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February 10, 2014
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Women Warriors: Horny Viking vs Historical Viking by Gambargin Women Warriors: Horny Viking vs Historical Viking by Gambargin
Just as the title describes, this drawing was made from a lot of correspondences that i have received since end of January, regarding the portrayal of Women Warriors both in Fantasy and History. The drawing compares the 'Horny Viking' (The name taken from her Horned Helmet =P), with the 'Historical Viking', each representing their own views and values in the portrayal of Viking Women Warrior in popular media. The reason why the Viking was chosen is because they are probably the next most popular warrior, besides knight in shining armor (think of Joanne d'arc)

Now, before I start with the discussion, i would like to point that the aim of this drawing is to increase the awareness of why each of the characters are represented as such. As for the actual representation in my drawing, they are all full of artistic license and stylized art, so the historical accuracy may not be the most well represented =P

From what I have seen, Women warriors can be divided into two categories. The first one comes under what i call "fantasy", where the design of the character is only limited by the artist's imagination. From bare chain-mail bikinis to the Warhammer-esque huge armor, complete with exotic weapons that comes with them, Fantasy Women Warriors are the most commonly depicted in the popular media. The second category, comes under the title "Historical", whereby the artist try to depict the character in the historically appropriate (if not politically correct) attires belonging to the corresponding era. Practicality, protection and fashion were taken into consideration, as such, they are represented much less than the fantasy due to the time-consuming research done before-hand. We must also understand that, our understanding of "Historical Women Warriors" may well be different than what it was during their respective era. Also, warfare had been predominantly male occupation since the dawn of time, even if some culture publicly accept their womenfolk fighting in their ranks. So in many cases, women who decided to join the fight as warrior would have to adapt with equipments, armor, weapons and fighting style which were designed for their most frequent users, men.

Simply put, women who fought in battle, chose to do so themselves, knowing well the consequences and burden they had to undergo. In my opinion, regardless whether they fight in proper full plate armor or half naked with loincloth, it is always better and respectful to represent them as Women who fought as Warriors, instead of Women who just dress as warriors (or lack of) =P

Now,

For the first character, the Horny Viking (taken from the horned helmet), she is dressed in anything that you can criticize at this very instant, derived from the famous fantastic depiction of Valkyrie. The horned helmets which was never worn by the vikings, the double headed axe which is more commonly used for chopping trees, small decorated metal shield, a spear with a long blade (reminds me of japanese yari), a chainmail bra and others that i have yet to describe.

In terms of practicality, it would be very limited at best. Horned helmet can be cumbersome, the horns is more threat to the user and his/her allies, as well as allowing the enemies to grab the horn, throwing the use off balance. As for the battle-bra, everyone would probably know why it's a no no. But having one's hair flowing freely while wearing chain mail is a recipe for trouble. Chainmails are made of tiny rings joined together to for a chain, as such, free flowing long hair can easily get caught, leading to some discomfort to the user. Also, Scandinavia (where the viking came from) is a very cold region, so wearing such clothing would be....cold defying :o, not to mention leaving the most vulnerable parts of the body (which you really want to cover), open for attack.

Why is she represented that way? well, fist of all, she looks more attractive than our historical viking. Apart from that, this image has been popularized by the Viking revival in the modern era, where the viking had been anachronistically mixed the bronze age culture, as well as the idealized portrayal of Scandinavian epic saga.

What about the historical viking? I think they prefer to wear less exposing battle attires than our Horny Viking. Adorned in chainmail, furcoat, large shield, a battle axe, seax as well as throwing spears, she is more than ready to remove some heads for their bodies. But my representation of her would probably anachronistic, if not historically accurate. Her Chain-mail was very expensive back then, and only the richest could afford such protection. As for the helmet, the decorated helmet was reserved for the chieftain, denoting her highborn and rich status. The battle axe is a heavy double handed danish axe, so one cannot use shield while wielding on in real life. While there are historical records of Viking Women fighting as shield maiden, there are only handful of archaeological records of what they actually wore and used when fighting in battle. But my best guess is, whatever was commonly wore back then as protection, she'd probably wear the same as well.

If you ask my opinion as to which one that i like, I prefer the historical one. Not because of its practicality or fashion sense, but because when one draws something related to history, he/she would be able to learn something from it. The more you are aware of history, the more creative you will become :)



So, which one would you prefer? :D


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Historical Viking Character is from the Historically Wrong Sketch Series:

Gunnhildr Freysdottir af Rogalan of Vikingrunionen by Gambargin

The Horny Viking is taken from Album Cover 1 - Concept art by Gambargin
Add a Comment:
 
:iconthecryingorc:
TheCryingOrc Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Actually, The historical viking is better in all aspect. The Horny one, putting in context of combat, is just stupid. A woman in armor is not suposed to be sexy but feared.

Behind Fantasy, historical elements must be present to be believable.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015
That's true! I think there are people who prefers the historical ones, or at least incorporating some elements into. However, such things are up to the artist and how the art will sell :D
Reply
:iconkushami-aru:
Kushami-Aru Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2014
Where do you get all this information from? :o I would gladly read more about historical armors and cultures but I don't know where I should start my research. I think the "fantasy armors" can be nice only if they don't include these bra-armors... But I'd like to draw more historical ones. My only problem and fear is that I'll maybe draw something terribly inaccurate that can't be overlooked even if I said I just took inspiration from historical armors...
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2014
Hi Kushami! Thank for the comment :)

There's plenty of historical armors one can research, especially that which has been compiled by Osprey Publishing. The art of Angus McBride can also be a good starting point, since I took many of the inspiration from him. I can give you an example from my work relating to the Finno-Ugrians during the middle ages. Since you are from Finland, you can see my depictions of the finns back then in Kuningatar Tuuliki of Suomen Kuningaskunnat (Finn), or the Komi-Permians (Urallic) in Shochynava of Ydzhyt Permiya Oksumu (Komi-Zyrian). I have made compillation of the list of various cultures in this map HWS Medieval Revisited - Faction Map v.1.22, so hopefully it can help a little :)
Reply
:iconmrsneooncousland:
MrsNeoonCousland Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2014
the historical viking definitively
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2014
Exactly! I have to agree with you :)
Reply
:iconpeggyarnold:
PeggyArnold Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014
Heart  the Hollywood vs History contrast! Well done.
Reply
:iconfullmetalkobe824:
FullmetalKobe824 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014
As we can clearly see, the game developers or gamers don't give a flying fuck about history. They only drool over those asses and tits. ;) AMAZING job on the historical one. They also get the ninjas TOTALLY wrong. The real ninjas NEVER ever wore black and that'd have been like a suicide for them. 
Reply
:iconunbearableme:
UnbearableME Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2014
historical looks way better :) 
Reply
:iconneshirys:
neshirys Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2014
Women in fantasy world are objects of sexism and nudity and I really dislike it. Comfy and solid armor is a good and real thing! 
Reply
:iconthewittenburger:
TheWittenburger Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think that when they say "fantasy," they really mean a neckbearded perv's fantasy.
Reply
:iconneshirys:
neshirys Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014
Heh, it's sad but true xD
Reply
:iconjoolita:
joolita Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2014
Historic one. You are right about the research one has to put into drawing historically inspired things. I have found so many fascinating titbits while reading up on history. And they have given me inspiration in creating my own fictional world, without them my own creations would be very generic I think.
Reply
:iconpackless1:
Packless1 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014
No horned helmets from the viking-era were EVER found, so where does the idea come from? :-? (Confused) 
They were invented by composer Richard Wagner as costumes for his operas.
Thou historically incorrect - and impractical (even dangerous in RL-Combat!) - they became THE Symbol of the vikings... OMG! 
It sticks - but it's nonsense anyway... =P (Razz) 
Reply
:iconsvenki:
svenki Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2014
definitely historical.  keep up the good work
Reply
:icontitearumi:
TiteArumi Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I love this so much x')))
I think the historical one opens much more possibilities !^^ Also, even if I like fantasy and write about this, I like to be accurate. Thanks for this ! ^^
Reply
:iconlukedanger:
LukeDanger Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014
Ironically enough, How to Train Your Dragon (specifically the DreamWorks adaptation) originally was going to skip the horned helmets and generally historically accurate as you can with dragons around, but threw the horned helmets in since well, they've already got dragons. And ironically, for once horned helmets were justified: Sure, it might knock against things, but it heavily discourages dragons from trying to om-nom-nom your head since I don't care if you chew rocks to spit them out as hot magma or breath high explosive gas, that's going to fuck up your mouth if you get it inside.

Mind, Hiccup's helmet in HTTYD 2 is actually based on historical helmets - which fits given that he stopped the war so he doesn't need the extra cover. Plus they nicely avoid the trap of breastplates for the most part; they do generally use leather armor (probably because they tend to try to wear protective gear constantly over trying to kit up while flaming reptiles are stealing sheep and burning buildings), but the size is more well... body size than armor going fantasy.

Personally I don't get the appeal of fantasy armor that looks like a bra... I mean, it just screams "complete idiot" and "Proliferate me with many arrows" to me as far as combat armor goes. For some reason, fully covering armor just looks better (and hell, if you want to go there probably more sexually appealing) to me; yeah it might shape around the breast a bit but as long as it's more just dealing with the body shape and not "okay, here's two little hills, try not to get shot in between", it's usually good. I mean, gladiator games it kinda makes sense since showmanship is almost always as important as the actual practicality (plus who wants to watch two full plated behemoths pound away at each other for a half hour?). Honestly, I feel like armor like your historical example here works just fine. Yeah, you need to squint a little if you can't see the face to tell its a woman, but it looks like something you'd actually wear to combat.
Reply
:iconsaddlerager64:
SaddleRager64 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Historical any fuckin day.
Reply
:icondarkautumnsfyre:
darkautumnsfyre Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Historical...she looks like a complete and total badass
Reply
:icontaziobettin:
TazioBettin Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Can I have the one on the left but with the helmet of the one on the right? Because that helmet with horns is kinda ridiculous... but the rest, I much prefer sexy!
Reply
:iconwolfberry-j:
Wolfberry-J Featured By Owner May 29, 2014
LOL! I like your comparison. You raised some good points. IMHO, it really doesn't make sense, even in a fantasy setting, to have armor over the chest area and yet leave the rest of the torso unprotected. Male fantasy warriors are seldom subjected to the same nonsense.  Thank you for giving us an alternative to the usual objectification-of-women stuff out there.
Reply
:iconblue-jedi:
Blue-Jedi Featured By Owner May 24, 2014
I like the horny one  :)
Reply
:iconlcneko-tan:
LCNeko-tan Featured By Owner May 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You know that's right, mate~! (second most popular)
If I'm not mistaken, is that Jörmungandr on the ladies shield?
Reply
:iconawsassin:
Awsassin Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014
What about modern goth vs Visigoth/Ostrogoth?
Reply
:iconmelodixa:
Melodixa Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hurrah, let's play a game of spot the difference! How many differences can you find between the Horny one and the Historical one? Let's see, there's one, and there's one, and there's one, and another one, and another, and another, and another, and another...
Reply
:iconladykylin:
LadyKylin Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2014
I think I love you.

Also as to which I'd prefer. I'd prefer to fight the honry, but I'd reater be the Historical one :)



And the honry one could be ya know, for intimate momments, kind of like lingere for vikings :)
Reply
:iconlemniskate:
Lemniskate Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014
Yeah, I'll go with the realistic one.
Reply
:icongurdim:
Gurdim Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014
i like this and i totally agree with the comment... just... damn in my arrogance i thought i was the first thinking this sort of comparison xD (even if i did it with -celts-we-usually-imagine vs celts-as-they-usually-were [that is naked spiky guys against a tank like Hallstatt warrior XD] ) and i'd be super happy just getting the half good as you are at drawing ^^ 

i prefer the historical one ofc! :D (i once drawn something similar, but the armor was less realistic and more "custom", and with some proto-viking stuffs, and, damn i made a mistake, i gave the girl a earring, and just now i heard viking ladies hadn't them :( ... i'll settle saying that it's a non-historical-vikingoid-stuff, take that! XD)

Another thing and i'll stop pestering the page :P i saw that there is a discussion about double headed axes. If Lazyold5ool refers to woodchopping axes, as you did in the image comment, ... well i'm not super sure XD. But as weapon, i must disagree. Actually DH axes were never used in middle ages (again, as weapon eh!), but they were sometimes used in ancient bronze celtic cultures and by some italic pre-roman people, and they were ofc made of bronze. I dunno why the choice of the double head... spare blade when the first gets ruined in battle? possibility of makin tricks? XD Or maybe more mass for more damage? Dunno. Surely in greek, nuragic and cretese civilisations, it was only a religious simbol, usually dedicated to Gianus (who had 2 face) or feminined deities. In the minoan culture was the Labrys, and was a sort of big insignia 

... ehm sorry aanoother thing... i often see those chest straps on some chain mails, do you know what they were for? to thigten the coat to the body? or to hang the shield to the back? or what?
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014
HAhahah, your first line really made me laugh and thank you so much for the compliments :D

You are correct on one thing, when it comes to viking, there are those that prefers the historical ones, and there are those that prefers the ahistorical ones, it all depends on people's imagination and knowledge on the history of Viking. Like for example, The Viking lady depicted would have been extremely rich to be able to afford chain mail like that, so it's much more appropriate to depict the viking with padded cloth as her armor, and with less ornated helm =P

As for the double-headed axe, i read that it was more of a symbol of authority than actual weapon. Like what you said, there were records of them in various ancient bronze age cultures, in many cases, depicting a status of power. As a weapon, it's little probable, but maybe less practical than the bearded axe, in my opinion, mostly due to the construction of it and also, most single-headed axes (like bearded) were used for something else practical, apart from chopping enemies head, double headed axe offers little practicality when, say, shaping woods or chopping trees.

The chest straps, i've seen alot of their depiction as well, but have the same question with you. I think it's mostly for tightening coat to the body, like what i drew with the cumans Khanum Sevindik of Desht-i Yurtubi (Cuman-Kypchak) by Gambargin.
Reply
:iconnils-iver:
Nils-Iver Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you!
Reply
:iconlazyold5ool:
lazyold5ool Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014
Double headed axes only came into use in the middle ages, as the forge wouldn't have been able to keep the metal equally hot enough. A single headed Dane axe would certainly have been used.
Reply
:iconcolonelbsacquet:
ColonelBSacquet Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014
The Horny Viking X-D doesn't seem to wear a very practical upper-body armor ... :-)
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2014
Indeed, but i guess some people prefer it like that :)
Reply
:iconcolonelbsacquet:
ColonelBSacquet Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2014
Well, aestetically speaking, I find this kind of armor ... entertaining. :-)

Keep it up, mate ! :-)
Reply
:iconcolonelbsacquet:
ColonelBSacquet Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014
Let's say it's summer armor. :-)
Reply
:icondavyjones4:
davyjones4 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014
Historical for me , like Lagertha from history channel vikings
Reply
:iconchristi0anggraini:
christi0anggraini Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
GOOD DETAILS :D
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2014
Makasih :)
Reply
:icon357supermagnum:
357supermagnum Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2014
I prefer the historical accurate one.
The horned helmets is something that i have observed on drawings of drinking horns from Gallehus in Denmark,but it is likely that those was used in rituals. The horns is from late iron age/early viking age.
A other example is the "dancing warrior" on a bronse piece from the vendel ages:
en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:B…åt_pressbleck_öland_vendeltid.jpg
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2014
Thanks for the link! I do apologize for my lateness in getting back to you. The information certainly help in solidifying the image of the horned vikings :)
Reply
:iconj4b:
J4B Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I find it really well done that you put the two beside eachother for comparing.¨¨Also, very nicely drawn.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014
Thank you, I've always wanted to draw comparison like this, at the very least to share some information and my opinions as well :)
Reply
:iconcrammagnum21:
crammagnum21 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014
Great drawing, great explanations on the logic of historical and fantastical armor and weaponry, wonderful detail as always and great research... everything great... I should start copying your style of portraying bodyarmour to get started in this genre.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2014
Thank you my dear friend!

By all means, even if it's not the best, feel free to use my drawing as reference or as source of inspiration. Your skills in drawing are much better than me and I'm sure you would be able to make better ones than my sketches :)
Reply
:iconcrammagnum21:
crammagnum21 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014
Thanks for your blessing my friend. You got some great stuff out there and it sure would help me to get started.  I´ve seen good stuff on Deviantart on the subject of armor and weaponry but your style is for me one of the most clearest there is for the way it shows all the details and parts and the ease through which it is understood and captured by the viewer
Reply
:iconbattlehamsterreturns:
Very well done . 
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2014
Thank you!
Reply
:iconironsides11:
ironsides11 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014
I can't help but wonder if the this portrays the same woman warrior in different outfits. If that's true, was it difficult to convince her to model the 'horny' version?
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2014
Man...just imagine if the historical ones were to wear the horny version...I think she would go berserk, literary =P
Reply
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