Viking Lifestyle: Blood is Thicker than Water

The Vikings were among the boldest warriors back to their time. They were only a number of small tribes unified under a single banner. The Vikings gradually gained popularity for their voyages and raids. The touching Viking stories are not merely about these warriors’ brotherhood but also their family story. Below are some of the Viking lifestyle relating to their family. This all proves “blood is thicker than water”.

No matter how high society status the Vikings were, the Viking lifestyle towards family never changed. That is why we can call them a kind of family-oriented warriors.

Viking Heathen Army and Northumbria

For long, the Viking Heathen Army has become the most famous Viking army in Viking history. Many mysteries revolve around these people as legends had it that these leaders were the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok.

In the Viking legends, Ragnar Lothbrok was a great king for what he had done to his kingdom. Not only did he unify all of the tribes under his command but he also declared war on the Christians who wanted to get rid of the Vikings and Viking culture. He did that as an counter-attack to the Christians. This made Ragnar famous across Europe and helped him gain a lot of respect from his people. But the more powerful he became on his throne, the more enemies he made.

According to the legends, Ragnar Lothbrok once brought his army to Lindisfarne and spill blood on this holy land. This made King Aella of Northumbria (Lindisfarne was a part of Northumbria) harbor a deep hatred toward Ragnar Lothbrok. Then what was destined to come finally came. Ragnar Lothbrok was captured by King Aella. For what Ragnar had done to Northumbria, King Aella decide to throw Ragnar into the pit full of snakes. How could a man survive? Ragnar, after all, was a human. This snake pit was a full stop to the legendary story of Ragnar Lothbrok.

Ivar the Boneless Viking quote Viking lifestyle
Viking Lifestyle can be vividly illustrated in the revenge on King Aella

The death of Ragnar Lothbrok came as a shock to his sons. Some of his great and famous sons included Bjorn Ironside, Ivar the Boneless, Hvitserk, Sigurd Snake in the Eye, and Ubba. They ached on hearing how miserable their father was when Aella threw Ragnar into the snake pit. All of them formed the Great Heathen Army and finally declared eternal war on King Aella of Northumbria.

Like father, like sons. Ragnar’s sons proved that they were true leaders as they were sons of Ragnar Lothbrok. They easily manged to capture Aella. For the pain their father had endured, they made King Aella suffer more. The sons decided to carry the Blood Eagle on King Aella. This kind of torture was great as they would cut the back of the victim, taking out their ribs and rubbing onto the wounds. The final result was to make an eagle out of the back of the victim.

Ragnar Lothbrok's death hurt his sons.

Sweyn Forkbeard and King of Wessex

For those who are new to the Viking history, Sweyn Forkbeard was the first Viking king that ruled England. Although his reign was short, he had achieved something incredible. That is not to mention a son of Sweyn was Cnut the Great.

Sweyn Forkbeard was the son of Harald Bluetooth who unified the Danes. If you ask me which Viking king had the true pagan blood running in his veins, the answer will be Sweyn Forkbeard. His father, Harald, allowed Christians to dominate the Vikings in the Viking lands. Harald Bluetooth even got baptized which made Sweyn angry. Sweyn who was brought up by Palnatoke a pagan finally revolted against his father. After throning Harald Bluetooth, some sources claimed that Sweyn pushed his father into exile leading to the death of Harald. Sweyn became the king of the Danes at his time. But his focus was not merely the Danes only. He wanted to seize a part of Anglo-Saxon for himself. And it was Wessex that Sweyn finally managed to make it.

Sweyn Forkbeard one of the Viking kings that ruled England
Sweyn Forkbeard was the first Viking king that ruled England.

At first, he let some of his people settled down in Wessex. No war at all. At first, there were rumours within Wessex nobles stating that allowing the Danes to live on Wessex was a threat. Being scared by these words, King Aethelred at that time decided to pay the Danes a sum of money to get rid of them. Yet, Sweyn did not bring back his people back. He only promised not to declare war on Wessex. However, Sweyn the Cunning quickly turnd their ship heading back to Wessex.

This time, don’t know who advised King Aethelred but the king ordered to kill all of Danish settlers in Wessex. Unfortunately, those that Aethelred killed included the sister of Sweyn Forkbeard. The first bold deed that Sweyn did in his time was to revolt against his father. The second bold deed was the declare war on Wessex for the deaths of the Danish as well as his sister and brother-in-law. This bold action helped Sweyn to become the King of Wessex paving the way for the Vikings to become one of the most feared warriors in the Medieval Age.

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