– be it political, in business or capturing local actions. Read all about sustainability in Greenland here.
Borgen is a fictional series which in Season 1 kicks off by following the sudden and unexpected rise of centrist politician Birgitte Nyborg Christensen (Sidse Babett Knudsen – also internationally known as Theresa Cullen from Westworld) to become the first female Prime Minister of Denmark. Dubbed the Danish West Wing, it gives insight into what life might be like in Danish politics and the different responsibilities civil servants, political advisors and journalists have to hold democracy. In the course of three series, Birgitte and other characters played by a stellar cast of Danish actors including Pilou Asbæk (spin doctor Kasper Juul AKA a crazy Euron Greyjoy in Game of Thrones) and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (journalist Katrine Fønsmark, Karsi in Game of Thrones), experience the taste of power, love, failure and of course a web of political intrigue.
Birgitte returns in this new season of Borgen: Power & Glory as the Foreign Minister in a new coalition. The plot says that she goes to Greenland to deal with a case that “goes to bed with the devil”. We cannot wait to watch Borgen and see how it unfolds!
Henriette Marienlund, DR’s Head of Fiction explained that they made a series that takes the popular universe into the present, by putting current international agendas at stake.
“It will be a very new version of Borgen, because the universe is expanded from a Danish focus to be about the whole world’s game of power, when relations with Greenland are put to the test, and both the USA and China become key players.”
There is no doubt Greenland is a rich place for inspiration. Greenland has a long and complicated history with Denmark. It was previously a colony (it only became a constituency in 1953) but it gradually gained more autonomy throughout history (it was granted Home Rule in 1979 and Self Rule in 2009). Under the Self-Rule Act, Greenland has the right to self-determination and the option of independence.
Greenland is part of the Danish Commonwealth and naturally plays a big role in the Kingdom of Denmark’s internal and international politics. To put it simply, experts would argue that Greenland’s position in the Arctic makes Denmark more influential in the geo-political game. Meanwhile, Greenland is still financially dependent upon Denmark, as the country bolsters the Government of Greenland’s economy with an equivalent of approximately DK 3.8 billion kroners per year. So the interdependencies are immense.
Episode 1 review by Aaja Chemnitz Larsen (Member of parliament in Denmark)
My name is Aaja Chemnitz Larsen and I have been serving Greenland as MP at the Danish Parliament for almost seven years. My work place is Christiansborg Palace, which is also referred to as Borgen, hence the name of the popular Danish TV series. The new season is centrered around a huge oil find in North Greenland, which is disturbing the relationship between Greenland and Denmark and the geopolitical balance. Every week, I will give a short review of each episode.
As a real-life member of Parliament at Borgen, it’s always interesting to see fiction imitate real life when the theme is politics. I have seen all previous seasons of Borgen (more than once ☺ ) and I am very excited to watch the new season, not least because the ongoing theme seems to be a lot about Greenland.
The opening scene sets the stage at a whale hunting situation in North Greenland, and I think it is the first time I have ever seen a Danish TV show where Greenlandic was the first language spoken. For me that was a proud moment. In the scene, the hunters cuts whale blubber, which is considered a Greenlandic delicacy, and it honestly got my mouth running a bit. As the following scenes conveyed, the traditional hunting life and a modern lifestyle goes side by side in today’s life in Greenland, however, the culture is blossoming more than ever. Inuit tattoos on hands and face are now mainstream and popped up in a scene to give an authentic description of today’s Greenland.
It’s been ten years since we saw the character Birgitte Nyborg playing a Danish politician and in this season it is evident that things are stirring up in the Arctic geopolitical scene. While playing the role as prime minister for most of the previous seasons, Birgitte is now a foreign affairs minister fighting for an environmentally sustainable development of the realm, including Greenland. The overall question the first episode raises is if and how it is a matter for Denmark if Greenland finds oil and which political jurisdiction it goes under.
It is quite evident, that the production team behind “Borgen” did their research thoroughly, because the show is very true to real life. When I saw the first episode, I thought a lot about the uranium debate that has been in Greenland the past 50 years. Many of the questions raised in the first episode has been raised in real life in Greenland when it comes to uranium. Is Greenland entitled to have their own say without interference from Denmark? Is it a matter of natural resource extraction or is it a matter of foreign policy and national security? As realistic as the first episode was, the new IA-led Government in Greenland, however, decided to stop the search for oil and are in the process of signing the Paris agreement. Nevertheless, the political drama is still exciting and the plot is trustworthy.
Overall, I give it 5 out of 6 stars, and I’m waiting in excitement to see the story unfold.
We don’t know how the storyline of Borgen will play out, but we wonder if any real life events and political intrigues will inspire the plotline… Greenland has recently featured on international news for many reasons that cover topics from being the warzone of climate change to that time Trump wanted to buy Greenland. In fact, it’s not the first time where the idea Greenland could be bought was seriously considered.
In Episode 1, oil is found in Greenland and the plotline reveals itself as a fight between different political interests. Birgitte Nyborg is now the Foreign Minister and was voted in with a green agenda and has no doubt that the opportunity should be shut down. The Greenlandic Foreign Minister, Hans Eliassen, has other ideas about the discovery, and so does the Prime Minister Signe Kragh.
To understand the potential intricacies of Borgen even more, it’s important that you catch up with the current affairs of Greenland. These themes Include:
Continues further down the page…
In Season 1, Episode 4, Birgitte is rounding up 100 days in Office as Prime Minister when it is leaked that an American prisoner is being secretly transported through Thule, the American airbase in Greenland. This potential political scandal jeopardises the security of the newly formed government. After not being able to gain intelligence from the Danish or American civil service, Birgitte goes to Greenland to assess the situation where she meets the Greenlandic Premier Jens Enok Berthelsen (Angunnguaq Larsen). Here Birgitte realises that the relationship between Denmark and Greenland is more multifaceted than what she expected and leaves with a positive outlook towards improving cooperation between the two countries.
Borgen Season 1 in 5 minutes! (in Danish)
Borgen Season 2 in 5 minutes! (in Danish)
Borgen Season 3 in 5 minutes! (in Danish)
Meet Greenlandic actors in Borgen