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View Diary: Justified (not Mad Men or GoT) is the best show on television (254 comments)

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  •  Vikings (1+ / 0-)
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    •  Yesssssss...! (1+ / 0-)
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      As a genealogist and as a perpetual student of history (one of them being the Vikings since I have ancestors from all three countries and do genealogy research in all three countries), I was eagerly anticipating this series.

      I do have a few constructive criticisms about it, however.

      1) That high pitched electric guitar note that rattles my left ear drum as the credits come on just as the V is showing is all out of place.  It would have been better to have an ancient musical instrument..., I'd suggest a Lur.

      2)  The makeup artists were too liberal with the dirt..., and the hair stylists obviously didn't do any research regarding the combs made by Vikings found at archaeological sites.  Ancient observers of Vikings (and Rus - one of the names for the Vikings who traveled riverways and portages down to Byzantium and back) wrote that they washed their faces daily, remarked on the fact that they combed their hair, they took a bath once a week, and carried an extra change of clothes with them.  Modern bedhead hairdos would have been out of place during the Viking age.  Combed hair, braided hair for both men and women, yes, and for women, in particular, a kerchief or scarf to hold her hair back from her face and not interfere with her housework, so probably braided with the long plaits wound around her head, and topped off with a head scarf of some kind..., but matted bedhead looks - probably not.  I've not seen authentic Viking art (from my Art History studies and otherwise) that indicates the Viking men had beads in their beards, so that set up an eerie cognitive dissonance.  The old man from last week's episode who had one single braid in the center did, however, look authentic (from when he swore fealty to Ragnar as the new earl).  Women with beaded necklaces, bracelets, pins, and rings yes - at least the high-ranking women.  That is also well-known from the contemporary sources and archaeological digs.  Jewelry was a reflection of a woman's husband's wealth (or her father's when she was young, and of her own wealth if she was considered nobility - think in terms of the high-ranking woman on the Oseberg ship who was accorded a Viking ship burial, for instance).  Granted, the historical period wasn't all that clean, but the Vikings were noted for cleanliness by contemporary writers in a day and age when dirty was normal (and the new Christian religion just becoming vogue eschewed bathing as vanity - which, ultimately, aided in the spread of diseases and illnesses).

      3)  The series producers/directors used modern horses when they should have used fjord horses or Icelandic horses.  That would have lent an air of "authenticity" to the scenes.

      Constructive criticism notwithstanding since I know from historical reading that some of these individuals did exist and lived at one time (Rollo is the gr-gr-gr-grandfather of William the Bastard/Conqueror, depending on which side of the Norman invasion one is on), I'm enjoying the series.  It's being shown on both Hulu and the History Channel.  There was a real Ragnarr Loðbrók, and legend says he did die in Ælla's snake pit.

      While the series is highly interesting, I could do with a little more "reconstructed realism" in music, makeup, and horses to make it more believable.


      If you really like Viking "stuff" and authentic historical and archaeological details, search for BBC and historical videos about Anglo-Saxons and Vikings.  There's a bunch of them on YouTube.  Anglo-Saxons were like the earlier Vikings, and the Anglo-Saxons who came from Denmark were certainly "proto-Vikings" if nothing else, even if the Anglo-Saxons were some 200+ years before the official Viking Age, and it was the Angles whose name lives on with "Angle-Land" = England.

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:59:54 AM PDT

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