Re-Making The Real Middle Ages Analysis

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The History Channel 's television series, Vikings, combines many elements of realism and fantasy. In Helen Young 's Re-making The Real Middle Ages, she points out how the media commercializes the whole idea of vikings, perhaps, in order to sell to more audiences by adding historically inaccurate elements such as supernatural aspects and unrealistic repeated triumph of the main action hero. Some realistic elements present in the show are the use of native language, brutal violence. It was also realistic how vikings raided, killed, stole treasure, and burned down the remainder of the town bringing back a few townspeople to sell as slaves. Some fantasized elements on the other hand happened in the beginning where a mysterious being in a black…show more content…
Young refers to the real middle ages as overly commercialized due to “Popular culture medievalisms, particularly those that achieve massive success in the mainstream” (Young). She states that “Historical authenticity does matter to producers and consumers of popular culture, and making research available in forums that are accessible and affordable to them is another move towards change” (Young). In other words, modern day media portrays medieval times in a way that is more commercialized such as beautiful men and women being the main characters and heroes of the story and allowing them to defeat whatever threat comes their way somewhat effortlessly leaving them with negligible superficial wounds at most. The media also adds drama and romance, an aspect most audiences in today 's popular culture enjoy to watch because it gives the show a story line as opposed to just watching violence and battle over and over. Modern representations of fantasy in popular culture also draw in an audience more than if there were no unexplainable forces at hand. In episode one, scene one, after Ragnar and his brother slaughter an entire army of men, Odin appears with his black raven and walks amongst the dead bodies, lifting one of the fallen soldiers ' souls into the sky. Gray clouds cover the sun and the atmosphere gets very dark and gloomy during the course this event, and immediately gets sunny again when Ragnar snaps out of his vision due to his brother calling out for him. Ragnar whitenesses the whole phenomenon while his brother seems to be completely oblivious, showing the audience that he did not just see what Ragnar saw. By allowing Ragnar and the audiences to see this supernatural event, but not Ragnar 's brother, Rollo, it shows the audience at an early stage who the main action hero will be. Adding this sense of fantasy allows the audience to experience the viking culture in a whole different way while also keeping them interested because most viewers get a thrill out of
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