Legendary Viking Names Explained

Posted by Ms Elly on

Legendary Viking Names Explained

The Vikings were not only rich in their achievement in voyage but also in the names many legendary Viking heroes had. This blog post is going to explain concisely the stories behind every Legendary Viking Names. 

Ivar the Boneless

The story we found tells us that Ivar was cursed because his father had not listened to the warnings of his mother. And the child was born with soft legs and possibly couldn't walk. The man might have been legless or lame. Reasons for this are a mystery, whether it was because of the birth illness or the genetic disorder remains to be seen. 

Despite the physical misfortune, this man later became a king with intelligence and strength he had. The story of Ivar the Boneless might refer to the lesson from Hávamál. That is it was better to be disabled and live than dead with physically complete. 

Eric Bloodaxe

Eric Bloodaxe was Eric Haraldsson. He was the son of Harald Fairhair who claimed the sovereignty over Norway and ruled over 50 years. His father was a great figure and was respected by his people. Harald Fairhair had up to 20 sons and Eric Bloodaxe was among the older sons. 

According to the sagas, Eric Bloodaxe gradually killed his brothers to protect his importance and position. This resulted in his nickname "Bloodaxe". In other Latin source dating back to the 13th century, it called Eric Bloodaxe "the brother killer".

Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye

In the Viking sagas, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye was the son of Ragnar Lothbrok who was a famous Viking legend. 

His nickname was the result of his physical characteristic in the eye. He got the mark in his eye like the Ouroboros symbol. To the Vikings, it was much like the symbol of Jormungand encircling the Midgard. But actually, Jormungand was the example of Ouroboros. After the death of his father, Sigurd and his brothers sought revenge for their great father Ragnar Lothbrok.

Erik The Red

Erik the Red was among the most famous Viking explorers. He was the father of Leif Eriksson who according to the Viking sagas was the first to set foot on North America even before Columbus. 

The reason why Erik got his nickname was that his hair was red. 


If you remember Rollo character in "Vikings" TV series, Walking-Hrólfr was that Rollo. 

The reason why Holfr was "walking" because he was too large that no horse could ever carry him to go around. Accordingly, Holfr had to walk around which coined him the nickname "Walking-Hrólfr"

Ǫlvir the Friend of Children

With the tradition of the Vikings, the warriors often caught the children on their spears. But Olvir refused to catch the children on his spears. This was the reason why Olvir was called the Friend of Children. 

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