Viking Wolf Symbols: Emblems of Strength and Loyalty

viking wolf symbols

Vikings revered the wolf for its strength, ferocity, and loyalty. Wolf symbols have long played a significant role in Norse mythology and Viking culture, and their meaning has endured to this day. In this section, we will explore the significance and meaning behind Viking wolf symbols, which have stood as emblems of strength and loyalty for centuries.

Key Takeaways:

  • Viking wolf symbols represent strength and loyalty in Norse mythology and Viking culture.
  • The image of a wolf held great significance to the Vikings, symbolizing power, protection, and ferocity.
  • Wolves played a significant role in Norse mythology, particularly in relation to the deity Odin and his companions, the wolf brothers Geri and Freki.
  • Viking art and jewelry frequently incorporated wolf motifs, representing different meanings and symbolizing different things.
  • Viking warriors such as berserkers and ulfhednar were renowned for their connection to the wolf, and their beliefs in the importance of loyalty and brotherhood were exemplified by the wolf symbol.

The Viking Wolf: A Symbol of Power and Protection

The image of a wolf held immense significance to the Vikings, symbolizing power, protection, and ferocity. The Vikings were known for their fierce and ruthless nature, and they believed that wolves shared these traits. As such, the wolf was a popular symbol among Viking warriors, and many wore wolf skins into battle to invoke the strength and courage of the animal.

According to Norse mythology, the god Odin had two wolf companions, Geri and Freki, who accompanied him on his travels and battles. The wolves were seen as fierce and loyal protectors, embodying the qualities that the Vikings aspired to.

The Vikings also believed that by invoking the spirit of the wolf, they could tap into its power and become unstoppable warriors. This led to the development of the berserkers and ulfhednar, two groups of Viking warriors who were said to have worn wolf skins and fought with the ferocity of the animal.

While the Vikings saw the wolf as a powerful and fearsome animal, they also recognized its loyalty and protective instincts. Wolves were pack animals, and the Vikings valued the importance of brotherhood and unity. As such, the wolf became a symbol of loyalty and brotherhood among Viking society.

Overall, the Viking wolf represents a complex and multifaceted symbol in Norse mythology and Viking culture. It embodies the qualities of strength, protection, ferocity, loyalty, and brotherhood, making it a powerful symbol that continues to captivate modern audiences.

The Wolf in Norse Mythology

In Norse mythology, wolves were a common motif, appearing throughout various stories and legends. One of the most prominent figures associated with wolves is the god Odin, who had two loyal companions, the wolf brothers Geri and Freki. Odin was often depicted accompanied by these fearsome wolves, who were said to roam the earth seeking out battles and feasts.

The Norse believed that wolves played a pivotal role in the cycle of life and death, with the great wolf Fenrir serving as a powerful symbol of chaos and destruction. According to legend, Fenrir was destined to bring about the end of the world during the apocalyptic event known as Ragnarok.

Despite their fearsome reputation, wolves were also revered for their intelligence and cunning, with many stories featuring wolves as clever and resourceful characters. In one such tale, a wolf outwits the god Thor in a battle of wits, demonstrating the creature’s sharp mind and quick thinking.

Overall, the wolf held a complex and multifaceted role in Norse mythology, embodying both power and chaos, loyalty and cunning. These myths and legends shaped the perception of wolves in Viking culture, reinforcing their status as symbols of strength and resilience.

Wolf Symbolism in Viking Art and Jewelry

Vikings were skilled artisans known for their intricate metalwork and jewelry. Among their many motifs, wolves were a common symbol used in Viking art and jewelry. The wolf held great significance and was often associated with strength, power, and protection.

Wolves were often depicted in Viking art as fierce and ferocious animals, ready to defend their pack at all costs. They were also seen as cunning and intelligent creatures, with a strong connection to the natural world.

One common example of Viking wolf symbolism in jewelry is the wolf head, which was often featured on pendants and brooches. The wolf head was worn as a symbol of protection and strength, and was believed to offer the wearer the same qualities as the wolf.

Symbol Meaning
The Fenrir Wolf A popular Viking symbol, representing chaos and destruction.
The Wolf Cross A combination of the Christian cross and wolf imagery, symbolizing the alliance between Christianity and pagan beliefs.
The Valknut A knot-like symbol featuring three interlocking triangles, believed to represent Odin’s warriors, the Valkyries, and their association with wolves.

Another popular example of Viking wolf symbolism in jewelry is the wolf’s head bracelet. These bracelets featured bold, stylized wolf heads at each end, and were worn by Viking warriors as a symbol of their connection to the wolf and their strength in battle.

The use of wolf symbolism in Viking art and jewelry was not limited to warriors, however. Wolf motifs could also be found in everyday objects, such as combs and brooches, and were often worn as a symbol of loyalty and protection.

Overall, the wolf was a powerful and enduring symbol in Viking culture, representing strength, loyalty, and protection. Its image continues to inspire contemporary art and jewelry, and remains a beloved and evocative symbol of Viking heritage.

Viking Wolf Warriors: Berserkers and Ulfhednar

The Vikings were fierce warriors, feared and respected throughout Europe. Among their ranks were the berserkers and ulfhednar, who were said to be able to tap into the power of the wolf to become unstoppable on the battlefield.

The berserkers were a special kind of Viking warrior who were known for their ferocity in battle. They would work themselves into a frenzy before fighting, often using mind-altering substances to enhance their abilities. Many believed that they could transform into wolves or bears, giving them an almost supernatural edge in combat.

The ulfhednar, on the other hand, were a more mysterious group of warriors. They were said to be able to communicate with wolves and wore wolf skins into battle to tap into the animal’s strength. They were sometimes even referred to as “wolf warriors.”

Berserkers Ulfhednar
Known for their ferocity and frenzied battle style. Communicated with wolves and wore wolf skins into battle.
Some believed they could transform into wolves or bears. Referred to as “wolf warriors.”

Despite their different methods, both groups were revered for their connection to the wolf and the power it brought to their fighting.

The Viking wolf warriors were not just known for their fighting prowess, however. They were also seen as important members of Viking society, as their connection to the wolf was seen as a form of divine protection. They were often called upon to lead important raids and battles, and were seen as indispensable members of the Viking army.

Today, the legacy of the Viking wolf warriors lives on, inspiring modern-day soldiers and those who aspire to be like them. The fierceness and power associated with the wolf continues to captivate our imaginations, just as it did with the Vikings over a thousand years ago.

The Wolf as a Symbol of Loyalty and Brotherhood

The wolf’s social nature and strong bonds with its pack made it a deeply meaningful symbol for Vikings, who placed great importance on loyalty and brotherhood. To them, the wolf was a powerful representation of these values, which were cherished in Norse society.

Wolves were seen as pack animals, bound by loyalty to their fellow wolves and their leader. This sense of unity and brotherhood was highly valued by Vikings, who revered the wolf as an exemplar of these qualities.

In Viking culture, loyalty was paramount, and the wolf symbolized the unbreakable bond between warriors on the battlefield. The concept of frith, or peace, was just as important as loyalty – both among fellow warriors and between different clans.

When Vikings adorned themselves with wolf motifs, they were communicating their allegiance to their tribe or clan, and their commitment to their fellow warriors. The image of a wolf’s head or body on a weapon or piece of armor conveyed a powerful message of strength, loyalty, and brotherhood.

The Ulfhednar and Berserkers

Two groups of Viking warriors, the ulfhednar and berserkers, were particularly associated with the wolf symbol. These fighters were known for their ferocity and their ability to tap into the wild power of the wolf.

The ulfhednar, or wolf warriors, were said to dress in wolf skins and howl like wolves before battle. This ritual was believed to invoke the spirit of the wolf and increase the warrior’s strength and courage in battle.

Berserkers, on the other hand, were known for their overwhelming rage and ferocity in battle. They were said to enter a trance-like state, during which they became almost animalistic in their demeanor and behavior.

Both the ulfhednar and the berserkers were associated with the wolf and its characteristics of strength, ferocity, and loyalty. They epitomized the Viking ideal of the warrior – fierce, loyal, and unstoppable in battle.

The Wolf as a Symbol of Leadership

In addition to representing loyalty and brotherhood, the wolf was also associated with leadership and wisdom in Norse mythology. Odin, the chief god of the Norse pantheon, was often accompanied by two wolf companions, Geri and Freki.

These wolves were believed to represent Odin’s wisdom and leadership, as well as his strong bond with his followers. The image of Odin and his wolf companions was highly revered by Vikings, who saw it as a powerful symbol of leadership and strength.

Overall, the wolf symbolized many of the qualities that Vikings held in high regard – loyalty, brotherhood, leadership, and strength. Its enduring significance can still be seen in modern interpretations of Viking art and popular culture.

Modern Interpretations of Viking Wolf Symbols

Viking wolf symbols continue to captivate modern audiences, inspiring a range of interpretations in art and popular culture. From graphic novels to tattoos to fashion, the image of the wolf remains a powerful symbol of strength and loyalty. Here are some examples of how Viking wolf symbols are being used today:

Contemporary Art

Many artists draw inspiration from Viking mythology and incorporate wolf imagery into their works. Some use traditional Viking art styles and techniques, while others give the symbol a modern twist.

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One contemporary artist known for his wolf-inspired works is Jesse Hazelip. His stunning mixed media pieces often feature wolf heads rendered in bold, graphic style, with other elements such as arrows and feathers adding to the overall composition.


The Viking wolf symbol is a popular choice among tattoo enthusiasts, with its striking appearance and powerful meaning. Some choose to get a realistic depiction of a wolf, while others opt for a more stylized version.

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For example, a tattoo artist might create a design featuring a wolf’s head in profile, with geometric lines and shapes forming the background. Others might choose to incorporate Viking runes or other symbols into the design for added meaning.

Pop Culture

Viking wolf symbols have also made their way into mainstream pop culture, appearing in movies, TV shows, and video games. One well-known example is the Direwolf sigil from the popular TV series Game of Thrones, which is a clear nod to Viking wolf symbolism.

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Many video games set in Viking-inspired worlds also feature wolf imagery, such as the character Fenrir from the game Smite, who is based on the mythological wolf from Norse lore. The powerful and loyal nature of wolves makes them a perfect fit for these types of fantasy worlds.

Overall, Viking wolf symbols continue to inspire and fascinate people around the world, reminding us of the enduring qualities of strength and loyalty that have been valued for centuries.

Viking Wolf Symbolism in Norse Runes

Viking wolf symbolism permeated all aspects of Norse culture, including the runic alphabet. The runic symbols associated with wolves carry significant meanings that reflect the fierce, loyal, and protective nature of these animals. Below are some of the most important Viking wolf symbols in Norse runes:

Symbol Meaning
Fehu This runic symbol represents wealth and prosperity, and is often associated with the wolf’s ability to provide for its pack.
Uruz The Uruz rune is linked to strength and primal energy, reflecting the wolf’s ferocity and power.
Kenaz This symbol is associated with illumination, creativity, and knowledge. It represents the wisdom of the wolf and its ability to navigate the world with skill and cunning.
Sowilo The Sowilo rune stands for the sun and the life-giving power it represents. It also represents victory and success, echoing the wolf’s ability to emerge victorious in battle.
Tiwaz This symbol embodies courage, self-sacrifice, and victory. It is strongly associated with the wolf in Norse mythology, particularly in relation to the god Tyr, who was said to have sacrificed his hand to bind the monstrous wolf Fenrir.

These runic symbols were not only used for communication and writing, but also for divination and magical practices. The Vikings believed that the power of the runes could be harnessed for protection, healing, and even influencing the outcome of battles. Runes inscribed with wolf symbolism were especially powerful, as they embodied the strength and loyalty of these revered animals.


The powerful imagery and symbolism of Viking wolf symbols have captured the imagination of people for centuries. From their association with strength and loyalty to their connection to Norse mythology, these emblems have remained enduringly popular.

The wolf’s role as a protector and symbol of power in Viking culture is reflected in the mythology surrounding the deity Odin and his companions Geri and Freki. The intricate designs of Viking art and jewelry featuring wolves also serve as a testament to their importance in Viking society.

Furthermore, the wolf’s connection to Viking warriors, particularly the berserkers and ulfhednar, exemplifies the deep-rooted belief in loyalty and brotherhood among the Vikings. Wolves were seen as pack animals, emphasizing the importance of unity and teamwork in the face of adversity.

Today, Viking wolf symbols continue to captivate modern audiences. From contemporary art to tattoos and popular culture, these emblems evoke a sense of strength and loyalty. Additionally, the connection between Viking wolf symbols and the runic alphabet highlights the continuing relevance of these powerful symbols in divination and magical practices.

In Conclusion

Viking wolf symbols remain a powerful reminder of the strength, loyalty, and unity that defined Viking culture. Their enduring impact on modern society is a testament to the timeless allure of these symbols, and their significance will undoubtedly continue to inspire people for generations to come.


Q: What is the significance of Viking wolf symbols?

A: Viking wolf symbols have long been associated with strength and loyalty in Norse mythology and Viking culture. They represent power, protection, and ferocity.

Q: How are wolves portrayed in Norse mythology?

A: Wolves play a significant role in Norse mythology, especially in relation to the deity Odin and his companions, Geri and Freki, the wolf brothers. They are often seen as powerful and noble creatures.

Q: How were Viking wolf symbols incorporated into art and jewelry?

A: Viking art and jewelry often showcased intricate wolf motifs, symbolizing strength and loyalty. These designs were incorporated into personal adornments and decorative objects.

Q: What were the berserkers and ulfhednar known for?

A: The berserkers and ulfhednar were feared Viking warriors who were particularly connected to the wolf. They were known for their battle prowess and believed to possess the ferocity and strength of wolves.

Q: How did the wolf symbol represent loyalty and brotherhood among Vikings?

A: Wolves are seen as pack animals, reflecting the importance of unity and loyalty within Viking society. The wolf symbol exemplifies the deep-rooted belief in loyalty and brotherhood among Vikings.

Q: How do Viking wolf symbols continue to impact modern culture?

A: Viking wolf symbols still captivate modern audiences and are often used in contemporary art, tattoos, and popular culture. They evoke a sense of strength and loyalty, resonating with people today.

Q: Are there specific runic symbols associated with wolves?

A: Yes, certain runic symbols are connected to wolves and their meanings. These symbols were used in divination and magical practices in Viking culture.

Q: What is the conclusion about Viking wolf symbols?

A: Viking wolf symbols hold deep significance as emblems of strength and loyalty in Norse mythology and Viking culture. They continue to captivate and inspire, embodying timeless qualities that resonate with people today.