MovieChat Forums > Pathfinder (1987) Discussion > Who are the deadly TCHUDES marauders?

Who are the deadly TCHUDES marauders?


The Norweigan historical drama movie, PATHFINDER, is a wondrous film. I always enjoy watching historical action dramas. Too bad there's not more.

The movie did not explain the background of the dangerous pillagers, the "Tchudes" marauders. Their raiding habits resemble the ancient Germanic raiding bands bedeviling the long-gone Roman empire from several hundred years earlier. This Scandinavian group of circa 1000 A.D., is possibly a Viking band, having left their long ships hidden somewhere in some Scandinavian fjord and trekked inland to see what they could pillage, killing anyone who stood in the way. In the movie, the peaceful Lapp tribespeople already know of the Tchudes and are frightened of them.

There are differences in the equipment of the Tchudes that doesn't mark them as typically Viking. They don't carry round, wooden shields and heavy axes of the one-hand or two-handed variety. But they do carry swords, as did the Vikings as well. The Vikings are not known to have employed crossbows, as far as history can tell. Among the Vikings, only specialists carried a bow and arrows. The Tchudes rely heavily on lethal-looking crossbows decorated by beasts' fangs on the front. But their crossbow bolts are astonishingly thin, almost like tiny arrows. Crossbow bolts or quarrels from the Middle Ages were typically thick, half-an-inch thick or 12 millimeters thick for common examples, although historical specimens and artifacts could be thinner or much thicker, as depicted in history museums. The Tchudes crossbow bolts don't look as if it conveys significant killing power.

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Well, Chudes, Tchudes, or Tjuds are actually related to the Saami. They are Finno-Ugric speakers that lived in Estonia, Northwest Russia and Finland.

"Namu-myoho-renge-kyo"

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I heard in an interview (was it of Nils Gaup? Don't remember, but think it was) that the original description of the Thudes in the film script was that they came from the East. But then they didn't want to offend the Russian too much when they made the film, hence they created an own language for the characters.

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- Who's the lady with the log?
- We call her the Log Lady.

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