If there was a time to shine for Scandinavians, it’s now. The 2010s have prominently been raided by the Vikings, as far as entertainment goes.
Being a mutt of a Scandinavian descent myself, I’m pretty excited that this is happening. For too long, Vikings have been painted in a very cheesy light; being associated with opera, big horns on helmets, and other oddities that really don’t do justice.
So what is these days? Glad you asked. Let’s start with the big one – Game of Thrones.
Yes, Game of Thrones may have much more going on for it than Vikings. Hell, it’s in a whole world completely! But the roots are there, and they are awesome. The Starks of Winterfell are referred to as “northmen” by other parts of Westeros. The Starks and their bannermen live by a sense of honor, a code, that can most definitely relate to how most Vikings lived by their own religious way back in the day. George R.R. Martin has always been a history buff, so it’s more than likely he based the Starks off of medieval Scandinavian cultures.
In video games, we have Skyrim. Skyrim is the fifth installment in the Elder Scroll series which deals with Orcs, Elfs, and other races. But Skyrim is the main territory of the Nords, and their lifestyles (as well as accents) are definitely Viking influenced. Hell, the whole game land itself is modeled after Iceland.
Oh, and let’s not forget about our dear hero Thor. I must admit that I was never a fan of the comic book, but recent depictions of him (played by Chris Hemsworth) has me turning my head.
History Channel’s Vikings is the best portrayal yet, and is taking over the imaginations of all fantasy and medieval buffs. Based on true events, we now root for the conquerors with Ragnar Lodbrok‘s ambitious ways, and we all look forward to the next raid on weaker civilizations.
Women have a new hero to look up to as well – Lagertha the Shieldmaiden. Shieldmaidens were female Viking warriors, and they equally shared the fight alongside their male counterparts in the invasions of other countries. Largertha, who was Ragnar’s wife at one point, has gained a lot of attention from women who love medieval, fantasy, and even science fiction today. It’s mere coincidence too that recent grave digs of old and research have found that almost half of all Viking raiders were in fact, women.
Makes sense to me on why the Vikings were so successful and ruthless in their raids: “hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn.”
Vikings are here and aren’t going anywhere. I raise my horn of mead and welcome them to my my own halls of inspiration. Skal!