Quest's World of Wonder

How would you look as a Viking? Jim Lyngvild has some ideas

Cai Pigliucci, CNNUpdated 15th November 2021
(CNN) — If you've seen Vikings depicted on TV, you'd be forgiven for picturing them with unkempt beards, wearing helmets with horns and ready for battle. But Danish photographer, designer and Viking descendent Jim Lyngvild wants to give them more depth.
"We don't know exactly what Vikings look like," said Lynvild. "So you have to imagine."
Lyngvild's imagination has taken him to photographing people dressed as historical and mythological Vikings out in nature, with brightly colored clothes or long flowing hair.
He dreams up an image that he would like to see as a photograph and sews the costumes himself, often with antique fabrics bought on his travels to India. Then he puts out a message on Facebook and Instagram to his web of nearly 300,000 followers, scouting for the perfect model.
"Always choose natural models, and never go to model agencies," he said. "I need to have something personal and authentic. And I always find that online."
Photographer Jim Lyngvild (right, in white) works with models during a photoshoot featuring Richard Quest (left).
Photographer Jim Lyngvild (right, in white) works with models during a photoshoot featuring Richard Quest (left).
Beau Molloy/CNN
Lyngvild says he is the 29th great-grandson of Harald Bluetooth, a Viking king of Denmark and Norway who brought Christianity to the Danes. (Modern-day Bluetooth devices are named after Harald, who was known for his ability to connect people.) And while it is common for people in Denmark to descend from Vikings, Lyngvild takes his ancestry a step further -- he also identifies as a Viking.
"For me, it's only about being able to honor my ancestors, for my sake, and for their sake," Lyngvild said. "Honor your ancestors, because they are everything -- they created you. And in my case, it's the Vikings."
Look through the gallery above to explore Lyngvild's Viking world -- including his recent photoshoot with CNN anchor Richard Quest.