What Difficulties the Vikings Encountered?

Posted by Ms Elly on

What Difficulties the Vikings Encountered?

The common knowledge is that the Viking warriors were the most brutal, fiercest, and bloodthirsty. They, however, were not born to be that way. Facing many difficulties and enduring the hardships to survive built up not only the physical appearance but also the mental power of the Vikings. But what difficulties did the Viking encounter in their times?


The weather in the ancient Viking age was very harsh. Although there was no Fimbulwinter (3 consecutive winters in a row before Ragnarok in Norse myth), it usually had long and cold winters, dropping down to minus 30 degrees. They had summer but short and mild though. There were times that the harsh weather destroyed the whole harvest, leaving many families starving. The food supplies were cut down then. Accordingly, the Vikings came up with preserving their food for winters. Moreover, many set sail to find another source of food for their families when the harvest was not successful.

Image of Viking warriors

Viking Warriors


The Vikings painfully struggled with the terrain of Scandinavia which was full of forest, hills, and mountains. There was little farmland and even the farmland was infertile because of the climate. This motivated the Vikings to step out of their ancestral land and invade more so that it would provide them with more farmland to cultivate and more resources they needed. 

Chaotic Society

Though the Vikings were very civilized, their unified empire was not orderly. Many ancient tribes unified with a central government and leading figures. The Vikings had many leading figures. However, the rules were not written down. Rather, it was transmitted orally and passed down from generation to generation. This made the leaders have nothing to follow by. As a result, each Viking would have a different way of interpreting the rules, causing them to have different views. 

Population Pressure

Technology advanced and the lifespan grew with it. There was not enough room for all the Vikings to live as a result. This made the Vikings have to travel to other areas, leaving their homeland for it was no longer enough for them.

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