Featured Articles: The Viking Renaissance

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DressedInRags:
Can someone please explain to me why this author seems to think Skyrim is unique in it's use of this particular mythology/history? I've been seeing this stuff pop up in popular culture for frigging years. I'm pretty sure Tolkein owes a hell of a lot to it, and everyone remotely involved in fantasy owes a hell of a lot to Tolkein.

Just because fantasy games/films/novels nowadays aren't obvious or even aware of their use of Nordic and Viking mythology doesn't mean it isn't there.

It's simple:

A) Skyrim is the big thing for fans of fantasy at the minute. It's a brilliant game, but a lot of people are still suffering from what I like to call 'post-release silliness' and making all sorts of grandiose claims.

B) A lot of fantasy fans, even the dedicated ones, believe that fantasy fiction started with Tolkien, and that Middle Earth is ground-zero for the tropes we associate with the genre today. Chalk it up to the massive resurgence in popularity that LOTR gained after the films, but a lot of people think that Tolkien invented things like elves and dwarves. It doesn't matter that Professor T himself freely admitted to using Nordic myths, ideas and characters as inspiration for Middle Earth. Most people don't have enough of an interest in cultural mythology to recognise when age-old archetypes and ideas have been used in a new, interesting way.

This is why I take issue with the article. It's certainly well written, but there does seem to be a lack of cultural context. Norse culture has been represented more in Fantasy fiction than any other European culture that I can think of. Take the standard narrative devices and quest motivations in your average WRPG, and compare them to some of the myths of Scandinavia. Chances are, there will be more common ground with Scandinavia and its tales of dragons, giants, magic runes and hidden treasure than there will be with the tales of the Romans, the Greeks or the Celts.

EDIT

RandV80:

I'd never thought of this before but with the article talking about Norse mythology getting a bad rep from Nazi Germany (which I also never knew) I wonder if the above Japanese Norse influence has some relations to the old Axis powers days.

I doubt it. It's probably more to do with the fact that the Norse idea of polytheism is far easier for Japanese writers to relate to than Christianity.

Japan has a long history of Shinto belief (they did, after all, create it). Shintoism doesn't believe in one god. Instead, there are a multitude of spirits, or Kami, that reside in all things, whether animate or inanimate. Norse mythology also rejects the idea of one God, instead believeing in a multitude of divine beings, each of whom controls a different aspect of the world. Freyja, for instance, is the goddess of fertility, whereas Thor is the god of thunder, and Odin is the god of both war and wisdom. Compare this to traditional Christian belief, which states that there is one perfect God, who resides away from the world in Heaven, and embodies everything that is good in the universe.

Hopefully, you can see why a Japanese artist may be more drawn to the Norse motifs than the Christian ones. Traditional Japanese religion doesn't hold to the same dualistic idea of good/evil that Christianity does, and shares more similarities with the chaotic nature of Norse mythology.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

DressedInRags:
Can someone please explain to me why this author seems to think Skyrim is unique in it's use of this particular mythology/history? I've been seeing this stuff pop up in popular culture for frigging years. I'm pretty sure Tolkein owes a hell of a lot to it, and everyone remotely involved in fantasy owes a hell of a lot to Tolkein.

Just because fantasy games/films/novels nowadays aren't obvious or even aware of their use of Nordic and Viking mythology doesn't mean it isn't there.

It's simple:

A) Skyrim is the big thing for fans of fantasy at the minute. It's a brilliant game, but a lot of people are still suffering from what I like to call 'post-release silliness' and making all sorts of grandiose claims.

B) A lot of fantasy fans, even the dedicated ones, believe that fantasy fiction started with Tolkien, and that Middle Earth is ground-zero for the tropes we associate with the genre today. Chalk it up to the massive resurgence in popularity that LOTR gained after the films, but a lot of people think that Tolkien invented things like elves and dwarves. It doesn't matter that Professor T himself freely admitted to using Nordic myths, ideas and characters as inspiration for Middle Earth. Most people don't have enough of an interest in cultural mythology to recognise when age-old archetypes and ideas have been used in a new, interesting way.

This is why I take issue with the article. It's certainly well written, but there does seem to be a lack of cultural context. Norse culture has been represented more in Fantasy fiction than any other European culture that I can think of. Take the standard narrative devices and quest motivations in your average WRPG, and compare them to some of the myths of Scandinavia. Chances are, there will be more common ground with Scandinavia and its tales of dragons, giants, magic runes and hidden treasure than there will be with the tales of the Romans, the Greeks or the Celts.

I just wanted to point out that I agree with you even more than you think. I'll re-iterate what I said in the eidt I made that I accidentally closed and couldn't be bothered to re-type:

Skyrim is certianly heavy on the mythological inspiration but I think the only reason it's particularly noteworthy is because it doesn't actually have any of that mythology in it. The artist harps on about it as if Skyrim is a realistic game set in ancient.... nordic viking times (excuse my complete ignorance when it comes to terminology here).

The in-game nation of Skyrim started as a fairly bland nation embodying the overused image of Scandavikingnorwegia, a construct that is fairly significant because it appears in a lot of western fantasy work these days but is built out of vague perceptions and popular images which in turn are built out of older iterations of them, based on older iterations, based on older iterations etc. etc. until we reach the first ever storytellers to create original works based on the original culture.

Skyrim is only noteworthy because it's obvious that the writers and art designers have actually done their research and based their fantasy counterpart culture on the real thing, rather than some mongrel image of it which is constantly re-used. The end result is that Skyrim feels more authentic and true to it's mythological/cultural source material than many fantasy games, films and novels do but it simultaneously feels more original, since the writers had the good sense to write a lot of original, all-new lore inspired by this stuff instead of merely creating an alternate, transparent imitation of the real thing (which is now a completely different creature from version of it that fantasy games/novels/films keep using).

That's my long-winded, mildly incoherent and utterly ignorant way of saying that the person who wrote this article needs to calm down a little bit. I went off-track.

I'll try to summarise: It has, as you said, been well-represented in entertainment. I get the impression that the guy writing this hasn't noticed that a metric fucktonne of western fantasy wouldn't exist if not for "Viking lore". Just because these works of fantasy don't directly acknowledge it or even display any awareness of it doesn't mean that they don't owe something to it.

If Skyrim really is that start of some bloody "viking renaissance" then all that's going to change is that more of our fantasy games just include a few more snowy mountains, an odd pronounciation of the letter "J" and horned helmets, since everything else is already being done by them already.

[Blinks]

If this article wasn't written so seriously I'd almost think it was an intentional farce starting with the initial premise being argued.

To be honest there is no denying that the standard Franco-British hodgepodge of fantasy is the most dominant force in the genere, BUT Germanic influances have almost always been blended into it, and it's probably the second most common setting.

Things like "Realms Of Arkania", and "The Dark Eye" (Drakensang, etc...) (based on a German PNP RPG), or the old cult classic "Anvil Of Dawn" are both heavily viking derived settings for fantasy RPGs. What's more the setting for the original "Quest For Glory" (originally released as hero quest) was the Valley of Speilburg (understand the comedic intent) which was tenatively located in ancient germany due to the familiarity of the setting. What's more those forests and such... the deep dark woods, are as Germanic in theme as anything, a lot of those fairy tales and such have Germanic origins to begin with.

The thing to understand is that most fantasy gaming comes from "Dungeons and Dragons" which was a giant conglomeration of popular fantasy from the 1970s. People tend to refer to it as Tolkienesque fantasy, but really he was only one of the people who inspired it, guys like Robert Howard, Michael Moorcock, Jack Vance, Fritz Leiber, and various world mythologies played as much of a role in it as anything. Just about every D&D setting includes at least one Norse derived culture, a few deities from that mythology (Tyr for example is a big deal in The Forgotten Realms setting), and Lankhmar has seen several direct pnp gaming recreations, one of the heroes of that setting being Fafhrd the Skald.

Now, you might be wondering "why don't we see more direct, historical focus on this" and the answer is "the same reason you don't see it on anything else". Simply put ancient peoples were bastards by the standards of modern morality. When you start trying to be more specific and recreationist you start to raise a lot of uncomfortable questions, which leads to the political correctness brigade oftentimes rushing in to try and re-invent history to be less offensive.

The Norse in paticular tend to be more evil than most in a modern eye because they WERE a group of self-centered racial supremists who raided, slaved, and committed acts of recreational depravity against lesser races of man (as they saw it). All the overtones of honor and courage in battle tend to only really apply among themselves, everyone else was a victim. This is one of the reasons why they generally show up as the bad guys (enemy barbarians) in most fantasy settings, because the whole attitude leads naturally to creating a group of magnificent bastards to fight against.

The Nazis didn't "ruin" Viking culture, they merely embraced what was already there.

Skyrim is a good game, but really I don't think it's that original for having a sanitized Norse basis. Actually I think it deserves more credit for actually not going totally PC and leaving some shades of the culture that inspired it around.

I don't think that a trend of historical recreationism is good for gaming either, nor should everyone bandwagon onto creating norse games because of Skyrim. In general the whole fantasy hodge-podge developed the way it did for a reason, and I think trying to do away with it will actually show how good those reasons actually were.... especially seeing, as we've seen plenty of norse themed games over the years, and we'll probably see more given time without starting a trend.

I have to disagree a little bit with Rune being the first "real" viking game.. I have personally played Valhalla on the ZX Spectrum back in the 80's (Check youtube) which I seem to remember followed the Norse mythology quite nicely and then there was another Civilization type of game I played when I was in college back in the 90's. Can't for the life of me remember the name of it, but I seem to remember it following what we know of Norse history fairly well.

I for one consider both of them "proper" viking games.

Not to nitpick or anything.. :D

The game always struck me as saxon rather than viking. People tend to throw the two together, calling Beowulf a viking story and stuff. They ain't the same thing.

Otherwise, yes I think games should take on many more mythologies, viking included. Come to think of it, it would be good to get games with deep religious themes period. I don't just mean some jrpg that throws in crucifixes and talks vaguely about sacrifice. I mean a proper, deep look at a religious ideology, like Catholic attrition or the idea of Pilgrimage. The closest I've seen is The Neverhood. The worst though is Dante's Inferno, which has no interest in religious themes at all.

EDIT: WHOOP! GO HULL UNI HISTORY DEPARTMENT!
I read Martin Arnold's book on trolls.

Ragnarok2kx:
I noticed that the author pretty much disregards JRPGs, which always include at least some references to Nordic myth, even if it's only because they reference every other popular mythology as well.
Valkyrie Profile sticks out as a pretty obvious one.

It tends to come off as superficial though. It doesn't feel like the jrpgs really spend much time looking into the stuff they reference, because it hardly shows up in there work beyond a few character designs and names. Magna Carta is the most obvious example I can think of.

Wut? Viking stuff was all over the place before skyrim.

balberoy:

For instance Loki, in the original myth he is somewhat a thief and plotter, but he is not evil, but because we christians had "the devil" this mindset was passed on to Loki from them.

Now I want to point out that one of the most important characters in the The Elder Scrolls lore is a trickster named Lorkhan. Coincidence?

Anyway, nice article and all that. It'll be intresting to see what the future holds.

Shycte:

balberoy:

For instance Loki, in the original myth he is somewhat a thief and plotter, but he is not evil, but because we christians had "the devil" this mindset was passed on to Loki from them.

Now I want to point out that one of the most important characters in the The Elder Scrolls lore is a trickster named Lorkhan. Coincidence?

Anyway, nice article and all that. It'll be intresting to see what the future holds.

Lorkhan is only a trickster in one interpretation of the lore. Other texts paint him as the theological equivilant of an architect, or just the guy who cooked up the idea of a mortal plane without foreseeing the consequences. All that's known for certain is that he was instrumental in the creation of Nirn, and that the other Aedra killed him when Nirn turned out to be not such a bright idea. I wouldn't call him "a thief and a plotter" in any of his interpretatons, except in the broad sense.

Awesome, I'm at hull uni, go prof! Also very much true and love the setting and the history surrounding it.

Whenever I read the words "Anglo-Saxon", I always hear it in the voice of that guy from Time Team.

I'm of Danish, Norwegian, and Northern German descent, and am very proud of my Viking heritage (I wear a necklace with Thor's Hammer on it...the religious icon, not like from the comics). I am 100% in favor of more Vikings in the media. I think I love Skyrim so much just because of its setting.

seriously? the US 'saved' nordic culture through bugs bunny and thor cartoons? hagar the horrible? really?

saying that american comics and cartoons 'saved' the vikings is a damned lie. what, people saw bugs bunny say 'what's up, doc' to hitler and decided 'hey, vikings ain't so bad'? they saw a hagar cartoon and decided the racial superiority thing was a bit played up? please.

in fact, norse culture hasn't been 'saved ' at all. there's still plenty of people who associate vikings with nazism.

if anything, fantasy/historical writers (such as tolkien) and metal did most to disassociate norse from nazism. but much more than that, it's just a matter of time. it's been 60 years since WW2, and since then the association has gotten weaker simply because there's less awareness of what the nazi's views were. it's only natural that as time goes on, more and more about a certain movement leaves the public conciousness. nobody will ever forget the holocaust or the racist views, but more detailed information isn't taught in history class (because it's not as relevant).

i'd even say that the americanised version of norse culture did more harm than good. these days, if you want to have a story about a viking you first have to explain that thor is not a guy with blue pants and steel discs over his nipples

I would enjoy a sandboxy game where you're a viking with a boat, crew, and obviously an axe. Where you pillage the hell out of England and explore randomly generated 'new lands' would be awesome.

I always have a soft spot for the viking culture since I'm half Sami and then about 40% Norwegian/Danish/Swedish. That and my name is Thor. So obviously I have no choice..

At the risk of angering many Scandinavians i'm not sure we should have more Viking influences, rather we should have more late antiquity and early medieval influences from all over Europe. When you get down to it the Vikings were kinda boring culturally, they were the great adapters (they gave up their religion and runes after a couple of decades of living in england). In their native lands they've left historians remarkably little except their mythology, and that was written down in the 12 and 13th centuries, 300 years after their famous raiding. I'd love to see some games based on an early medieval italy or france (say 600-900)or maybe anglo saxon england.

What about How to Train Your Dragon? That had vikings!

darthricardo:
Great article, but there seems to be one problem.
When Age of Empires II was mentioned, I was honestly very surprised that Age of Mythology wasn't. I mean, the article emphasizes Viking lore, themes, and mythology largely only being addressed in a very circumspect way, yet AoM dealt with it very, VERY thoroughly. A good section of the game focused on Scandinavian mythology. Viking heroes and gods, Ragnarok, Nidhoggr and the World Serpent. All that stuff.
It just seems remiss to not even mention AoM at all.

Yes, I'm very surprised that AOM wasnt metioned, that was the game that introduced me to Norse Mthology, as well as Greek and Egyptian. It's the perfect example of what this article is on about.

bout time people realized were awesome

Fappy:
Pretty interesting read. We could always do with some more vikings. Too many army soldiers and space marines these days.

Yep, yep. Couldn't agree more.

I attribute this to recent trends in literary fantasy fiction, which visual media are finally catching up to. The shadow Tolkien cast over epic fantasy was long and imposing, but in the last 20 years or so, fantasy authors have consciously been distancing themselves from his influence.

A common way has been to cut out the middle man and go back to the real-world history and mythology that informed Tolkien's work (e.g, George R.R. Martin dressing up the War of the Roses in fantasy trappings) or even cultures that weren't significant influences on JRR. Some examples: Czarist Russia in the Havemercy series, the medieval Jewish kingdom of Khazaria in Michael Chabon's Gentlemen of the Road, and the Golden Age of Islam in the upcoming Throne of the Crescent Moon. Guy Gavriel Kay even covered the Norse.

thaluikhain:

balberoy:
Actually Metal is strongly influenced from Vikings. There are two subgenres called "Viking Metal" and "Pagan Metal".

Probably the most popular band ist "Amon Amarth", but there are many more (Tyr, Turisas, ...)

The Problem with the Viking culture is, that most of the time we just look at them from one side.

The Warrior (wich never wore horned helmets), but they were explorers (first in America) and had a rich agriculture.

The fierce warrior invading Lindisfarne were the same people slashing woods at home or working on the fields.

And at least let me mention the mythology, wich was altered by the catholics in a really bad way.

For instance Loki, in the original myth he is somewhat a thief and plotter, but he is not evil, but because we christians had "the devil" this mindset was passed on to Loki from them.

Or just look many of the day we celebrate each year, my guess is then <50% of them are celtics or pagan. The Christians in the old days converted the Pagans by assimilating their culture.

So in every Christian there is a good portion of pagan and viking belief in us.

Well, the Viking were hardly the first to reach the Americas, and you can't really speak of pagan and viking as being things (though pagan isn't a very useful word), but more or less, yeah.

However, pop culture being wrong on things...when is that not the case?

Who was there before the Leiv Eriksson then?

As far as we can tell, they were there first.
Except for the Indians, obviously.

OT:
Very interesting read.
I have always wanted to see more Viking influences in modern media.

If we can only have a decent epic Viking movie and a HBO produces TV show too.
That would be nice.

Metalhandkerchief:
Best article on The Escapist in many years. It is just so much more informed than the usual.

And

"The nationalistic and often racist ramblings of Ulfric Stormcloak occasionally leave him sounding like a fur-clad Himmler, and the Nords who support him sometimes seem eager to inflict their own version of Kristallnacht on the maligned Dark Elves. But these aren't the only Nords we see. Half of the region still allies itself with the wider Empire, and these citizens maintain pride in their culture while espousing a more cosmopolitan view of their world. In some ways, it's tempting to see their loyalty as a parallel to the many Norwegians who resisted the German occupation in the 1940s."

Exactly my thoughts when I played the game for the first time. The "watercooler" talk between me and friends was a bit like this:

Friend: "So did you go Empire or Stormcloaks?"
Me: "Empire."
Friend: "What? And you call yourself a Norwegian?" (joking tone)
Me: "..."
Friend: "What?"

My friend (who is a bit dense) thought of the Empire as the aggressor, somehow, and compared them to Nazi Germany invading Norway. Talk about missing the target completely, sheesh.

To be fair, it's actually a rather valid viewpoint. The Empire's Skyrim can very well be seen as a Norway under occupation and the Stormcloaks being the 'boys in the woods' (Norwegian term that doesn't translate too well) fighting the occupation and aiming for a free Skyrim/Norway.

The Empire simpering and giving the Thalmor whatever they want certainly makes them aggressors in the Skyrim lands.

Japan has long had a love for Viking read the manga Vinland Saga. It's been out since 2005 and deals with the Viking conquest of England.

Fights fall along the lines of Berserk in the gore factor and it doesn't shy away from the massacre and rape aspect of Viking culture.

This is a very interesting (if not entirely accurate) attempt at an article on the history of Vikings in popular culture, focusing, of course, on video games, but I feel like some of the claims made in relation to Skyrim seem sensationalist and tacked on. I realize it's the big thing right now and gets a lot of page views, but I think the piece as a whole would have benefited from simply using it as an example rather than trying to make it out to be such a big deal. The closing does a decent job at this, but the tag line and the opening paragraphs seem awkward and deliberately misleading.

Also, the whole "fantasy hodge-podge" thing is probably better attributed to Lewis than Tolkein, as far as setting goes. It's also very sad that people seem to remember Tolkein primarily for his fantasy novels, when his linguistic work was at least as impressive. He's the main reason we now read Beowulf as literature rather than as an anthropological curiosity, to give one example.

balberoy:
For instance Loki, in the original myth he is somewhat a thief and plotter, but he is not evil, but because we christians had "the devil" this mindset was passed on to Loki from them.

Or just look many of the day we celebrate each year, my guess is then <50% of them are celtics or pagan. The Christians in the old days converted the Pagans by assimilating their culture.

About that first bit, do you have some alternate version of all the Ragnarok stuff that no one else has seen? Because Loki does go a bit evil in that, although you're correct that he's much more of the classic trickster god in most of the other myths. I think it gives him an interesting character arc. Honestly, the kind of alteration you're describing seems like a much better fit for what popular culture has done to Hades (arguably the nicest of the Greek gods).

While your second point is also true, the vast majority of those celebrations don't come from Norse culture, but rather from the Pagan Roman and Celtic celebrations practiced in the areas which converted to Christianity earlier on. It is of course worth noting that "pagan" is just a blanket term used to refer to a myriad of non-Christian religious groups who were by no means unified in their beliefs or practices (indeed, it was this lack of unification that initially allowed Christianity to supplant them and which stymied Julian's attempts to reverse the process).

Hal10k:

Shycte:

balberoy:

For instance Loki, in the original myth he is somewhat a thief and plotter, but he is not evil, but because we christians had "the devil" this mindset was passed on to Loki from them.

Now I want to point out that one of the most important characters in the The Elder Scrolls lore is a trickster named Lorkhan. Coincidence?

Anyway, nice article and all that. It'll be intresting to see what the future holds.

Lorkhan is only a trickster in one interpretation of the lore. Other texts paint him as the theological equivilant of an architect, or just the guy who cooked up the idea of a mortal plane without foreseeing the consequences. All that's known for certain is that he was instrumental in the creation of Nirn, and that the other Aedra killed him when Nirn turned out to be not such a bright idea. I wouldn't call him "a thief and a plotter" in any of his interpretatons, except in the broad sense.

'

I don't know, he is more or less a trickter in the majority of interpretations. For example, the Khajiits beileve that Lorkhan, or Lorkhaj as they call him, trapped everyone in Nirn. Sorta. I'm not saying that I know that there is a connection here, I'm just saying that I think it might be a possibility.

Thank goodness Skyrim was able to discover Norse themes and rescue them from obscurity in video games...
image

Skyrim was based off Vikings and norse....stuff?

The time I did play it, all I was thinking was Conan

Darth_Dude:

darthricardo:
Great article, but there seems to be one problem.
When Age of Empires II was mentioned, I was honestly very surprised that Age of Mythology wasn't. I mean, the article emphasizes Viking lore, themes, and mythology largely only being addressed in a very circumspect way, yet AoM dealt with it very, VERY thoroughly. A good section of the game focused on Scandinavian mythology. Viking heroes and gods, Ragnarok, Nidhoggr and the World Serpent. All that stuff.
It just seems remiss to not even mention AoM at all.

Yes, I'm very surprised that AOM wasnt metioned, that was the game that introduced me to Norse Mthology, as well as Greek and Egyptian. It's the perfect example of what this article is on about.

Same here, I've spent hours just reading through all the unit and character descriptions to get a good overview of the myths it was all based on.

GundamSentinel:

Darth_Dude:

darthricardo:
Great article, but there seems to be one problem.
When Age of Empires II was mentioned, I was honestly very surprised that Age of Mythology wasn't. I mean, the article emphasizes Viking lore, themes, and mythology largely only being addressed in a very circumspect way, yet AoM dealt with it very, VERY thoroughly. A good section of the game focused on Scandinavian mythology. Viking heroes and gods, Ragnarok, Nidhoggr and the World Serpent. All that stuff.
It just seems remiss to not even mention AoM at all.

Yes, I'm very surprised that AOM wasnt metioned, that was the game that introduced me to Norse Mthology, as well as Greek and Egyptian. It's the perfect example of what this article is on about.

Same here, I've spent hours just reading through all the unit and character descriptions to get a good overview of the myths it was all based on.

:D Me too, at times I'd start up the game just to read the descriptions...

Erlec:
Viking culture made a huge increase in popularity in the norwegian nationalist romantic period (around 1800 - 1905 (day Norway got it's independence). The period works focused mainly on Snorri Sturluson stories([Url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snorri_Sturluson[/url]

But Snorri was Icelandic, what does he have to do with nationalism in Norway?

EDIT: Your link does not work.

I assume you are talking about this guy right? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snorri_Sturluson

*Sigh*... Skyrim wasn't first. It didn't single-handedly revitalise the Viking renaissance. Noone says it is. It just happens to be the best example for it at this moment. It's not clever or informative in pointing that out ad nauseum.

It's a neat pack of clichés and designs, and of course they'd be used if Bethesda sets a game in the homeland of the Nords. Akin to how I'm sure something set in Elsweyr would employ many different Thousand and One Nights-tropes.

RandV80:
Actually the Japanese side has been ignored completely here. The Japanese judging from their media have always seemed to like their vikings. If you look at their games/manga/anime when ever they introduce a Western mythological element they lean heavily towards Norse.

You know, Skyrim is the first WRPG to get really major attention in Japan. Do you think this is a coincidence?

balberoy:
Actually Metal is strongly influenced from Vikings. There are two subgenres called "Viking Metal" and "Pagan Metal".

Probably the most popular band ist "Amon Amarth", but there are many more (Tyr, Turisas, ...)

The Problem with the Viking culture is, that most of the time we just look at them from one side.

The Warrior (wich never wore horned helmets), but they were explorers (first in America) and had a rich agriculture.

The fierce warrior invading Lindisfarne were the same people slashing woods at home or working on the fields.

And at least let me mention the mythology, wich was altered by the catholics in a really bad way.

For instance Loki, in the original myth he is somewhat a thief and plotter, but he is not evil, but because we christians had "the devil" this mindset was passed on to Loki from them.

Or just look many of the day we celebrate each year, my guess is then <50% of them are celtics or pagan. The Christians in the old days converted the Pagans by assimilating their culture.

So in every Christian there is a good portion of pagan and viking belief in us.

Don't forget MANOWAR!

Anyone play Viking: Battle for Asgard? While lacking in story, the general style and themes were still all there in my opinion. Then of course there were the epic battles!

AND YES, why wasn't Age of Mythology brought up?

Article:
The nationalistic and often racist ramblings of Ulfric Stormcloak occasionally leave him sounding like a fur-clad Himmler.

And that is why I follow the Empire... which is kind of ironic given that the Reich fancied themselves as a new Empire.

Hardcore_gamer:

Erlec:
Viking culture made a huge increase in popularity in the norwegian nationalist romantic period (around 1800 - 1905 (day Norway got it's independence). The period works focused mainly on Snorri Sturluson stories( [Url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snorri_Sturluson[/url]

But Snorri was Icelandic, what does he have to do with nationalism in Norway?

EDIT: Your link does not work.

I assume you are talking about this guy right? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snorri_Sturluson

Yes, Snorri Sturluson was islandic under a period where iceland was heavily infulenced under norwegian chieftans as well as kings. This resulted into iceland becoming a trade province. In additon Snorri's writing is based on sagas meaning that he wrote down many tales of norse mythology and earlier viking kings. His main work on norwegian kings work is called "Heimskringla".

The nationalist romantic period made the work extremly popular in writers, artists and scholors mind as a symbol for Norway's previous independence. Sevreal of the tales have been made into paintings, plays and studied. This contributeted Norway's claim for an independent nation.

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