I bought this wooden Viking doll at the Roanoke Antique Mall as a gift for my sister. You know how sometimes you buy something because you really like it, so you rack your mind for someone to give it to, since it's easier to justify the purchase if it's a gift? This was one of those. My sister was the candidate most likely to appreciate the character of him. I wouldn't say she didn't like him, but I don't think she was particularly moved by him, either. Sometimes a random gift really is too random, and he never really found a place in her room. He sat on a cabinet in the hall, unnoticed, for over a year.

Eventually I stole him back. I don't know if she ever cared or noticed, or if I am now outing myself as a gift thief, but I've enjoyed him a lot over the years. He usually sits on my desk near my computer, though he's moved around a bit in our new apartment. I still have a lot of nest feathering to do here. I didn't know much about the history of him until just now as I sat down to write this. It didn't take much searching to find out he's probably Danish, and probably from the 50s or 60s. These little Vikings were quite popular, it seems. They're not hard to come by online. It's not quite a toy, but a midcentury modern figurine, styled to resemble the wooden creations of designers Hans Bolling and Kay Bojesen. Having now looked them up, I recognize many of their pieces. A lot of what I own says 70s to me, but most of it is actually earlier, I just don't know much about design. The more research I do, the more I find that a lot of what I like is either midcentury, midcentury modern, Scandinavian, or all of the above. I'll pin that on my mother's side of the family being about 9000% Finnish.

His hat was a very strange promotional addition to the cap of a bottle of Purex laundry detergent we picked up around Christmastime in 2015. It happened to fit over his helmet, and it made him look like a funny, little hipster cosplayer, so we left it on.