This bronze figure was found in North Iceland 200 years ago. It dates from around 1000 AD, which was during the Viking Era that ended in 1066 with the Norman Invasion of England. Experts are divided on who the figure depicts. Most agree that it’s either the Norse god Thor or Jesus Christ because the grasped object appears to be either a hammer or a cross. This figure, a treasured icon, is now in Iceland’s National Museum. The figure is very Viking-like.
The day before I saw it, I was in the Settlement Centre in Borganes, Iceland. It had a display about the Vikings featuring several maps that showed their explorations and settlements. They were in Ukraine! The exhibit, which I could not photograph, said that Viking skill in boat building allowed them to travel widely. Due to an improved keel, for example, they could sail to Iceland from Norway in 72 hours!
Last night I was reading a review of a new BBC America 8-part series called The Last Kingdom. Starring Rutger Hauer playing a Viking tutor, it was produced by the same team that gave the world Downton Abbey. The opening line of the review spoke of Vikings lustily pillaging their way through history. At first I confused this series with Northmen: A Viking Saga, which came out last year. This 97 minute movie was produced by South Africans, Germans, and the Swiss.
To deal with my confusion, I googled Viking Movie List and printed 3 pages of titles. The Last Kingdom was on the list and so was Northmen: A Viking Saga. So was Vikings, the History Channel’s series that has been OKed for a 4th season.
I mentioned in a recent blog “Swimming in Skagafjordur” that the director of Everest, Baltasar Kormákur, is about to make a Viking film. Based on Njals Saga, it will cost at least $60 million. This will be the most expensive movie ever made in Iceland.
The boy group One Direction just announced that its members are taking a year off to pursue personal projects. One New Directioner is Harry Styles. Leonardo DiCaprio has been trying to get a Viking movie about Norwegian King Harald Hardrada made since at least 2013. This project could get underway soon. If it does, DiCaprio will direct King Harald and co-star with Styles.
It’s clear that we are experiencing a Viking media invasion. Why?