Designing Viking World – the Statue of Thor

There’s only 6 weeks until the release of The Last Viking Returns (Sept 1st), and each week until then I’ll show some more behind-the-scenes images.

I’m going to focus on one of the main settings in the book – a theme park called Viking World. The theme park has a massive statue of Thor.

Patrons are able to climb the stairs inside the statue; there are viewing platforms inside his mouth and the hammer. Naturally, the statue is closed during thunderstorms.

statue of Thor
The most obvious influence for the statue is New York’s Statue of Liberty, which I ferried past a few years ago. Turned out it wasn’t very big – smaller than my head, in fact.

statue of liberty 2

Ba-doom tish.

statue of liberty 1

The other inspiration is much less obvious – it’s the merlion statue at Singapore’s Sentosa Island.

Norman and I attended a conference in Singapore in 2012. A lot of our (very serious) research was conducted at Universal Studios (check out this post to see our shenanigans) but first we went to the Sentosa Island Resort, which is right next door.

Sentosa features a 37 metre tall statue of a merlion, a mythical animal that is half-lion, half-fish (and Singapore’s official emblem). The Sentosa merlion statue has viewing decks on his head and in his mouth.

I wanted Viking World to have a large statue of Thor in the centre – something that stood out and gave a bit of visual interest from a bird’s eye view.

It would also make the real Thor more likely to want to visit the theme park, which is important to the plot of The Last Viking Returns.


Next week I’ll look at another part of Viking World: the shops and eateries.


Author: James Foley

James Foley makes children’s books for children who read books. If you’re a child and you’re eating his books, you’re doing it wrong. His books include Brobot, Dungzilla, Gastronauts, Chickensaurus, Toffle Towers, My Dead Bunny and There's Something Weird About Lena. James lives in Perth with his wife, 2 kids, and a labrador. He is a massive Marvel movie nerd and comes from a long line of queuing enthusiasts. Follow him on FB/twitter/insta/youtube @jamesfoleybooks, or at .

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