Eaters of the Dead




“Eaters of the Dead” by Michael Crichton is a fiction but with historical background. Through this piece Crichton hopes to express the way of life for the Vikings in the year 922 AD while at the same time creating an entertaining story. Using a manuscript written by Ibn-Fadlan Crichton pieced together a book filled with adventure and excitement.
Michael Crichton was born in Chicago, 1942 and always knew he had a talent for writing. He attended Brown University and has since published many books such as “Jurassic Park”, “The Rising Sun”, “Disclosure”, and many more. Several of his books have been made into movies, for example, “Jurassic Park”, “The Lost World”, “Sphere”, “Congo”, and “Eaters of the Dead” is coming to theatres this summer starring Antonio Banderas. Michael Crichton is also the writer of the hit TV show “ER”.
Ibn-Fadlan is a refined Arab courtier representing the powerful Caliph of Baghdad and the whole story line is based on his travels. He is a Muslim and is sent to the Bulgar land to instruct the king in the Islamic religion, acquaint the king with Islamic laws, and build a Mosque in the city. Little does Ibn-Fadlan know where his travels will lead him.
Wyglif is the present chief of the Northmen (at the time) he has fallen ill and is believed to have no chance of recovery. Once he dies, shortly after becoming ill, Buliwyf is made the new leader.
Buliwyf is a young noble chosen to be the Northmens new leader once Wyglif dies. He is a courageous warrior, very tall and strong, and skin, hair, and beard of pure white.
Herger, one of the Northmen warriors, also became Ibn-Fadlan’s friend. He helped him to translate the words of the Northmen and also helped Ibn-Fadlan become accustomed to their way of life and how to act around the Northmen.
“The Wendols” are characters in the story who, as told by Ibn-Fadlan, do not seem fully human. They ride on the back of a black horse and have the head of a bear. They are extremely fierce warriors and are quite vindictive. They give off a stench so strong it hurts to breathe because they consume human flesh and it is always on their breath. They come with the mist, a dark fog that encircles the land when the Wendols come.
Mother Wendol is the leader of the wendols and said to be extremely old. To finally beat the Wendols, one must kill her. She lives in the cave by the sea surrounded by coiled serpents all the time. She makes an almost painful sound when she screams and smells the worst of them all.
Ibn-Fadlan is an Ambassador to the Caliph of Baghdad and has been sent to teach the King of Bulgar the Islamic way of life, and to build a Mosque in the city. On his way to Bulgar, he stops with his party in the land of the Northmen. Being extremely hospitable people they welcome the Arabs to their homes and provide them with food, clothing, and shelter for a few nights. As it so happens, their chief is very ill and while they are there, he dies. The Northmen will not let the Arabs leave their land until after the funeral and ceremonies. During this long process, kin of the new leader arrives and asks for the Northmens help in defeating the Wendols. According to the Angel of Death, an old woman said to have magical powers, thirteen warriors must go to the land of the wendol, one of them not being a Northmen. Buliwyf, the chief of the Northmen demands Ibn-Fadlan to accompany the men in their battle and become the thirteenth warrior. He will not take no for an answer, and so, Ibn-Fadlan’s journey begins.
Twelve other warriors accompanied Ibn, Buliwyf, Ecthgow, Higlak, Skeld, Weath, Roneth, Halga, Helfdane, Edgtho, Rethel, Haltaf, and Herger. With them, Ibn traveled across the oceans and fought many battles. Ibn learned their culture, way of life, and their language. He formed many friendships and gained a new perspective on life. Though there were many difficult tasks to accomplish but Ibn managed well and didn’t realize what he was really in for. Warned many times about the wendols Ibn shrugged it off. He didn’t