A Viking skull tattoo is probably one of the best designs to pick if you want something significant on your body. However, this article offers many other alternatives you might want to check out too!
What Does a Viking Tattoo Symbolize?
There are numerous Viking tattoos you can get, and according to Norse mythology, they can mean many things depending on the design you choose.
If you get a Viking god, for example, it might mean that you want their protection. However, the best Viking tattoo ideas go beyond getting the popular deities inked on your skin, and you will soon learn that there are many options to pick from.
Looking Like a Viking Warrior
Many people get a Viking tattoo because they want to feel empowered. Since people in the Viking age were warriors, these Nordic tattoos often make you feel attractive and brave.
Viking warriors were admirable, and you might want to feel as powerful as they were. They sailed on their ships and got to know new lands. Nowadays, many people would love to experience something similar and travel to new, unknown places.
Even though Viking warriors don’t exist anymore, you can get a piece of their culture on your skin by getting a tattoo that symbolizes something of it. The next section suggests some of the best design options to consider.
Some Viking Tattoos You Can Get
Your tattoo will last a lifetime, so it’s imperative that you pick something that’s special for you. Here are some alternatives to keep in mind:
Top Choice: Viking Skull Tattoo
One of the best alternatives to try out for your Viking tattoo is getting a skull design. This option is not only aesthetically pleasing but also very unique because no one knows its exact meaning.
Some people believe that a skull Viking tattoo represents a connection to the dead. Others believe that it’s somehow related to pirate culture, but no theory offers the ultimate answer.
Regardless of the meaning of a skull Viking tattoo, it’s one of the best alternatives you can get because of the following reasons:
- It represents the Nordic tradition
- You can ask your tattoo artist to make you a one-of-a-kind design and guarantee that you love the ink on your skin
Getting body art had specific purposes for a Viking warrior. It instilled fear and it was also a way to show your religious beliefs, and a method to establish a social hierarchy.
Traditional Viking tattoos display some of the best warriors of the time. Furthermore, they are often large and detailed since Norse warriors used to cover up most of their bodies with art.
The Viking Compass
Vegvisir, or the Viking compass, is also a symbol of Scandinavian descent. This design is supposed to keep you safe and point you in the right direction when you’re lost since that’s what compasses did in old times.
Additionally, getting this Viking symbol also means that it can help you get to where you’re going, even if you don’t know where that is.
Also known as knotwork, Vikings adopted these designs when they began to colonize Celtic lands. After doing this, the style grew in popularity among the warriors.
Tribal body art had different details when a Viking warrior got it, for example, making a specific person or being the center of the design instead of the continuous knot itself.
Nordic Arm Designs
As the article previously mentioned, a Viking tattoo can symbolize many things, including social power, hierarchy, wealth, and much more.
Therefore, slain warriors would often get Viking tattoos that covered their whole arms. If you want this kind of body art, telling a story with the design is a fantastic idea, for instance, combining different elements to make it unique.
Longships are possibly one of the most essential and well-known symbols of Viking culture. Therefore, numerous Viking tattoos include these vessels in their designs.
In the old days, a Viking warrior would travel on their ship to unknown lands, and once they got there, they would conquer it and get as many riches as they could lay their hands on.
The classic longship design is attractive, so it can be one of the best ideas for a Viking tattoo if you want something others can quickly recognize.
If you want to get something more mysterious and secretive, a rune tattoo might be the ideal pick. These symbols were Vikings’ alphabet, and now, they’re beautiful, strange lines that most people don’t understand but that many admire.
One of the most crucial aspects of getting tattooed is finding the best artist you can locate. In this case, it’s imperative that they know how to do linework because that’s most of what they’ll have to do if you’re getting runes.
Moreover, you must guarantee that both you and the artist know the translation of the runes you’re getting. There are different sets of runes for Brits, Scandinavians, and Northern Europeans, so make sure you’re picking the correct ones to depict what you want on your skin.
Warrior angels choose who lives and dies in battle and then accompany the dead to the afterlife – the Valkyries are remarkable characters in Old Norse history. They are truly unique in Viking culture, and many people want to have them on their skin forever.
Contemporary superhero movies like Thor: Ragnarok have reignited people’s interest in Valkyries, so now many more clients want to get them tattooed on their skin. If this is something you identify with, you just need to find an artist who can perfectly depict the beautiful warrior you want.
Clearly, one of the most known symbols of Norse history (probably the most popular one) is Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer.
Millions of people have gotten different Norse mythology symbols, but Mjolnir continues to be a favorite since it’s the symbol of the God of Thunder.
The good thing about getting Mjolnir is not only that it represents one of the gods but also that there are many different designs to choose from. Ask your tattoo artist to show you what they have available and choose your favorite.
Odin and Other Deities
Getting Viking gods is almost as popular as getting the Valkyries. Fortunately, there are numerous options to choose from. However, the most famous ones are Odin, Thor, and Loki.
A fantastic aspect about getting a Viking god tattoo is that you can do your own research and read some of their myths.
Since you can read different Norse mythology myths, you’ll likely choose the Viking god you feel most identified with. Thus, all you need to do is pick a fantastic artist that helps you get the art you want.
The Valknut symbol consists of three interlocking triangles, and its exact meaning is unknown. However, historians have found it on many Viking objects.
Apparently, Germanic pagans also used this popular Old Norse tattoo, which means that Vikings might have taken the design from them.
If you know some things about Norse mythology and Vikings, you probably understand that they used to carve symbols in stone.
Therefore, even though some people prefer getting something more straightforward and significant such as a Viking skull, having wooden carvings tattoos on your body can also be a good idea, especially if you prefer a more abstract design.
However, keep in mind that these kinds of tattoos are usually very big and have many details in black. Therefore, you might want to get a different design if you have sensitive skin.
Viking dragons are completely different from other dragons in myths. Therefore, they’re unique, so if you want to get a creature instead of symbols, runes, or deities, this option might work for you.
Dragons often symbolize power and even bravery. Thus, getting a Norse dragon tattoo might be a convenient choice if you want to look fearless.
Instead of getting Odin himself, you can get his ravens, Huginn and Munnin, who are also a symbol of Viking myths and culture.
The ravens have deep roots in Norse myths, so getting them means you understand their role in the old stories. Since this design is so versatile, you could get it in your arm, chest, or other different body parts.
Also known as the tree that connected the nine worlds in Norse myths, Yggdrasil is a famous Viking tattoo option as well.
The symbolism of Yggdrasil often includes the union of different worlds, so it’s a fantastic tattoo design choice if you want something more related to nature.
Getting a Kraken tattoo can be as fun as getting a Viking skull. This type of art looks impressive, fearless, and even dangerous.
Kraken tattoos are often iconic because they tend to include a sinking ship. Therefore, they can look very scary depending on the style you go for, but they can also be immensely beautiful.
Ever since Vikings premiered, thousands of people across the world have wanted to get the mighty Ragnar on their bodies.
Ragnar has become as iconic as Thor, a dragon, a Viking skull, Odin himself, or any other fierce Norse mythology symbol or character.
Getting Ragnar artwork doesn’t only mean you love Norse myths but also represents your love for the gods and this warrior.
Helm of Awe
In the Poetic Edda, the Hel, of awe granted power and spiritual connection to the warriors. Therefore, the Helm of Awe symbol means you’re looking for (or have found) both.
In the modern world, symbolism might get lost among the numerous distractions people encounter every day. Social media and other trivial things get your attention and you may lose sight of what you love. However, the Helm of Awe represents the opposite.
There are different Helme of Awe designs you can choose from, and this is a fantastic option to get in your chest if you want.
Vikings believed that trolls and elves existed. Consequently, they had symbols to protect them from these creatures.
The troll cross is one of these common Viking symbols, and it represents protection against trolls. Although the details of these stories remain a mystery, what is true is that troll crosses can be fierce, especially if you have them on your chest.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Viking Tattoo Should I Get?
You should get the one you want depending on your wishes when getting inked.
Some people want their Viking tattoo to mean something special, whereas others just wish to have one for aesthetic purposes.
Both reasons are valid, but you must understand why you’re getting a tattoo in the first place before choosing the design you want. There are numerous options to choose from, so picking between them might be challenging or very straightforward, and it all depends on where you stand on knowing the reasons for your decision.
If you want a creature, you could get Kraken, a dragon, or Odin’s ravens. On the other hand, if you prefer deities, there are different ones to choose from, and if you want something more secretive or mysterious, you could get runes.
How Do I Pick the Ideal Viking Tattoo?
To pick the ideal Viking tattoo, you must first decide why you want to get one. Once you do that, follow the next steps:
- You can take a look at the previous list of options and narrow it down to a few.
- In most cases, a Viking skull tattoo might be on your final list of alternatives. Overall, it’s one of the most popular designs to get, so it’s completely normal.
- After you narrow your options down, you can choose the one you want based on what you wish your body to look like in the future. Think about it like this: 10 years from now, will you feel content with a Viking skull? If the answer is yes, then go for it!
Are Viking Tattoos Popular?
Viking tattoos are immensely popular, especially now since movies like Thor and The Avengers and series like Vikings and Loki have sparked many people’s interest in the myths.
Even though there are some out there who don’t know about Vikings or their culture, you’ll probably find more people who do if you go outside.
Getting a Viking skull tattoo is one of the best choices you can make, even though there are other options to consider.
Nonetheless, picking a tattoo often takes time for some people because they need to be completely sure of what they’re getting. In other cases, you might just pick the design because it’s aesthetically pleasing and you want to have it on your body.
Each person is different, so you must always choose something that makes you happy. Thus, consider each option and compare them based on what you want.
Now that you have a full list of different alternatives, you can check out all of them and choose your favorite!