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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
Add a Comment:
 
:iconnkijes24:
nkijes24 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
I really like your ringmail work!
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2016
Thank you! drawing ring mails is pretty tedious work :D
Reply
:iconaidansumnerg:
aidansumnerg Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2016
When the norse when off to battle as vikings, they did value glamour ad well as practicallity as to ontimidate their foes and just look nice in battle. So the historical one could actually have had her hair exposed and styled. There is only one practical reason I can think of for the fantasy one and that is to look like a Christian demon when raiding England or Frankia. Otherwise she'd be mistaken for a vikings prostitute.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2016
I agree, back then, highly decorated armors or weapons were prized as symbol of status and prestige :D
Reply
:iconlothar2009:
lothar2009 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2016
The historical one would be wearing a helmet as means of protection. Fighting without any headgear is a suicide. "Looking nice in battle" by exposing hair was not a priority, unlike it is on TV. The priority was to survive the combat. They were branded as heathens by Christians not only because they were pagans, but because they also plundered abbeys and monasteries during their raids, taking Church's money.
Reply
:iconiamnotrussian:
IAmNotRussian Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
With armory aside, would you consider Viking women to be thicker on the torso area than many other women of different ethnic?
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2016
Thank you for the comment! I guess it all depends, but i'm not pretty sure about the statistics :) 
Reply
:iconcan-cat:
Can-Cat Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2015  Student Digital Artist
An excellent series- No doubt armor that keeps the wearer alive is the most attractive-
Reply
:icongwiber49ofireland:
Gwiber49ofIreland Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2015  Hobbyist Filmographer
Yeah, most fantasy is filled with sexism, and pornography
Reply
:iconmarukan:
MaruKan Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2015
Like how they designed Conan the Barbarian? All oiled up, and incapable of putting a shirt on?
Reply
:icongwiber49ofireland:
Gwiber49ofIreland Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2015  Hobbyist Filmographer
Yep! I am not really interested in giant boobs that are only there for the sole purpose of pleasing a sex-crazed metropolis. 
Reply
:iconmarukan:
MaruKan Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2015
I was talking about Conan himself.
Reply
:icongwiber49ofireland:
Gwiber49ofIreland Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2015  Hobbyist Filmographer
Yeah, that may be Conan in a nutshell, the over-sexualization of women.
Reply
:iconmarukan:
MaruKan Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2015
*The over-sexualization of everyone.
Reply
:icongwiber49ofireland:
Gwiber49ofIreland Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2015  Hobbyist Filmographer
Yep!
Reply
:icontaischo:
Taischo Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2015
i Prefer the Historical North, reminds me on my Skyrim Charakter
Reply
:icontheskaldofnvrwinter:
TheSkaldofNvrwinter Featured By Owner May 10, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Both have their place, although I must admit to finding the first one more visually appealing.

I'm trying to find a way of blending the two, creating a hybrid, if you will: Lu'thea Ready by TheSkaldofNvrwinter

Forgive the lack of experience...
Reply
:iconcolorlessheart:
ColorLessHeart Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2015  Student Artist
i prefer the historical one
Reply
:iconmorphicelus:
Morphicelus Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I can't put into words how much I love this.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2015
Yeap! I love this one as well :). I'm thinking of redrawing it soon, since there hasn't been any conclusive historical evidence for women taking part in warfare during viking era.
Reply
:iconlollipopfop:
Lollipopfop Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2015
Except for there were almost no actual female warriors in Viking tribes. Although a new study shows that there may have been more female viking settlers in England then they thought before…not a very reliable study, as it only unearthed 14 graves. Of those I think one or two of the women were buried with weapons, so maybe there were some, but I doubt it. I think the Saxon Chronicle would have mentioned it. So to her historically accurate they wouldn't be warriors at all. 
Reply
:iconaidansumnerg:
aidansumnerg Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2016
I'm pretty sure shield maidens are mentioned alot in norse/germanic culture.
Reply
:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Do you, by any chance, have any expertise with South Indian history? Specifically Early Medieval Chola Empire?
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
I haven't touched the history of South India, especially concerning the Sinhalese and Tamil dynasties. But I will get into that definitely :)
Reply
:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks :) I would love to see them. You can use Prasanna Weerakkody as a reference since he's one of the greatest of our historical artists
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015
I will look into it, the drawings by Prasanna are very interesting indeed :)
Reply
:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh yes they are :)
Reply
: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.
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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
:iconspacefriend-t:
Spacefriend-T 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  Student Filmographer
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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