Vikings: Badass Warriors

There’s a reason why the Vikings conquered the old world, they were badass.  I find it humorous that spell check doesn’t want me to write badass and find it incorrect spelling because a Viking would take his axe and chop the crap out of this computer if spell check tried to tell him what to do.  That’s how badass the Vikings were.

The history of the Vikings is rich and full of lore.  No single blog post can go deep enough or tell all of the amazing tales of these legendary warriors and the families who loved and supported them.

The Vikings were remarkably advanced for their time due to the fact that their homeland of Scandinavia was extremely mountainous yet broken up by lakes, bays, inlets, rivers, and bogs.  There was no way to travel from one place to another without rigorous overland travel which was heavily taxing on the body and also introduced numerous other perils.  Obviously it was much easier to spend ones energy crafting boats to fish in and travel from one village to another to trade.  Thus it was that the Vikings were one of the first to develop complex and advanced vessels capable of travel over great distances.

The Vikings were not war mongers, but were attracted at first to trade routes which ran directly through their territory.  They would trade and barter with other nations passing through until they realized that they could simply take what they wanted.  The more they took the more the greed took hold of them.  Within a few short years the Vikings started launching raids on England and Ireland pillaging and setting fire to cause panic as they went.  Most raids lasted less than 30 minutes.  By the time the warning of Drakkars (Viking ships) was passed on to the leaders of a village or monastery, the Vikings were already upon them stealing livestock and valuables as they went.   They would capture women for mating and men for slaves and load all the pillaged goods onto their ships and set sail before the village even knew what hit them.  The Vikings created fear and lore across all of the known world due to their swift and brutal raids.

The Vikings should be known for more than just those raids and many people do not know the great accomplishments the Vikings made and why they are so “badass”.  That is why I have compiled a list for you so that you too can be educated as to the reasons why the Vikings were so badass.

TOP 5 Reasons the Vikings were BADASS:

#5 – Fear

The fear that the Vikings generated just with their name worked it’s way in to children bedtime stories and songs.  The Viking warriors became legends that caused fright in people young and old.  Just this reputation helped the Vikings overcome their enemies as an enemy who fears you is already defeated.

#4 – Ship Building

Experts in the craft, Vikings were the most advanced of their time in the art of ship design and construction.  Viking ships were built to handle travel both in lakes and river and seas and oceans.  The ships were so advanced for their time the Vikings were able to reach places that even today amaze most people.  The Viking way of life was aboard a sea faring vessel and it’s no wonder that so much time and energy was put into decorating and carving artwork into their ships.

#3 – Warriors

Highly trained in the art of war the Vikings loved to use the element of surprise that their ships granted them.  Spilling out of their ships onto a battlefield meant that the Vikings set the stage, declared the location of the battlefield and usually were the first to spill blood.  The Vikings were brutal warriors who fought like animal warlords and would conquer entire nations with their wrath.

#2 – Pillaging

The Vikings had a knack for pillaging and were in and out of any given village in just around 30 minutes.  In that time they were able to steal gold, jewels, food, livestock, women, slaves, and rare religious artifacts that they would later sell back to the church for a tidy profit.  If you needed something the Vikings could get it for you.  The make modern day pirates or those jolly roger pirates of the Caribbean look like a bunch of sissies with eyeliner.

#1 – Exploring

Columbus Day can suck a big fat Viking sword in it’s gullet.  The Vikings utilized their advanced ships to travel as far east as Baghdad and as far west as North America.  The Vikings first set foot in North America in the year 992, FIVE CENTURIES before the pansy Christopher Columbus marched onto shore declaring the already populated continent England’s property.  The Vikings led by the son of Erik the Red, Leif left Greenland with thirty-five men in search of another land.  There was a need for new settlements and timber (so rare in Greenland) for building.  Leif took to the sea and set sail for the west.  Although the journey was dangerous his troupe arrived in America and found the rich fertile soil and green land.  They even met the native Americans whom they nicknamed “skraelings” (the ugly men).  Staying for a few months at a camp and initiating trade with the natives, Leif’s men grew restless and began to fight amongst themselves.  Finally Leif loaded his men and goods onto their ships and left to return home, never to return.  This was the native American’s first glimpse into the white man who would be returning in 500 years.  500 years?  That’s why the Vikings are ranked #1 for being badass explorers.  They were over 500 years ahead of their time.

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About Jonathan G. Nelson

Jonathan G. Nelson is the editor-in-chief and owner of NERD TREK. He is also owner/publisher at AAW Games / AdventureAWeek.com, a tabletop gaming company based in Snoqualmie, WA. Connect with Jonathan via Facebook.