10 Reasons Why I'm Perfectly Okay With TV's Recent Scandinavian Invasion

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10 Reasons Why I'm Perfectly Okay With TV's Recent Scandinavian Invasion

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | July 3, 2013 | Comments ()


One could, if one wanted, say I'm using the word "Scandinavian" creatively. Expansively. One might even say "inaccurately." Oh yes, there are some Germans and Netherlanders on this list. But try not to get too upset, you Swedes, Finns and Danes. I accept all of you as my icey-eyed, blonde overlords. There's definitely been an upswing in muddy vowel sounds and stoic, Northern European good looks on our TV sets recently. And I'm all for it. So put on your shades, folks, because it's about to get very, blindingly white in here.

Rutger Hauer -- "True Blood" (Dutch)

Carice van Houten -- "Game Of Thrones" (Dutch)

Alexander Skarsgård -- "True Blood" (Swedish)

Diane Kruger -- "The Bridge" (German)

Mads Mikkelsen -- "Hannibal" (Danish)

Joel Kinnaman -- "The Killing" (Swedish)

Nikolaj Coster Waldau -- "Game Of Thrones" (Danish)

Famke Janssen -- "Hemlock Grove" (Dutch)
Screen Shot 2013-07-03 at 8.54.57 AM.png

Malin Åkerman -- "Suburgatory" (Swedish-Canadian)
Screen Shot 2013-07-03 at 8.57.59 AM.png

Franka Potente -- "Copper" (German)

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Nadine

    mmmm. Yes. This is good.

  • BlackRabbit

    MAGNUS VER MAGNUSSON! It has 99% of nothing to do with this list, I just felt like proclaiming it.

  • Ok, everyone's going to dogpile on the loose usage of "Scandinavian", but no one's going to mention the fact that most of the "icey-eyed, blonde overlords" are brunettes? Still...relax people. It's a thin veneer of an excuse for a list of photos of hot ppls. Pedantry doesn't contribute to your enjoyment.

  • duckandcover

    Get Malin Akerman (seriously, are we going to forgive so easily Watchmen, Couples Retreat, The Proposal, Rock of Ages, 27 Dresses, and The Heartbreak Kid, not to mention countless others?) out of this and only then, MY BODY IS READY.

    Also, I've always loved TK's Valhalla Rising review regarding Mads: "Here’s a few interesting facts about Valhalla Rising star Mads Mikkelsen. He’s one of the most successful actors in Danish history. He’s routinely voted in numerous women’s magazines as the “Sexiest Man in Denmark.” He’s a former professional dancer. He’s been knighted by the Queen of Denmark. I tell you all of these things because they seem so very at odds with the Mads Mikkelsen that Americans know — Le Chiffre in Casino Royale, the stoic but deadly knight in Anton Fuqua’s misguided King Arthur. And now, the somber, noble-yet-menacing lead in Valhalla Rising."

    I'm so glad he's finally getting a wider audience.

  • Snrub

    How the eff can you include god-awful Malin Ackerman but ignore Gustaf Skarsgard?! (ASkars baby bro & the fabulous Floki from Vikings)

  • Alberto Cox Délano

    No Alicia Vikander? Pajiba, you out of all websites?

  • foca9

    No Norwegians here, but hey, Scandinavia mentioned positively in an American/international way, I'm all for it. We take what we can get. And I feel proud on their behalf whenever a Swede or Dane is doing it well—we're not that far off. It was cool when Alexander Skarsgård spoke Swedish on ‘True Blood’, for example.

    As other people have said, Scandinavia is Denmark, Sweden and Norway. To drag in Finland, Nordic is a better term. With these Dutch and German people, you could've called it Germanic, perhaps? These countries' languages are all Germanic (remove Finnish, add English).

    Oh, we (Norway) have Kristofer Hivju and his magnificent beard as Tormund Giantsbane, at least. And he's in ‘After Earth’ too :)

  • duckandcover

    All this.

  • lamaga_hyun

    You should just call this list White People.

  • duckandcover

    I'm Mexican and European (a mix of German, Polish, and Norwegian). I'm as pale as milk, easily sunburnt, with dark hair. It really does come with the territory, as Fabius says.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    You know, one of the features of Northern and Middle Europe is that there are relatively few darker skinned people living here. It comes, as they say, with the territory.

    Even fewer of them are actors, and almost none of them are getting jobs in the US.

    But you could make some suggestions.

  • kirbyjay

    Good Lord, Rutger Hauer got into Johnny Depp's crackle paint.

    Under the left eye, third line to the right. think I found Jimmy Hoffa.

  • e jerry powell

    I could use quite a bit of broadly-interpreted Scandinavian invasion myself. Claim my ass for King Carl XVI Gustaf, dammit.

  • Jaime Lannister has the sexiest nose.

    This is the kind of stuff Pajiba makes me say.

  • duckandcover

    I can't look at him for too long or time will suddenly fly by as I admire THAT SWEET, SWEET DANE.

  • annie

    Nikolaj is one of those actors I've always been aware of but never knew for sure if he was actually talented or not because he's just so damn good-looking.

  • He's very good in New Amsterdam.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Diane Heidkrüger doesn't belong on this list. She's a talentless hack.

  • Slash

    Northern European? Whatever, they're cool by me.

    Americans ... they don't know the names of most of the shit that exists outside our borders. Hell, a lot of them don't know the names of anything outside their own state. Many of us are parochial that way.

  • BWeaves

    Overheard at work:

    Co-irker 1: Where are you from?
    Co-irker 2: Iowa.
    Co-irker 1: We pronounce it Ohio here.

  • Pat

    A For Your Consideration post for Mads Mikkelsen, please.

  • Maguita NYC

    He better be considered this year, if not...



    I'll Smolderholder everyone to death!

  • Gabs

    It's got Famke and Franka. Geography aside, this list cannot be wrong.

  • John W

    Velkommen, valkommen, welkom, willkommen.

  • Im Cabaret, au Cabaret, to Cabaret

  • emmalita

    Speaking of fake Scandanavians, I'm watching the British Wallander, and Maester Luwin shows up as a Swedish farmer. And we have The Hiddleston as an up and coming Swedish cop.

  • alwaysanswerb

    ASkars normally doesn't do it for me, but that pic did gift me an unwholesome tingle

  • RilesSD

    "The Unwholesome Tingles"

    Name of my new band.

  • Sirilicious

    Mislabeled scandinavian aside, bonuspoints for the use of 'netherlanders'.

    (Guess my nationality)

  • Zirza

    Came here to say just that.

    It's "the Netherlands", people, not "Holland", so well done Pajiba.

    (En fijn om te weten dat ik niet de enige Nederlander ben hier)

  • Sirilicious


    I'd like a post with a poll for nationalities and everybody telling theirs in the comments. I'm really curious about how international the Pajibans really are and it's always fun to match real life data to the image of commenters in your head.

  • BWeaves


  • Sirilicious


  • Jerce

    I believe the proper descriptive for denizens of the far north of Europe is "Scandahoovian."

    And klingonfree and Mrs Julien's argument has me thinking about Baskin-Robbins. If they don't stop arguing soon I'm going to have to sneak out of the office and find a Baskin-Robbins.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Oh god, the horror of Mrs Julien and klingonfree arguing.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Wait til she sees what said about Neil Young on the Not a Princess post.

  • NoPantsMcLane

    What did you get on your geography tests in school, Joanna?

  • JoannaRobinson

    I don't know. THEY WOULDN'T LET ME USE GIFS.

  • Maguita NYC

    But... We studied TORRENTS in geography!

  • theotherone

    Maybe because they are all white and you can never have too many white people on TV.

    Good forbid you'd give TV jobs to minorities.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Joel Kinnamsn grows on you... his eyes.

    Also... Roy Batty deserves better than that high def photo.

  • Sirilicious

    It is glorious! Old, weathered, grooved, you name it, he wears it with grace. I don't want him in a softporn-haze and please no rourke-type 'enhancements'.

  • I happen to think Rutger Hauer is one of the most beautiful human beings in the history of humans being beautiful. He's got this ethereal, Greek god thing going on. He wouldn't look out of place in a renaissance gallery as a marble statue. And I'm pretty sure the wrinkles add, not detract, from the overall aesthetic.

  • Kala

    I'm right there with you. That photo is sensational.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I'm not sure I agree. Hi res shows pores where there aren't any. Wrinkles are lovely, death valley not so much.

  • Sirilicious

    Hah, i am ambivalent about it. I love this pic, but i have no interest in hi def tv because i indeed don't need to see the actor's pimples or be able to count their nose hairs. Hi def does not create pores (or pimples or nose hairs) where there aren't any, though.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I was being a bit facetious... but seriously, do we need to see nose hairs or the raspberry seed in an actor's back tooth? I don't think so.

  • Sirilicious


  • bonnie

    German and Dutch does not a Scandinavian make. That said, this is a very, very attractive list.

  • Rocabarra

    This list is exactly why I love Pajiba, and I sincerely appreciate that it includes not one but two Nikolaj Coster Waldau photos. He's like a Lays chip, so good you can't have just one.

  • Mrs. Julien

    And now I'm picturing Mark Messier. This day just keeps getting better. I don't even mind the impending piranhicane.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Don't you mean MOOSEUNAMI?!

  • Jerce



  • KV

    Could you not find a more flattering photo of Franka Potente?

  • JoannaRobinson

    I was trying to find one that was quite recent and, um, time has been a little, uh, rough on our Lola. I still think she is DEAD sexy, but that image below is not exactly, er, accurate. Now.

  • I thought she looked comely in the one you chose. She's never been 'flawless perfection', but more of a sneaky beautiful.

  • Guest
  • Fabius_Maximus

    The hell I'm not logged in!

  • Sara_Tonin00

    now we just need to get Viggo on TV on a regular basis...

  • Maguita NYC

    Oups, was too fast with my Viggo outrage. Posted pic above.

  • Mrs. Julien

    The line of beard hair along his bottom lip just slays me.

    I realise that is a very specific thing to be slain by.

  • Maguita NYC

    That is exactly why I tremble and sigh for this version of Viggo, and not the clean-shaven one.

    And here's your 5$.

  • $27019454

    Trembin and sighin, baby.

    Tremblin and sighin.

  • $27019454

    ...and all was well in the world. Thanks!

  • Less Lee Moore

    Oh Mads. Sigh. But wait, no Noomi Rapace? This is a MAJOR oversight. Come on.

  • Sirilicious

    Both Viggo and Noomi do not fit the TV criterium.

    Noone contends their hotness. :o)

  • Maguita NYC

    Duh! *Palm to forehead.

    You're right! Missed the TV part... And I just now understood Sara_Tonin's comment.

  • Sirilicious

    Complaining about the exclusion of X from a list where X does not fit the criteria is something that happens (often) to the best (and mediocre) of us. :D

  • Muhnah_Muhnah

    They both would have made this list much more Scandinavian actually.

  • Maguita NYC

    And no Viggo Mortensen either!

  • emmalita

    I saw the top part of the picture first and was worried you had posted a early Bieber pic, and then I sighed in relief, my faith in Maguita affirmed - Viggo not Justin.

  • Maguita NYC

    Even high out of my mind, drunk out of my pants, addled out of my brains, shit out of my socks, abashed out of my thinker, discombobulated out my intellect, perturbed out of my lucid...

    Would I ever, ever shove a fucking Bieber in a sexy thread.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Careened out of your Cavill?

  • Maguita NYC

    Wish I could think of a comeback, but you know what happens with Corona: You draw nada.

    Happy 4th of July Mrs. J and fellow Pajibans!

  • emmalita

    I know. I'm sorry for momentarily casting doubt on your character. I'm at the hallucinating stage of tired, and not all the visions are beautiful.

  • Maguita NYC

    No worries. How you holdin' up Emm? The move going alright?

  • Joe Grunenwald

    Alright, FINE. Jaime Lannister is dreamy.

  • Pants-are-a-must

    My favorite thing about this so-called "Scandinavian Invasion" is that, at some point, all of these people have been in movies together.

  • Amy Love

    Carice van Houten is Margot Kidder?

  • TheOtherGreg

    Nordic? Labels aside, a very fine list.

  • Jo

    Not a very Scandinavian list, is it?

  • janetfaust

    Mmmm hmm thanks for that wonderful picture of Mads. Don't care where he's from; just want to find out if I can cut myself on those cheekbones.

  • Less Lee Moore


  • $27019454

    Oh goodie! Everyone is going to get mad at J's use of the word Scandinavian now!

    How can you all be up in arms with so many many beautiful faces to look at? Chill and bask!

  • Sirilicious

    She could have avoided the 'controversy' she saw coming and tried to disclaim in advance. Just say European and you're in the clear. I'm sure there's people that would object if there was a list of hottest americans that was comprised half of Canadians and Mexicans. And that would actually be more correct than labeling this list Scandinavian, geographically.

    Please don't tell people to chill just because you don't feel their pain, it's unnecessarily patronising.

  • $27019454

    No patronizing intended. It was more of a "hey-everybody-lets-just-smell-the-roses kind of thing.

    But I am sorry for your pain.

  • Sirilicious

    There you go patronising again. That is just not nice.

  • $27019454

    No patrons here! Just nice people. Smellin roses. Baskin and chillin.

  • Mrs. Julien

    You're high right now, aren't you?

  • $27019454

    I am indeed.

    High on life. And roses. Baskin and chillin, baby.

    Baskin and chillin.

  • WestCoastPat

    Why even bother with calling this list Scandinavian? By my count, half your list doesn't qualify.

    And, before people scream at me, I read the intro paragraph. Disclaimers can only cure so much, and I just don't get the urge to apply inappropriate labels like this.

  • BWeaves

    Well, a couple of days ago, they included New Zealand in with the Europeans. Geography isn't taught in school here. It's Un-Merican.

  • Zooey Side

    I'm Swedish and I don't think anyone in my neighborhood takes offense. We are all a big European family, after all. Just don't call the Danes Swedes or the Swedes Norwegians or the Dutch Germans. Don't call anyone German, except for the odd Austrian, if you must. Or Greek. Or French! Especially not the Englishmen. The rest are more or less Yugoslavian.

  • e jerry powell

    But if I look at Swedish words wrong, I'd swear I was reading some weird mix of German and Dutch...

  • Qualtinger

    Don't call anyone German, except for the odd Austrian, if you must.

    Not if you want to keep your spleen.

  • Muhnah_Muhnah

    Scandinavia is Norway, Sweden and Denmark, no Finland. But we've got Germans and Dutchies up in this, so whatever. I give up. Joel Kinneman is hot in a weird way. I dig it.

  • Harriet J. Hernandez

    just as Denise answered I am alarmed that a mother able to get paid $9565 in four weeks on the computer. did you read this page w­w­w.C­a­n9­9.c­o­m

  • nachosanchez

    It's not 'Murica, just draw a circle around the general area and call whatever's in it Scandinavia.

  • e jerry powell

    Kinda like 'Murica's view of all points south of the border. Draw a circle and call it Mexico. Even the stuff in South America.

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