Are All Viking Warriors Tough?
What is the first thing to pop up in our minds when it comes to the word "Vikings"? Most people will definitely give answers like "tough", "savage", "fearsome", etc. The question here is whether all of the Viking warriors are historically that tough?
The answer is, yes, they are. But they are not god-like warriors who won all battles. Historically, the Vikings were farmers who became warriors to fight and defend their own faith and life. The Vikings are just as tough as other medieval warriors. If they refuse to be tough and fearsome, other tribes will gain the upper hand. Being tough is not only for themselves but for their beloved ones and their whole community in general.
First, let's talk about physical toughness.
The majority of the Vikings were farmers. Indeed, agriculture was the most important survival key for the Vikings. They were not full-time warriors. They only joined the army when their leaders called for either protection over their land or land expansion.
Because they worked every day and agriculture was never an easy task, the Vikings always stayed fit.
"I have never seen more perfect physiques than theirs – they are like palm trees, are fair and reddish, and do not wear the tunic or the caftan." - Ahmad ibn Fadlan
Ahmad ibn Fadlan was an Arabian traveller who happened to live among the Vikings within a period of time.
Viking warriors had good physical shapes
Their stamina was as great as their physique. Compared with modern time, the Viking laws were not as civilized as ours. The Vikings had to learn to use weapons ever since they could walk. Because there were no certain sets of rules from the government to fully protect them.
Second, their great willpower was trained by their own religious belief.
Many scholars now don't agree that the Vikings had their own belief. They simply refuse to accept Norse belief as a religion.
But as long as the Vikings once worshipped Norse gods like Thor, Odin, Freyr for their protection, it was, is, and will forever be a religion.
Thanks to their firm faith in the Norse pantheon, the Vikings became one of the most fearsome warriors. The only thing that the Vikings warriors feared was they could not join Valhalla.
According to their belief, to join Valhalla, they had to die a warrior death and truly lived an honorable Viking warrior life. Specifically, when alive, they were supposed to do good to the community, following the social rules, and when in combat, they died a warrior death, not death on bed. Because they had to come to Hel (the opposite afterlife of Valhalla), they had to strive their best. This trained their mental power.
The Vikings had a firm belief in their gods. They feared the wrath of the gods. They made sacrifices in certain times within a year for gods' protection and blessing.
Moreover, the Vikings always believed that their gods were watching them. That's why they had to be both physically and mentally tough in order to become the chosen ones. Odin only chose the most excellent warriors to join him in Valhalla.
Their Norse gods were all around protecting and blessing them. That's why they feared nothing in combat. That's how we now have the definition of "Viking warrior spirit".
In a nutshell, the Viking warriors are tough. But their toughness is not really a Hollywood toughness. They have their own Viking spirit that hardly can any modern art could depict. Their toughness is flexible and it is used in a very smart way, either as a farmer or a warrior.