Unpopular opinion time: I don't think that Sarah Lund's jumpers are all that significant.
For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, Sarah Lund is the taciturn protagonist of Danish TV series The Killing, AKA Forbrydelsen. The Killing is a political drama/detective show, the first season taking place over 20 days of a murder investigation in Copenhagen. It was very popular in Denmark, and quickly reached must-watch status in the UK when it aired on the BBC last year. Season 2 just started and I'm watching like a hawk, brain already conditioned into Pavlovian stress attacks whenever I hear the credits music (the Forbrydel-drums). However. While I'm psyched that such a well-made, intelligent, feminist show is so popular, the obsession with Forbrydelsen includes some intense yet slightly bemusing involvement in Lund's jumper choices.
|Sarah Lund and the bunch of idiots she has to pretend to tolerate in order to keep her job.|
Everyone in Forbrydelsen is either a workaholic with no spare time whatsoever (the politicians and the detectives), or the grieving family of a murder victim. Not people who spend much time pondering their outfits every morning, in other words. There's a high level of realism throughout all aspects of the show, and in the real world most people just do not care that much about clothes unless they're going to a party or a job interview. They wear things that are comfortable and easily washable and unlikely to get creased if they've got a desk job, and the characters of Forbrydelsen reflect that in their uniformly unremarkable dress-sense. On top of this, the main characters are politicians and cops -- people whose jobs require them to look as normal and un-flashy as possible, albeit for different reasons.
|Another world-shattering combo from Sarah Lund, who has more important things to worry about, such as murder.|
The actress who plays Lund, Sofie Gråbøl, has commented on the jumpers in several interviews. I don't doubt that thought was put into Lund's costumes, but I get the impression that neither Gråbøl nor the showrunners ever predicted the level of interest that fans would exhibit in her jumper collection. And even if she was aware of how exciting people would find her knitwear choices, I suspect she'd prefer to be discussing her acting and character development. I mean, Lund is a pretty unique character -- a female detective who is, if anything, even more abrupt, antisocial and self-destructive than her male counterparts.
|The most important development in season two: Lund's new red jumper.|
|This photo spoiled me for episode 2x04, which I hadn't seen yet. Now I know her original brown jumper will be back!|
Win a The Killing jumper in a Lundalike contest -- Radio Times. (WTF)
Sofie Gråbøl interview regarding season 2 -- Huffington Post.
Sarah Lund's Faroese jumper is the surprise star of The Killing -- The Guardian.
Knit your own Sarah Lund jumper -- Radio Times.
Edited to add, 02/12/2011: Just to highlight the hilariously overblown cult status of the Lundjumper phenomenon, I just discovered that this video exists: