Wooden Toy Hail! And welcome to Scandinavian Aggression, a mediocre blog about Vikings past and present. If you aren't already bored, you can check out enlightening materials such as:

- Comprehensive Viking Booze Directory

- Sagas of Pathetic and Banal Exploration
(published at various online journals)


- Praises to Past and Present Heroes of Norse Proliferation

- Norse History for Bostonians including the Prose Edda for Bostonians (published at McSweeney's Internet Tendency)

- Modern Viking Heraldic Banners (T-Shirts full of pomp and splendor)

- Leif Eriksson Was Here: Norumbega, MA - Boston's Vinland Since 1889

- Low Quality Metal Fiction at Metal Sucks

And tons of other random drivel having to do with Vikings and Scandinavia. Thanks for stopping by. I skål to your health,

—Rowdy Geirsson

För er som är svenska eller kan svenska/norska/danska: denna är INTE nån politisk eller rasist webbsida. Den handlar bara om vikingar och en sorts deprimerad humör. Jag hoppas att ni kan hitta något att skratta åt!

Longships + Wellness

March 18th, 2014

This guy Olav Bjørnerud is my kind of artist. He doesn’t just sit around bemoaning via an obscure website/blog about how Vikings and their artwork have been in decline since 1066. No, instead he sees a space that lacks a Viking-related sculpture and then he goes and makes one with wonderful craftmanship. And then he gets it put on display. I find that highly commendable.

His piece, Strake is the first Viking ship inspired sculpture at Lawrence University, a school whose mascot is a Viking. For more info, you can check out this article about how the school awarded him the opportunity to create the sculpture for their wellness center. You can also visit his own site to see more images and other works.

The images shown here belong to him and Leslie Walfish.

In Which King Gylfi of Sweden Learns about Odin’s Successful Suicide Attempt and the Dental Hygiene of Thor’s Goats

January 9th, 2014

The Prose Edda for Bostonians, Part 3

As the headline suggests, this is the one where the king of Sweden learns a thing or two about Odin hanging himself from a tree and Thor riding around with some fierce goats just so that he can kill giants. Norse mythology is the best.

Heroes of Norse Proliferation: Poul Anderson

January 2nd, 2014

Poul Anderson is dead, but while he was alive he did awesome things, namely, the authoring of some very good Viking novels. It is somewhat unfortunate that he focused most of his writing efforts on science fiction (although I have heard that his science fiction is good, I have not read any of it myself). Nonetheless, he did complete a healthy number of Norse novels (some of which are shown here…don’t be put off by the horrible 70s sci-fi-esque artwork for The Broken Sword—it is a true Viking story full of epic battles, longships, elves, giants, incest, and Norse gods doing mischievous deeds). Poul’s extremely heavy and accurate reliance on Norse mythology and medieval history in these stories makes The Lord of the Rings look like a light-weight in terms of Norse inspiration by comparison. Most of Poul’s books are out of print these days, and that’s looking unlikely to change now that print itself is on a steady decline, but if you can find one of his fine Norse novels at a used bookstore or online somewhere, you should definitely buy it. And raise a horn to his memory!

The Prose Edda for Bostonians, Part 2: In Which King Gylfi of Sweden Learns That Middle-Earth is Just an Eyelash on the Celestial Gallows Pole and That the Real Gandalf was Originally a Filthy Maggot

December 13th, 2013

And continuing from where we left off last week…

The Prose Edda Part 2: In Which King Gylfi of Sweden Learns That Middle-Earth is Just an Eyelash on the Celestial Gallows Pole and That the Real Gandalf was Originally a Filthy Maggot

And while we’re on the topic of Tolkien references, why not enjoy a little Silmarillion music from Blind Guardian?

The Prose Edda for Bostonians: Gylfaginning, Part 1: In Which King Gylfi of Sweden Buys Sex, Goes Drinking at Asgard, and Learns about the Time When Odin Instigated the Cosmological Frost Giant Genocide

December 6th, 2013

Time to get in touch with your inner Bostonian and touch up on your Norse mythology…at the same time…

The Prose Edda for Bostonians: Gylfaginning, Part 1: In Which King Gylfi of Sweden Buys Sex, Goes Drinking at Asgard, and Learns about the Time When Odin Instigated the Cosmological Frost Giant Genocide

This is the first in a 10+ part series that will be running over at McSweeney’s roughly every two weeks or whenever McSweeney’s feels like posting the next update (although part 2 will be running one week from today). I would hope that all ten of you who have somehow managed to stumble across this blog already know that the Prose Edda is Snorri Sturluson’s epic contribution to our knowledge of Norse mythology, and that it should then also come as no surprise to you that the final part of this Southie-inspired rendition will end in raging fires with everyone and everything dying. I’ll skål to that!

Here’s something appropriate to help get you in the mood:

Heroes of Norse Proliferation: Jesse L. Byock

October 27th, 2013

Jesse L. Byock takes the spotlight for the inaugural entry into this wild and crazy new category that I’m calling Heroes of Norse Proliferation. Basically, it just seemed like a good idea to me to give a shout out to the folks out there who have done a lot of good work in making information about the Norse more accessible and/or promoting it, and it’s a lazy Sunday at the end of October, so I consider this to be time well-spent.

But joking aside, Mr. Byock is a heavyweight in the world of Norse studies. He is a Professor of Old Norse in the archeology department at UCLA and you can’t have read the sagas without coming across his name as one of your English-language translators at some point. There are other translators out there as well, and they are all worthy of a good, hearty skål, but Mr. Byock deserves to drink his mead from the metaphorical horn of honor. Counted among his translations are:

The Prose Edda
Grettir’s Saga
The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki
The Saga of the Volsungs

as well as a fine selection of other tomes of high relevance about Viking Age Iceland and the Old Norse language.

I’ve personally been spending a lot of time with Mr. Byock’s translation of The Prose Edda lately and will likely be blogging about it again here within the next month or so, so I especially owe Mr. Byock a debt of gratitude for that fine work.

Lastly, anyone out there who somehow happened to accidentally stumble across this blog and actually kept reading should check out Mr. Byock’s own site at http://www.viking.ucla.edu/.

The photo above was legally stolen from Örlygur Hnefill’s flickr stream.

A Good Day to Hail Leif

October 9th, 2013

Today is the official Leif Erikson Day of 2013, and what appropriate and ironic timing!

Leif’s Icelandic ancestors all bailed from Norway when they finally got too disgusted with their slimy politicians to bother sticking around. Lucky for them, they were able to find a nice (if harsh), uninhabited island out in the middle of the North Atlantic to claim as their own, and their descendents kept the tradition of exploring alive, culminating with Leif’s badass voyage to America. That’s a far cry from our current tactics of belly moaning and ineffective protesting. Too bad we don’t live in an era where we can just get our buddies together, get in a boat, and go find a new place to conquer and settle without getting fire-bombed in retaliation. Oh well.

The photo above is a statue devoted to Leif’s glory located in Reykjavik, Iceland. Check out my Monuments to Greatness page to learn more about Boston’s own glorious Leif statue. And best of luck staying sane in this sea of madness.

Skálmöld Trip Out with the Wolf

September 27th, 2013

It’s the last Frey’s day of the month, the nights are becoming longer than the days, the average daily temperatures are dropping, and “winter is coming.” That makes it a perfect time to trip out with Icelandic Viking metal band Skálmöld in their new music video. In it they take us on a journey through their wild Icelandic landscape and show us all sorts of strange on-goings involving that demon-woman Hel, Odin hanging out passively on the top of a cliff, the iron-ribbon Gleipnir wrapping around a young girl, and the wolf shaking the shit out of his fur to get dry. Pretty badass.

Also, the video itself was created by Bowen Staines who originally hails from New Hampshire, so this is a nice New England-Scandinavia collaboration!

Eastern Geatish Street Art

September 20th, 2013

Who doesn’t like some good old-fashioned Geatish street art? Especially when said good old-fashioned Geatish street art greets you on your way to visit ancient Geatish rock carvings of boners and longships (see post below)? I think my point is made. Hail to A CanZlit, whoever that may be.

The Boners of Östergötland

August 30th, 2013

In Östergötland, Sweden there are many boners carved into the surfaces of large rocks that protrude up through the ground. And, while we’re on the topic, I am sure there are many other boners in Östergötland of another sort as well…that also do their own sort of protruding. But those are not the types of boners that we are interested in here. No, we are interested in the rock-carving boners and these rock-carving boners have managed to keep it up for a solid 3000 years, which is a pretty good indication of an amazing level of stamina if you ask me. In addition to boners, these bronze-age Geats also carved pictures of boats, weapons, and animals. Clearly, these people had their priorities.

It is also interesting to note that Östergötland basically means Eastern Geatland in English. For those of you that are familiar with Beowulf, you will also know that he was a Geat, so we’re basically talking about boner carvings that were made by his ancestors. You can read more about these hällristningar (as they are known in Swedish) at Hällristningar i Norrköpings kommun (in Swedish only), which is also the owner of the image above. Some information in English is available at Upplev Norrköping but is unfortunately much less extensive.

The images below actually belong to me for a change.

Icelandic Lava Beer

June 28th, 2013

 photo lavabeer_zps01b3df40.png Finally! The Icelanders have begun smoking their beer (in addition to smoking their whales and their puffins). I personally can’t think of a more befitting national, Viking-appropriate meal for Iceland than one composed of smoked endangered animal, smoked cute little penguin-type thing, and smoked beer inspired by volcanic eruptions. How could you possibly go wrong with all those items sitting on your table all at the same time? The answer is: you can’t.

Plus it’s 9.4%, so knock yourself out with many and then go break down a door in a drunken rage. Odds are, you’ll only regret the monetary expenses, because Lava ain’t cheap.

Chiseling the Scandinavian Cheekbones

June 11th, 2013

So I just gave this website a major facelift, and by that I mean that there is now a very aggressive-looking, native Blue Sheep from Birka hanging out in the background off towards the right (and slightly towards the left as well, but that guy is fainter). If you look closely, you will be able to admire the finely chiseled cheekbones of the individual to the right, which is a trait he shares with the lovely Scandinavian women. You may also be able to see the killer intent in his eyes. I figure he is probably pretty good buddies with the even more hardcore Icelandic Killer Sheep:

 photo Icelandic_Killer_Sheep_zpsc3993d02.jpg

In fact, this guy is so intent on being aggressive that he goes around looking like he should probably stop trying already and just transform himself into a Norwegian black metal band instead. You used to be able to get his mugshot on t-shirts like the one pictured above, but that website seems to have been plucked away by some misguided valkyrie, though the corresponding myspace page still exists.

On a side note, I’m going to make a better effort at updating this damned blog on a regular basis again (as opposed to 1 post every 6 months). I finally got myself dislodged from the bigass boulder that I was living under since last fall and it is good to see the world again. Some sad things happened in that time (Stockholm burned, Boston bombed to name just 2) but some good, exciting things are indeed afoot: Amon Amarth is releasing a new album this month, the days are long, and the Bruins are in the finals. So, skål to summer!

Raise a Horn to the New Year’s Winter Darkness

January 1st, 2013

So I’m not very big on timely, punctual, or even consistent blog updates, but I am big on depictions of majestic northern landscapes, especially if they feature Viking ships plowing the waters under what I presume to be the aurora borealis. Or maybe it’s meant to be the midnight sun, I’m not really sure, and that’s besides the point. The point is: here’s a badass Nicholas Roerich painting for you to look at and help you get psyched for the coming long haul of bleak winter cold and darkness now that the holiday festivities are over:

And just to clarify who this Nicholas Roerich fellow was, those of you who are more versed in 100-year old Viking-inspired artwork might recognize this one:

That’s right, that one shows a bunch of Varangians sailing down from Sweden or perhaps one of their colonies at Staraya Ladoga or Novgorod on their way to really fuck shit up for the Slavs and maybe just do a little something like establish the entire fucking country of Russia as we now know it. Anyway, from what I can tell, this Roerich guy was a bit of a Russian nutjob but was well known for his paintings, along with other philosophical-type works, and was referenced in the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, which is a fact that ought to appeal to anyone with a dark imagination (especially for anyone living in the New England area). And while we’re on the topic of dark imaginations and darkness and winter, it seems only appropriate to also promote this little, old-time ditty:

Heimdall Blows

November 10th, 2012

When Heimdall blows his horn it can only mean one of two things: the world is coming to a terrible, violent end and you might as well give up on whatever it is that you’re doing because you’re about to be set on fire, or you’re in central Stockholm on your way to Djurgården where, instead of flames, there happens to be lots of trees. I suppose the imagery of both scenarios is pretty cool even though the experiences themselves are drastically different.

Anyway, Heimdall hangs out with Odin, Frigg, Freya, and Thor on the Djurgården Bridge. It’s a pretty a nice bridge, designed by Carl Fraenell just before the turn of the 20th century and therefore is full of pomp and splendor. I like how the photo, taken by J.A. Alcaide nonetheless appears ominous.

A Brief Overview of the Lifestyle Altering Technological Accomplishments of the Original Norse Bluetooth for Bostonians

September 11th, 2012

The true origins of Bluetooth wireless technology are Norse, and what better way to learn about them than being sworn at by a foul-mouthed fucker from Southie.

A Brief Overview of the Lifestyle Altering Technological Accomplishments of the Original Norse Bluetooth for Bostonians