Narvik follows the World War II battle where Norwegians, with the help of the Allied forces, fought the Germans to recapture the titular city.
Norway declares neutrality during World War II, and its northern city of Narvik remains a crucial harbor for the transportation of iron ore by train from Sweden.
The Germans as well as the British seek the ore for the war and Narvik gets sandwiched between the two powers in the battle for iron ore. With its neutrality breached, the German forces start a gradual takeover of the titular city.
Gunnar, a corporal in the Norwegian army, takes a short leave for his son’s birthday but an intimate session with his wife Ingrid leads to a delay in reporting back to the major, who stands against the German troops alongside his soldiers, confronting them about their recent offensive actions.
The Germans have taken over the city and the Norwegian forces have to retreat, albeit only temporarily as they continue their efforts at dealing the enemy a pushback.
They do so when they blow up the Nordal Bridge, foiling the whole iron ore transportation for the Germans. Meanwhile, Ingrid has to work as the translator for the German consul and the general at the Royal Hotel, where she works.
She also helps the British consul Ross and his assistant escape and eventually hide in a shed up the mountains, with reluctance and concerns of her own regarding the risks involved.
Gunnar is taken hostage by the Germans after successfully blowing up the bridge and faces extreme climate and fatigue manually transporting artillery for the Germans.
The British consul asks Ingrid to work for them and pry out information from the Germans; they need to know how the Germans intend on defending the city so they can deal a better counter.
Ingrid does just that while the British navy begins their attack from the sea, and one of their bombings blows up a significant part of Gunnar and Ingrid’s house, resulting in some severe casualties, as a result of one of which, Ingrid is forced to make a tough decision involving the ongoing battle.
Meanwhile, Gunnar does an exceptional job in the Norwegian effort against the Germans, with the French and Polish forces lending Norway a decisive hand. The recapture of Narvik is successful and the Germans are forced out of the city.
Ingrid’s friend spreads a rumor about her German loyalty and she’s forced to leave the town. Gunnar has a bitter altercation with his wife and doubts her fidelity to the marriage and loyalty to the nation.
Their marriage is just about to fall apart when the Germans begin their retaliatory bomber attacks on the city, forcing the civilians to evacuate. Ingrid leaves the city with her son, boarding one of the boats when Gunnar has a change of mind about his family.
Narvik ending explained in detail:
Why does Ingrid compromise the British consul’s location?
The bombing by the British Navy strikes Ingrid’s home as well, where Aslak, her father-in-law, and her son Ole were staying while she was just about to arrive there.
Unfortunately, the mortars arrive before she can, and Aslak gets crushed by the rubble and dies. Her son survives, but he suffers an injury on the chest which would later develop an infection severe enough to make him unconscious.
The only way Ingrid can save her son is to get him medical care, but the doctor at the hotel can only operate on the severe cases of the German soldiers. Without options, Ingrid has to reveal the British consul’s location in exchange for the treatment of her son.
Do the Norwegians win Narvik back?
The British, French, and Polish lend assistance to Norway in fighting off the Germans and recapturing the city of Narvik.
However, after the successful recapture, Germany’s retaliation begins, and German bombers start hovering over the city, bombing it to ruins.
Norway is dealt a bigger blow when the allied powers withdraw their forces from the region, without informing the Norwegian forces.
Even though the recapture was Hitler’s first defeat, Norwegian forces had to contend with their loss ultimately, as they were left alone and forced to lay down their weapons on June 8, 1940.
Meanwhile, the city was leveled to the ground by the German bombers and all that remained were ruins.
Do Ingrid and Gunnar split up?
The rumor about his wife helping out the Germans get to Gunnar, and he asks her if she slept with a German with an accusatory tone. She denies it but he won’t believe her.
Nor would he believe or empathize with her helplessness in the face of her son’s impending death. She tries to tell him that she revealed the British consul’s location because if she didn’t, her son would have died.
A furious Gunnar argues that people die in a war and calls her a traitor. Meanwhile, the resentment against her grows in the town, and with the German bombers attacking the city, she has to flee to safety with her son Ole.
As she departs for the evacuating ships, Gunnar listens to the Major asking his men to defend those they hold dear till death. The words speak to Gunnar who runs to his wife and kid and accompanies them during the evacuation.
While a vocal reconciliation isn’t shown, the couple is shown to have patched up, holding hands and hugging each other, smiling, as credits appear on the screen.