Vikings the epic saga that started back in 2013 will see its end in December 2020! The series broadly followed the exploits of the legendary Ragnar Rotherbrok then branched off and focused on his son’s victories.
While the Vikings have thrilled us with their grit and bravery in the show, here are some 10 real hard-hitting facts about these real warriors:
Yes, they came from Scandinavia but they travelled as far as Baghdad and North America. Their descendants can be found across Europe – for example, the Normans in northern France were Viking descendants.
2. Vikings true meaning
Pirate raids – the word comes from the Old Norse language that was spoken in Scandinavia during the Viking Age.
3. Not all were pirates
The Vikings are infamous for their looting. But many of them travelled to other countries to forge peaceful settlements, farm or craft, or to trade goods to take back home.
4. Their helmets didn’t have horns on
The iconic horned helmet that we’ve seen everywhere was actually a fantastical creation by costume designer Carl Emil Doepler for an 1876 production.
5. Most never wore helmets
Only one complete Viking helmet has ever been found suggesting that many either fought without helmets or wore headwear made of leather rather than metal which is less likely to last that long.
6. A Viking landed on American shores long before Columbus
Although we commonly credit Christopher Columbus with being the European who discovered the land that would come to be known as the “New World”, Viking explorer Leif Erikson beat him to it by a whopping 500 years.
7. Leif’s father was the first Viking to set foot in Greenland
According to the Icelandic sagas, Erik the Red journeyed to Greenland after being banished from Iceland for murdering several men. He went on to find the first Viking settlement in Greenland.
8. Worshipped their own gods
Although Viking mythology came long after Roman and Greek mythology, the Norse gods are far less familiar to us than the likes of Zeus, Aphrodite, and Juno. But a lot of superhero films are influenced by the Norse gods.
9. Did you know – the days of the week are named after them!
Thursday is named after the Norse god Thor. The only day of the week not named after a Norse god is Saturday, which is named after the Roman god Saturn.
10. They ate twice a day
The Vikings referred to breakfast that is the first meal of the day as dagmal. Their second meal, nattmal was served in the evening at the end of the working day.
Catch up on Season 5 & Season 6 Part 1 until Part 2 drops on 31st December!