What is a Viking Warrior Called?

Viking Warrior

Viking warriors were known for their fierce and intimidating reputation. But what exactly were they called? The answer may surprise you.

Contrary to popular belief, Viking warriors did not have a specific name or title. Rather, the term “Viking” was used to describe those who participated in raids and expeditions across Europe during the 8th to 11th centuries. This term was originally used as a verb, meaning “to go raiding.”

So while there was no singular name given to Viking warriors, their reputation as skilled and ruthless fighters lives on in history.

Key Takeaways:

Exploring the Viking Culture

The Viking culture spanned over three centuries, from the late 8th century to the late 11th century. The Vikings were seafarers and traders who established flourishing settlements across Europe, Asia, and North America. At the heart of Viking culture lay their religion, which was marked by a belief in Norse gods and goddesses such as Odin, Thor, and Freyja.

The Vikings were known for their art, music, and poetry. They crafted intricate pieces of jewelry, weapons, and household objects from precious metals and stones. Their epic poems, known as sagas, celebrated the feats of their heroes and gods, and provided a glimpse into Viking life and beliefs.

Another hallmark of Viking culture was their legal system. The Vikings had a complex system of laws that governed their society and were enforced by elected officials known as “lawmen.” The laws covered every aspect of daily life, from marriage and divorce to slavery and property ownership.

Finally, the Vikings were renowned for their shipbuilding skills. Their long, narrow vessels were capable of navigating shallow waters and could be easily rowed or sailed. The Vikings used their ships for trade, exploration, and raiding, and even sailed as far as North America, long before Columbus.

The Role of Viking Warriors

Viking warriors played a vital role in their communities, serving as protectors and conquerors. Their role extended beyond warfare, as they also engaged in trading, farming, and craftsmanship. In fact, it was not uncommon for Vikings to practice multiple trades, ensuring their survival and economic prosperity.

Within Viking society, warriors held a high status and were highly respected for their physical prowess and bravery. They were often tasked with defending their villages, engaging in raids, and expanding their territory through conquest.

As the Viking Age progressed, the role of the warrior began to evolve, and their importance in society waned. With the emergence of centralized monarchies and the establishment of feudalism, warfare became the purview of trained soldiers and knights, and the warrior culture of the Vikings faded.

Despite the changing times, the legacy of Viking warriors endures, providing insight into the culture and society of these legendary people.

Weapons and Battle Tactics of Viking Warriors

The Viking warriors were known for their fierce reputation in battle, and their weaponry and battle tactics played a significant role in their success. They were skilled in using a variety of weapons, ranging from swords and axes to spears and bows.

Their swords were often double-edged and designed for both cutting and thrusting, making them effective in close combat. The Viking axes were also a formidable weapon, with their long handles and sharp blades that could be used to deliver devastating blows. The Viking spears, on the other hand, were perfect for thrusting at an opponent from a distance.

In addition to their weapons, Viking warriors employed various battle tactics that set them apart from their enemies. They were known for their ability to form a shield wall, a defensive formation that involved warriors standing close together with their shields overlapping to create an impenetrable barrier. This tactic allowed them to hold off enemy attacks and counter with piercing spear thrusts.

The Vikings also made use of surprise attacks, sneaking up on their enemies under the cover of darkness or disguising themselves as allies to gain the upper hand. They were skilled at raiding and pillaging coastal settlements, often using their longboats to launch swift attacks and escape before the enemy could retaliate.

Their battle prowess was further enhanced by their fierce determination and fearlessness in combat. Viking warriors were not afraid of death and believed that dying in battle was the highest honor. This ethos, combined with their advanced weaponry and battle tactics, made them a force to be reckoned with in the medieval world.

Notable Viking Warriors

Throughout history, certain Viking warriors have become legendary figures, celebrated for their bravery, cunning, and skill in battle. These warriors were feared by their enemies and respected by their fellow Vikings. Here are some notable Viking warriors:

Name Notable Achievements
Ragnar Lothbrok Legendary king who raided England and France, and was said to be descended from the god Odin.
Erik the Red Colonized Greenland and founded the first Norse settlement in North America, Vinland.
Ivar the Boneless Commander of the Great Heathen Army that invaded England and conquered much of the country.
Lagertha Legendary shieldmaiden and queen, who fought alongside her husband in battle.

These warriors have been immortalized in popular culture through books, movies, and TV shows. Their feats of bravery and legendary status continue to fascinate and inspire people today.

Training and Recruitment of Viking Warriors

The process of becoming a Viking warrior was a rigorous one that began at a young age. Boys were trained in martial arts, weaponry, and hand-to-hand combat, as well as sailing and navigation, which were crucial skills for Viking warriors. Training took place in the form of mock battles and drills, preparing the young boys for the brutal reality of war.

Once they reached a certain age, typically around 12-14, they were considered old enough to join the ranks of Viking warriors. However, it wasn’t just a matter of age – recruits had to prove themselves in battle simulations, demonstrating their ability to handle weapons and follow orders under pressure.

Recruitment also took place through the bonds of kinship and friendship. Sons often followed in the footsteps of their fathers, while close friends and neighbors would join together to form small groups of warriors. These groups, known as “hirds,” were led by a chieftain, who served as a mentor to the warriors under his command.

Viking Warrior Society and Brotherhood

The societal structure of Viking society was built upon a foundation of brotherhood, loyalty, and honor. Within this structure, Viking warriors held a particularly significant role and were highly respected by their comrades and community.

The training of Viking warriors was both physically and mentally grueling, with the recruitment process beginning as early as age seven. Young boys were trained in combat and warfare, learning the art of battle and the importance of loyalty to their fellow warriors. The bonds formed during this training and throughout their lives were unbreakable, creating a powerful sense of brotherhood among Viking warriors.

The societal structure of Viking warriors was based on mutual respect and a shared understanding of the importance of their role in society. The leader of a Viking group was often the most skilled warrior, not necessarily the wealthiest or most powerful member of the community. This served to reinforce the importance of strength and skill in battle, as well as the notion that every member of the group is an integral part of its success.

This sense of brotherhood extended beyond the battlefield, with Viking warriors taking care of each other and their families. When one member of the group fell ill or was injured, it was the duty of his fellow warriors to care for him. This sense of duty and honor was a fundamental aspect of Viking society, and it created a strong sense of community that helped to bind them together.

The Viking warrior society was unique in many ways, and their strong sense of brotherhood and loyalty set them apart from other warrior cultures of the time. Today, the legacy of Viking warriors continues to inspire and captivate people around the world, serving as a testament to the enduring power of brotherhood and honor.

Female Viking Warriors

While Viking warriors are often thought of as being exclusively male, there is evidence to suggest that women also participated in battles and raids. Female Viking warriors, or shieldmaidens, are mentioned in various sagas and historical accounts.

It is believed that female warriors were trained in combat alongside their male counterparts and were just as skilled in the use of weapons. They often fought alongside their male allies and played a crucial role in battle.

Archaeological finds have also provided evidence of female warriors. The discovery of a 10th-century grave in Birka, Sweden contained the remains of a warrior buried with weapons traditionally associated with men. After years of debate, it was finally confirmed in 2017 that the warrior was, in fact, a woman.

The role of female Viking warriors was not only limited to the battlefield. They also played a significant role in the social and political aspects of Viking society.

In conclusion, while the existence and role of female Viking warriors may be a contentious topic, there is ample evidence to support their presence in Viking society. The legacy of these formidable fighters continues to inspire and captivate people today.

Legacy of Viking Warriors

The legacy of Viking warriors continues to captivate and inspire people today, centuries after their time. Their reputation as fierce fighters and strategic thinkers lives on, with many stories and legends passed down through generations.

Their impact on European history is undeniable, with their conquests and explorations shaping the course of many nations. The influence of Viking culture can still be seen today, particularly in the Scandinavian countries where their origins lie.

One of the most significant legacies of Viking warriors is their impact on the English language. Many words commonly used today have their roots in Old Norse, the language spoken by the Vikings. Examples include “anger,” “berserk,” “freckle,” and “saga.”

Another enduring legacy of Viking warriors is their remarkable craftsmanship, particularly in shipbuilding and metalworking. Examples of their intricate designs and skilled workmanship can be seen in the surviving artifacts, such as weapons, jewelry, and burial items.

Furthermore, the Viking spirit of adventure and exploration continues to inspire modern-day explorers and adventurers. Their journeys across the seas and lands, including their discovery of America centuries before Columbus, have inspired countless adventurers to follow in their footsteps.

Overall, the legacy of Viking warriors is rich and varied, encompassing their impact on language, culture, craftsmanship, and exploration. Their enduring influence is a testament to their skills, courage, and determination, and will undoubtedly continue to inspire future generations for years to come.


In conclusion, the title of a Viking warrior held great significance in their society. The cultural and societal background of the Vikings shaped the role and training of these formidable fighters. The weapons and battle tactics they employed were testament to their prowess in combat. The brotherhood and societal structure of Viking warriors were unique and enduring, while the existence of female warriors challenged traditional perceptions of the era.

The legacy of the Viking warriors remains strong today, with tales of their heroic deeds continuing to captivate and inspire people around the world. Thus, these fierce fighters remain an essential part of history, and their impact on Viking society will forever be remembered.

In summary, the Viking warrior was not just a title, but a way of life that embodied strength, courage, and unwavering loyalty to their community. Their legacy will continue to live on, and their mark on history will never be forgotten.


What is a Viking Warrior Called?

Viking warriors were called “Vikings” or “berserkers.” The term “Viking” refers to the seafaring raiders and traders of the Viking Age, while “berserkers” were a specific group of Viking warriors known for their fierce and uncontrollable battle rage.

What does the term “berserker” mean?

The term “berserker” comes from Old Norse, and it refers to warriors who fought with such intensity and ferocity that they appeared to be in a trance-like state. These warriors were known for their unyielding bravery, often disregarding their own safety in battle.

What weapons did Viking warriors use?

Viking warriors utilized a variety of weapons, including swords, axes, spears, and shields. They were skilled in close-quarters combat and often employed brutal and efficient fighting techniques.

How were Viking warriors recruited and trained?

Viking warriors were typically recruited from a young age within their own communities. They underwent rigorous training that focused on combat skills, physical strength, and strategic thinking. The training process varied across different regions and clans.

Were there female Viking warriors?

While the majority of Viking warriors were male, historical evidence suggests that there were also female warriors among the Vikings. These women, known as “shieldmaidens,” fought alongside male warriors, displaying courage and martial skills.

What was the role of Viking warriors in society?

Viking warriors played a crucial role in Viking society. They served as protectors, enforcers of justice, and leaders in times of conflict. Their martial prowess and reputation were highly esteemed, earning them a respected position within their communities.

What is the legacy of Viking warriors?

The legacy of Viking warriors is enduring. Their exploits and bold voyages have captivated people throughout history and continue to inspire today. Their influence on trade, exploration, and warfare shaped the course of European history.