JSU Student Symposium 2020
Vikings: Hero or Villains?



Faculty Mentor

Daniel McGowin, Chemistry & Geosciences; Vicki Tinnon Brock, Chemistry & Geosciences


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Houston Cole Library, 11th Floor | 2:15-2:25 p.m.


Movies and video games are hosts to Geographies often tied to our reality. These stories often depict and represent cultures in a certain way and in a certain light. Today we are in a world full of stories that are presented to us to consume. One of them is the How to Train Your Dragon movie franchise which depicts a Nordic culture that goes from pillaging and murdering dragons to a young boy, Hiccup, rising and becoming a man showing his people a better way to live by saying no to tradition. This paper will focus on How to Train Your Dragon 2 when Hiccup’s new found peaceful life is threatened by a vicious outsider who wants to use the dragons he’s fought to save, learn about, and protect. However, this isn’t the only medium that portrays the Nordic Culture. Hellblade: Sennua’s Sacrifice portrays the Norse Vikings in a very different light. This video game follows the tale of Sennua, a Pict warrior who is trying to fight her darkness by going through into her enemy’s afterlife: Hel. The Vikings in this tale are ruthless killers and murders, conquers. In each of these tales are commonalities: Norse Mythology, Norway Geography, and a question of whether or not Vikings are a heroes or villains. I will be examining what each portrayal picks and choses to present to the consumer from what we know of the Norse Vikings. Perhaps it is a story telling purpose. The purpose of this paper is to examine the geographic significance of what they pick and choose to present to the public. Two sides of a coin that is inherently geographic.


student presentations, student papers, Vikings, gaming, pop culture, geography


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Presentation Information

Rayburn, K. (2020, 13 February). Vikings: villains or heroes? Paper presented at the 2020 JSU Student Symposium, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL.

Vikings: Hero or Villains?