National Ginger Day: Norse Edition
Updated: Nov 24, 2020
Whether you're celebrating National Red Hair Day, National Redhead Day, National Love Your Red Hair Day, National Ginger Appreciation Day, or what have you, we can all agree on one thing—gingers rock! (At least Kori thinks so; she's basically married to one!). In the spirit of the day and #Norsevember, we decided to share some of our favorite Nordic-inspired "fire-kissed" characters.
YGRITTE - HBO'S GAME OF THRONES
While Jordan & Kori have yet to tackle the book series, Kori really enjoyed watching Game of Thrones (at least until the end of season 8, right?).
Ygritte is a wildling, a member of the Free-Folk who lives north of the Wall. As such, she has to be tough, and this scrappy little firecracker is as sharp as her spear and arrows. With a heart as fiery as her hair, she lives her life honestly and passionately. As one of the more open-minded of the Free-Folk, Ygritte is able to see past decades of division and hatred for the Westerosi to become one of the first to accept and welcome Jon into their ranks. Over time, she falls in love with her former enemy.
Yet she's just as much fighter as she is lover. She's quick to let Jon know that while he's an honorable man who still feels loyal to the Night's Watch, he has obligations to her now too. No matter how much Jon tries to convince her the Free-Folk cannot win, she never backs down from her cause—fully accepting she may die. A true warrior through and through, Ygritte fights bravely until she breathes her last.
TORMUND GIANTSBANE - HBO'S GAME OF THRONES
One of the most entertaining characters onscreen is Tormund Giantsbane, the loud and lewd leader of the Free-Folk.
Though a vicious warrior, Tormund shows time and again he can work with those he considers enemies if the time calls for it. During these moments, he breaks the stereotypes placed upon the wildlings, proving all are not cruel, sadistic savages; some are capable of adapting with the Westerosi. All of this stems from a deep love of his people, who he wants to see raised above their current status. But if you piss him off by, say, forming a mutiny and killing his best friend, you'd better watch out!
While he can be as prickly as his beard, Tormund is one the more lighthearted characters of the series. He offers comedic relief in tense situations, often at his own expense. Spinning tall tales such as bedding giants and she-bears (which everyone knows is wholly untrue, though hysterical), he keeps up morale amongst his friends and fighters, not only for victory but because he truly cares about them. And who can forget his constant awkward flirting with Brienne?
At the center of this burly exterior is a warm, considerate heart. Despite his scoff and remark that "the dead can't hear you" when Jon asks if he would like to say something for the fallen wildlings, he requests Jon take Ygritte back to her homeland to be burned, because it's what she would have wanted. He is a good man, with a good heart, who thinks of others even when they're beyond help.
ANNA - DISNEY'S FROZEN
Though Anna is not strictly Norse, hers and Elsa's storyline and world are taken from Danish folklore, a later incarnation of those Nordic precursor tales. During the events of Frozen II, we find out their mother is descended from the Northuldra—a tribe based off real-life Sámi culture. It's even possible the story of The Snow Queen is derived from earlier figures like the Norse Skaði, a Jötunn (frost giant) goddess associated with winter and snow.
Anna is a little cinnamon roll of sweetness and exuberance coated in a hardened shell of pure stubbornness. You can't not love her.
Not only is she quirky with a goofy sense of humor, but she places family above all else. It doesn't matter that she's always wanted to see the world or fall in love—everything gets put on hold when it comes to her sister Elsa. She will always choose someone else over herself, and she doesn't let her unworldliness get in the way of her determination. Not to mention, she's just relatably awkward on so many levels.
STOICK THE VAST - DREAMWORKS' HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
Taken directly from Norse influences, the island of Berk is headed by Viking chief Stoick the Vast, whose name does him much justice. Fierce, hard-headed, and wholly dedicated to his people, Stoick is the strong chief their tough way of life needs.
Part of our love for Stoick stems from his relationship arc with his son Hiccup. Their interactions start out strained due to Stoick's disappointment with his awkward, small, decidedly un-Viking son. But once Stoick begins to trust in Hiccup's big heart and unique way of looking at things, their relationship blossoms, and the large, stubborn Viking couldn't be more proud of his son.
This is nowhere more clear than when Stoick makes the ultimate sacrifice for his son, having full faith in Hiccup to take up the mantle of chief once Stoick is gone.
HONORABLE MENTION: CAPTAIN FLINT - STARZ'S BLACK SAILS
Though he's not of Nordic background, Captain James Flint is an iconic character who could definitely hang with the rest of these ginger-haired badasses.
He is a brilliant strategist, vicious in combat, insanely determined, cutthroat in his dealings—all in all, a hell of a pirate. In Kori's opinion, he's one of the most well-written characters ever. So you'll be hearing a lot more about him in future posts. *wink*
Enjoy this post? Who are some of your favorite redheads? Drop them in the comments below!