Against the Ice (2022): Are ‘Iver Iversen’ and ‘Ejnar Mikkelsen’ Based On Real Explorers?

Are Ejnar Mikkelsen and Iver Iversen Based on Real Explorers

Against the Ice,’ directed by Danish filmmaker Peter Flinth (‘Eye of the Eagle‘), is a dramatic survival film set against the dismal icy backdrop of northern Greenland.

A map was left somewhere along the coast of north-eastern Greenland by a previous expedition. Captain Ejnar Mikkelsen is hopeful that he will be able to recover it.

He embarks on a dangerous journey with inexperienced mechanic Iver Iverson, which is plagued with unanticipated accidents and arctic bears. You have to question if the ominous tale was plucked from the pages of a history book.

Is it possible that Ejnar Mikkelsen and Iver Iversen were real explorers? Let’s see what happens!

Must Read: Against the Ice (2022) Movie Recap And Ending Explained


Are Iver Iversen and Ejnar Mikkelsen Based on Real Explorers? How Did They Die in Real?

The protagonist of the storey, Ejnar Mikkelsen, is something of an anti-hero. He tried to find the lost route of Danish explorer Mylius-Erichsen, whose trip ended in tragedy, in the early twentieth century.

Mylius-Erichsen wanted to disprove US hikers’ claims that a river called Peary Channel might cut Greenland in half. Ejnar, on the other hand, discovered his body in a cave with the rest of his friends.

Due to a lack of supplies and transportation, Mylius-Erichsen died, although he left a cairn (a stack of stones) to mark the location on his hand-drawn map.

Ernest de Koven Leffingwell, Ejnar Mikkelsen, G.P. Howe, and Ejnar Ditlevsen in 1906. / Wikimedia Commons

The Alabama, Ejnar’s ship, is stranded in the ice of Shannon at the start of the mission. The sailors and labourers aren’t optimistic about the discovery because they’d rather work on the Titanic.

The expedition’s future appears gloomy with the unexpected death of Ejnar’s close friend and collaborator Lieutenant Jorgensen.

Ejnar, on the other hand, decides to go on without Jorgensen, but he needs one more volunteer. Iver Iversen, the group’s mechanic and a capable marksman and dog breeder, volunteers for the dangerous assignment.

Ejnar Mikkelsen
The Danish explorer Ejnar Mikkelsen after living in a cabin for two years (1912)

They complete a two-year project that concludes with the denial of Peary Channel’s existence. The title card suggests that the film is based on a REAL STORY right away.

However, you might be interested in learning more about the explorers. In that case, let us continue our journey through history.

Ejnar Mikkelsen was a real-life Danish explorer and author who lived during the Middle Ages. He joined the Georg Carl Amdrup expedition to the King Christian IX Land, a coastal area of Southeastern Greenland, when he was 20 years old.

Ejnar Mikkelsen, who played Mylius-Erichsen in the film, organised a tour to recover the bodies of his ill-fated companions. Since he explored the largely inaccessible northeast coast of Greenland, Mylius-records Erichsen’s were invaluable.

Ejnar took leave with Iver Iversen after abandoning his ship, the Alabama, in the hopes of finding the lost documents. They made it to their target after overcoming tough ice and snow stretches, and the voyage was a success.

More surprises awaited the two as they made their way back to Alabama, much like the movie describes. According to legend, Ejnar’s crew abandoned the Alabama and sailed away on a whaling ship in bad weather.

The team, on the other hand, built a tiny cottage where Iver and Ejnar stayed for two years. They were eventually rescued, and Ejnar Mikkelsen became the Royal Inspector of East Greenland.

Must See: Is Alabama Cottage Real? Where is it Located? Does it Still Exist?
Ejnar Mikkelsen (left) and Iversen (right) were hailed as heroes when they finally returned to Copenhagen in 1912.

The Danish government paid Ejnar Mikkelsen a national honour on his 90th birthday in 1970. On May 1, 1971, he died just a few months later.

The explorer had finally become the kind of famous adventurer he had dreamed of as a youngster, with a Danish patrol vessel and a Greenlandic mountain range named after him.

Finally, knowing that the storey takes place in history adds to the allure of the spine-chilling plot.