Thorfinn, in full battle gear, looks menacingly in an open setting

Your Viking Guide to Self-Care

Thorfinn—former footballer Devan Long’s character on “Ghosts”—offers health tips for being strong as a pirate Norseman

By Thorfinn, as told to Sharleen Nelson  Ghosts photos courtesy Bertrand Calmeau/CBS  July 12, 2023

3 min read 

They may have lived a thousand years apart, but former Ducks defensive end Devan Long, BS 2006 (political science), and Thorfinn, BA 1007 (pillaging arts), the Viking warrior character he plays on the CBS show Ghosts, have one thing in common: both support a healthy lifestyle.

From getting a good workout to eating healthy foods to dealing with complex emotions, follow these sensible Viking “Thorfinnisms” to stay mentally and physically fit.


“Start day with hearty Viking yell: let you know you are awake and alive!”

Thorfinn, in full battle gear, releases a Viking yell


Thorfinn, in full battle gear, looks intensely against a forest backdrop

“Chopping wood great way to get Viking workout. Train hard; crush Danes.”

“Seek large objects and lift. Animate heavy things—best done with yelling, followed by large laughter to let everyone know it’s not heavy for you.”


“Wrestle wolves. If not have wolves, dogs. No dogs? Neighbor pets will do.”

Devan Long curls up, laughing, with two dogs that look like pit bulls


Thorfinn and his girlfriend on Ghosts, a hippie, enjoy a good laugh while watching TV

“Laughing always best medicine. Make laughter everywhere at all times, especially during inappropriate moments, whether it’s by yourself, with stranger, or with neighbor dog wolves.”


“Get in touch with nature. Find flower or bush and regale it with story. Trees make good listeners for deep secrets.” 

Thorfinn, looking reflective, sits in what appears to be an open grave


Thorfinn, in full battle gear, looks menacingly in an open setting

“When shearing lawn wear battle gear. Thorfinn forever prepared for anything—crab grass, weeds, rocks, battle.”

“If have children, make them pillow fort, then hide and strike when they are not expecting. If not have own children, use children of friends or family.” 


“When Viking pillaging is done, hunt food. Cod or meat. Ribeye best with much butter.”

“If food not found in wilderness, hunt in grocery store. Hang out in produce section and test avocados. Make Viking dad jokes about vegetables to random unamused shoppers.” 

“Feast with family. If no family, go to restaurant and sit at random family’s table. Tell joke, then laugh together, they are now family for day.”

Thorfinn sits at an elegant dinner with others in Ghosts


Thorfinn, lying on what appears to be a psychiatrist's couch, acts distressed

“For big feelings, get ‘Thorapy.’” (Thorfinn attended therapy sessions to cope with night terrors over being abandoned and then having to kill and eat his best friend Oskar, a squirrel. “Thor not talk. Dream very painful.”)


“Make friends of many. Thor love all friends—ghost and human.”


Thorfinn and two other characters in Ghosts enjoy a whooping yell of happiness



“Locate local sorceress and receive wisdom. If sorceress unavailable, listen to Enya song and ponder deep thoughts. Speak to ravens. Offer them snack.”

Long resides in Topanga, California, with his wife, Jesse Golden, and their son, Kaleo. Golden is a holistic health practitioner, author, and creator of the Golden Secrets, a line of organic wellness products.

Devan Long with wife Jesse Golden and son Kaleo in a family portrait outside

When he’s not slipping into leather and fur and channeling Thorfinn, Long enjoys weight training, cooking, paddle tennis, playing with his dogs (Long provided the photo for Tip No. 3), surfing with his son, and relaxing at home. Even Vikings need a rest once in a while.

Ghosts is a full-time job,” he says. “We shoot twenty-two episodes in Montreal from June until January. You get a little exhausted so when you’re done, you’re like, ‘Aaaah, just do nothing.’”

Stream the first two seasons of Ghosts on Paramount +.

Sharleen Nelson, BS ’06 (journalism: magazine, news editorial), is a staff writer for University Communications.

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