7 Viking Figures and The Meaning of Their Legendary Names

Different Viking legends were known for different things. Some of them were known for their achievements, while others were known for possessing certain traits. But there’s also a common denominator among them and it has to do with their names. In this blog post, we’ll talk about 7 Vikings and the meaning behind their legendary names. Read on to find out more.                  

Ivar the Boneless                        

Ivar is definitely a legendary Viking king. But some people are still unaware of why he was called Ivar the boneless. So his father and mother were given a warning beforehand that they shouldn't make love right away after his father went home from a long trip. Unfortunately, his parents failed to ignore their urges at that time and he was the fruit of their union. This was the reason why he was cursed and was born with  soft or lame legs.                

Despite his physical misfortune, Ivar still became a king because of his attitude and intelligence. His story reminded us of a lesson from Hávamál that it’s better to be alive but disabled than be dead with complete physical features. 

Bjorn Ironside        

Bjorn Ironside was a famous Viking leader and king who founded the House of Munsö dynasty.    

He was a fierce warrior whose prowess and presence could turn the tide of battles. And since he had iron hard muscles, he was given the nickname “Ironside.”    

Eric Bloodaxe   

Eric Bloodaxe or Eric Haraldsson was one of the older sons of Harald Fairhair who claimed sovereignty over Norway and ruled for more than 50 years.

You’re probably wondering why he was given the nickname “Bloodaxe.” Based on sagas, he wanted to protect his position and importance so he gradually killed his other brothers. Another 13th century Latin source called him the “brother killer.”       

Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye

Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye was one of the sons of King Ragnar Lothbrok in Viking sagas. This nickname was actually given to him due to his mark in his eye that resembled the Ouroboros symbol and Jormungand’s symbol encircling Midgard.      

Erik The Red       

Erik the Red was one of the most popular Viking explorers. He was Leif Eriksson’s father who was believed to have set foot in North America earlier than Christopher Columbus. He was given the nickname Erik the Red in the first place due to the fact that his hair was red. It’s as simple as that.    


If you’re familiar with Rollo in the Vikings TV series, Walking-Hrólfr was that Rollo. 

The reason why Holfr was called Walking-Hrólfr was because he was so big that no horse could carry him. This made him resort to walking instead.     

Olvir the Friend of Children         

One of the traditions of the Vikings was to catch children on their spears. However, Olvir refused to do that. He was then called Olvir the Friend of Children because children are safe from being targeted by his spears whenever he was around.    

There you have it. We hope you enjoyed learning about the meaning behind the legendary names or nicknames of these 7 famous Viking figures. Watch out for our next educational blog post to learn new information. 







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