Ships We Sail on VIKINGS

 

viking valentine

Found on Huffington Post. Possibly dating to Early 9th Century (like mine in Éire’s Viking), this says: Kiss me. 

The Shieldmaidens of History (Protecting the Innocent from Anachronisms) welcome you back to our series on the History Channel show Vikings. 


47eeb-lissabryan2Historical fiction author Lissa Bryan is with me again to discuss the historical aspects of the show. Lissa has written a fantastic historical fiction story of her own, and she is an amazing historian and storyteller. (You can read my review of her Tudor love story, Under These Restless Skies here on my site.)

 

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.

Heillir! We—Lissa Bryan and Sandi Layne—are two historical fiction authors with a serious thing for Vikings. And for VIKINGS, the amazing series that is going to begin its fourth season on HISTORY CHANNEL.

 

We are SO excited! So, Warriors and Shieldmaidens all, get your weapons and armor ready, because it’s going to be an amazing season!
Fave VIKINGS ‘Ships We Sail

We’re not talking skipniu, here, Readers. The longboats of our favorite Vikings are not the ‘ships of the day. These ‘ships are “relationships” that may or may not be supported by “canon” – the story as given to us by the authors/screenwriters/playwrights who entertain us with their wonderful labors.

Courtesy of mountshire on Tumblr

In History Channel’s VIKINGS series, we have our favorite relationships. Some of them are predictable, some might be considered questionable or secondary, but still, we hold them.

EVERYONE’S favorite ‘ship is Ragnar and Lagertha. 

Courtsesy of valkyras on Tumblr

Two powerful, intelligent people who seem absolutely made for one another.

Courtesy of mrscharliehunnam on Tumblr

Their passion and mutual respect were both beautiful to behold.

Courtesy of radosiewka on Tumblr

But Ragnar destroyed their relationship because of his desire for sons. (Sound like any other king you know? – Lissa)

Courtesy of byaseashore on Tumblr

Lagertha went off to forge her own destiny.

Courtesy of harleyquisn on Tumblr

She’s had a husband and several lovers since, but everyone keeps hoping her destiny will lead her back into Ragnar’s arms. Even though years have come between them, the chemistry is there for anyone to see, any time they share screen time.

Courtesy of stairway-to-metal-land on Tumblr

 

•ღ•

 

Our next favorite “ship” is Floki and Helga

 

Courtesy of alcntara on Tumblr

In the beginning, they seemed so perfectly compatible, but Floki’s “issues” kept increasing.

Courtesy of lecterlannister on Tumblr

The arrival of their daughter seems to have only made things worse.

Courtesy of alcntara on Tumblr

Floki was genuinely frightened at how happy he was with his little family.

Courtesy of holynorse on Tumblr

He seems to have thought it was a challenge to the gods, or some sort of set up in order to rip the rug from under his feet.

Courtesy of violaobanion on Tumblr

Patient Helga helped him as much as she could and tried to fight for their relationship, but it now seems Floki may have crossed the line for her.

Courtesy of gifchannel on Tumblr

Sandi is less invested, but she feels just dreadfully for Helga, even as she sees Floki fall apart before everyone’s eyes.

Courtesy of lecterlannister on Tumblr

 

•ღ•

 



We both confess we hoped that Gyda would grow up to marry AthelstanThis would be an example of a non-canon ‘ship.

 

And apparently, we’re not the only ones.
Courtesy of talktotheseer on Tumblr

The monk’s personality seemed to mesh so well with Ragnar’s daughter’s. She was sweet and gentle and nurturing – just what the Tiny Viking needed.

I know that by the time she had grown up, she would have been a princess and her hand would have been valuable for forging alliances for the new King Ragnar, but I think he would have been delighted to have his beloved Athelstan as a son-in-law.

Courtesy of  The History Channel

And, too, there was the possibility of introducing the Christianization of the Vikings into the timeline, albeit a bit earlier perhaps than it happened in history.

Courtesy of gydalothbrook on Tumblr

 

•ღ•

There are a lot of people out there who loved Siggy and Rollo as a couple. Their relationship seems to have started as an alliance, nothing more. Siggy was lost in the world and needed a protector, and Rollo, brother of the jarl, seemed a perfect step up in the world.

Courtesy of greyjoyss on Tumblr

For a time, she egged him on in his desires to overthrow Ragnar.

Courtesy of giphy.com 

But it seems that love grew between them, and Siggy would stop at nothing to protect him.

Courtesy of greyjoyss on Tumblr

Rollo seemed to care for her, too, after his disappointment with Lagertha (yes! another ship!) but in the end, Rollo pursued his own interests, as did Siggy.

Will there be new ships to sail in Season Four?​

 

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.


 

Viking ValentineWhat are your thoughts? Join Lissa Bryan and me, Sandi,  tonight as we chat at 8PM EST on Twitter about our favorite ‘ships and what the series might have in store for them. Use the hashtag #ShieldGeeks to join in the fun!


We’re Talking Viking: KALF

 

VIKINGS banner

This and all images from Vikings are the property of the History Channel. I use them only for illustrations regarding their show.

The Shieldmaidens of History (Protecting the Innocent from Anachronisms) welcome you back to our series on the History Channel show Vikings. 


146a6-lissa-bryanHistorical fiction author Lissa Bryan is with me again to discuss the historical aspects of the show. Lissa has written a fantastic historical fiction story of her own, and she is an amazing historian and storyteller. (You can read my review of her Tudor love story, Under These Restless Skies here on my site.)

 

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.

Heillir! We—Lissa Bryan and Sandi Layne—are two historical fiction authors with a serious thing for Vikings. And for VIKINGS, the amazing series that is going to begin its fourth season on HISTORY CHANNEL.

We are SO excited! So, Warriors and Shieldmaidens all, get your weapons and armor ready, because it’s going to be an amazing season!
KALF

A young man, whom I often call “Kalfling”, Kalf is a native of Hedeby, Lagertha’s new demesne. He is played by Ben Robson with confidence and attitude.

Courtesy of mametupa on Tumblr

He appears to have a thing for Lagertha (the new Earl Ingstad) but his plan reveals itself over time: He wants her position. And he’ll do what he has to to get it. Of course, if he gets her into bed, he won’t complain.

Courtesy of him-e on Tumblr

He played up to his liege lady, but then when she left to go to on long raid to Wessex, he betrayed her and recruited King Horik’s son to lend him credence.

Courtesy of ladyofglencairn on Tumblr

 

Lagertha managed somehow to put this betrayal aside as they raided Paris, but she made it clear that he was not forgiven. Kalf surprised us all when he saved Lagertha’s life during the raid on Paris, holding her back, then knocking her out cold with a left hook in order to keep her from charging into a rain of arrows.

Courtesy of laugertha on Tumblr

After the battle, she agreed to become his lover, but took him into her arms with this warning:

 

Courtesy of canislupusalces on Tumblr

How will she handle the situation in Season Four? Michael Hirst, the series creator, has said that the situation will resolve itself in unexpected ways.

Courtesy of mametupa on Tumblr

Whatever happens, I bet it will be fascinating.

 

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.


 


What are your thoughts? Join Lissa Bryan and me, Sandi, tonight as we chat at 8PM EST on Twitter about Kalf and what the series might have in store for him. Use the hashtag #ShieldGeeks to join in the fun!


VIKINGS: Personae In Memoriam II

Vikings possible new banner

All Vikings images are the property of History Channel and are used here for illustrative purposes only. Click here to go there.

 

The Shieldmaidens of History (Protecting the Innocent from Anachronisms) welcome you back to our series on the History Channel show Vikings. 


146a6-lissa-bryanHistorical fiction author Lissa Bryan is with me again to discuss the historical aspects of the show. Lissa has written a fantastic historical fiction story of her own, and she is an amazing historian and storyteller. (You can read my review of her Tudor love story, Under These Restless Skies here on my site.)

 

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.

Heillir! We—Lissa Bryan and Sandi Layne—are two historical fiction authors with a serious thing for Vikings. And for VIKINGS, the amazing series that is going to begin its fourth season on HISTORY CHANNEL.

 

We are SO excited! So, Warriors and Shieldmaidens all, get your weapons and armor ready, because it’s going to be an amazing season!

On this, our second Favorite Dead Viking Friday, we’ve got two ladies to spotlight. First, a most amazing woman:

SIGGY

We met Siggy when she was the wife of Earl Haraldson.

Courtesy of greyjoyss on Tumblr

Played with beautiful flexibility by Jessalyn Gilsig, Siggy was the supportive wife of the region’s most powerful man.

After the earl’s death, though, Siggy came into her own. As soon as her husband fell in single combat with Ragnar, Siggy called out these words:

Courtesy of historyvikings on Tumblr

She was the first to kneel to Ragnar as jarl.

Lagertha was kind to the new widow. Siggy feared she was going to be turned into a slave, but Lagertha promised she would never treat Siggy that way. She took Siggy and her daughter, Thyri, under her protection.

Courtesy of elodieyungs on Tumblr

When the young Bjőrn objected, Lagertha used the situation to teach a lesson in compassion to her son. She reminded Bjőrn Haraldson could have won.

Courtesy of glorfindels on Tumblr

But despite the kindness she was shown an the acceptance she eventually earned within the community, Siggy struggled with resentment over what had happened to her.

Courtesy of elodieyungs on Tumblr

She allied herself to the new earl’s brother, Rollo.

Courtesy of greyjoyss on Tumblr

She hoped to regain her standing, but with more influence than she had had before. Did she and the mercurial Rollo love one another or was it a relationship of convenience?

Courtesy of greyjoyss on Tumblr

Despite the difficulties of her situation, Siggy showed herself to be incredibly brave. When Kattegat was attacked, she picked up a sword and shield and rushed out to defend her new home.

Courtesy of vikinggifs on Tumblr

Rollo gave her the task of protecting Princess Asluag and Siggy did it with aplomb.

Courtesy of ganseysmagicians on Tumblr

She and Aslaug became good friends.

 

Courtesy of besidethewall on Tumblr

and eventually was one entrusted with the safety and well-being of Ragnar’s sons.

Courtesy of stairway-to-metal-land on Tumblr

This provided her life with happiness, but also led to her death. Siggy died nobly, saving the boys’ lives, in what was one of the most beautiful cinematic deaths in television history.

Courtesy of sikanapanele on Tumblr

And her face, when she met her end, was at peace. She earned her place in the halls of her fathers in Valhalla.


 

 

Now, a girl who died all too soon:

GYDA

I confess that Gyda is my one great disappointment in this series (other than the intermittent boot-sole issues).

Courtesy of barricadeur on Tumblr

Played charmingly by Ruby O’Leary, Ragnar’s only daughter bade fair to grow into a strong Viking woman.

Courtesy of holloywoodgonzalez on Tumblr

She seemed more nurturing, perhaps, than her mother, but she was much loved and protected by her entire family.

Courtesy of complicatedcookie on Tumblr

It was bittersweet for Lagertha to watch Gyda grow into a woman. She was so proud of her, but it was a harsh reminder of the passage of time, and that she was getting older, too.

Courtesy of vikingshistory on Tumblr

Gyda was adored by Athelstan, the Christian priest Ragnar took as a slave to help care for his children.

Courtesy of hazel-makes-gifs on Tumblr

Lagertha was a little concerned at first.

Courtesy of ecomenellegrandistorie on WordPress

She needn’t have worried. Athelstan was beloved by the children, and he protected them just as fiercely as Lagertha did.

Courtesy of incarsandthroughtime on Tumblr

Gyda loved him, too. As she lay dying of the plague, she asked her mother to pray for Athelstan, who was also ill.

Courtesy of ediness on Tumblr

Ragnar never forgot his only little girl. He spent time alone more than once mourning her, and there was a very touching scene indeed where he spoke to her memory (or spirit?) with great affection. His goodbye to her deserves to be repeated in full:

 

“Gyda, I have come to say goodbye to you, properly. I’ve been thinking about you, about when you were small. You were so lively you could run as swiftly as the wind. You were like a quick-silver. But then, before I knew it, you stopped running here and there and everywhere, and you became still. At 12 years old you had the stillness and the calm of a fine woman. What children you would have produced! What joy that would have brought to all of us!

Dear child, Gyda, you are not gone because you are always in my heart. They say that a man must love his sons more, but a man can be jealous of his sons and his daughter can always be the light in his life.

I know very well that you are with the Gods. But I will wait here, a while, and if you wanna come and talk to me, then come and talk., and I will gently stroke your long and beautiful hair once again with my peasant hands.”

Text of Ragnar’s goodbye and gifs by amebuschaos on Tumblr

Alas, today, Gyda’s character can only be seen to grow into womanhood in fan fiction.

 

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.


 


What are your thoughts? Join Lissa Bryan and me, Sandi, tonight as we chat at 8PM EST on Twitter about our favorite dead Vikings. Use the hashtags #ShieldGeeks and #FaveDeadViking to join in the fun!


VIKINGS Lady of Win: LAGERTHA

Vikings possible new banner

All Vikings images are the property of History Channel and are used here for illustrative purposes only. Click here to go there.

 

The Shieldmaidens of History (Protecting the Innocent from Anachronisms) welcome you back to our series on the History Channel show Vikings. 


146a6-lissa-bryanHistorical fiction author Lissa Bryan is with me again to discuss the historical aspects of the show. Lissa has written a fantastic historical fiction story of her own, and she is an amazing historian and storyteller. (You can read my review of her Tudor love story, Under These Restless Skies here on my site.)

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.

Heillir! We—Lissa Bryan and Sandi Layne—are two historical fiction authors with a serious thing for Vikings. And for VIKINGS, the amazing series that is going to begin its fourth season on HISTORY CHANNEL.

Follow us on twitter, #ShieldGeeks, at 8pm Eastern for the next week as we talk about the main characters of the show, including special features for Thorsdays, er, Thursdays, as well as We Ship It day on the 14th and even a Favorite Dead Character feature.

Then, on February 18th, VIKINGS, Season Four will begin and Sandi and I will be live-tweeting during each episode, as has been our custom since Season One. We’ll follow up with a more detailed discussion on our websites the following day.
LAGERTHA

One of the most awesome and well-rounded characters anywhere, Lagertha (played with brilliant authenticity by Katheryn Winnick) is a huge fan-favorite of the VIKINGS show in general.

Courtesy of capleesi on Tumblr

And what’s not to love? We are introduced in Season One to a beautiful, loyal, fierce shieldmaiden wife-and-mom who is strong enough to defend her home and adventurous enough to invite Athelstan into intimacy with her and her husband.

Courtesy of Rebloggy

Her sexual confidence is certainly part of her allure for both the men in the show as well as the character’s fans out here in the fandom.

But even moreso, I think, is Lagertha’s role as warrior.

Courtesy of mrscharliehunnam on Tumblr

She’s an unflinching warrior of renown, the leader of the shieldmaidens in her realm, and she takes no prisoners.

Courtesy of Rebloggy

And thought it might seem unconventional, she has nothing but the admiration of all who know her.

Courtesy of Rebloggy

She’s also the mother of a son and daughter and provides both of them with a model of all the virtues of her world.

Courtesy of gifsbyrosie on Tumblr

But her talents were not only martial. We also saw her teaching her daughter how to fish …

Courtesy of valkyriescreed on Tumblr

…and weave. (Though that particular lesson was interrupted by some ruffians who needed thrashing.)

Courtesy of ladyhawke81 on Tumblr

She also ruled Kattegat quite capably, dispensing judgement and wisdom from the jarl’s seat while Ragnar was off raiding.

Courtesy of danielfaradies on Tumblr

The most significant unhappiness for her, though, comes when she cannot bear Ragnar, her beloved husband, another living son.

Courtesy of allvikings on Tumblr

And he desires one. And he finds a princess to bear them, which is something Lagertha cannot live with, so she leaves him.

Courtesy of fingolfine on Tumblr

And let it be said, that she did so publicly in the proper legal manner of her time and culture, which I totally appreciated.

Courtesy of Rebloggy

She becomes the wife of a selfish jarl in another region, but she gathers her own partisans there, as well, eventually becoming a jarl in her own right.

Courtesy of mymarsrevolution on Tumblr

This makes her an equal to Ragnar, after a fashion, which is a delight to see.

Courtesy of mametupa on Tumblr

Her strength and beauty are noted by many, and she takes on lovers who think that makes them important – but it really doesn’t.

Courtesy of dandielfaradies on Tumblr

Lagertha doesn’t ever require a man to give her countenance. She brings her own and she does it with style.

 Courtesy of sheislikearainbowinthesky on Tumblr

I very much look forward to what is in store for her as the VIKINGS story spreads to Paris and beyond.

 

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.


 


What are your thoughts? Join Lissa Bryan and me, Sandi, tonight as we chat at 8PM EST on Twitter about Lagertha and what the series might have in store for her. Use the hashtag #ShieldGeeks to join in the fun!


Good to be KING ECBERT: VIKINGS

 

VIKINGS banner

This and all images from Vikings are the property of the History Channel. I use them only for illustrations regarding their show.

The Shieldmaidens of History (Protecting the Innocent from Anachronisms) welcome you back to our series on the History Channel show Vikings. 


146a6-lissa-bryanHistorical fiction author Lissa Bryan is with me again to discuss the historical aspects of the show. Lissa has written a fantastic historical fiction story of her own, and she is an amazing historian and storyteller. (You can read my review of her Tudor love story, Under These Restless Skies here on my site.)

 

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.

Heillir! We—Lissa Bryan and Sandi Layne—are two historical fiction authors with a serious thing for Vikings. And for VIKINGS, the amazing series that is going to begin its fourth season on HISTORY CHANNEL.

We are SO excited! So, Warriors and Shieldmaidens all, get your weapons and armor ready, because it’s going to be an amazing season!

KING ECBERT

One of the most interesting, surprising, and involving characters (love him, hate him, both, neither) is King Ecbert of Wessex. Played by the brilliant Linus Roache, Ecbert is urbane, witty, and utterly ruthless.

Courtesy of lisbethunleashed on Tumblr

He’s a Christian with a deep understanding of classical pagan cultures.

Courtesy of mametupa on Tumblr

Prepared to meet the Northmen he’d been hearing of, Ecbert presented himself as open to enlarging his sphere as they got acquainted.

Courtesy of caryl.co.vu on Tumblr

 

He all but adopted Athelstan as his pet scholar/priest and catered to his aesthetic senses while sussing him out about the psychology of Ragnar, who would be rival in some ways.

Courtesy of ivarlothbrook on Tumblr

Ecbert also found himself attracted to Lagertha, and his forays into conversation with her—interpreted by Athelstan—were laced with innuendo.

Courtesy of mametupa on Tumblr

That the attraction was mutual was just fine as far as Lagertha was concerned, though it might have unnerved Ecbert as to how casual things were for the gorgeous Northern woman.

Courtesy of historyvikings on Tumblr

Ecbert endeavors to have the Northmen settle in Wessex, ostensibly to extend and enrich his holdings, but of course he wants them to fight for him. This is a manner of servitude that Ragnar was truly less than thrilled about even as he seems to accept it as the price of bringing his own people to fertile lands.

Courtesy of lethal-desires on Tumblr

Eventually Ecbert shows his true colors by betraying basically everyone who has trusted in him…

Courtesy of historyvikings on Tumblr

His son Aethelwulf, his daughter-in-law Judith, and the Northmen he had claimed to befriend.

Courtesy of yocalio on Tumblr

I look forward to seeing how his character is involved in the next season.

Courtesy of yafikecoyote on Tumblr

 

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.


 


What are your thoughts? Join Lissa Bryan and me, Sandi, tonight as we chat at 8PM EST on Twitter about Ecbert and what the series might have in store for him. Use the hashtag #ShieldGeeks to join in the fun!


We’re Talking Vikings: þORUNN

 

VIKINGS banner

This and all images from Vikings are the property of the History Channel. I use them only for illustrations regarding their show.

The Shieldmaidens of History (Protecting the Innocent from Anachronisms) welcome you back to our series on the History Channel show Vikings. 


47eeb-lissabryan2Historical fiction author Lissa Bryan is with me again to discuss the historical aspects of the show. Lissa has written a fantastic historical fiction story of her own, and she is an amazing historian and storyteller. (You can read my review of her Tudor love story, Under These Restless Skies here on my site.)

 

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.

Heillir! We—Lissa Bryan and Sandi Layne—are two historical fiction authors with a serious thing for Vikings. And for VIKINGS, the amazing series that is going to begin its fourth season on HISTORY CHANNEL.

We are SO excited! So, Warriors and Shieldmaidens all, get your weapons and armor ready, because it’s going to be an amazing season!

Þórunn

Pronounced “THOR uhn”, and usually rendered in English as “Porunn,” Þórunn was introduced to Kattegat as a slave of Princess Aslaug. Played with great strength and a vibrant intensity by Gaia Weiss, Þórunn grows considerably as a person during the course of her seasons with the show.

Björn, who had been living with his mother in her new realm and with her new husband, is captivated by the blond beauty who dances with spirit, even though she’s enslaved.

Courtesy of harleyquinsn on Tumblr

She is cautious, though, in his pursuit of her. She cannot deny him, but she doesn’t clearly trust him while they are in such different stages.

Courtesy of vikingsgifs on Tumblr

I call that wisdom.

Courtesy of historyvikings on Tumblr

Aslaug frees her slave, though, and this changes everything, Þórunn wants to be like Lagertha, who is universally admired for her leadership skills as well as her abilities as a shield maiden. Þórunn wants to be a trained warrior as well.

And for Floki to train her to do her eyeliner

Courtesy of historyvikings on Tumblr

But she cannot deny the handsome son of Jarl Ragnar, either. She will not be tamed by him, but demands his respect.

Courtesy of lostrealmarforner on Tumblr

At length, Þórunn falls pregnant with Björn’s child, they wed – despite the fact that she is a poor choice for a jarl’s son to take to wife.

Courtesy of vikingssource on Tumblr

She insists upon fighting despite that, and she is attacked by a Mercian warrior in such a savage manner as to cause her to fall into a great depression. The women in Kattegat struggled to try to find a way to help her.

Courtesy of historyvikings on Tumblr

She gave birth to a daughter that Björn named Siggy, but it seems the arrival of the baby may have added to Þórunn’s pain.

Courtesy of jorindelle on Tumblr

Unable to heal the wounds within, Þórunn eventually gives the baby up and leaves Kattegat.

Courtesy of laugertha on Tumblr

Will she come back in Season Four? We can only hope.​

 

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.


 


What are your thoughts? Join Lissa Bryan and me, Sandi, tonight as we chat at 8PM EST on Twitter about Þórunn and what the series might have in store for her. Use the hashtag #ShieldGeeks to join in the fun!


What does the SEER see on Vikings?

 

vikings_episode9_New Banner

The Shieldmaidens of History (Protecting the Innocent from Anachronisms) welcome you back to our series on the History Channel show Vikings. 


47eeb-lissabryan2Historical fiction author Lissa Bryan is with me again to discuss the historical aspects of the show. Lissa has written a fantastic historical fiction story of her own, and she is an amazing historian and storyteller. (You can read my review of her Tudor love story, Under These Restless Skies here on my site.)

 

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.

Heillir! We—Lissa Bryan and Sandi Layne—are two historical fiction authors with a serious thing for Vikings. And for VIKINGS, the amazing series that is going to begin its fourth season on HISTORY CHANNEL.

 

We are SO excited! So, Warriors and Shieldmaidens all, get your weapons and armor ready, because it’s going to be an amazing season!

THE SEER

A disfigured figure shrouded as much in mystery as his own robes, The Seer—played with great portent by John Kavanaugh—lingers along the edges of the village of Kattegat as well as the seasons themselves.

Courtesy of leavenopathuntaken on Tumblr

But, his words carry weight that spans the years in which the show takes place as well as the number of seasons we enjoy it on History Channel. He is devoted to the gods and the old ways as he lives in the rather oddly betokened dwelling he claims in Kattegat.

Courtesy of historyvikings on Tumblr

Disturbed often by even his own visions, he might communicate them in terms that can be divergently interpreted.

 

Courtesy of historyvikings on Tumblr

The Seer doesn’t seem to possess loyalty for any particular person. He Sees for whomever asks, even if it is unpleasant.

Courtesy of historyvikings on Tumblr

I wonder how he will interpret the events in Paris? And what new words will he have for supplicants this season?

 

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.


 


What are your thoughts? Join Lissa Bryan and me, Sandi, tonight as we chat at 8PM EST on Twitter about the Seer and what his predictions might mean for the series. Use the hashtag #ShieldGeeks to join in the fun!


(All Vikings images herein are the property of History Channel and are used solely as illustration.)

We’re Talking Vikings: HELGA

History Vikings shield maiden graphic

A gift from the graphic gurus in 2015. Thanks, History Channel!

The Shieldmaidens of History (Protecting the Innocent from Anachronisms) welcome you back to our series on the History Channel show Vikings. 


146a6-lissa-bryanHistorical fiction author Lissa Bryan is with me again to discuss the historical aspects of the show. Lissa has written a fantastic historical fiction story of her own, and she is an amazing historian and storyteller. (You can read my review of her Tudor love story, Under These Restless Skies here on my site.)

 

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.

Heillir! We—Lissa Bryan and Sandi Layne—are two historical fiction authors with a serious thing for Vikings. And for VIKINGS, the amazing series that is going to begin its fourth season on HISTORY CHANNEL.

Follow us on twitter, #ShieldGeeks, at 8pm Eastern for the next ten days as we talk about the main characters of the show, including special features for Thorsdays, er, Thursdays, as well as We Ship It day on the 14th and even a Favorite Dead Character feature.

Then, on February 18th, VIKINGS, Season Four will begin and Sandi and I will be live-tweeting during each episode, as has been our custom since Season One. We’ll follow up with a more detailed discussion on our websites the following day.

HELGA

Courtesy of dracomartell on Tumblr

Played by the beautiful Maude Hirst, Helga is  a woman with a possible prophetic bent as well as a deep connection to the old traditions of her people.

Courtesy of johnconstantine on Tumblr

When we met her in the first season, she seemed to be nine parts flower child, one part seer.

Courtesy of violaobanion on Tumblr

Her devotion to Floki was absolute; her trust total.

Courtesy of violaobanion on Tumblr

They lived out of the village proper, up in a mountain hideaway, it seemed, and Helga made it beautiful.

Courtesy of viahnka on Tumblr

Future seasons showed her growing more involved with the villagers and even Princess Aslaug. Eventually, Helga and Floki had a charming wedding made notable by the profusion of flower garlands and the absence of Ragnar.

Courtesy of violaobanion on Tumblr

Now a wife and mother, Helga has had to confront the fact that her beloved Floki has gone too far when he killed Athelstan.

Courtesy of gifchannel on Tumblr

As last season ended, it seemed that Helga and Floki were not simpatico. Indeed, she’d walked away from him more than once as he tried in vain to justify his actions.

Courtesy of lecterlannister on Tumblr

Where will Season Four take Helga? Though seeming fragile initially, she is quite strong and capable of standing on her own. Will she have to?

Courtesy of dracomartell on Tumblr

 

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.


 


What are your thoughts? Join Lissa Bryan and me, Sandi, tonight as we chat at 8PM EST on Twitter about Helga and what the series might have in store for her. Use the hashtag #ShieldGeeks to join in the fun!


We’re Talking Vikings: FLOKI

VIKINGS banner

The Shieldmaidens of History (Protecting the Innocent from Anachronisms) welcome you back to our series on the History Channel show Vikings. 


146a6-lissa-bryanHistorical fiction author Lissa Bryan is with me again to discuss the historical aspects of the show. Lissa has written a fantastic historical fiction story of her own, and she is an amazing historian and storyteller. (You can read my review of her Tudor love story, Under These Restless Skies here on my site.)

 

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.

Heillir! We—Lissa Bryan and Sandi Layne—are two historical fiction authors with a serious thing for Vikings. And for VIKINGS, the amazing series that is going to begin its fourth season on HISTORY CHANNEL.

Follow us on twitter, #ShieldGeeks, at 8pm Eastern for the next several days as we talk about the main characters of the show, including special features for Thorsdays, er, Thursdays, as well as We Ship It day on the 14th and even a Favorite Dead Character feature.
FLOKI

Floki, played brilliantly by Gustaf Skarsgård is one of the most compelling characters on VIKINGS.

Courtesy of vikingshistory on Tumblr

Gustaf himself is a great guy, willing to talk to fans and ham it up for the camera between takes.

His real voice is surprisingly much deeper than Floki’s, so that’s always interesting too.

Courtesy of dracomartell on Tumblr

A genius shipbuilder, Floki has been Ragnar’s trusted friend for a long time.

Courtesy of paramud on Tumblr
And his eyeliner game is ON FLEEK.
Courtesy of whowatchesthewatchmen on Tumblr

Floki might come across as unbalanced, but he has a definite sense of his place in the world and his relationship to the gods.

Courtesy of vikingshistory on Tumblr

His forever love is Helga, whom he will eventually marry and have a daughter with as the series progresses.

Courtesy of letcterlannister on Tumblr

As we enter Season Four, Floki has unraveled. His quirky eccentricity has edged over into all-out madness, and it remains to be seen if he can pull himself back together.

Courtesy of wildfloki on Tumblr

As the season progressed, he felt more and more betrayed by Ragnar’s seeming impiety toward the gods, and his forays into Christianity.

Courtesy of vikingshistory on Tumblr

Floki became more and more unhinged, focusing his resentment on Athelstan.

Courtesy of thelastofthebaratheon on Tumblr

It led to him killing Athelstan in cold blood, though Athelstan welcomed death with a sweet smile.

Courtesy of vikingsinuppsala on Tumblr

During the siege of Paris, Floki had a breakdown as all of his plans burnt to ashes around him.

He felt the gods had betrayed him after his years of faith and sacrifice.

Courtesy of pantherpause on Tumblr

Helga, his patient and faithful wife, seems to have given up on him, as well.

Courtesy of leterlannister on Tumblr

How will Floki deal with the upcoming changes as the vista of Ragnar’s influence broadens? Will he find an anchor in his wife and daughter and rediscover his passion for the ships and oceans? Or will he dissolve into the shifting sands under his feet?

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.
 
What are your thoughts? Join Lissa Bryan and me, Sandi, tonight as we chat at 8PM EST on Twitter about Floki and what the series might have in store for him. Use the hashtag #ShieldGeeks to join in the fun!


(All images from VIKINGS are the property of the History Channel. I use them only for illustrations regarding their show.)

We’re Talking VIKINGS: The Deceased

 

Today is #FaveDeadViking Friday! So we’re going to look at two of the dead characters who left their marks on us.

First: ATHELSTAN

Okay, so he’s my favorite.  I’ve studied the monks and written of the Viking raids on the monasteries and was all kinds of sympathetic to Athelstan from the moment I learned of his existence.


Courtesy of vikingsinuppsala on Tumblr


As soon as we were introduced to the “Tiny Viking,” fans all over the world fell in love with Athelstan, and with the “bromance” that grew between him Ragnar.

When we met, he was an Englishman who could speak the language of the Northmen, thus making himself valuable to Ragnar immediately. He was then enslaved and taken far from his home monastery in Lindesfarne to serve the Lo∂brok family.

Courtesy of vikingsinuppsala on Tumblr

Unexpectedly, he and Ragnar hit up a solid friendship that weathered many situations over several years.

Courtesy of canislupusalces on Tumblr

Ragnar sought to keep his friend safe, relied upon his council in dealing with British rulers, and declared him a free man, able to wear the arm ring of manhood.

Courtesy of andias1 on Tumblr

He also fathered a child with Princess Judith, married to the son of King Ecbert. Young Alfred is destined to do some great things.

Courtesy of yocalio on Tumbr

Athelstan also had a long-running antipathy in regards his relationship to Floki, the genius shipbuilder of Kattegat.

Courtesy of mametupa on Tumblr

Floki sought to undermine Athelstan at different times, eventually determining that his gods wanted the former monk dead.

Courtesy of historyvikings on Tumblr

So Floki made it happen. And people all over the world mourned. Truly.

I wish George Blagden, who played Athelstan, all the best. He is apparently a fine actor and a great guy and he certainly brought a quiet, fearful monk to the transformation into a warrior and martyr in a short period of time.

 

•ღ•

Second: TORSTEIN

Played by Jefferson Hall, Torstein was a man with a sense of humor that was equaled by his loyalty to Ragnar. He caught our eye, anyway, when he got two different ladies pregnant before he went off to what would be his last battle.

Courtesy of fvckminacx on Tumblr

When his arm was so grievously wounded that it required amputation, he jested about it with Rollo as it happened, and still insisted upon meeting his death upon his feet.

Courtesy of rollo.co.vu on Tumblr

He volunteered to meet the enemy first, shield in hand, so that he could go to Valhalla with the warriors of renown.

Courtesy of lecterlannister on Tumblr

He certainly earned it.

 

.¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•ღ•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.


 


What are your thoughts? Join Lissa Bryan and me, Sandi, tonight as we chat at 8PM EST on Twitter about Athelstan and Torstein and reminisce. Use the hashtag #FaveDeadVikings to join in the fun!


(All images from Vikings are the property of the History Channel. I use them only for illustrations regarding their show.)