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You know, there's a way out if you're so fucking depressed. One shot to the head and it's all over. No more pain.
~ Euronymous taunting Dead to kill himself.
No! Fuck, stop the sentimental shit! Stop! There's nothing sad about my death or my life. I'm Euronymous, founder of Mayhem, the most infamous Black Metal band in the world. I had my own record store. I had my own record label. I created a whole new musical genre: True Norwegian Black Metal! And I created Mayhem. What the fuck have you done lately? Poser.
~ Euronymous' narration of his death.

Euronymous is the protaganist villain of the infamous biographical horror-thriller film Lords of Chaos. He is one of the founders of the controversial Norwegian death-metal band Mayhem. He is also roughly a fictionalised and exaggerated version of his real-life counterpart. He was portrayed by Rory Culkin.


Not much of his childhood and early life is known other than his born somewhere in Norway and it is presumed that he was heavily influenced by metal bands such as Black Sabbath, Slayer, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. During his teen years, Øystein Aarseth formed Mayhem in 1984 along with bassist Necrobutcher (Jørn Stubberud) and drummer Kjetil Manheim. At the time he was going by the stage name Destructor but soon changed his name to Euronymous, derived from the demon Euronomos. Mayhem was the first metal-band ever at Norway at the time.

In 1988, Per Yngve Ohlin known by his stage-name Dead joined Mayhem as the lead vocalist. Both Euronymous and Dead are said to have never got along and it is reported their bandmates that Dead once stabbed Euronymous in the shoulder out of anger. Regardless, they managed to record a few songs together such as their most popular song Freezing Moon. 

Lords of Chaos

During Mayhem's tenure, At live shoes, Dead would self-mutilate himself on stage by slitting his wrists and he would also throw severed pig-heads at the audience and spray blood from his wounds to the front-row crowd as Euronymous watched on while playing the bass. At a show filmed by their friend Metalion, the band meets a fan named Kristian, whom Euronymous initially looks down on.

While home alone, Dead uses his personal knife to cut his arms and throat, and then uses Euronymous' shotgun to shoot himself in the forehead, leaving behind a suicide note. Euronymous returns home and finds the body but instead of calling the police, he takes photos of the body and moves the knife and shotgun around. After Dead's body is taken away, Euronymous gives necklaces to the other band members which he claims are pieces of Dead's skull; this disgusts Necrobutcher, prompting him to leave the band.

Soon after, Euronymous starts his own black metal record company and opens a record shop called Helvete ("Hell"), which becomes a social hub for black-metallers like Metalion, Fenriz of Darkthrone, Faust of Emperor, and Kristian (who is now calling himself Varg Vikernes) of Burzum. They become known as the "Black Circle". After being mocked by an ego-driven Euronymous, Varg uses his anti-Christian beliefs as motivation to burn down a local church. When approached by Varg concerning his status as the leader of the Black Circle, Euronymous burns down a church with Faust and Varg accompanying.

Euronymous recruits Varg as bassist, a guitarist called Blackthorn and a Hungarian vocalist, Attila Csihar, to record Mayhem's first album, De Mysteriis  Dom Sathanas. A power dispute between Varg and Euronymous arises.

After a wave of church burnings begins, Faust brutally kills a gay man, leading police to link black-metallers to the crimes. Helvete is raided and shut down by the police, and Varg is arrested as prime suspect because of an interview with a Bergen newspaper in which he claimed to have been the one who burned the churches and killed the gay man. He is soon released for lack of evidence. Varg meets with Euronymous and tells him that he is leaving Mayhem and that he is going to start his own record label. Euronymous reveals that the "skull piece" necklaces were fakes, and that he never intended anyone to actually follow through on his angry rhetoric, which infuriates Varg.

In anger, Euronymous rants to a peer about wanting to kill Varg, but later calms down and sends him a contract to release the rights for his music back to him. Varg, having heard that Euronymous was making death threats against him, travels to Oslo in the early morning of August 10 to confront him. Telling Euronymous he wants to sign the contract, he enters his apartment and, after a brief conversation, stabs him. Euronymous pleads for his life, but Varg follows him through the apartment to the stairwell outside and stabs him to death. The next day, the news of Euronymous' murder spreads throughout Norway and Varg is soon arrested. He is sent to prison for a maximum of 21 years, guilty of both the murder of Euronymous and the burning of several churches. In a voice-over, Euronymous tells the audience not to feel sorry for him, that he enjoyed his life and invented a new sub-genre of metal.


In the view of the public eye, Euronymous (just like his real-life counterpart) was described as an angry and serious individual. Though band-mates and frends referred to him as a fun and talkative individual. However, it is confirmed that Euronymous and Dead never got along and hated each other, it is said that Euronymous was the one who contributed to Dead's suicide though it is highly debatable. He was also a very violent, spiteful and hateful person who viewed Satan as his god and his fans as disciples. However, when he was being stabbed by Varg he exhibited fear for life before being ultimately killed on the spot. 



  • Although Lords of Chaos is based on real-life events, much of the character's actions and the events are fictionalised.
  • Mayhem still lives to this day with different membes and the remaining ones from the 90's.


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