Yeah, if you go by the movies and popular perception, that’s the most iconic feature of Vikings.
Where did they come from?
The Vikings originated in what is now Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
These were mostly rural guys living in their homeland with almost no towns.
What I find interesting about them is their discovering instinct. They never stayed in just one place but always kept on searching for new places.
Although, initially, they raided the places in the East and didn’t go very far, later they started going to far off lands in the West.
Invaders, Predators, Barbarians
Raids in the West lead to spread of their fame even more as pitiless nomads who slice with their axes anything that comes in their way.
People in England used to call them ‘ Barbarians ‘, which seems to me a wrong impression. Every society in the world was uncivilized in the beginning, some developed earlier and some developed later.
Thor, Odin, Loki | Sounds familiar?
Thanks to Marvel Cinematic Universe, most of us know these names. But where are these characters inspired from?
Vikings followed Norse Mythology and believed that Odin was the Alfather and Thor(God of Thunder) and Loki(God of mischief), his sons.
The biggest dream of these warrior-raiders was to join Odin in the Great Hall of Valhalla after they die. And to make sure that it happens, they had to fight and live with honor.
They practiced animal and human sacrifice in times of war and crises to please the Gods.
Masters of the Sea
With their navigation skills and advanced shipbuilding, they reached as far as Greenland and America.
Yes, you read it right. A man named Leif Erikson was a Viking explorer who landed in America 500 years before Columbus.
Vikings, the series
I was always curious about the Vikings but what made me even more curious was the TV series.
After I started watching the series, my perception also changed and I grew impatient to know more about these ancient people.
The series serves well it’s purpose of entertainment along with showcasing many events based on history.
It also displays the social structure, culture, mythology and beliefs of Vikings, which is truly interesting.
The main character, Ragnar Lothbrok, leads the first raid on the West and, hence, starting the spread of Viking power.
I won’t say that you should believe everything that the series depict, but it’s worth a watch if you’re Curious.