Last month I read my first book about Vikings (it was How to Train your Dragon, and what?) and it struck me how little mainstream literature we have about these weird and wonderful people. I’ve collected a few of my favourite Viking facts, in the hope that you’ll all be inspired and start writing stories about Dark Age sea-farers. Go!
- Vikings skied. Apparently it was a handy way to get around, and they even had a god of skiing, called Ullr. (Source)
- Vikings kept BEARS for PETS. Please look up Erik Liefson for more of that pretty fantastic story. (Source)
- They all wore eye-liner. Using kohl protected their eyes, and also made them look pretty fine. (Source)
- Blonde hair was considered more beautiful, so brunette men would often bleach their lovely locks. Some people think it helped keep lice away too, so that’s always a plus. (Source)
- To sort out arguments, Vikings would have ‘Ordeals’ to test their bravery. This could involve picking stones out of hot water, or carrying hot iron. (Source)
Bonus thing: This is a Wagnerian painting of Bifrost – which was, in Norse mythology, the rainbow bridge that linked Asgard and Midgard (the world of the gods and the world of humans respectively). So no, Mario was not the first to walk a rainbow road.
Are there any other interesting Viking facts you think should have made the list? Also can you recommend a Viking-ish novel?
Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!