Becoming Lord of the Afterlife

I’m reading a collection of my favourite music critic’s journalism, Strage Text. Fredrik Strage and I were born the same year and both grew up loving Depeche Mode and Swedish role-playing games. He has a hilarious way of taking things that sound really cool in English and expressing them in Swedish, thus humanising the stars he portrays. And his calculated mix of slang and formality resonates with my own idiom.

In a 2005 interview with Turbonegro’s singer Hank von Helvete I found this gem about Tengil, the evil ruler in Astrid Lindgren’s The Brothers Lionheart. Said Hank,

“To me, Tengil is the book’s main character. He’s as narcissistic and hedonistic as Pippi Longstocking. He does what Pippi would have done if she’d been a man in his fifties. … He controls the people much like Pippi controls Tommy and Annika and Mrs. Pruzelius. But his most impressive achievement is conquering the afterlife. I mean, Nangijala is where you go when you die. You gotta wonder, what was Tengil up to in his previous life? My feeling is he was probably Pippi Longstocking.”

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4 thoughts on “Becoming Lord of the Afterlife

  1. He was up too the same thing. with a different objectional reasoning.
    Only when he knew him self, was he given the power over death.

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  2. Tengil: “If you only knew the power of the Dark Side. Obi Wan never told you what happened to Pippi Longstocking.”
    Jonatan: “He told me enough! He told me you killed her!”
    Tengil: “No. I am Pippi Longstocking!”

    Like

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