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Series / Borgen

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DR, the people who brought you Forbrydelsen, now bring you The West Wing. In Denmark.

"Borgen" is Danish for "The Castle", a nickname for the Christiansborg Palace, the centre of the Danish government. The actual Danish pronunciation is more like "Bauwen". (DR market this with the overseas title Government, but neither the BBC or Link TV chose to use that name when transmitting it in English.) The show is a Danish Government Procedural by Adam Price, running from 2010 to 2013. It has been critically acclaimed for its realistic fictional parties and its lack of strawman stereotypes, getting very high ratings in Denmark. The main character is Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg Christensen (Sidse Babett Knudsen), a minor centrist politician who becomes the first female Prime Minister of Denmark against all odds, and who is trying to balance politics, personal problems and her two kids.


The supporting characters are Katrine Fønsmark (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen), a surprisingly intelligent journalist with a job at the public broadcaster TV1; her fellow journalist Hanne Holm (Benedikte Hansen), an equally bright, but alcoholic Team Mom; Kasper Juul (Pilou Asbæk), Birgitte's brilliant media consultant/spin doctor and Katrine's ex-boyfriend, who still carries a torch for her; Bent Sejrø (Lars Knutzon), Birgitte's mentor and Team Dad; and Michael Laugesen (Peter Mygind), the former Labour Party leader turned editor of the tabloid Ekspres (think The Sun) and Manipulative Bastard.

The third and final season was shown in Denmark in late 2012, and abroad in Britain and Australia in 2013. A US remake with HBO and BBC Worldwide is planned. In 2020, it was announced that the series will revived for a fourth season in 2022, after a deal has been struck been DR and Netflix.



  • Abusive Parents: Kasper was sexually abused by his father.
  • Against My Religion: Subverted. After successfully pulling off the peace treaty in Africa, Bent and Amir celebrate modestly with a bottle of fine brandy:
    Bent: Does your god allow you to drink it?
  • The Alcoholic: Hanne Holm, at least in the first two episodes of the first series and again in the first episode of the second.
  • Alternate Universe: Not only does Borgen exist in a universe where Denmark's political parties are different, but its media catalogue and, in the case of Turgisia and Kharun, its international geography are alien to reality.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Maybe not evil, but certainly not good. The show has a rogues gallery of careerist backstabbers, particularly Höxenhaven. And from the second series, Jakob Kruse, who compromises the principles of the party and creates a split for it.
  • America Saves the Day: Well, Denmark, but part of the reason Nyborg resolves the Kharun conflict is to improve upon Denmark's reputation as a xenophobic country.
  • Amicably Divorced: By season 3, the Nyborgs; by mid-season 3, Kasper and Katrine. All of them are very civil and friendly to their respective exes.
  • As You Know: A question to Birgitte from someone at one of her lectures, in the first episode of the third season, mentions how she lost the general election to Hesselboe and retired from politics. This imparts the necessary information to the audience.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the series finale, Birgitte's coalition narrowly loses the election and the previous right-wing governing coalition ends up up back in power, but Birgitte joins the coalition after the elections, gets them to tone down the policies she disagrees with, and becomes the Minister of Foreign Affairs, a job she is apparently very well-suited for, having an excellent command of English and French and having worked in business abroad.
  • Blonde Republican Sex Kitten: Benedikte Nedergaard, Saltum's Starscream in the third season, is this, although (ironically given she's a Danish racial nationalist) she isn't blonde.
  • Bookends: In the first episode, Birgitte and her family enter Christiansborg in triumph after an unexpectedly successful election - and then again in the last one.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Nadia Suleiman, a Pakistani woman who starts out as a financial commentator for TV1 but is fired because its director sees her as a "Palestinian [sic] end-days prophet". Later she goes on to be integration spokesperson at the New Democrats, where it is eventually revealed that she didn't want people from lesser developed countries (with radical ideas like Salafism) in Denmark - even some of her family. She says this in a way that sounds like a coded race appeal. To be fair, she did tell them.
  • Break the Cutie: The job nearly does this to Nyborg on a few occasions.
  • Breaking Speech: By Saltum, when Kasper and Nyborg are successively forced to come to his office and apologize for antagonizing him.
  • Bulungi: Two Season 2 episodes deal with Birgitte negotiating a peace agreement between the central government and the separatist southern region of a fictitious East African nation called Kharun, which is definitely not Sudan.
  • Butt-Monkey: Bjørn Marrot is this to his own party, in particular Laugesen.
  • The Chessmaster: Kasper, in his role as Nyborg's spin doctor.
  • Children Are Innocent: A firmly-held belief by Kasper. Not so with Saltum.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The labour party in season 1, aimed both at Birgitte and at each other. Lampshaded by Marrot, who admits they have a reputation for infighting.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Laugesen is mostly absent in the third season, replaced by Alex as a more subtle evil media person.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Nyborg, when her ex starts seeing another woman that her children like.
  • Condescending Compassion: Basically Saltum’s attitude towards delinquent Muslim teens living in poverty and Pernille Madsen’s towards sex workers in S03E05.
  • Contemplative Boss: Birgitte is shown with her back to the viewer while looking out of a window and with her arms folded behind her at the end of the credit sequence.
  • Corrupt Politician: Labor party leader Laugesen explicitly acknowledges that Denmark is run by a tiny circle of industrialists, media men and politicians. He has no problem with that, as long as he is among them.
  • Creator Provincialism: The government is shown mostly dealing with the country's internal affairs rather than international ones. Averted in Season 2 with the Afghanistan and Kharun storylines.
  • The Cynic: Kasper. In the first season finale Katrine marvels at how cynical he is even when writing speeches that connect with the hearts of the people, and she remembers how Kasper once said he could sell anyone's political platform.
  • Dark Secret: Kasper's childhood. He was sexually abused by his father, who also let other pedophiles have their way with him. Kasper eventually snapped and stabbed his father, leading him to be sent in a juvenile institution with his identity changed. Kasper remains haunted by his past, and tries to keep it hidden from Katrine through pathological lies, until he eventually sends her a recording of the news story reporting his father's arrest. It is also the reason why Kasper rips into Saltum when he moves to lower Denmark's legal age of criminal responsibility to 12.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Laugesen is introduced as the leader of the Labour party, which would make him the principal antagonist of the heroine. But he is immediately removed from office and turns to journalism, which makes him more of a minor annoyance.
  • Desk Sweep of Rage: In episode 1-10 Birgitte freaks out and sweeps everything off her desk, including a glass vase that smashes, after simultaneously she 1) has to fire Bent and 2) has found out her husband wants a divorce.
  • Driven to Suicide: Troels is involuntarily outed after a sting operation involving a male escort posing as a photographer. Birgitte tries to convince him that it doesn't have to end his political career, but he is clearly shattered by it and ends up committing suicide.
  • Drunk with Power: Averted. Nyborg keeps a good head on her shoulders where her job is concerned, despite the havoc it wreaks on her personal life.
  • Episode Title Card: Each episode gets two: one with an apposite quote at the very beginning, and one with the actual title right after the credits.
  • Fan Disservice: The actor playing him is handsome, but Kasper's ass isn't.
  • Feed the Mole: Nyborg realizes the New Democrats have a high-ranking mole when the Moderates start copying all their policies (and also book the hall they want for a rally). There's a party leader debate happening the next night, so Katrine leaks different versions of Birgitte's debate prep to each suspect, to see whose lead Kruse ends up following.
  • Frenemy: Nyborg and Hesselboe. On a different level, Nyborg and Saltum have hints of this.
    • In the last episode Juul and Saltum are having a friendly chat.
  • Freudian Excuse: Kasper was abused as a child, leading to his present-day cynicism and intimacy issues.
  • Fictional Political Party: The seven parties are not the real-life ones in Denmark, but some mirror the actual ones to a degree. They also seem to represent a simplified left-right "sliding scale" that's easier for the viewer to understand.
    • Nyborg's centre-left coalition consists of:
      • The Solidarisk Samling/Solidarity Party (hard-left with Muslims like Aicha Nagrawi, led by Anna-Sophie Linderkrone, resembling the real-life Red-Green Coalition)
      • The Miljøpartiet/Green Party (left-wing & green like the Socialist People's Party, led by Amir Diwan)
      • The Arbejderpartiet/Labour Party (centre-left, like the real-life Social Democrats, and modernising under Laugesen)
      • The De Moderate/Moderate Party (centre-left/centre, like the Social Liberal Party in real-life).
    • On the right, meanwhile, are:
      • The De Liberale/Liberals (centre-right, clearly based on the real-life Venstre)
      • The Ny Højre/New Right (right-wing conservative, led by Yvonne Kjær, similar to the Conservative People's Party)
      • The Frihedspartiet/Freedom Party (hard-right and stated to be descended from Glistrup's Progress, just like the real-life Danish People's Party).
    • In the third season, we get the Nye Demokrater/New Democrats, another centre-left party, as the Moderates move centre-right.
  • Foot-Dragging Divorcee: Nyborg doesn't really want to divorce Philipp in season 2, and delays signing the papers for a while. Even after she agrees to the divorce, she keeps trying to win him back until he accuses her of being in denial about how far apart they've grown.
  • Glasses Pull: Katrine's editor at TV1 whips off his glasses a lot, like when Katrine produces her previously anonymous source from military intelligence at the station, or when he's screaming with rage after Katrine broke an agreement and asked a personal question of PM Nyborg during an interview.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Zig Zagged. In the first series, Katrine finds out she is pregnant as the result of an affair with a married (dead) man, but decides to keep the baby regardless. When her mother finds out, she puts Katrine under considerable pressure to have an abortion, and Katrine, hurt at her mother's lack of support, relents. Though she clearly didn't want to have the termination, she recovers and moves on with her life.
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • Kasper doesn't take Katrine's relationship with Benjamin well.
    • Birgitte, who becomes suspicious of Phillip's (innocent) relationship with one of his female students.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: The Hesselboes. And by the end of series 1, the Nyborgs. The latter narrowly avert it by divorcing.
  • Holding the Floor: Essentially what Saltum tries to do when he arranges to have Nyborg questioned before parliament over her government's approach to juvenile offenders.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Episodes 5 of season 3 revolves around the issue of protection and rights of sex workers, featuring the head of the Danish sex workers’ union, Helene, who is very pleased with her work. This trope is discussed in depth, and Helene says she is opposed to this term, as ‘you never hear about a happy real estate agent’.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Amir's attitude when Nyborg's concessions to polluters causes him to resign from both the Ministry of the Environment and the Green Party.
  • High-Class Call Girl: A High-Class Call Boy becomes the source of Höxenhaven's demise.
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: Bent's stroke in the second season.
  • Homage: Birgitte Hjort Sørensen was influenced by The West Wing, specifically CJ Cregg, in her portrayal of Katrine; her line delivery is done in a way that makes her sound like CJ... especially when she speaks English.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Courtesy of Birgitte: "I've never asked for a man's approval in my entire life! How do I look?"
  • House Husband: Phillip. Denmark having a different view of gender roles than in the Americas, of course no-one bats an eyelid.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Birgitte is thoroughly enjoying a dinner in Hong Kong in the Season 3 premiere. When her boyfriend tells her it's snake, she gets sick.
  • I Have No Son!: An odd "I Have No Justice Minister" example is Birgitte's reaction when she discovers that Höx leaked a recording of Anne Sophie contemplating abduction in order to save his job.
  • Informed Ability: Birgitte is supposedly an experienced politician, yet seems to be unaware of even the most elementary aspects of politics. She needs people to explain to her that government positions such as minister of education and minister of health care are liabilities rather than assets for a political party since they require large budgets but confer no bargaining power. Similarly, the leader of the extreme right party has to explain to her that negotiations between them are a waste of time because the two parties have no common ground and cannot form a government together and even has to point out to her that when negotiating from strength one should sit at the head of the table.
    • Even her family joins in this. Neither her husband nor her children appear to have any idea of the amount of time and energy that her job as prime-minister will require.
    • Bent, who is considered a veteran of Danish politics gives up after less than one day of negotiations, whereas in reality such negotiations commonly take weeks or months.
    • Tore Gudme is an in-universe example. Supposedly skilled in rhetoric he falls well short of the mark and is fired from his position as spin-doctor.
  • Informed Flaw: Kasper has a reputation as a heart-breaker, but on-screen he shows interest in a grand total of three women, only one of whom he ever actually had a relationship with. Less so in series 2, when we start to see more of Kasper's dysfunctional dealings with women.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Birgitte and Bent. He's old enough to be her father but they are close personal friends, she goes to him for personal advice when she's stressed, and of all the sacrifices she makes in Season 1, firing Bent is the worst.
  • I Was Young and Needed the Money: What one minister basically says when it's revealed she was a lingerie model when younger.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: several examples
    • Alex Hjort, Torben's boss in season 3. He’s smug, condescending and only cares about the ratings, but Torben’s serious high standards are of little interest to the viewers, who are paying for TV1 with their tax money, and his suggestion to liven up the first debate turns out to be a success. Subverted towards the end of the season when he goes too far with the third debate.
    • Saltum, when he points out Birgitte's poor negotiation techniques an dthe fact that she's wasting time talking to him.
  • Kick the Dog: Saltum does permanent damage to his own career by chopping off a piglet's tail during a live TV interview. (It Makes Sense in Context.)
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: In the first debate in season 3, Ulrich is made to do this to Birgitte, revealing that she had little understanding of her own political platform. What makes this extra harsh is that it’s due to her cancer treatments damaging her ability to stay alert and focused.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Nyborg ejects Jacob Kruse from her inner circle and appoints him as Denmark's EU Commissioner when he betrays her and Bent by deliberately endangering Bent by not sharing that he'd had a stroke and should cut back on work, all to lay groundwork for his own future campaign for prime minister. To make it worse, because he is assigned late, he is given a very minor position.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Kaspar and Birgitte try to damage Amir by accusing him of hypocrisy for promoting environmentalism while owning a gas-guzzling classic car, and the resulting press persecution of him and his family drives him out of politics. By the end of the series, the same thing has (temporarily) happened to Birgitte and her family after the row over her daughter being sent to a private mental hospital.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The Nyborgs are divorced by season 2.
  • Lonely Funeral: The funeral of Kasper's abusive father is attended only by himself and Katrine.
  • Love Triangle: Series 3 flirts with the idea with, on the one hand, Nyborg, her ex-husband Philip, and her new English boyfriend Jeremy, and, on the other hand, Katrine, her ex Kasper, and new lover Soren Ravn. For the most part it's averted though, and both women are still with their new partners by the time the series ends.
  • Maiden Name Debate: Birgitte Nyborg Christensen reverts to her maiden name of Birgitte Nyborg at the end of the first season.
  • Mandatory Unretirement:
    • After giving up politics, Amir gets dragged in again when Birgitte picks him as her necessary Arabic-speaking and Islamic representative in the Kharun peace talks.
    • Happens to Birgitte herself when she loses the general election announced at the end of Season 2, and subsequently leaves office. Two years later, Birgitte has no plans to resume a political career until she sees how Jacob Kruse is toeing the line to Hesselboe's agenda and making the Moderate Party increasingly right-wing.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Laugesen is the most consistent example, though Kasper definitely has shades of this too. The entire Labour Party becomes a collective Manipulative Bastard when it tricks its own leader, Bjørn Marrot, into making a series of public gaffes in order to discredit and fire him. Jacob Kruse in the second series, until he badly over-reaches himself.
  • Married to the Job:
    • As Bent reveals at the end of series 1, virtually everyone in Christiansborg suffers from this to some extent. Divorces and open marriages are common among the politicians.
    • Hanne Holm, which led to her ex-husband gaining sole custody of their daughter.
  • Mentor Archetype: Bent to Nyborg; Friis and Hanne Holm to Katrine.
  • Missing Mom: As stated above, Hanne Holm is herself one, having been absent for most of her daughter's childhood and all but loosing contact with her after her divorce, after which custody of the then five-year-old was granted to her ex-husband.
  • The Mole: Nete becomes Kruse's mole in the New Democrats after she loses faith in their ability to succeed.
  • The Mutiny: Hanne and Ulrik stage one of these in season 3 when Alex has Torben fired for scrapping Alex's plan to stage the final debate like a cheesy game show.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Nyborg, to an extent. She didn't expect being elected prime minister prior to the election.
  • New Media Are Evil:
    • As the editor of the tabloid Ekspres, Laugesen uses vitriolic viral video editorials to constantly criticize Nyborg and her coalition allies. DR runs a fake website for Ekspres which features videos by both Laugesen and Saltum.
    • In season 3, TV1's Torben Friis is asked by his boss to sex up political coverage with game show-style political debates, etc.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Kasper's attempt to damage Amir's image to make the Greens more co-operative leads to Amir getting monstered by the press so badly that he gives up politics completely, the Greens leave the coalition, and Birgitte is left leading a minority government.
    • Nyborg's idea to call a new general election leads to the end of her government; her resignation as prime minister; the return of Hesselboe to office; and the return of Kruse, who proceeds to make the Moderates as right-wing as Hesselboe's party.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Laugesen's attempt to discredit Hesselboe during a televised debate spectacularly backfires when the voters reject both him and Hesselboe in favor of Nyborg.
  • No Bisexuals: The reaction to Troels Hoxenhaven's affair with a rent boy reeks of this.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Saltum bears a major physical resemblance to the late Mogens Glistrup, a far-right party leader.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Liberals are right-wing, which makes them this trope for American viewers. However, note that in Denmark and most of the rest of Europe, the term is used exactly for the type of politics the Liberals stand for.
  • Off the Wagon: Inevitably, Hanne Holm. In one episode Kaspar and Katrine have to work together to sneak Hanne out of the building, after she comes stumbling out of a bathroom stall, falling-down drunk. Out of a mens' room stall.
  • Out of Focus: Kaspar in Season 3, which is surprising since he was one of the three protagonists in the first two seasons. But in the third season it's Katrine that's the spin doctor for Birgitte, and Torben that gets the storylines from the TV1 newsroom (an affair, a combative relationship with his new boss). Pilou Asbæk has little to in the third season other than a brief storyline where he and Katrine are arguing about taking care of their son.
  • Overly Nervous Flop Sweat: In episode 3-4 Svend Age makes a political blunder by chopping off a pig's tail live on TV. It's a thing that pig farmers do to stop pigs from biting each other, but it looks super-bad on TV. The next day he is desperately mopping his huge bald forehead in front of the press, while his spin doctor attempts to contain the damage.
  • Paparazzi: A particularly unspeakable case, persecuting mentally fragile psychiatric patients.
  • Platonic Prostitution: Laugesen hires an escort to seduce Höxenhaven. Katrine and Hanne find out and hire the same escort to tell them about it.
  • Playing the Victim Card: Both Birgitte and Kaspar accuse Saltum of this, with good reason: his political tactics are usually based on saying digusting things in public and claiming to be the victim of Political Correctness Gone Mad when people get angry.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain:
    • Saltum, who is incredibly racist, and can come to an American viewer as quite redneck-ish.
    • Laugesen at first professes to be left-wing, but he's later shown to be homophobic, sexist towards Nyborg, bigoted towards immigrants, basically completely unprincipled in the pursuit of power, and Islamophobic e-mails eventually bring down his political career. Once his political career is over and he takes over as editor of the Ekspres he becomes an anti-PC populist, and when Nyborg goes after the Moderates in Season 3 the Ekspres starts running muck-raking headlines about what a bitch she is, suggesting that Laugesen ends up in bed with the Moderates.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Birgitte herself, and also Torben Friis (mostly).
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: In Episode 12, being assigned to the EU as a commissioner is described as this since it apparently has been used to get rid of politicians who were too troublesome on the homefront; the discussion provides the episode title, "In Brussels, No One Can Hear You Scream".
  • Right Behind Me: In the second episode, Birgitte is summoned to see the Queen of Denmark so she can be appointed "Royal Investigator" (which means she can start negotiating a coalition). There's a delay and Birgitte wonders how long the... certain word for a woman... is going to be, as a footman arrives to tell her that Her Majesty is ready.
  • Ruritania: One episode revolves around the visit of the president of the former Soviet republic of Turgisia.
  • The Ophelia: Nyborg's daughter Laura has a complete mental breakdown in Season 2. Her parents have to commit her to a sanitarium for therapy, something that gets weaponized against Birgitte.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Kasper gives one to Saltum in Episode 16, calling him a "political parasite".
    • In the second episode, Hanne Holm gives a particularly vocal one about Katrine's shallow understanding of journalism.
  • Rejected Apology: In the final season, Laugesen tries to apologise to Birgitte privately for his persecution of Laura when she was mentally ill, but Birgitte refuses to accept any apology unless it's in the paper as prominently as the original stories.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Hanne is sharp enough to catch on that Katrine is sexually involved with someone powerful. Unfortunately, she's too self-involved with her own sacking and assumes Katrine slept with the news editor.
  • Shown Their Work: Inverted in-universe. Nyborg usually relies on having hard facts to back up her arguments, but in season 3 she's preparing for a crucial TV debate and because she's distracted by, among other things, pre-cancerous cells that have been found in her breast which she hasn't told anyone else about, she fails to pay attention to an explanation of the tricky details of her party's economic policy. As a result, she flubs it and has a Critical Research Failure live on TV, which makes it easy for her opponents to paint her as someone who doesn't know what she's talking about. She doesn't make the same mistake twice.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Kind of in limbo between the two, actually. Becomes especially apparent in comparison with its highly idealistic American and incredibly cynical British counterparts. The show partly focuses on Nyborg's struggles to reach her goals and make her premiership a success without compromising her integrity. Bent slides towards idealism, while Kasper slides towards cynicism. With the latter, so does Amir, eventually.
  • Sorry That I'm Dying: So writes Jørgen Hedegård's son, serving in Afghanistan, in his last letter to his father.
  • Start My Own: Kruse refuses to let Birgitte back into the Moderate Party at the beginning of Season 3. She challenges him for Moderate Party leadership and fails. So she's left out in the political wilderness... until she decides to form her own new party.
  • Strawman News Media: In season 3, Alex Hjort, the Head of Programmes for TV1, persistently attempts to dumb-down the channel's news coverage in relentless pursuit of ratings, which wouldn't be so bad except that he seems to believe that there's no conflict between this and the station's reputation for 'integrity', and he treats the people who work under him as morons. Witness his Catchphrase: whenever people try to argue that he's wrecking the show and is acting like a Jerkass, he gets a call on his mobile, turns his back on his discontented employees, says to the person on the other end 'Oh, nothing, it's just a staff issue' and walks away. Eventually he goes too far, provokes a mutiny among the anchors, and gets fired.
  • Surprisingly Good English:
    • Many of the characters are fluent in English and use it frequently in conversations with non-Danes, Birgitte in particular. Made less surprising by the fact that 86% of Danes are actually fluent in English.
    • Perhaps even more unexpected is Birgitte's Surprisingly Good French during her phone conversations with the EU Commissioner.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: The credits contain a not-quite-standard disclaimer, declaring (paraphrased) "no similarity is intended or should be inferred to real persons or events after 1982".
  • Time Skip: A startling one between Seasons 2 and 3. Season 2 ends with a couple of big sequel hooks, namely Birgitte calling an election, and Kasper agreeing to have a child with Katrine. Season 3 skips forward 2 1/2 years to reveal that the election happened, Birgitte lost, and she is out of politics; and Kasper and Katrine got married, had their baby, and divorced.
  • Untranslated Title: Borgen means "The Castle" in Danish, but is often used as a slang expression for the government similar to "The Kremlin." DR marketed the series in English-speaking countries as Government, but the BBC decided to go with the untranslated original.
  • Viewers Are Morons: Invoked in Alex's attempts to reshape TV1's news broadcasts.
  • Violence Really Is the Answer: After speaking with representatives of Afghan non-governmental organisations, who thank her for her country's aid in fighting the Taliban and urge her to keep the troops on the ground until the Afghans are ready to fend for themselves, Nyborg begins to rethink her position on Denmark's presence in Afghanistan.
    Bent: I wanted the Taliban removed, yes, but through democratic means.
    Nyborg: How, Bent? How can you remove a dictatorship democratically?
  • Walk and Talk: Usually averted, but employed deliberately in the finale of series 2, to express the different style of running government while Thorsen is in charge.
  • The War Room: During the Somali hostage crisis.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Birgitte and her kids constantly, and Katrine and her son in the final season.
  • Wild Card: In the second debate, Birgitte reveals that her party will become this and refuse to declare anyone as their preferred candidate for Prime Minister.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Katrine and Kasper. By season 2 they finally get back together, between season 2 and 3 they have a child and get divorced, and by mid-season 3 they are finally Amicably Divorced.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: In Season 2, Nyborg, drunken and emotionally destitute, impulsively sleeps with her driver. When she wakes up the next morning and sees her clothes strewn on the floor, you can tell this is what she is asking herself in her head.
  • What If the Baby Is Like Me?: Kaspar's extreme unwillingness to have children, due to not wanting to continue the line of his abusive father, and/or fearing that he'll become abusive once he has a child.
  • Workaholic: Birgitte morphs into one of these over the course of the series. In her defence, she is the Prime Minister. Also Katrine, although not to the same extent.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Saltum tries this when he is mugged by hoodlums, using his ordeal to force the issue of enacting tougher penalties for juvenile offenders.
  • Wrong Name Outburst: Kasper calls Lotte "Katrine", right when they drink to moving in together.


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