ScreeningNotes’s review published on Letterboxd:
"For where your path of ashes ends, another begins."
Morbid fatalism. A path of death that leads only to more death, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Aurvandil shows Amleth the "Tree of Kings," its rotten branches burdened with corpses, a lineage of desolation, killed not naturally by the passage of time but by their barbaric animal bloodlust, desperate to die not in bed with their lovers but on the field of battle with their enemies. This is the savagery of civilization, an endless cycle of violence, a path of ashes as far as the eye can see. It is the fate of every king to die, just as every throne is built upon a foundation of bone.
In the war between civilization and savagery, civilization reigns supreme because it is the real savagery, only more organized, more covert. Their god is a corpse nailed to a tree granting no justice to anyone or anything in this rotten, decaying world. We thirst for vengeance but cannot escape our fate, not because we are bound inextricably to it, not because it is the inevitable endpoint of our lives, but because we are blinded to the possibility of any other outcome.
The seers of fate see with empty sockets; the looms of destiny weave with false fabrics. Fate is a thread we could cut if only our blade were not so preoccupied by the slaughter, a lie we could glimpse if only our own eyes were not so clouded by the fog of death.