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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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: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...
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: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 :)
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:iconmrsneooncousland:
MrsNeoonCousland Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2014
the historical viking definitively
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2014
Exactly! I have to agree with you :)
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:iconpeggyarnold:
PeggyArnold Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014
Heart  the Hollywood vs History contrast! Well done.
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: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. 
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:iconunbearableme:
UnbearableME Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2014
historical looks way better :) 
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: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! 
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: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.
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:iconneshirys:
neshirys Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014
Heh, it's sad but true xD
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