What is it about Vikings?
Almost 1000 years after the end of their era, the archetype of the Viking alpha male still casts a pretty big shadow. In fact, when it comes to large, blond, wild and untameable, they have the market pretty much cornered. They’re also having a bit of a moment. From The Last Kingdom to the History Channel’s Vikings to Game of Thrones, Vikings are going through a popular resurgence. Perhaps because they’re far enough in the past that they’ve acquired a kind of mythic status (as distinct from some of the real atrocities of the period) – of which the alpha male is arguably the ultimate symbol.
The hero of my first book, Svend du Danemark, isn’t exactly a Viking. He started life as a Norman Knight, but somehow that identity didn’t quite suit him. He wasn’t ‘alpha’ enough. So I made him Danish and he took on a whole new Viking persona. Fierce, rugged, and with great hair as well…
But when it comes to Vikings, other authors are way ahead of me, one of them being Harper St. George, who specialises not only in Vikings, but cowboys as well (clearly a woman who knows an alpha male when she sees one!) So I’ve invited Harper onto my blog to talk about the enduring appeal of the Viking and her new book for Harlequin Historical, ‘In Bed with the Viking Warrior’…
Hi Jenni. Thank you so much for having me here to talk about one of my favorite subjects—Viking heroes! Is there a better alpha hero than the Viking? Strong and confident, he’s a man within his elements who isn’t afraid of very much. He lives by his sword and crosses unknown territory in search of fortune and a better life. Danger is just another word for adventure. Confidence is the hallmark of an alpha hero and Viking heroes have it to spare.
Another element of the appeal of the Viking hero, one that I think is sometimes overlooked, is that he’s representative of a time when life was simpler. He lived in a world where his word was his bond. He lived and died by the weight of his reputation and the value of his sword arm. His wealth was largely measured by his physical abilities. Expanding his acreage was sometimes as easy as claiming it as his own. As we move further into the age of retirement accounts, technology, and healthcare, sometimes it’s comforting to pick up a book or watch a movie where the hero lives in a world of tangibles.
I like writing about Vikings because I love stories that are heavy on character development. This setting gives me a chance to pit men and women against the elements of nature and baser human instincts. It provides a plethora of external conflict that adds to the internal conflict of my heroes and heroines. It really puts them through the ringer and ups the stakes on emotional conflict.
‘In Bed with the Viking Warrior’ is the third book in my Viking Warriors series, and brings together all of these elements. The hero in this book, Magnus, has been injured in battle and has lost his memory. The heroine, a Saxon woman named Aisly, finds him and nurses him back to health, falling in love with him along the way. While Magnus suspects that he might be Aisly’s enemy, neither of them suspects his true identity. When they learn that he’s the man she’s vowed to hate forever, they’ll have to decide if their love is great enough to conquer all.
Thanks Harper! And if you’d like to know more about Harper (or Vikings) check out her website here