JIMMY SVENSSON (14) lives in modern-day Minnesota with his MOM and brother BILLY (12). Jimmy mourns the unexpected death of his DAD, but can’t help being angry that his father disappeared from his life too soon. So far, Jimmy’s failed to live up to Billy’s expectations as an older brother as well as Dad’s memory as a local ice hockey hero—Jimmy can’t even do Dad’s signature hockey move, the Svensson-Slap-Shot. To make things worse, Jimmy’s smaller than most other guys his age and gets teased about it. He feels like his whole life is messed up and… broken.
Jimmy wears a runestone necklace that Dad gave him a year ago, the day Dad tried urgently to teach Jimmy the Svensson-Slap-Shot. Dad made Jimmy promise never to remove the stone from his neck. The runestone has a symbol on it called a Valknut, three interlocking triangles. He said the necklace has been passed down through many generations from their family’s Viking ancestors, along some cryptic advice—
Look in the center
What do you see
When all come together
The power of Three
Dad’s not sure what the Valknut means, or the advice that goes with it. But it always helped Dad keep his eye on the puck, and maybe it’ll do the same for Jimmy. In the year that followed, Dad got sick and died, leaving Jimmy feeling abandoned, the man of his family with no rule book to follow. After failing to make the ice hockey team yet again, Jimmy flings the “stupid, unlucky rock” away and plays darts, a game for which he has real talent, if he concentrates. Billy, ashamed of Jimmy’s poor performance on the ice, finds the discarded necklace and puts it on, believing Dad should have given the necklace to him instead of Jimmy all along.
After an argument with Jimmy, Billy is approached by Odin, who sees the runestone necklace and assumes it’s Billy who will help lead the Vikings to victory. Proud of being chosen as a hero, Billy doesn’t reveal the actual owner of the necklace as Odin whisks him away in a whirlpool he summons on the skating rink. Jimmy sees Billy sucked away and stands by, paralyzed. When the whirlpool burps up the runestone necklace and spits it onto the ground, Odin’s perplexed until Jimmy confesses it was his all along. Then Odin gets angry. He looks at Jimmy with his one eye and growls the only way Jimmy will ever see his brother again is to fetch him from the gaping maw of death. Jimmy tries to run away, but Odin makes the whirlpool grow larger until it engulfs him.
Jimmy lands in the middle of a dark forest, alone—he’s traveled to Viking Age Scandinavia in the mid-tenth century, more than a thousand years ago. He gets chased by Viking teenage bullies; a pretty Druid girl named NADIAN (14) helps him escape. Jimmy almost drowns in the river; when he gets out, Nadian has kindly left him her cloak to wear.
Disoriented, Jimmy wanders to a Village and takes refuge in a blacksmith’s shop. He’s amazed by the Viking weapons—swords, spears, axes and more, all gleaming and pointy—hanging on the wall. He is interrupted by NORGAARD (30’s), the village blacksmith who thinks Jimmy is a Druid thief and goes in for the kill, sword slashing away.
While Jimmy tries to dodge Norgaard’s wildly swinging sword, Odin and Frigg look down on the action. Odin knows he must intervene or his Chosen Warrior’s going to be skewered before he even has a chance! Frigg reminds him Gods interacting with Humans is very dangerous and can further tilt the Balance out of whack, creating more chaotic power for Galen to harness. Odin replaces the runestone necklace around Jimmy’s neck. Norgaard recognizes the Valknut on Jimmy’s necklace as a symbol for Odin and spares the boy, taking him home instead. This, Norgaard tells Jimmy, is “The Viking Way.” NEXT: JIMMY LEARNS BILLY’S WHEREABOUTS, AND WHY VIKINGS AND DRUIDS ARE SWORN ENEMIES…