Norway Plans TV Series on Ukraine-Norway cultural and historical ties


Norwegian television production company Huldra Film has expressed interest in creating a TV series that explores the historical ties between Ukraine and Norway. The proposal was discussed at a meeting between Deputy Minister Halyna Hryhorenko and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Norway to Ukraine Erik Svedal and Harald Omland, the head of Huldra Film.

Historical Ties Between Ukraine and Norway

Norwegian ambassador Erik Svedal highlighted the interest of Harald Omland, the head of Huldra Film, in the historical ties between Ukraine and Norway. Omland is particularly interested in Harald the Harsh, who married Elizabeth (Ellis), the daughter of Yaroslav the Wise, and later became King Harald III almost a thousand years ago.

According to Norwegian sagas, Harald spent a long time at the court of Prince Yaroslav with his nephew, Magnus, who was receiving military training education. The court of Volodymyr the Great in Kyiv also hosted legendary Norwegian king Olav Trygvasson, who spent many years in Kyiv during his exile. The most legendary story, however, is the marriage of Harald Hardraade and Elizabeth. After Yaroslav the Wise refused to marry away Elizabeth, Harald left for Constantinople and returned with glory and treasures. They married in 1045 and Harald left for Norway with his wife Elizabeth the following year.

“While the Norwegian historical focus has mainly been on the Viking expansion to the west, Mr. Omland believes that more attention should be paid to their travels to the east and their connections with Kievan Rus and the Byzantine Empire. He aims to create a documentary drama series about Harald the Strong, which will be partially produced in Ukraine and will tell about the extraordinary importance of historical contacts between Norway and Kyivan Rus, their influence on the formation of the Norwegian nation,” said Erik Svedal.

Collaboration between Ukrainian and Norwegian Historians

Deputy Minister Halyna Hryhorenko welcomed the proposal and emphasized the importance of involving Ukrainian historians and scholars in the creation of the series. She assured that the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy supports the initiative and will facilitate the project’s implementation. The involvement of Ukrainian historians will help ensure the accuracy and authenticity of the series, which will not only entertain but also educate viewers about the historical ties between Ukraine and Norway.

“Such projects are important both for drawing attention to the common history of the two countries and for highlighting the fact that Kyivan Rus and Ukraine have always been an integral part of European history. In addition, it is a counteraction to Russian historiographical attempts to distort and appropriate the history of Kyivan Rus exclusively to the Russian Empire,” the Deputy Minister said.

The proposed TV series is an exciting opportunity to explore and celebrate the historical connections between Ukraine and Norway, and a great example of cultural collaboration between the two nations.