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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


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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
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:iconpackless1:
Packless1 Featured By Owner 1 day ago
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 6 days ago
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.
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: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.
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: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?
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