Morten Arnfred1991-2000DenmarkDramaTV

Morten Arnfred & Lars von Trier – Riget II AKA The Kingdom II [+Extras] (1997)

Danish television mini-series, created by Lars von Trier in 1994, and co-directed by Lars von Trier and Morten Arnfred.

The series is set in the neurosurgical ward of Copenhagen’s Rigshospitalet, the city and country’s main hospital, nicknamed “Riget”. “Riget” means “the realm” or “the kingdom” and leads one to think of “dødsriget”, the realm of the dead. The show follows a number of characters, both staff and patients, as they encounter bizarre phenomena, both human and supernatural. The show is notable for its wry humor, its muted sepia colour scheme, and the appearance of a chorus of dishwashers with Down Syndrome who discuss in intimate detail the strange occurrences in the hospital.

In 1997 the cast reassembled to produce another group of four episodes, Riget II (The Kingdom II).

This second series ended with even more questions unanswered than the first, and a third series was planned. However, due to the death in 1998 of Ernst-Hugo Järegård (who played Stig Helmer) and the subsequent deaths of Kirsten Rolffes (Mrs Drusse) and Morten Rotne Leffers who played the male dishwasher, the likelihood of a third series is now very remote. Von Trier actually wrote the third and final season, but the production was not picked up by DR. At that point, five regular cast members had died and it seemed impossible to continue the series. The abandoned scripts were sent to the producers of Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital, but it is unclear whether they used the scripts or not.

Despite being a mini-series, it appears as one of the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

Day 5: “Mors in Tabula” / “Death on the Operation Table”
Day 6: “Trækfuglene” / “Birds of Passage”
Day 7: “Gargantua”
Day 8: “Pandæmonium”

01 Krogshoj, Judith and Little Brother
02 Helmer and Krogshoj’s Corpse
03 Judith, Little Brother and Dr. Kruger
04 The Falcon, Moesgard and the Car Accident
The above contain film audio and commentary audio with subs for both.
In Lars von Trier’s Kingdom
Shivers – a Music Video
Shivers – Bloopers
Three above are subbed

Subtitles:Swedish, English, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Romanian, Portuguese, Serbian


  1. I have this BRILLIANT ‘series’ on DVD (I first bought on VHS & still have). In searching for something else entirely, I just read that Von Trier (and ‘5 or 6 familiar faces from original series’ he teases) will be putting out SEASON THREE sometime in 2022 to be called “The Kingdom Exodus”. For those that love this as much as I do, thought I’d pass along that bit of info. Hope I don’t forget.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button