Sunday, July 14, 2013

Arn Magnusson - the imaginary Swedish Knight Templar

Arn Magnusson is the main character in the Crusades trilogy written in Swedish by author and journalist Jan Guillou. This fictional Swedish character from the Middle Ages is forced to become a Knight Templar. The series is an account of the life of Arn Magnusson, who becomes a witness as well as a catalyst to many important historical events, both in his homeland of Sweden and in the crusades against the Middle East.

The trilogy, dubbed the Crusades trilogy, consists of the following books:
book 1
book 2
book 3
DVD Blu-Ray

DVD
Guillou also wrote a follow-up novel about Birger Jarl, founder of Stockholm, entitled The Heritage of Arn (in Swedish Arven efter Arn) published in 2001. In Guillou's fictional universe, Birger Jarl is the grandson of Arn Magnusson.

The books were reworked to a film released in December 2007: Arn – The Knight Templar (In Swedish: Arn - Tempelriddaren, and its sequel Arn – The Kingdom at Road's End (in Swedish: Arn – Riket vid vägens slut), released August 22, 2008.

While the films are mostly in Swedish and most of the production was made in Sweden, the film is a joint production between the four Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland and Germany. With a total budget of around 210 million Sweidsh Krona (ca. 30 Million US$ for both films, it is the most expensive production in Swedish cinema.

Based on the detailed stories by Guillou, the question may be put forward: did the Knights Templar really live in Sweden? This question will be dealt with in another blog.

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