The 13th Warrior

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

The 13th Warrior (Touchstone Movie)

“The 13th Warrior” is an epic historical action-adventure film released in 1999, directed by John McTiernan and based on Michael Crichton’s novel “Eaters of the Dead.” The movie combines elements of historical fiction and fantasy, taking viewers on a thrilling journey of valor, camaraderie, and supernatural danger.

The story is set in the 10th century and follows the journey of Ahmad ibn Fadlan (Antonio Banderas), an Arab poet and diplomat who is exiled from his homeland and sent to the far north as an ambassador. While on his travels, Ahmad encounters a group of Northmen, led by the warrior Buliwyf (Vladimir Kulich). The Northmen are summoned by a king to help defend their kingdom from a mysterious and terrifying enemy.

Ahmad is reluctantly drawn into the Northmen’s quest and joins their ranks as the 13th warrior. Together, they embark on a perilous mission to face an ancient and savage enemy, the Wendol, who are a ruthless and cannibalistic tribe that terrorizes the kingdom each year during the deadly winter.

The movie showcases the clash of cultures and the growth of mutual respect and friendship between Ahmad and the Northmen. As the battles escalate, Ahmad witnesses the bravery and fighting prowess of his newfound companions, and he learns to embrace their way of life and honor.

“The 13th Warrior” is renowned for its impressive action sequences, intense battle scenes, and stunning cinematography, immersing audiences in the dark and treacherous world of Norse mythology and medieval warfare. The film also weaves elements of mysticism and supernatural elements, adding an air of mystery and terror to the enemy they face.

Antonio Banderas delivers a compelling performance as Ahmad, portraying a man who transforms from a reluctant outsider to an integral part of the brotherhood of warriors. Vladimir Kulich commands the screen as the enigmatic and fierce Buliwyf, exuding charisma and strength.

Though “The 13th Warrior” received mixed reviews upon its initial release, it has since gained a devoted fanbase and is appreciated for its action-packed storytelling, captivating visuals, and the unique blend of historical and fantastical elements. The film stands as a thrilling and entertaining touchstone of the historical fantasy genre, offering a memorable adventure that showcases the power of unity and courage in the face of overwhelming odds.

Additional Details


  • Antonio Banderas: Ahmad ibn Fadlan
  • Diane Venora: Queen Weilew
  • Vladimir Kulich: Buliwyf (the Leader)
  • Dennis Storhøi: Herger (the Joyous)
  • Omar Sharif: Melchisidek
  • Anders T. Andersen: Wigliff – King’s Son
  • Richard Bremmer: Skeld (the Superstitious)
  • Tony Curran: Weath (the Musician)
  • Mischa Hausserman: Rethel (the Archer)
  • Neil Maffin: Roneth (the Rider)
  • Asbjorn Riis: Halga (the Wise)
  • Clive Russell: Helfdane (the Fat)
  • Daniel Southern: Edgtho (the Silent)
  • Oliver Sveinall: Haltaf (the Boy)
  • Sven Wollter: King Hrothgar
  • Albie Woodington: Hyglak (the Quarrelsome)
  • John DeSantis: Ragnar (the Dour)
  • Eric Avari: Caravan leader
  • Maria Bonnevie: Olga
  • Susan Willis: Wendol Mother
  • Yolande Bavan: Wendol Mother Companion


  • Director: John McTiernan
  • Producers: John McTiernan, Michael Crichton and Ned Dowd
  • Screenplay: William Wisher Jr and Warren Lewis

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.