With the recent announcement of LEGO Ideas Viking Village, Blocks looks at how the set can improve on the forgotten Vikings theme…
Out of all the elements of Norse mythology and culture, Vikings have always garnered the most attention. Famous for their warrior culture (and inventing hair combs), they’ve inspired everything from How to Train Your Dragon to the latest exclusive LEGO set.
Back in May fans were invited to vote on a new LEGO Ideas set based on three designs that didn’t previously make it into production and it’s been revealed that the winner is Viking Village by fan creator Brick Hammer. However, this isn’t the first time the LEGO Group hase forayed into the world of Midgard. Blocks, the LEGO magazine for fans, is looking at the short-lived theme that helped inspire the upcoming set…
Vikings arrived on the shores of the LEGO world in 2005. This makes perfect sense because many Vikings lived and ruled in what is modern day Denmark, with King Harald Bluetooth formally naming the country (and yes, that’s where the modern piece of tech gets its name) on a rock in Jutland. With this rich history you would expect the Viking theme to be historically accurate, but it went for a more modern interpretation of Vikings that led to some quite unusual sets.
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Most of these came in 2005 and the smallest is 7015 Viking Warrior Challenges Fenris Wolf. While the name is a lot to digest, the set combines a Technic/constraction wolf model with a minifigure Viking in a sort of battle pack. Fenris is a wolf from Norse mythology (spelled Fenrir originally) who’s meant to bring about Ragnarok, or the end of the world, so a fitting foe for a warrior. The most inaccurate part of the set, but this befalls almost all Viking depictions, is the helmet on the minifigure. Viking helmets did not have horns, and hopefully the upcoming Ideas set will be more accurate.
Looking past the horns, 7016 Viking Boat Against the Wyvern Dragon portrays a longship decently for the parts available in the early noughties. The shields on the side in particular look really good, even sporting some knot and rune designs, so hopefully that part of the Viking Village submission will be kept.
Out of all the Vikings sets, 7019 Viking Fortress Against Fafnir Dragon provided the most play opportunities in a single model. It comes with a hoard of Viking warriors, and is one of only two models that included a Viking king bedecked in gold and wearing a windswept cloak. Fáfnir again is part of Norse mythology and helped to inspire Tolkien’s Smaug from The Hobbit. Both 7019 and the Viking Village portray the buildings made from wood, which is how Vikings made their structures, and maybe some printed tiles (or stickers) will help portray the carvings often found above doors and windows.
In the following year of 2006, two Vikings sets were the swan-song of the theme. These focussed on the more violent side of the Vikings, like 7020 Army of Vikings with Heavy Artillery, which is thankfully something that Viking Village stays away from. The culture is often stereotyped as being only about fighting, however the Vikings were skilled tradespeople, making everything from jewellery to tapestries, and seeing a more domestic side to Viking life will be really interesting.