Unveiling the Viking Symbol for Friendship: A Complete Guide

Viking Symbol for Friendship

Viking culture is steeped in symbolism, from the intricate designs of their weapons and ships to the mysterious runes etched into stone. One symbol that holds particular significance is the Viking symbol for friendship, which represents the bond between two people and the importance of loyalty and trust.

In this article, we will explore the Viking symbol for friendship in detail, looking at its history, meaning, and modern interpretations. We will also delve into the broader context of Viking culture and examine other symbols that represent friendship and unity.

Key Takeaways:

The Importance of Symbols in Viking Culture

Viking culture was rich in symbolism, with Nordic symbols used to convey messages and meanings that were often deeply rooted in tradition. These symbols held great importance in Viking society, as they were used for everything from communication to religion.

Symbolism played a significant role in the concept of friendship in Viking culture. The Vikings placed great value on their friendships, and symbols were often used to represent the strength and depth of these relationships.

The Connection Between Symbols and Friendship

For the Vikings, symbols were a way to express complex emotions and ideas. This was especially true when it came to friendship. The Vikings believed that symbols could convey the strength of their bonds with their friends, as well as their loyalty and commitment to one another.

The Viking symbol for friendship was an important gesture of solidarity among friends. It was used to signify a deep bond between two people, often in the context of battle or other dangerous situations. The symbol was a way for friends to show their support and encourage one another in tough times.

Exploring Viking Runes: A Language of Symbols

Viking runes were the ancient Norse alphabet used from the 1st through the 14th centuries. The writing system was used for several purposes, one of which was to communicate using symbols with particular meanings. The Vikings believed that runes were not just letters but sacred symbols with magical properties. Runes were often inscribed on jewelry, weapons, and other precious items to convey specific messages and offer protection to the wearer.

The Viking runic alphabet consisted of 24 characters, each representing a sound in the Old Norse language. The runes were typically arranged in an angular fashion and were read from right to left, as opposed to the left-to-right direction of modern English. Over time, the Vikings created special symbols by combining runes to represent more complex concepts and ideas.

One of the Viking symbols for friendship is the Inguz rune, which is formed by the combination of the ᛁ (Ing) and ᚢ (Uruz) runes. This symbol translates to “where there is will, there is a way” and represents the life-giving force of the sun. It is associated with inner strength, fertility, and new beginnings, making it a fitting representation of the bonds between friends.

Symbol Meaning
ᛁ (Ing) Represents the god Ing, who was associated with agriculture and fertility.
ᚢ (Uruz) Means “aurochs,” an extinct species of wild ox and represents strength, courage, and perseverance.

The Eihwaz rune is another Viking symbol associated with friendship. This symbol, which looks like an upside-down Y or a tree with roots and branches, means “yew tree” and represents the tree of life. It was used as a symbol of protection and is associated with strength, stability, and resilience. It is also a symbol of the eternal cycle of life, death, and rebirth, making it a fitting representation of everlasting friendship.

The Viking symbols for friendship demonstrate the importance of strong relationships in Viking culture. Using these symbols in modern times can serve as a reminder of the enduring bonds we share with our loved ones and the value they bring to our lives.

The Viking Friendship Symbol: A Closer Look

The Viking symbol for friendship is a powerful emblem that represents loyalty, companionship, and trust. This symbol, also known as the Valknut, is made up of three interconnected triangles that form a knot-like shape.

Although the exact meaning of the Valknut is unknown, it is commonly associated with the god Odin and his connection to the afterlife. Some scholars believe that it represents the interconnectedness of the nine worlds in Norse mythology, while others speculate that it symbolizes the three-fold nature of existence (birth, life, and death).

The Valknut appears in various forms across Viking artifacts and historical records. It is often found on runestones, swords, and other items associated with warriors. The symbol’s connection to friendship may have been derived from its association with Odin, who was known as a god of wisdom, magic, and battle. As the leader of the gods, Odin valued loyalty and kinship, making the Valknut a fitting symbol for friendship.

The Design of the Valknut

The three triangles that make up the Valknut are said to represent the realms of the living, dead, and the gods, as well as the three stages of life (youth, middle-age, and old age). The symbol’s knot-like appearance has led some to interpret it as a binding or tying together of these concepts.

The Valknut’s design has several variations, with some featuring interwoven lines and others incorporating additional shapes or symbols. In some instances, the Valknut is depicted alongside other symbols, such as the hammer of Thor or the wolves Geri and Freki, which may add further layers of meaning to the design.

Despite its many interpretations, the Valknut remains a powerful symbol of friendship, reminding us of the importance of loyalty and the interconnectedness of all things.

Historical and Cultural Context of Viking Friendship

The Viking era spanned from the 8th to the 11th century, a time when raiding and pillaging were common practices. Despite this, Viking society was based heavily on principles of loyalty, honor, and friendship.

The Vikings placed immense value on close companionship and mutual support, particularly in times of conflict or danger. In fact, the Old Norse word for friend, “vinr,” was derived from “win,” meaning joy or pleasure, highlighting the importance of positive relationships in Viking culture.

Friendship was also a critical element of Viking political and social life. Alliances between rulers and their allies were often made through bonds of friendship, cemented by the exchange of valuable gifts and promises of support. These friendships could also be formed through acts of bravery and loyalty demonstrated on the battlefield.

While the Vikings were known for their ferocity, they were also capable of great compassion and generosity towards their friends and loved ones. This is exemplified in the story of the Viking warrior, Egil Skallagrimsson, who composed a heartfelt poem mourning the loss of his dear friend, Arinbjorn.

The enduring importance of friendship in Viking culture is reflected in the numerous symbols and rituals associated with it. From the exchange of gifts to the intricate designs of the friendship cup, the Vikings placed great emphasis on the act of forging and maintaining lasting bonds of friendship.

Next Level of Historical and Cultural Context of Viking Friendship:

Another example of the significance of friendship in Viking culture is the story of the god Odin and his companions, the Einherjar. According to mythology, the Einherjar were fallen warriors who were chosen by Odin to live in his hall, Valhalla, after their deaths.

These warriors were known for their courage, strength, and loyalty, qualities that were highly prized in Viking society. As such, the Einherjar were considered to be among the most honorable and respected members of Viking society.

Modern Interpretations and Use of the Viking Friendship Symbol

The Viking symbol for friendship has taken on new meaning and popularity in modern times. Tattoo enthusiasts have embraced this symbol as a way to convey their loyalty and commitment to their closest friends. The symbol has also been used in popular culture, appearing in movies, television shows, and even video games, as a representation of unity and friendship.

The design of the Viking friendship symbol is simple yet striking. It features two interlocking triangles, with each triangle pointing in the opposite direction. The first triangle is filled in with a solid color, while the second triangle is an outline. This design is commonly seen in jewelry, clothing, and home decor items as a way to symbolize the bond between friends.

The Viking friendship symbol represents the unbreakable bond between two people who are committed to each other’s friendship for life.

However, it is important to note that the Viking friendship symbol is not the only Nordic symbol used to convey the idea of friendship and unity. The Helm of Awe, for example, is another popular symbol that represents protection and strength. Similarly, the Valknut, a symbol of the god Odin, was often used to symbolize the bond of brotherhood between warriors in battle.

Incorporating Viking symbols for friendship and unity in daily life is easy and fun. Jewelry pieces such as necklaces, bracelets, and rings are readily available in online and specialty stores. Clothing items such as t-shirts and hoodies feature the symbol in bold designs and colors. Home decor items such as wall art and tapestries are also popular choices to display Viking symbols.

Overall, the Viking symbol for friendship, along with other Nordic symbols, continues to be a powerful representation of the enduring bond between friends. Whether used for personal expression or as a cultural symbol, it remains a beloved and meaningful design that has stood the test of time.

Viking Symbols for Friendship and Unity

Aside from the specific Viking symbol for friendship, there are other Nordic symbols that represent unity and connection. Here are some examples:

Symbol Meaning
Triple Horn of Odin Represents the three main aspects of Odin: wisdom, poetry, and war. It can also symbolize unity and balance.
Valknut A symbol of the god Odin and the afterlife. It is also associated with the concept of sacrifice and can represent the bond between warriors.
Yggdrasil The world tree that connects all the realms of Norse mythology. It symbolizes the interconnectedness of all things and the unity of the cosmos.

These symbols are still commonly used today, often as tattoos or as decorative elements in jewelry and clothing. They serve as a reminder of the importance of friendship and connection, both in Viking culture and in modern times.

Incorporating Viking Symbols for Friendship in Daily Life

The Viking symbol for friendship holds a special significance in Nordic culture, representing loyalty, trust, and camaraderie. Here are some practical ways to incorporate this beautiful symbol into your daily life:


One way to incorporate the Viking symbol for friendship into your daily life is by wearing jewelry featuring this emblem. A simple and elegant pendant or bracelet can be a subtle and meaningful way to display your appreciation for this enduring symbol of friendship. Look for jewelry made with high-quality materials, such as sterling silver or gold, and consider customizing a piece with a personal touch, such as an engraved message or initials.


Another way to incorporate Viking symbols for friendship into your daily life is by wearing clothing that features these emblems. A shirt or hoodie with the Viking symbol for friendship can be a stylish and unique way to express your love and loyalty for friends and family. Consider pairing a piece of clothing featuring this emblem with neutral or earthy tones to create a subtle and natural look.

Home Decor

You can also incorporate Viking symbols for friendship into your home decor. Consider adding decorative items featuring this emblem, such as wall art, candles, or throw pillows. These accents can add a touch of warmth and coziness to your living space while also expressing your appreciation for the enduring significance of friendship in Viking culture.

As you can see, there are many practical ways to incorporate the Viking symbol for friendship and other Nordic symbols into your daily life. Whether you choose to wear jewelry, clothing, or add decor elements to your home, these symbols can serve as a powerful reminder of the enduring importance of loyalty, trust, and camaraderie in our lives.


Throughout Viking culture, symbols were used to convey important messages and meanings. The Viking symbol for friendship is no exception. This symbol has endured throughout time as a representation of the strong bonds between friends.

As we explored in this article, the Viking runic alphabet was used to create symbols with specific meanings. The Viking symbol for friendship was designed with intricate details and variations. It was used in a cultural context where friendship was highly valued.

Today, the Viking symbol for friendship continues to be popular, especially as a tattoo design. It is also represented in popular culture as a symbol of strength and loyalty.

However, there are also other Viking symbols that represent friendship and unity, each with their own unique meanings. By incorporating these symbols into their daily lives, individuals can embrace the meaningful symbols of Viking culture.

Incorporating Viking Symbols for Friendship in Daily Life

There are many ways to incorporate Viking symbols for friendship into your daily life. You can wear a piece of jewelry with the Viking symbol for friendship, such as a pendant or ring. You can also decorate your home with Viking-themed items that feature the symbol.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could even get a tattoo of the Viking symbol for friendship. Just be sure to thoroughly research the design and the artist to ensure you get something that will last a lifetime.

Whatever way you choose to incorporate Viking symbols for friendship into your life, remember that these symbols have endured for centuries because of their deep and significant meanings. By embracing these symbols, you can connect with the rich history and culture of the Vikings.


Q: What is the Viking symbol for friendship?

A: The Viking symbol for friendship is known as the Vegvisir. It is a compass-like symbol that represents guidance and protection, and it is often associated with camaraderie and loyalty among friends.

Q: What is the significance of Viking symbols?

A: Viking symbols played a crucial role in their culture as a means of communication and representation. They were used to convey messages, beliefs, and values, including the importance of friendship and unity.

Q: What is the Viking runic alphabet?

A: The Viking runic alphabet, also known as the Elder Futhark, was the writing system used by Vikings. It consisted of 24 symbols, or runes, each with its own meaning. These runes were often used to create symbols that represented various concepts, including friendship.

Q: How did Vikings use symbols for friendship?

A: Vikings used symbols to express their friendship and loyalty. They would often incorporate these symbols into jewelry, clothing, and even tattoos, as a way to showcase their bond with their friends.

Q: Are there variations of the Viking friendship symbol?

A: Yes, there are variations of the Viking friendship symbol. While the Vegvisir is the most well-known, other symbols such as the Valknut and the Mjölnir (Thor’s hammer) also represent friendship and protection.

Q: Can I incorporate Viking symbols for friendship in my daily life?

A: Absolutely! There are many ways to incorporate Viking symbols for friendship into your daily life. You can wear jewelry with Viking symbols, decorate your home with Viking-inspired decor, or even get a tattoo featuring a Viking friendship symbol.

Q: Are Viking symbols still relevant today?

A: Yes, Viking symbols continue to hold meaning and significance in modern times. Many people are drawn to their rich history and symbolism, making them popular choices for tattoos, jewelry, and other forms of self-expression.

Q: What other Viking symbols represent friendship and unity?

A: In addition to the Vegvisir, there are other Viking symbols associated with friendship and unity. These include the Aegishjalmur (Helm of Awe) and the Gungnir (Odin’s spear), both of which symbolize protection and strength in friendships.