Viking Symbols

Image of several Viking Symbols

Viking Symbols- Heraldry Symbols - Thor - Odin - Triquetra - Long Boats - Facts - Pictures - Viking Symbols

A useful guide to a selection of Viking Symbols. Discover the symbols origin and meaning as well as a selection of interesting facts! Did you know that...

Valknut, the 'knot of the slain' has been found on many Norse stone carvings. It is also known as 'Hrungnir’s heart' after the giant of the Eddas.

Thor’s hammer (Mjöllnir) was the weapon used by the Viking god of thunder.

The Triquetra symbol which is also used in Christianity is also symbolic in viking history and the symbol has been found on many Viking artefacts

 
Picture of a Viking boat | Viking Symbols

Viking Symbols - Facts
  • The Vikings came from the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway and Sweden

  • The Viking people considered it better to die in battle. They believed that if they died in bed that they would go to a foggy underworld called Niflheim

  • Viking people believed that men who died in battle went to Valhalla otherwise known as the "Hall of the slain" and feasted with the gods

  • The Vikings were originally Pagans but many eventually converted to Christianity
     

  • If a Viking died in battle, it was believed that he went to Valhalla, a place where he would feast at long tables for eternity!

  • Viking myths described a place called Middle Earth where people lived alongside giants, elves and dwarfs

  • Many creatures featured in Viking stories including : trolls, wolves, dragons and serpents

  • The Viking god Odin is believed to have hung on the Yggdrasil tree (the tree of life) for nine days and nine nights in order to obtain the secret of wisdom for life

  • Vikings placed gold items in the graves of their most important men as a symbol of their place in society and to help them in the afterlife

 

 

Viking Symbols - Helm of Awe

  • The Helm of Awe was a Viking symbol of protection
  • It is also known as Ægishjálmur which is Icelandic for 'Helm of Awe'
  • It was a physical helmet which was believed to make the wearer invincible and used to frighten their enemies
  • The symbol is shaped like the steering wheel or helm of a boat and is still used today as a popular tattoo symbol
  • The Helm of Awe is also thought to be a form of magic and is also often referred to as 'Helm of Terror'

 

Viking Symbols - Boats
The name 'Viking' comes from the word 'Vikingr' (Old Norse) meaning 'pirate raid'. The Norse people were said to be 'going Viking' when they set sail to explore and loot and their sea vessels were 'horses of the waves' symbolic of speed and power. During the period 850-1000 AD, the Vikings explored many countries including The United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy as well as North Africa. They also discovered Iceland, Greenland and Newfoundland. The Viking people were amazing ship builders and their most famous ship, the longship was the most powerful vessel. On average, a Viking longship measured approximately 25-30 metres could hold up to 60 men. They also commonly used boats called Knarrs and Karves. The Viking boats were also used in funerals and were symbolic of safe passage to the afterlife.

Picture of A Viking Ship

Viking Symbols -  Runes
Vikings used symbols called Runes to write. The word 'Rune' means secret, and the runic alphabet is traditionally referred to as Futhark. The image below shows the runes alphabet which was believed to be invented by the goddess Odin.

Viking Symbols - Runes Alphabet

Viking Symbols- The Goddess Odin
Vikings was the name given to the Norse people of Scandinavia. They worshipped many gods including the goddess Odin who was the chief Viking deity and rode a magical horse named Sleipnir, which had eight legs. Odin was the goddess of memory and thought, both vitally important to the Vikings. The Vikings also worshipped Freya, a warrior goddess who was also the goddess of beauty and love. Freya had a twin brother Freyr who was the god of fertility, success as well as being a warrior god. The vikings also worshipped Thor, the god of thunder and symbolic of power. Thor carried a hammer which the Vikings believed was used to protect the Vikings and other gods from giants. The gods were said to live in a land called Asgard which was in the sky and linked to the middle earth with a rainbow bridge.

Viking Symbols | Image

Viking Symbols - Norse Jewellery
Many Viking symbols have been replicated in jewellery items including rings, bracelets and necklaces. Typical Viking symbols including wolfs heads, the Helm of awe, Thors hammer, dragon and serpent motifs all make beautiful and unusual jewellery items as well as being symbolic of power and protection.

Viking Symbols

Map showing the journeys made by the Vikings

Viking Symbols - Map showing the Journeys made and Countries visited by the Vikings

Viking Symbols

  • Interesting information about Viking Symbols

  • Meaning of specific Norse symbols

  • Origin and history of symbols

  • Facts about Viking Symbols

  • Pictures and Description of individual Norse Symbols

Viking Jug showing examples of different Viking Symbols

 

Pictures and Videos of Viking Symbols
Discover the vast selection of pictures which relate to Viking Symbols and illustrate the different emblems, symbols, icons and signs that we associate with heraldry. All of the articles and pages can be accessed via the Signology Index - a great educational resource for everyone! Find out about different Viking Symbols.

 

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