Two characters on this page. The first character, and also the first batch of drawings, is a viking girl who I don’t think I’ve named yet. I believe she’s the result of me seeing How to Train your Dragon, or more specifically, after getting the Art Book of HTTYD.
I imagine that she could be the main character of a tv show, which takes place on a remote island in which Vikings and relatively normal fishing folk must coexist. The fishing folk provide resources for the Vikings, while the Vikings provide protection from outsiders and the beasts that roam the island. Despite this cooperation there is great segregation between Viking and Fisher-folk, a distinct divide between the two cultures on one tiny cramped island.
The main character is obviously raised to be a viking, where fighting prowess, strength, and overall dominance are the core values. However she finds herself drawn some of the aspects of the Fisher-folk culture that are unappreciated or frowned upon in Viking society, such as painting and dancing. She doesn’t share her culture’s passion for fighting and violence, and feels pressured by her warmongering mother to live up to the Viking name.
She beings to sneak over to the Fisher-folk side of the island and finds herself indulging in some of the decidedly ‘less’ viking-like activities there, and finds the freedom from the expectations of her Viking society very liberating. At the same time however she discovers that the Fisher-folk have their own set of expectations that she would have to adopt should she choose to remain with them. While the Viking society has little distinction between the roles of men and women, Fisher-folk society has a very clear delineation, one that requires she become the stereotypical housewife and homemaker.
While the main character does not endorse the aggressive nature of Viking society, she is just as dead set against becoming a passive, somewhat opressed member of Fisher-folk society.
I think the driving force of the show would be the main character attempting to maintain the balance between the two cultures. She does not feel as though she fully belongs in either society, but finds it impossible to exist in both. Her attempts to obey the rules and structures in one society makes her unable to fulfill the rules and structures in the other, which also causes her to act in ways that go against her own believes and desires.
I think it’d be interesting to see this dynamic played out in a show, but I wonder if it’d be a little complicated to pull off. One danger would certainly be giving the impression that one society is better than the other, which in the case of the Fisher-fold might give the impression that I would be suggesting that an old-fashioned society in which women are thought of as being passive and unequal to men is somehow correct. I want the main character to have aspects both worlds, she whole-heartedly believes in being able to assert herself and remain and equal to men, but at the same time sees nothing wrong with being able to indulge in activities that others would see as feminine and passive. Regardless of what society she feels closer to, in the end it’s the ability to choose who she is and what she wants to do with her life that the main character truly seeks.
Hopefully that all made sense, and was not just a huge convoluted mess. I still have to experiment with this character, her design is no where near done. To sum her up more succinctly, she’s a Viking who according to her culture is expected to be strong and ‘masculine’, but finds herself drawn to the more ‘feminine’ activities that exist in another culture, which if she chooses to indulge in, seemingly require her to give up her agency and become passive which she is dead set against.
I’ll have to post more about the second, completely unrelated character on the page tomorrow and end this post here before it becomes ungodly long instead of just immensely long.