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Useful Notes / Norway

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Ja, vi elsker dette landet...note 

"Norway was a kingdom. It shall become a people!"
Haakon Haakonson, The Pretenders by Henrik Ibsen

Norway (Norwegian Bokmål: Norge, Norwegian Nynorsk: Noreg, Southern Sami: Nöörje, Northern Sami: Norga, Lule Sami: Vuodna, Kven: Norja), officially known as the Kingdom of Norway (Norwegian Bokmål: Kongeriket Norge, Norwegian Nynorsk: Kongeriket Noreg, Southern Sami: Nöörjen gånkarïjhke, Northern Sami: Norgga gonagasriika, Lule Sami: Vuona gånågisrijkka, Kven: Norjan kuninkhaanvaltakunta), is a Northern European country, the westernmost state of Scandinavia, and the northernmost country fully located within Europe. Once one of the lands of The Viking Age, now the land of petroleum. And the Nobel Peace Prize. Norway is also the go-to place for tourists interested in fjords, the midnight sun, the aurora borealis, cartoon moose, troll figurines, mountains and fish. There are also actual live elks/moose and reindeer. In fact, the road signs that warn against crossing elks (triangular with a black elk silhouette on white background with a red border) often get stolen by foreign tourists that for some reason are fascinated by the animals.

Norwegians display striking amounts of mostly harmless nationalism, which likely grew from the fact that Norway during The Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period was always under the thumb of one of its Scandinavian neighbors. It began in 1380 when King Olaf II of Denmark also ascended the throne of Norway, and it was ratified in 1397 with the advent of the Kalmar Union, which united the vast majority of Scandinavia under the Danish crown. After Sweden broke away in 1523, officially ending the Kalmar Union, Norway would remain in a personal union under Denmark as a part of the realm Denmark-Norway until 1814.

As a consequence of allying with Napoleonic France, Denmark was forced to give up the entire territory of Norway in the aftermath of The Napoleonic Wars, signing a treaty with the victorious coalition that formally ceded Norway to Sweden. The Norwegians were not happy when they learned of the arrangement and thus tried to declare independence instead, drafting a constitution and installing a king of their own, Christian Frederick (who would later ascend to the Danish throne as Christian VIII), while also trying to garner enough international support to recognize their new country, but it never came to fruition. In the summer of 1814, the Swedish arrived to claim their new territory, but the Norwegians resisted. The two sides fought fiercely for two weeks before Sweden managed to convince the Norwegians to join a union voluntarily in exchange for greater autonomy to govern themselves within said union, which the Norwegians ultimately agreed to. Although the Swedes did acknowledge the Norwegian constitution as a part of the peace deal, they forced the recently crowned king to abdicate and renounce all claims to the Norwegian throne. Norway would finally achieve true independence as a constitutional monarchy in 1905, following a peaceful separation deal with Sweden, after which the Norwegians once again adopted a Danish prince as their king, Prince Carl, who was given a more Norwegian name and crowned King Haakon VII.

Following its independence, Norway pursued a policy of neutrality and managed to stay out of the First World War. However, despite maintaining its neutrality at the onset of World War II, Norway was forcibly plunged into the war when it was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1940. Though the Norwegian military fought fiercely in defense of the country with Allied help, the Norwegians ultimately lost after two months, which led to the country being occupied and the Norwegian royal family and government being forced into exile in London. Despite this, King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav were able to rally much of the Norwegian merchant fleet to the Allied cause, providing vital cargo capacity for the various convoys. In addition, several units of the Royal Norwegian Navy and Air Force managed to escape the occupation and fought as part of the Allied military forces. On the other hand, most of the Norwegian Army was captured following Norway's capitulation, with only a few managing to escape and join the Allies. Some of the soldiers who stayed behind would eventually escape captivity and go on to help form the Norwegian resistance movement. The occupation of Norway also saw the rise of the infamous Vidkun Quisling note , who led the collaborationist government that aided the Germans. The Norwegian people absolutely hated Quisling for his actions during the occupation, so much so that after the war, the Norwegian government reinstated the death penalty specifically to execute him.

Despite being a founding member of NATO, Norway turned down EEC/EU membership after two referendums, the first in 1972 and the second in 1994. In fact, the EU membership question is so divisive that none of the pro-membership parties actually dare to push for another referendum for fear of the turmoil it would bring. However, Norway still has EFTA membership, which means Norwegians can travel to any EU/EFTA/EEC member state for as long as they like, and vice versa. Norway is also (in)famous for being one of the only developed countries, along with Japan, not to have banned whaling.

The "Free Farmer" trope

The idea of the Free Farmers is old in Norway, and has arguably shaped the picture Norwegian have of themselves. The starting point for this is probably the Heimskringla of Snorri Sturluson, which clearly presents the type. Haakon the Good tried to present Christianity to the farmers assembled at the Trøndelag Thing at Frosta, but was rebuffed by the farmers, who actually threatened the king with withdrawal of support if he didn't give in. Haakon did. Truly a Moment of Awesome for the Norwegian farm culture, and referred to hundreds of years later. At the assembly at Eidsvold, the farmers present craved the rights given to them by Haakon the Good, and the assembly agreed. Thus, through constitutional agreement, the Norwegian farmers had greater property rights than any other farmers in Northern Europe.

The Norwegian farm culture was arguably the starting point for both patriotic movements and romantic nationalism later on. Because of the Danish rule, Norway was not exactly urbanized in 1814, and only slightly more in 1905. The Norwegian farm militia made the backbone of the Dano-Norwegian army during the union years, and has shown some examples of historical badassery. Thus, a militia of 500 armed farmers massacred a better equipped Scottish mercenary band in 1612, during the Kalmar war. Later, feuds with Sweden gave the "Norwegian farmer" just renown, not least in The Napoleonic Wars, when the mostly Norwegian army beat a Swedish invasion force. Twice.

Unlike their Danish counterparts, the Norwegian farmers had the right to bear arms, for the sake of hunting. Thus, they mustered time and again to local revolts when the taxes on behalf of the Danish king became too harsh. And when they did not rebel against authorities, or fought invading Swedes, they fought each other. During a span of 30 years, a local teacher documented several murders and fights done with knife (and sometimes also axes) in one single valley. And statistics tell it was just as bad in other parts of the country. No wonder both Danes and Swedes tended to see Norwegians as somewhat wild and barbaric. But the idea of the free farmer was cherished even in Denmark, where "the Norwegian" came to be compared to the noble savage.

From the trope mentioned, we also have the delicate balance between center and periphery, which has been central in Norwegian domestic policy for decades. People who live in one place will actually take great pains to stay there if they can, although mobility often is easy.

The current or actually "non-existing" EU dispute can also be said to owe some points to this fact.

The Language Struggle

National peculiarities include two different written versions of the language (one based on Danish, one based on various dialects), and, thanks to the oil industry, more money than it can spend (note that the government has been commended by various economists for being disciplined enough to refrain from spending the petroleum income irresponsibly, thus avoiding "Dutch disease"). The language struggle trope is actually in close connection to the "free farmer" as it is their language that was put into writing. And Norwegians have fought over the topic ever since...

The language struggle has arguably been the most popular topic for bickering in Norway. Norwegians talk much about weather, but there is a constant bickering on the subject of correct grammar, to the point that "correct Norwegian grammar" hardly exists. The result is that a lot of "personal" writing standards can be found, as well as a strong will to preserve the existing dialects, who again is debated on correctness up to eleven. All in all: Norway is a peaceful country, but this quarrel has made people take to the streets more than once, and at least one prime minister had to resign because of the matter.

The Serfdom Syndrome

Another trope to be seen as "especially Norwegian" (a phrase that is more of a meme than a trope in the Norwegian language), is what can be described as "serfdom syndrome". Though Norway is one of the richest countries in the world by far, with a stable government and political system, and rated to be one of the best societies in the world by the UN, Norwegians still feel inferior. This is the "serfdom syndrome". The syndrome was probably developed during the Union times, when all decisions were made elsewhere (in Denmark), and repression was more of a rule in the country at large. When finally gaining independence, the syndrome persisted in a self-awareness that goes two ways: either Norway is never good enough, or Norway should by all costs not think they are. The trope is mostly to be found in the political elite, in what may be considered a reverse kind of national chauvinism. It Makes Sense in Context. Actually.

Some unusual cultural exports of recent years include music in the genre known as Black Metal, the novel Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder which became remarkably popular worldwide (published in 54 langugages and more than 30 million copies sold) and crime novels by authors like Karin Fossum translated into several languages as part of the vogue for Scandinavian detective fiction.

Famous Norwegians:

  • Probably the most famous Norwegian internationally is the realist/modernist playwright Henrik Ibsen.
  • Henrik Wergeland, poet. Known abroad for his engagement in Jewish cause, as the Norwegian constitution at the time, though liberal, denied all Jews access to the country. Wergeland's intervention changed this. A hero for Norwegian leftists.
  • Roald Amundsen, polar explorer best known for leading the first expedition to reach the South Pole back in 1911, beating the doomed Captain Scott.
  • Fridtjof Nansen, polar explorer, biologist, oceanographer and diplomat. Travelled throughout the Arctic, including a failed attempt to reach the North Pole on skis in 1896. Later in life engaged in humanitarian work, like facilitating the Greek/Turkish population exchange, providing aid to Armenian refugees in the aftermath of The Armenian Genocide, and providing relief during famine caused by the Russian Civil War.
  • Thor Heyerdahl, archeologist and ethnologist. Best known for the 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition, where he and five others crossed the South Pacific from Peru to the Tuamotu Archipelago in a flimsy balsa raft in order to prove that it was possible for the South Pacific islands to have been originally populated by South American natives travelling in such a fashion. Apparently considered a hero by fans of Tiki culture. His adventure was made into the 1951 documentary film, Kon-Tiki.
  • Edvard Grieg, one of the Golden Age's most prominent composers, drawing his inspiration from Norwegian folk music - eventually he earnt himself the Fan Nickname "Chopin of the North". Some of his most famous pieces included Hall of the Mountain King, Morning Mood and his Piano Concerto (which is notable for British viewers due to a famous Morecambe and Wise Christmas sketch).
  • Knut Hamsun: Neo-romantic novelist, the only Norwegian author besides Ibsen to achieve lasting international renown. Despised in his native country for supporting National Socialism during WWII and still a controversial figure because of this. 2009 sees the 150th anniversary of his birth, and this has been celebrated in various fashions in several countries. Ernest Hemingway supposedly once said that Hamsun taught him to write.
  • Vidkun Quisling, fascist politician whose name became a byword for traitor. Had negligible support before the war, and during the occupation even the Germans were apathetic to him at first and only let him form a puppet government in 1942. Executed for treason after the war.
  • Varg Vikernes, aka Count Grishnack, the infamous neo-Nazi black metaller who served a prison sentence for stabbing another infamous black metaller to death. He and his pals, in addition to already-existing Germanic mythos, are responsible for Norway's reputation in metalhead society as some kind of Grim Up North metal heaven where setting churches on fire is still a fair game.
  • The British author Roald Dahl was born to Norwegian parents. Norway features in some of his books (such as The Witches) and he also wrote fondly about visiting the country in his autobiography.
  • Sigrid Undset, Nobel Prize laureate for literature; her best known novel being Kristin Lavransdatter.
  • The members of pop group a-ha.
  • Pop singer/songwriter AURORA and the members of her band.
  • Ylvis, of the viral song "What Does The Fox Say?".
  • Alan Walker, known for several Electronic Music hits.
  • Erling Haaland, rising football/soccer superstar with Manchester City and Norway.
  • Karsten Warholm, current world record holder in the 400m hurdles, and the first man to break the 46-second barrier in the event.

Regional stereotypes

Norway has at least four distinct regions, Northern Norway, Western Norway, Eastern Norway, "the south" and Trøndelag, often set apart from most of the country at large. Inside those regions, there are even more complex distinctions, but let us, for convenience, discuss the regional tropes:

  • The West, described by Henrik Wergeland as a horse, sure to walk in steep mountainside, but "somewhat wild" in nature. The feeling of equality is strongest here, and the population is arguably known for survival-skills, and being the part of the country least interested in centralization. A movement for an "independent west" is sometimes joked about, and the largest city, Bergen, even states that they are "not from Norway, but from Bergen". Nynorsk is largely the most used in the area. Iceland is mostly populated from western Norway, and most of the Vikings also originated here, because of the natural contact with the North Sea.

  • The North, arguably the region with the strongest regional identity, prone to produce singers and authors who emphasize their regional independence. Also the region with the greatest brain drain, with people in the capital at times handling northerners no better than Africans. Lots of internal strife and quarrel, and intense anger over southern interfering. Also known for Viking inheritance and iron age building sites. Sami People live in the north of the north, and there is an uneasy truce between Norwegians and Sami in the area, with some racism involved. While an independence movement was joked about in the west, Northern Norway actually wanted to push through with it, having created a political party.

  • Trøndelag, also named "middle" or "central" Norway (Midt-Norge), positioned straight between north and south. Strong self-esteem, and could easily have been the starting point for Norwegian unification. Known for stubborn behaviour. Associated with farming, and animal husbandry. The capital of the region, Trondheim, is one of the most important cities in Norwegian history, and features a large cathedral, called "Nidarosdomen" ("The Dome of the Estuary of the river Nidar"), that was the seat of the Norwegian archbishopric during medieval times. It's also traditionally been the resting place of Norway's medieval Saint-King, Olav the Holy. In modern times, the Norwegian Army is sometimes associated with the regional accent, with what is often held to be an disproportionately large number of officers (especially NCOs) coming from the region - it is also one of the more commonly parodied accents in the country, partly for its palatalization, apocope and vowel-harmony, all of which make it quite distinct, although still fairly easy to understand for the audience. The archetypal (male) Trønder (a person from Trøndelag) is often portrayed with a leather-vest and a prominent (Trønder-)mustache, usually for humourous purposes and in good fun.

  • The East, also known as "East-of-the-Mountains" ("Østafjells", although this term actually encompasses parts of The South as well). It is in many ways split between the more urban Greater Oslo Area, around the national capital, and the wider, Eastern areas, traditionally populated by farmers and woodmen, known for a somewhat "slow" approach to things, with a strong sense of local identity, and a history of disputes with the Swedes. This area is historically also the most socially divided of all the Norwegian districts at large. While the farmers in the west tended to live out the principle of equality, oppression was common between the social layers in the east. This was due to the "serfdom contracts", that led to brutal exploitation of the "lower" farmers and outcasts from poorer areas. Consequently, the most radical elements tend to come from this part of Norway, and the working class literature was especially strong here. Most of the workers moving into Oslo came from the lower social layers in this rural area.

    • The Greater Oslo area represents a significant portion of the country's population (about 20% live in the urban area) but this development is somewhat recent; most of the inhabitants of Oslo were not born there. It is also the area with the largest groups of immigrants. In certain school districts of Oslo, immigrants are the majority. Oslo itself is stereotypically split between the "posh" or upper class west, and the working class, or lower class east. This stereotype is supported by sociological data, and can create a sense of pride, or even shame from belonging to the various parts of the city. People coming from Oslo might tend to actually forget that Norway is somewhat bigger than the capital, resulting in the "Oslo is Norway" meme, and an inborn arrogance to boot. That this part of Norway is "central" is, of course, disputed by everybody else who do not actually live there.

  • The South, also called Agder, after a historical pre-Norwegian petty kingdom in the area. Known for a strict religious tendency, a historical focus on piousness, especially in the south-west. The region encompasses much of what is known as the Bible Belt (similar to the U.S. one), along with parts of The West. Known for somewhat patient behaviour, and stereotypical aversion to direct conflicts. The stereotype is sometimes defined as it being impossible to get a Southerner to completely disagree with you, but impossible to make him completely agree with you as well. This is sometimes held in contrast with the more direct and confrontational speech of Northerners. The region has historically been associated with maritime activities, like fishing and warfts, especially the export of timber to the British Isles, which, during the Age of Sail, made the region very wealthy. The regional accent is noted for being the one most influenced by Danish due to its close proximity to Denmark (just across the Skagerrak strait), but as with anywhere in Norway, regional accents and dialects are highly varied even over small distances. It is currently split between two counties (West- and East-Agder), with the two county capitals having an intense rivalry. Although the capital in West-Agder is significantly larger, it is however, much younger. The inland municipalities located in the heaths and valleys are in many ways regarded as disconnected from this conflict, and represent their own stock, with accents that can be very hard to understand for anyone not from there - some of which preserve grammatical elements from older versions of Norwegian that are now gone everywhere else. It is the smallest region in both population and size, as well as being the one to be defined in particular last. Because of the strong religious tendencies, be sure to find a priest using a southern dialect or accent as a Norwegian Stock Character. Reverend Timms of Postman Pat renown was dubbed like a southerner in Norway, to underline this point.

  • The Mountains are known for a somewhat quarrelsome stock, in earlier times known for constant bickering and fighting. A couple of hundred years ago the most Ax-Crazy people often came from these areas. Telemark county still proudly presents an axe on their coat of arms, while the true badassery seems to come from Gudbrandsdalen, where local farmers singlehandedly beat an army of Scottish mercenaries in 1612, and still boast of it. And if that is not enough, the entire army was massacred afterwards.
    • Telemark should be mentioned for another trait. In late medieval times and early modern times, the people here actually kept their own records of every dispute and feud that went on between different farms and clans. The result is that the number of fights and murders written down are higher here than in other places. And the axe in their county coat of arms is a battleaxe.

Some notes on culture

There is something called "Norwegian culture", though nobody native to Norway knows exactly how to define it. Not even the Norwegian Ministry of Culture. There are even some who actually claim that Norway has no culture of its own, and that everything is imported. The debate in question is of course related to the Norwegian Serfdom Syndrome mentioned above.

To be precise, or to confuse even more, there are a number of "partial cultures", immigrant cultures aside. The different sets of thinking are of course mirrored in the many regional stereotypes, but mostly in the folk culture niche. Norwegians are, as a rule, terribly proud of their rural culture, and their national costumes are more diverse than in most countries. Although one can present "the west" as a unit, the same area consists of four counties, each with several distinct dialects, and at least as many different rural ways of traditional dressing. And considering there are 19 counties in Norway, the number of differences are immense. And that is just the costumes. In some areas, differences were found almost from farm to farm (a Telemark joke states that the border line between "western" and "eastern" dialectal mode goes exactly through the middle of a bed used by a married couple in the valley of Flatdal, Seljord municipality).

The music and folk dances differ and vary even more. There are at least twelve different ways of dancing the most prominent folk dance, and the sheer amount of fiddle traditions can make your head spin. The Hardanger fiddle area, not covering more than an estimated third of southern Norway, has a collected record of tunes published in seven volumes, and the editing of this music to print took 30 years! Even so, the editors was not able to cover it all. As mentioned, Norwegians take pains to cherish their folk music and their fiddle traditions, both on regular and Hardanger fiddle. And one should consider the differences in traditional outcome when also considering the total of Norway's population: less than 5 million people, and the most sparsely populated country in Scandinavia (except for Iceland) is Finnmark, with 1,5 people per square km. That's what a number of narrow valleys do to people: they tend to do things differently. And of course, Norwegian folk musicians don't agree on anything. But they are as a rule pretty good at what they do.

Of course, Norway has produced a number of authors, playwrights, actors, composers, artists and painters, and has a film industry of its own. There is a lot to be said of "Norwegian film" as a deconstructed meme. Norway has also a number of cartoonists, with the Pondus series as the best known and most successful one. In this respect, Norway has a culture like every other nation. But Norwegian bickering makes it very hard to define it.

Norwegian bands and musicians

Norwegian video game developers

Norwegian comic strips and comic books

Norway in fiction

  • Red Storm Rising has brief mentions of the Norwegian Air Force being virtually annihilated during the first week of the war and the subsequent occupation of Norwegian territory as far west as Andoya. A Norwegian submarine manages to sink the Soviet Northern Fleet flagship Kirov.
  • A short story by Iain M. Banks set in the Culture universe: members of the Culture visit Earth during The '70s, one of them visits Oslo and walks around the Frogner sculpture park. In Real Life, this is a park full of bronze and stone sculptures by the artist Gustav Vigeland depicting anatomically correct naked people of various ages and statures. Supposedly, all the naked bodies are often disturbing to tourists from more puritanical countries.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Norway was the particular point of pride of a planet sculptor.
    "Lovely crinkly bits down the edge! I won an award for that, you know."
  • In the The X-Files episode "Dod Kalm"note , Mulder and Scully visit the most heavily populated tourist spot in Northern Scandinavia and solve the mystery of why nobody dares to go there.
  • The first two Clock Tower games take place in Norway, the first near Romsdaaren (it should actually be Romsdalen) and the second in Oslo.
  • The country is personified as a Deadpan Snarker and a bit of a Tsundere in Hetalia: Axis Powers.
  • The country is the Straight Man/Straight Gay voice of reason (sometimes) in the webcomic Scandinavia and the World.
  • Norwegians are a rarity in Beat 'em Up and Fighting Games, despite the “world warrior” set up of many notable series. An exception is Soulcalibur VI, which has Grøh, a young warrior who (despite the erroneous “h” at the end of his name) is the series’ first ever Norwegian (and Scandinavian, in fact) character.
  • Figures off-stage in Hamlet and Macbeth.
  • In Metalocalypse, death metal band Dethklok's rhythm guitarist Toki Wartooth is Norwegian. The band visits Norway in the episode "Dethdad".
  • Frozen takes place in the fictional kingdom of Arendelle, which Word of God says is based on Norway. This is further established by Olaf's Frozen Adventure, when Olaf crosses paths with a baker making a gingerbread cookie shaped like Norway.
  • The 13th century Heimskringla, a.k.a. Chronicle of the Kings of Norway, by Snorri Sturluson. Everything you ever wanted to know about the medieval kings of Norway from 872 to 1177 AD.
  • Kristin Lavransdatter, Sigrid Undset's historical fiction trilogy about the life of a woman in medieval Norway.
  • Most of the 3rd book of Phenomena takes place in Norway.
  • In the JAG episode "Silent Service", Harm and Mac are sent to investigate the surfacing of a U.S. submarine in the middle of a sailing regatta off the Norwegian coast.
  • Fortitude is set in the titular fictional communtity located on Svalbard in Arctic Norway.
  • In Wargame: AirLand Battle Norway is a faction available in NATO.
  • Halvgudene starts of in Norway, and they go back there for a short while in the 2nd book.
  • Kire takes place in the small Norwegian village of Sirdal.
  • In Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, one of GDI's most powerful bases is located at Hammerfest in northern Norway. Hammerfest Base plays a pivotal role in both the GDI and Nod campaigns.
  • God of War (PS4) and God of War Ragnarök shift the series' setting to Norway, focusing on Norse mythology as opposed to the previous games' Greek.
  • The first Medal of Honor has two missions set here.
  • Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines has its first seven missions take place in Norway from 1940-1942, with the eponymous Allied commandos sabotaging German bases in the country.
  • My Child Lebensborn is specifically about the fate of Norwegian Lebensborn children after the end of World War II, resulting the backdrop reflecting the state of the country during that time period.
  • The James Bond film No Time to Die: Mr. White had a house in Norway where he was hiding his French wife and their daughter, Madeleine Swann. Safin came there and killed the mother. Years later, Madeleine went there to live with her daughter Mathilde (who was fathered by Bond). A major action scene of the film happens there too. The popular local children's puppet show character Fantorangen is also featured on TV in one scene.
  • Battlefield V has the Nordlys campaign set here.
  • Daikatana has a set of levels in medieval Norway during the Black Plague.
  • Vigor takes place in an alternate universe version of Norway in the 90s after global nuclear war has rendered most of the rest of the world uninhabitable. Players control "outlanders" that venture forth into the irradiated wilds in search of scavenged resources to build up their shelter with and hopefully survive the harsh new world they've found themselves in without getting killed by other hostile survivors.

Notable Norwegian Films:

  • Cold Prey (Fritt Vilt) is Slasher/horror film, set in the mountains of Jotunheimen.
  • Dead Snow (Død Snø), commonly known as "Norwegian Nazi Zombies", also set in the mountains.
  • Elling (2001) is a film about a man trying to overcome his social anxiety, based on the novel Brødre i blodet (Blood brothers, translated in English as Beyond the Great Indoors) by Ingvar Ambjørnsen. It was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film.
  • Pinchcliffe Grand Prix (Flåklypa Grand Prix), traditionally shown every year before Christmas, is a puppet film by Ivo Caprino that centers around the quiet life of Theodor Rimspoke, Ludwig and Sunny Ducksworth getting into a race with Theodor's former student turned racing champion, sponsored by an Arab Oil Sheikh. It's popular enough that it has sold more tickets within Norway than the entire Norwegian population.
  • The Troll Hunter (Trolljegeren): 2010 mockumentary about Norway's hushed-up troll problem and the specialist hired by the government to solve it.
  • Humorously given here, by the Norwegian Broadcasting corporation, presented by none other than John Cleese!

See also:

The Norwegian flag
The flag takes the Dannebrog design (a cross whose vertical axis is aligned towards the hoist). Red and white recall Norway's political union with Denmark (1521-1814), while the blue to that with Sweden (1814-1905).

Coat of arms of Norway
The coat of arms depicts a standing golden lion on a red background, bearing a golden crown and axe with silver blade. It is has its origins during the 13th century.

The Norwegian national anthem
Ja, vi elsker dette landet,
som det stiger frem,
furet, værbitt over vannet,
med de tusen hjem, —
elsker, elsker det og tenker
på vår far og mor
og den saganatt som senker
drømmer på vår jord.

Og den saganatt som senker
drømmer på vår jord.

Norske mann i hus og hytte,
takk din store Gud!
Landet ville han beskytte,
skjønt det mørkt så ut.
Alt, hva fedrene har kjempet,
mødrene har grett,
har den Herre stille lempet,
så vi vant vår rett.

Har den Herre stille lempet,
så vi vant vår rett.

Ja, vi elsker dette landet,
som det stiger frem,
furet, værbitt over vannet,
med de tusen hjem.
Og som fedres kamp har hevet
det av nød til seir,
også vi, når det blir krevet,
for dets fred slår leir.

Også vi, når det blir krevet,
for dets fred slår leir.

Yes, we love this country
as it rises forth,
rugged, weathered, over the water,
with the thousands of homes, —
love, love it and think
of our father and mother
and the saga-night that lays
dreams upon our earth.
And the saga-night that lays
dreams upon our earth.

Norwegian man in house and cabin,
thank your great God!
The country he wanted to protect,
although things looked dark.
All the fights fathers have fought,
and the mothers have wept,
the Lord has quietly moved
so we won our rights.

The Lord has quietly moved
so we won our rights.

Yes, we love this country
as it rises forth,
rugged, weathered, above the sea,
with those thousand homes.
And as the fathers' struggle has raised
it from need to victory,
even we, when it is demanded,
for its peace will encamp (for defense).

Even we, when it is demanded,
for its peace will encamp (for defense).

  • Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
    • Monarch: Harald V
    • Prime Minister: Jonas Gahr Støre
    • President of the Storting: Masud Gharahkhani
    • Chief Justice: Toril Marie Øie

Because of Norway's multi-party system, while the Labour Party is technically in charge of the country, they only have a minority of seats in the Storting. In order to maintain power, they require support from several smaller parties. If enough minor parties withdraw their support (like the Christian Party almost did), the Conservatives would lose power.

  • Capital and largest city: Oslo
  • Population: 5,391,369
  • Area: 385,207 km
(148,729 sq mi) (61st)
  • Currency: Norwegian krone (kr) (NOK)
  • ISO-3166-1 Code: NO
  • Country calling code: 47
  • Highest point: Galdhøpiggen (2469 m/8,100 ft) (96th)
  • Lowest point: Norwegian Sea (3,970 m/13,020 ft) (-)