One of the ideas that fascinates me most as an author are the symbols we use throughout history.
For example, the cover of the latest issue of the Jötunn War is a pastiche of a well known WWI poster. We have subverted the Army Air Service American Eagle and added in a raven, very much a Norse symbol.
Because the whole premise of the Vikingverse is that the Norse never Christianised – and in my alternate history, even conquered Rome – it is the Raven banner and not the eagle that flutters proudly across the Norse Empire. Same idea, different reality!
You might wonder why artists and propagandists were so keen on the eagles in the first place….
The bald eagle was chosen June 20, 1782 as the emblem of the United States of America, because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks, and also because it was then believed to exist only on the American continent. But the eagle as a heraldic device goes further back. The Reichsadler (German “Imperial Eagle”, also featured in the original) is derived from the Roman eagle standard, used by the Holy Roman Emperors and in modern coats of arms of Germany, including those of the Second German Empire (1871–1918) and the Third Reich (Nazi Germany, 1933–1945).
It was meant to embody the reference to the Roman tradition similar to the double-headed eagle used by the Palaiologi emperors of the Byzantine Empire or the tsars of Russia. It’s all about power and legitimacy.
But we all know history is rewritten by the victors, and in my setting that means Vikings! So, go and tell people to buy up War Bonds/make a Kickstarter pledge.
The Empire needs YOU!
Ian Stuart Sharpe