Vikings are no longer a cause of fear and loathing but instead have become rather trendy and “super pop,” according to a recent rush of coverage in Norwegian media. Vikings are starring in books, TV shows, film and now a website that’s collecting all the buzz.
Called “The Happy Viking,” the website describes itself as a “blog encompassing the Viking world.” It aims “to cover everything from academic research to entertainment news” about Vikings, and there’s been quite a bit happening in the latter category.
The History Channel’s action series The Vikings, for example, won strong ratings. Another BBC series about the Vikings as trading partners and colonists won viewers in Norway as well earlier this spring, and now Norwegian film director Hans Petter Moland is directing a new Viking film called Røde Orm, based on the classic book by historian Frans Bengtsson. It will tell the story about Orm Tostesson’s adventures. Producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen told newspaper Dagsavisen last week that it will be “the first Viking film ever that’s really good.”
Several recent books about Vikings have also been successful, including Jan Ove Ekeberg and Eir Aas Jacobsen’s children’s book Vilja Viking-jente, while Kim Hjardar and Vegard Vike did well with Vikinger i krig (Vikings at war) and Hjardar with Vikingenes historie i kart, tekst og bilder (The history of the Vikings in maps, text and pictures).
“We don’t always think the stories around Vikings are always presented correctly,” Per Arne Drangsholt of happyviking.no (external link) told news bureau NTB. “But everything that’s happening around Vikings in popular culture keeps interest high.”