquaintance with each member of the family occurs, which turns into a collection of clichés from other series and films about the supernatural, which have long lost their relevance. The last thing you expect from a Scandinavian series is such banal villainous bravado, especially in the context of the fight against climate change.
A more pleasant bonus to the series is the area where the events take place. Filming took place in the city of Odda, so the episodes are diluted with shots of a beautiful fjord and even filming of a stone ledge known as the “Troll’s tongue.” Thanks to this, the six episodes of Ragnarok still have a Scandinavian atmosphere, although this is extremely little for a story dedicated to the personality of Thor.
The first season of the Teenage Thor series gets off to a good start, but quickly devolves into a typical high school fantasy drama that loses the interesting message of environmentalism.