The Cloisters in New York City are now featuring a traveling exposition of early chess pieces carved from walrus ivory, probably in eleventh-century Norway, which were discovered in 1831 on the Isle of Lewis off the western coast of Scotland. In this set, the rook takes a human form:
Among the warders (rooks) in the exhibition, who are represented as foot soldiers, one bites the top of his shield, barely containing his frenzied eagerness for battle. Scholars have identified such figures as berserkers (the soldiers of Odin from Norse mythology), known from the Heimskringla — the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway — of the poet Snorri Sturluson (ca. 1179–1241).H/t Maggie's Farm.