The Ultimate Guide of the Viking Dragon
Ah, those damn Vikings! The Ragnarök, the Gods, the Warriors, the center of the Asgard world, the Valhalla, the Tree of Life (Yggdrasil), the poems, the myths, the gigantic wolf Fenrir, the Goddess Freyja … and the Dragons!
Today we want to tell you about the very special bond between the northern Viking people and the dragons.
So if you’re ready for another dragon epic, hang on tight because we’re taking off immediately!
The Viking Mythology
To begin with, it seems important to us to tell you a little more about the Viking people. You’ve probably already heard about them because they are part of the Norse mythology. There is even a television series of the same name that was created to retrace the daily life of this historical people.
According to mythology, the Vikings were traders, explorers of the world, looters but also Scandinavian pirates at a period called the Viking Age. This period extended from the 8th century to the 11th century.
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The peculiarity of this people is that they remained pagan for a very long time. That is to say that they had no religion. This is one of the reasons why the documentation of the time describes these men of the north as bloodthirsty individuals, ready to stick bread to each other all the time. This is mainly because they were not religious and that annoyed the representatives of the dogmas of the time.
And even if the current documentation still suggests that the Vikings were indeed often reputed for their acts of violence and barbarism, the fact remains that they were above all incredible explorers. They surveyed remote areas with the strength and sophistication of their boats.
The Dragons in the Vikings
But tell me, you’re in a hurry today: don’t worry, we’re getting there. We were just taking care of the transition. Because in reality, if we talk to you about Viking boats, it was discovered that a great majority of northern boats had a bow representing dragon figurines.
The bow is the front of the boat. This is what split the raging seas of the north. Imagine the look and presence of these ships!
Then having a dragon figure at the bow of your boat was also the kind of little detail that could easily shock other sailors. When you saw a huge boat, splitting the waves and appearing in the fog with a huge dragon as its bow, it was a sure panic attack.
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So it was first and foremost a technique to get a psychological lift on potential enemies or on the people they wanted to plunder, being the good pirates they were.
It wouldn’t have looked the same if the bows of their ships had butterflies or squirrels on them, would it?!
The Vikings didn’t stop at their ships. The strong bond they had with the dragons was also reflected in the architecture of their buildings. The tip of the roofs of the houses could represent dragon heads. According to the documentation of historians, it was a way to attract the protection of these powerful beings on their houses.
The Myth of Nídhögg
Now that we have put the context back in context, let us tell you more about a dragon that is particularly famous among the Vikings. It is the Nordic mythology of the Nídhögg. What was the particularity of this dragon whose name was not so obvious to pronounce?
First of all, just the translation of its name should help you to understand it better. Nídhögg means “He who strikes ferociously” in old Norse. Old Norse was the first medieval Scandinavian language.
In an old Nordic poem that is still famous today, the last stanza pays homage to the great dragon snake that is Nídhögg. The dragon is described flying over the plain, carrying flocks of corpses in its wings. Nídhögg is described as a bloodthirsty animal that sucks the bodies of murderers and adulterers.
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It is the animal that serves to enforce the sentences of human justice. You might as well think twice before cheating on your girlfriend or boyfriend … knowing that you’re going to end up being thrown into his or her lair.
According to mythology, he takes part in the famous Ragnarök, which is the plunge of the world into Chaos.
He is one of the dragons that can still be found in popular culture today. Novels, movies, comic books, cartoons, video games … it is not uncommon to find representations of this famous dragon. By the way, we also note that the character Harold, in the famous animated film Dragons, is a young Viking dragon trainer.
You should also know that other dragons can be found in Norse mythology. This is the case of Fafnir, or the giant snake Jörmungand.
The Mistake Everyone Makes
We will close this article by giving you a little information that will certainly allow you to shine during an aperitif or a meal with friends.
If you are told Drakkar, you should immediately think about the names of the boats used by the Vikings at the time, right?
Well, it’s barbarism. Which means that it’s pure invention: the Vikings never called their boats like that. The term drakkar was invented in the 19th century and it was inspired by modern Swedish. In Swedish, drake means dragon. A double K was added to accentuate the exotic effect. Only worry? It’s a pure invention.
When the Vikings talked about dragons, they used the term dreki which is from Norse, the first medieval Scandinavian language you were told about earlier in this article. How are you keeping up?
Persevere in Your Adulation of the Dragons and the Vikings
Today, we must admit that it is a little difficult to disentangle the true from the false on the history of the Vikings. Like any people belonging to mythologies, many stories abound about them and it is difficult to know the level of truthfulness.
On the other hand, the Vikings certainly carried dragons in their hearts. It was a very strong symbol of Wealth, power and protection, but also of danger.
We hope you enjoyed this article about Viking Dragon.
You can persevere in your adulation for these two historical clans on the site of the Dragon-Planet.com. For example, discover the ring of the dragon and his hammer of Thor. We also have several types of sublime Viking products in stock: Jewelry, necklace, pendant, bracelet … in steel, silver or alloy.
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