I finally managed to convince my parents to watch Vikings – and they’ve just binge-watched all four seasons :-) I’m so glad they enjoyed it, because I thought it was a fantastic series. And not just because I want to be Lagertha.
The first brilliant thing about this series is the theme music – “If I Had a Heart” by Fever Ray. Here’s the full version.
Then I do have to talk about Lagertha, because Katheryn Winnick is just amazing in this role. A Canadian actress, she’s of Ukrainian descent and Ukrainian was her first language. She trained in the martial arts from age seven, was a black belt at thirteen, and had started three martial arts schools before she turned twenty-one. I mean, wow. Just look at her go!
But the best thing about this series is that it manages to capture the mystique that is always associated with the Vikings. They exist in the mysterious Dark Ages, just far enough back in our history to almost become myth, and the series captures the blend of legend, Old Gods, and warlike mentality perfectly.
I like to think I would have been a shield maiden if I’d lived back then. Either a shield maiden or a warrior poet – a highly skilled warrior who trains and fights for a higher purpose. A Viking Buffy :-)
Unfortunately, I’m not even fit to stand in the shadow of the real Lagerthas who would have fought back then (with my knees and bad back?) But I still like to think of myself as a shield maiden or warrior poet in the way I write. Yes, I write romance. But that doesn’t mean I shy away from the hard topics. I’ve written about tough themes like cancer and alcoholism and childhood illnesses, about being blind, Alzheimer’s, and about life as a rape victim. Sometimes, I worry I’m going to offend someone because obviously I haven’t had to live through every problem that my characters experience, and even though I do my research, it's possible to get details wrong. But, as Zoe says in Firefly when she's talking about having a baby with Wash in the tumultuous world they live in, “I ain’t so afraid of losing something that I ain’t gonna try to have it.”
One day, I’d love to write a Viking story about a shieldmaiden like Lagertha. I haven’t quite gotten around to it yet, although in One Hot Winter’s Night I wrote about two archaeologists who were hunting for the goddess Freyja’s necklace, called Brisingamen, which was referred to in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf. It's a start! Did you know I have a degree in archaeology, and used to teach classes?
Are you a fan of Vikings? Did you enjoy the series? Want to join me and be a shieldmaiden?! Let me know in the comments!
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