(The Funeral of a Viking, by Frank Dicksee (1853–1928), [Public Domain] via Creative Commons)
During the Viking Age, the adventurous warriors of Scandinavia had some of the most entertaining and innovative names and nicknames in history.
Without further ado, here are 10 Vikings with very memorable names:
- Ragnar Lodbrok (Hairy-Breeches)—He was a 9th-century Viking king from Denmark whose raids against Britain and mainland Europe became legendary.
- Ivar the Boneless—He was a son of Ragnar Lodbrok. Like his father, Ivar was also a powerful Scandinavian king. He launched another invasion of Britain to avenge his father’s death.
- Magnus Barelegs—He was the king of Norway from 1093-1103. Magnus Barelegs died while fighting in Ireland.
- Hrolf the Nose—He was the grandfather of Hrolf the Walker/ Rollo of Normandy (c. 860-932).
- Ketil Flatnose—He was a Viking who sailed to the British Isles and set himself up as a king in the Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland.
- Harald Bluetooth—Harald Bluetooth (c. 910-987) was a powerful king of Denmark who also expanded into Norway.
- Svein Forkbeard—He was the king of Denmark from around 987-1014, after usurping power from his father, Harald Bluetooth. Svein Forkbeard invaded the British Isles and built himself a strong foothold, but died shortly after invading Britain.
- Ogmund Crow-Dance—He was a Viking officer in the army of the Norwegian king, Hakon IV (r. 1217-1263). Ogmund Crow-Dance participated in the skirmishes between Norway and Scotland, known as the Battle of Largs.
- Viga-Glum (Killer Glum)—Killer Glum was a Viking thought to have lived around 940-1003. There is a saga dedicated to him, detailing his many exploits.
- Eirik Bloodax—He was a 10th-century king of Norway. His father was Harald Finehair, the first king to unite Norway. Eirik Bloodax lost the throne of Norway to Haakon I. He then made himself king of Northumbria, but, again, he could not hold onto power.
- Heimskringla, by Snorri Sturluson and translated by Lee Hollander. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1964, 2018.
- The Sagas of Ragnar Lodbrok, translated by Ben Waggoner. The Troth, 2009.
- The Viking Age: A Reader, edited by Angus A. Somerville and R. Andrew McDonald. Ontario: University of Toronto Press, 2010.