Movie: Valhalla Rising

The magnetic, heavily tattooed Mads Mikkelsen smolders in this Viking epic set in 11th century Scandinavia, playing a slave called “One Eye” due to the severe wound … Read more

Odin wins the runes

During the pagan era, Odin was respected as the mysterious and omniscient god of war, wisdom, death and fate. Sacrifices were often made to him, … Read more

The theft of Thor’s hammer

Viking pagan mythology is dominated by eternal conflict between the gods and their archenemies, the giants. Among the gods, the role of ‘chief giant-basher’ belonged to … Read more

The burning of Njal

The sagas reveal that surprisingly complex laws and legal procedures played an important role in the Viking lands. These form the background to another supposedly … Read more

The Norse discovery of America

Two medieval manuscripts, Graenlendinga Saga and Eirik’s Saga, claim that in the early 11th century, 500 years before Columbus, Viking men and women reached North America. They describe how … Read more

Grettir the Outlaw

This cycle of folk tales, apparently based on the exploits of a real 11th-century Viking troublemaker, were collected together in the 14th-century Grettir’s Saga. Grettir ‘the … Read more