Matias was a Norwegian helicopter pilot stationed at the Thule Antarctic research station. The unnamed character first appeared in the 1982 film The Thing, portrayed by actor Norbert Weisser. He was further explored in the 2011 prequel film, this time played by actor Ole Martin Aune Nilsen.
The Thing (2011)
In the final sequence of The Thing, Matias returns to Thule station to find it destroyed and discovers the burned remains of the Split Face thing. He calls out for survivors but is met with silence. He is then given warning shots from a paranoid Lars, who attempts to confirm his identity by checking for tooth fillings (as the Thing cannot assimilate inorganic material). As Matias asks Lars what happened, they notice the station's Alaskan malamute fleeing from the facility. Lars realizes that the Thing has assimilated the dog and the pair give chase in the helicopter, shooting at it from the air.
It is unknown to what extent Lars, during the chase, was able to communicate to Matias what had happened at the base, and whether Matias was able to believe in such a fantastic story. Since Matias had seen the horrific remains of the Split Face thing, and was possibly aware of the crashed saucer wreck, he could perhaps accept that an alien parasite was on the run.
The Thing (1982)
The pilot first appears in the opening scenes of The Thing (1982), as he and his colleague attempt to hunt and kill the Kennel-Thing - shooting and grenading it from the air. The pair follow the creature to a U.S. Antarctic research center, U.S. Outpost 31. Landing outside the perimeter of the facility, Lars attempts to throw a grenade at the creature before it can reach the onlooking Americans. However, it slips from his hand and lands near the helicopter. The pilot digs through the snow in an attempt to find it, but it detonates, killing him and destroying his chopper.
- He is one of only two characters who appeared in both films, the other being Lars.
- In the Carpenter film, there is some confusion regarding who is who among the two people in the helicopter. During the airborne chase, the shooter (called Lars in the 2011 prequel) is sitting on the right side of the chopper, as seen from the front. After the chopper lands, a person who is by all appearances the shooter however exits the chopper from the opposite side, where the pilot ought to be sitting. Interpreting the scenes in the light of the prequel, it is Lars who tries to throw the grenade and loses it in the snow, then running away. In the next moment, it must be Matias who digs for the grenade in a desperate attempt to save his helicopter. However, in the Carpenter movie it is not entirely clear who is doing what.