Sunday, 2 May 2010

Potential Readers vote 'Soul Chaser'! - My Fav Vikingy films in honour of 'Thor' the movie

Now some of you may notice and even have taken part in my potential readers poll in order to try and choose a good title for my work in progress developing novel featuring figures from norse mythology in the backdrop of present day York (or Jorvik to you die hard viking fans :D). That poll is now CLOSED! The title has been decided - 20 potential readers and kind people have voted for the winner which is........'SOUL CHASER'!
Here is how the 20 votes went:

Valkyrian Ventures 
      4 (20%)
No Angel
      4 (20%)
Soul Chaser
      5 (25%)

Soul Catcher
      4 (20%)
Vallyrie's Touch
      3 (15%)

To be honest I am greatly suprised how close the previous draft title of my developing novel 'Valkyrian Ventures' came to be winner. I had the poll open for 2 weeks and during that time it turned into quite a roller coaster between which title was winning and which ones weren't. During this last week it became quite tense for me as the author of this piece of writing as most of the time at least 2 of the options always seemed to be neck and neck in equal votes. Those two were 'Soul Catcher' and 'Soul Chaser' and the latter only one by one mere vote in the end. I must admitt that I do prefer 'Soul Catcher' but 'Soul Chaser' has equal merits to it as it sounds more intriguing not a spin on the object of a 'Dream Catcher' and from what I know there isn't any other book titled 'Soul Chaser' whereas a lot of people have been tweeting and messaging me saying they already know a book titled 'Soul Catcher'. In the end 'Valkyrian Ventures', 'No Angel' and 'Soul Catcher' become joint second place preferences and 'Valkyrie's Touch' was the least preferred.

I would like to wish those 20 people a big thank you for taking the time to consider and vote and I do hope that some of you at least read some of my work to help inform your decision and that you perhaps enjoyed it. Thank you. Your input helped me as a writer more than you will know.

Now, some of you may be viking and norsemythology fans so you may know what I'm about to say already with great delight: KENNETH BRANAGH IS DIRECTING THE MOVIE 'THOR' (MARVEL'S NORSE SUPERHERO) WHICH WILL BE RELEASED NEXT YEAR!
So in honour of this fantastic event I am going to reveal my favourite list of vikingy films:
1)  "1066 - The Battle For Middle Earth" is a fantastic movie/documentary portraying the bloody battles of the fateful year in English, French and Viking History. Fulford, Stamford and Hastings are protrayed in excellent detail including all the gore and death that comes with such great battles for survival. And the characters that you follow through this horid year really do awaken you to the fear the common folk of England felt. 
If anyone is interested about 1066 then this is an excellent choice to watch to familiarise yourself with events from the common folks point of view. 
2) "Beowulf and Grendel" - a really fascinating portrayal of this amazing Norse Saga of Man vs Monster and really shows a human side to Grendel and a wise side to Beowulf which is as captivating as it is refreshing compared to the now stereotypical He-man super strong sword mad Beowulf and grotesque man eating beast of Grendel. 
3) This is a lengthily and very well made telling of the famous Norse Saga - Legend of Sigurd and Nibbungs. Basically how a blacksmith creates a fantastic sword from a fallen meteor, falls for the Queen of Iceland, bewitched into falling in love with the wrong woman, kills a dragon and baths in its blood and of course is betrayed on multiple levels. But over all, despite a fantastic story of the dangerous of wealth and love, it also highlights the subtle battles between growing Christianity and fading Norse beliefs during the middle ages.
3) I've blogged about this film before regarding the Vikings brief stay in Northern American and their encounter with Native Indians and this is basically what this film portrays albeit it in a very dark and bloody manner. Be warned there are lots of bloody scenes in this film but it truly captures the demonesque nature these white foreigners must have seemed to the native people of the land. But it is an interesting tale by having a stranded viking lad adopted into the community only to have to fight off a horde of his true native people to keep the indian community he loves safe.
 4) Time for a big dollop of fun mixed with vikings - thats what you get with the great comedy Eric the Viking. Which has an amazing cast, great witty lines and crazy adventures norse style with characters who defy the very stereotypical image of vikings and their culture. As the tag line says "A Viking warrior who did not want to rape and pillage".
5) Now I know when this came out many weren't impressed with Banderas performance or the fact that it portrayed Vikings as illiterate but I disregarded all that. What I liked is that it capture the viking influence upon the world in the most unlikely of places - Arabia and the far Eastern countries. Now this actually has some historic grounding as they did travel as far as Constantinople (aka Istanbul) and further afield in search of trade and glory and discovery. That what I found refreshing and that it took the viewer into their world and culture as a complete stranger through a genuine stranger to their culture in Banderas as a Muslim Duke of some kind who had gotten in the way of someone else in high places in the pursuit of a woman.

So there you have it my 5 favourite vikingy films covering their legends, history and culture.
Do let me know your thoughts on each of these or recommend any others I've not listed. What's your favourite vikingy film?


  1. Being part-Lakota, I was drawn to PATHFINDER. But my truly favorite Viking film is THE 13TH WARRIOR.

    To me, seeing a man of faith stay true to his own code, while fighting alongside other men of a different faith, who also kept the faith with their code -- it hit a chord deep inside me.

    Thanks for the obvious effort, love, and creativity you put into your blog. It's appreciated, Roland

  2. I've never watched any viking-related films, as I presumed they're all terrible! I was going to go see Valhalla Rising but my local cinema isn't showing it (
    Amazon have Beowulf&Grendel for just £4.99 on blu-ray, tempting...


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