#FaveDeadViking Friday #VIKINGS

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The Shieldmaidens of History (Protecting the Innocent from Anachronisms) welcome you back to our series on the History Channel show Vikings. 

Historical fiction author Sandi Layne is with me again to discuss the historical aspects of the show. Sandi has written her own series on Vikings, both well-written and carefully researched. (You can read my review of the third book in the trilogy, Éire's Devil Kinghere.)

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Heillir! We—Lissa Bryan and Sandi Layne—are two historical fiction authors with a serious thing for Vikings. And for VIKINGS, the amazing series that is going to begin its fourth season on HISTORY CHANNEL.

Follow us on twitter, #ShieldGeeks, at 8pm Eastern for the next seventeen days as we talk about the main characters of the show, including special features for Thorsdays, er, Thursdays, as well as We Ship It day on the 14th and even a Favorite Dead Character feature.

Then, on February 18th, VIKINGS, Season Four will begin and Sandi and I will be live-tweeting during each episode, as has been our custom since Season One. We’ll follow up with a more detailed discussion on our websites the following day.

We are SO excited! So, Warriors and Shieldmaidens all, get your weapons and armor ready, because it’s going to be an amazing season!

Today is #FaveDeadViking Friday! So we're going to look at two of the dead characters who left their mark on us this season.


Okay, so he’s Sandi's favorite. She says, I’ve studied the monks and written of the Viking raids on the monasteries and was all kinds of sympathetic to Athelstan from the moment I learned of his existence. 

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As soon as we were introduced to the "Tiny Viking," fans all over the world fell in love with Athelstan, and with the "bromance" that grew between him Ragnar.

When we met, he was an Englishman who could speak the language of the Northmen, thus making himself valuable to Ragnar immediately. He was then enslaved and taken far from his home monastery in Lindesfarne to serve the Lo∂brok family.

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Unexpectedly, he and Ragnar hit up a solid friendship that weathered many situations over several years.

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Ragnar sought to keep his friend safe, relied upon his council in dealing with British rulers, and declared him a free man, able to wear the arm ring of manhood.

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 He also fathered a child with Princess Judith, married to the son of King Ecbert. Young Alfred is destined to do some great things.

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Athelstan also had a long-running antipathy in regards his relationship to Floki, the genius shipbuilder of Kattegat.

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 Floki sought to undermine Athelstan at different times, eventually determining that his gods wanted the former monk dead.

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So Floki made it happen. And people all over the world mourned. Truly.

I wish George Blagden, who played Athelstan, all the best. He is apparently a fine actor and a great guy and he certainly brought a quiet, fearful monk to the transformation into a warrior and martyr in a short period of time.



Played by Jefferson Hall, Torstein was a man with a sense of humor that was equaled by his loyalty to Ragnar. He caught our eye, anyway, when he got two different ladies pregnant before he went off to what would be his last battle.

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When his arm was so grievously wounded that it required amputation, he jested about it with Rollo as it happened, and still insisted upon meeting his death upon his feet.

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He volunteered to meet the enemy first, shield in hand, so that he could go to Valhalla with the warriors of renown.

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He certainly earned it.

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What are your thoughts? Join Sandi and me, Lissa Bryan, tonight as we chat at 8PM EST on Twitter about our #FaveDeadVikings. Use the hashtag #ShieldGeeks to join in the fun!

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