Narvik (2023) Ending Explained – What does Gunnar Tofte decide to do after the victory?

Narvik Plot Synopsis

Alongside All Quiet On The Western Front, Netflix have another stylish-looking film about war on its platform. This time, it’s the turn of Norwegian film, Narvik, that dramatizes the inspirational effort by a handful of Norwegian soldiers, with help from French and Polish forces, to hand Hitler his first-ever defeat at the cusp of World War II.

Without many star names, the film delivers a strongly appealing account of the events. More than anything, Narvik is about what truly matters in the face of adversity and what depths one could go to for their loved ones.

Why did the Norwegians blow up the bridge?

At the start of the film, we see the Norwegians surrendering to the Germans on command by their General. The German opposite informs him that they want to take over without spilling blood and that no one is coming to save them. Major Omdal understood the grave significance of letting down their guard and waiting for the right moment to strike. He silently withdrew his troops and went on to march on the railway tracks.

The German checkpoints noted it but did not do a thing. The plan that Omdal was concocting all along came to the fore when he asked Gunnar the location of the munitions hidden inside the tunnel. He did not know and asked his father about the same.

Once he arrived at the location and retrieved the dynamite, Omdal told him to blow up the bridge connecting the tunnel and the other side leading to Sweden. It was because almost 85% of the iron ore that Germany used to make weapons and tanks was shipped from Narvik.

If they were to destroy the bridge the Norwegians would be able to slow down the import of iron or dampen Germany’s efforts in the war. Gunnar was apprehensive of doing it as the incoming train housed her wife and child. But thankfully, the civilians were let out of the train and allowed to go their own way. Gunnar bravely blows off the bridge despite the German onslaught and was later caught by the troops.

Explaining Ingrid’s double-edged sword with the Germans and British

Ingrid found herself helping both the British and Germans at one point. She helped the British consul escape from the facility after the Germans took over out of compassion. She knew they would be slaughtered if she did not help them.

But once that happened, the British threatened her with a veiled attack that she would be found complicit in helping them escape and the Germans would kill her family. Once she said Bjorg will not reveal so, they hinted that the British themselves might do it.

She was forced to help them for the sake of secrecy and her own kindness was used against her. Ingrid’s help for the Germans was much more understandable as they posed a more direct urgent and tangible threat to her safety. Even though Wussow was on her side, she knew that the ruthless Germans would not hesitate to kill civilians if she did not comply and help them in their efforts to establish their base in Narvik.

Why does Ingrid reveal the location of the British consuls?

Ole’s infection got worse. He collapsed and was hardly breathing. But Wussow denied helping Ingrid. She was left in a very difficult spot where she had to give him something that could prompt Wussow to give her a doctor. But that is not the only reason why Ingrid was convinced to give up the British. It had a lot of buildups as well. Her home was bombarded by the British without any heed to the people who lived near the office.

She showed the consuls on the map where the Germans have their main office and the British used that information to nearly kill Ole and Ingrid herself. Aslak, Gunnar’s father, was instantly killed.

Bjorg was quick to remind Ingrid that the British hardly cared about the Norwegians and were instead focusing on defeating the Germans and protecting their vested interests.

How did the Norwegian Company defeat the Germans?

It was always a tough ask for the Norwegians to pull off this miracle all by themselves. In fact, it was nearly impossible for that small company to take on the mighty German troops. They did get some help from the French from the north and the Polish from the south. For them to have been able to help them, they needed the Norwegians to take out the German positions up in the mountains. Without that, the incoming troops would be sheep waiting to be slaughtered.

To achieve this, Omdal led a small contingent and joined forces with some of the French soldiers coming in from behind. All of their collective efforts were used to clear out the German stronghold on the mountains and gain an advantageous position. Next, was the attack on the beaches of Narvik to gain control and deliver the telling blow on the German occupation in the city. When they landed, the troops were pushed back by heavy German artillery.

They scampered back down the hill, only to be stopped by Omdal. He gave a rousing speech and reinvigorated the confidence. They went back in and defeated the Germans, coming out victorious against all odds.

What does Gunnar Tofte decide to do after the victory?

Gunnar and his fellow soldiers reigned victorious over the Germans after a tough battle. Their renewed focus and sense of pride saw them hoist the Norweigan flag over Narvik. Gunnar went back home with his troops and they were welcomed as heroes by the townies, who knew the soldiers had saved them. Bjorg greeted Hansen and fell into his arms, indicating that she had indeed liked him all the way. But when Gunnar asked her about Ingrid, she had a cold reaction. She even went on to say that since Ingrid “got with the Germans”, everyone has been avoiding her.

Gunnar defeatedly goes back to his house and sees its charred outline against the blue sky. No one rebuilt his house when every other house in the neighbourhood seemed fine. He goes inside and sees the mess.

Unexpectedly, he finds Ingrid and Ole rummaging through things. They are first delighted to see each other but things quickly turn sour. Gunnar accuses Ingrid of being a traitor when she defends her actions as being done for Ole. People talk, as Penny had warned Ingrid, and that is now taking its toll on their relationship.

Her married life seems to be over but just then, another bomb explodes nearby. When they go out, they see that one of Gunnar’s friends has been lit on fire. Ingrid and Ole go their separate way after Gunnar makes it clear he cannot forgive her actions. Omdel briefs his soldiers that they will once again go to war and defend their motherland till their last breath. Gunnar seems determined too. But on the cruise, we see Gunnar joining Ingrid and Ole.

He embraces his wife and apologizes for his treatment. Ole is happy seeing his father too and they head on to start a new life. It is perhaps because Gunnar realized that this war will be the end of him. They just won a small victory and now they are being drawn into one other.

War is a zero-sum game where both sides lose. Soldiers like Gunnar are sacrifices that leaders justify and glorify in the name of martyrdom.

Gunnar wanted to start a new life with his family and recover his mental state. We then see in post-credit scenes that Narvik was completely destroyed by German bombers when the English and French withdrew without notice. They left the Norwegians in the lurches to fend for themselves. Gunnar’s decision was right and is representational of the anti-war sentiments of the makers.


Read More: Narvik Movie Review

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