I don’t live in the past—I only visit—and so can you!

From the Stereotypes of the Norsemen deliver us… IIII

As the series reaches its halfway point, there are fewer things upon which to comment. Not because it is getting more accurate but because they keep doing and presenting inaccuracies over and over again. Besides, the cinematography is so fast moving and often so dark that often you cannot get a good glimpse at what it being presented. Even when you stop the picture and take a closer look, it is still a bit ambiguous!

But I’ve decided that I really want to see the Viking warrior unsheathe the sword strapped on his back!


We see geese! That’s in England, but at least it is a tip of the helm to agrarian roots of the time!

But a wheeled hay wagon is seen in the homeland!

Buckets do not have ferrous bands; I think the one I saw had rope bands!

Proper stool

Someone had mail (under his black gambeson for pity sake, but still…)

What looks like an oil lamp (but with pronounced flame)

The darkness of the long hall was well represented


The Saxon crown is from a later time

Wide belt. I was certain that one was to be handed down to WWF wrestlers!

Quillons are too wide on one swore

Vestments are wrong

Table is too tall

Drakkar is very far out from shore

The Englisc wearing brooches with chains between

Helmets that just look wrong, as if they were cast-offs from “Knightriders”

“You’re too young, Gyda, to drink ale.” I’d rather see you die from impure water…

Female costume is even less accurate than male armor! A high-class woman looking with a teeny-bopper with bare arms and loose-knit dress?

The candlestick holders are unlike any that I have seen

The mugs/cups are larger than I’ve ever seen, and the pitchers don’t seem to be pitchers, at least those I have seen or seen pictures of

Athelstan’s tunic is too short…but then so are many more of the tunics


I’m not sure even holy places would have been burning candles—so bright, they’re probably bee’s wax—in so many places

Norse use of archery in battle (controversial)

Do the thrones look more Victorian than anything?

Are the shackles slave shackles? Would they have keys?

At last, the casting of stones and bones! With a reappearance of the guest star from “300.” The casting of rune stones is probably a modern newagey procedure; there is no indication of it in the sagas

If Ragnar kills the Earl, then he will become Earl. Possibly, but the position is selected by the people!

A Note on Names

While the names in the series seems equally divided between actual names and what seems to be fantasy, the naming procedure for the Norse seems to be utterly unknown. The standard naming process seems to be that Norse names are conventionally three: the personal name, the patronymic (or in very rare cases where the mother is more prominent than the father, a matronymic) and a soubriquet (which can change through a bearer’s life). There is not a single character n the whole series which uses such a tri-name system, and the one person who uses a patronymic—Earl Haraldson uses the patronymic as more of surname (which is actually several centuries in the future). For a while, I suspected that the “Earl” (especially since it was not the more correct “Jarl”) was actually his first name; but with the discussion between him a henchman this week about who would be the new Earl completely demolishes it unless he’s like Major Major in _Catch 22_… So until they start showing women with patronymics or people with the three names or calling Bjorn Lothbrok—the son of Ragnar Lothbrok—the infinitely more proper Bjorn Ragnarsson, I’ve have to assume either sheer ignorance or stupidly assuming that the hoi polloi viewers cannot identify family relationships without family surnames!

I cannot wait to find out what surnames will be used by the Englisc… 🙂

Want to know how Norse naming practices were actually done outside of Hollywood, you might want to take a look at this well-done article on Norse naming practices.

2 responses

  1. Appreciating the time and effort you put into your
    blog and detailed information you offer. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t
    the same out of date rehashed information. Excellent read!
    I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    April 27, 2013 at 18:03

    • Thanks. I was inspired by a publication of the Adams Museum in Deadwood that dealt with accuracies and inaccuracies in the “Deadwood” series. It seemed like a good way to go! 🙂

      April 27, 2013 at 18:16

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