Created By: BrokenEye on May 28, 2012 Last Edited By: BrokenEye on September 21, 2012

Scottish Vikings

Vikings (and similar) are given Scottish accents instead of Norse ones

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You'd expect Vikings to have Norse accents (well you would, if not for The Coconut Effect), but in film they're usually portrayed with Scottish accents (when they're not portrayed with the local accent of whereever the movie was made, that is). This is most likely a Translation Convention derived from the fact that Scottish accents are significantly more intimidating than Norse ones

Compare to The Queen's Latin
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • May 28, 2012
    Astaroth
    Brynjolf in Skyrim, though he is the only major character with a scottish accent.
  • May 28, 2012
    Duncan
    Possibly because it's fun to portray The Berserker (literal meaning) as a Violent Glaswegian.
  • May 28, 2012
    TonyG
    The adult Vikings in How To Train Your Dragon, especially Gobber.
  • May 28, 2012
    randomsurfer
    The Vikings from the Capitol One credit card commercials have vaious accents, but mostly Scottish-ish.
  • May 28, 2012
    SKJAM
    The Vikings raided northern Scotland a lot, so there was quite a bit of mixing.
  • May 28, 2012
    Generality
    By Norse, I suspect you mean Norwegian. Probably only hardcore historians know what the Vikings' actual accent sounded like, and this might be part of the reason for the trope.

    • Variant in the films of Thor- the Asgardians, based on the Viking Aesir pantheon, all speak with English accents, probably to indicate their nobility. Neither this nor their speaking English are remarked on as unusual.
  • May 28, 2012
    Shrikesnest
    I dunno if it counts, but the stereotypical Dwarves in the Standard Fantasy Setting blend elements of the two, having a fantasy Viking's penchant for horned helmets and hammers and the stereotypical Scottish accent and love of ale.
  • May 28, 2012
    RossN
    @SKJAM: True but they had an even bigger presence in Ireland (founding major towns like Dublin, Cork & Limerick) and you never hear Irish accented Vikings. Even given the historical link the Scottish focus seems a bit exaggerated in fiction.
  • May 28, 2012
    NimmerStill
    @Generality, well hardcore historians know what language they spoke, but since nothing enough like Modern English existed at that time, there's no way to know what Viking-accented English would sound like.

    The closest would probably be Icelandic-accented English, since Icelandic has changed less from Old Norse than other modern Nordic languages, but enough to not really know the finer points of the older accent.
  • May 28, 2012
    NimmerStill
    Even though the settled Ireland and Scotland, they still retained their native Norse language (and hence accent) for as long as they were doing Viking-y things.
  • September 21, 2012
    BrokenEye
    @Shrikesnest@ Well I'm sure this would naturally extend to Fantasy Counterpart Cultures and Space Romans equivalents of Vikings in addition to actual Vikings, as well as Visigoths, Vandals, and other cultures that are similar enough to Vikings that laymen typically lump them all together inside the pigeonhole labeled "Viking"
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