Vinland Saga and the Vikings: Is There Actually History Here?

Hello wonderful people! It’s me again! Another week for the Panda Gang is here and I’m ready for it! Let’s get into this post!

The Vikings are a people I enjoy learning about. However, I don’t like simply going into my search bar and clicking the first link I find because that’s not how research should be done. If I were able to get many articles from peer-reviewed sources that would be great, but at the time of this writing I’m too exhausted to get more than two sources. The two sources I have here are from higher education schools in the United States: Yale (here) and Cornell (here).

Anyway, Vinland Saga, as one might have heard or read, takes place in England, which has been under what is known as Danelaw, or Danish rule. So, Vikings ruled England at the time of Vinland Saga. What I find cool about this, though, is that the Danish rule of England ended in the 11th century. Most people consider battles in 1066 to be the end of the Viking Age, and the most well-known battle is known as the Battle of Hastings, where William of Normandy (more commonly known as William the Conqueror) lead a Norman victory against the Danish Vikings, essentially expelling Danish rule from the British Isles (or at least in this region). What happened next is history I won’t dive in to…

So what does this have to do with Vinland Saga? Well, Vinland Saga is based off 11th century England, which was under the Danelaw, so Vikings controlled the region! Which I find absolutely fascinating. Now, I will say though, that Vikings were raiders, they simply wanted better land to farm and live off, as the Scandinavian coasts and the Danish regions they came from were not at fertile as that of the British Isles. Now, I know that Vinland Saga isn’t totally based off history, and it is its own story, but I still find it cool that we have a historical aspect of the real time frame of when the Viking Age was coming to an end in the same region where it came to an end.

Another thing that I find sort of cool, is that from what we’ve seen of our main character Thorfinn, he isn’t using the standard (or most well known) weapons of the Vikings. In the OP we see him using two knives. Now, I will say it looks freaking awesome using two knives like that, but…not so historically accurate. The other weapons, though, those are pretty freaking accurate. Swords, axes, bows, spears, and lances. I’m pretty sure we got all of those in the first few episodes we’ve seen from Vinland Saga. And we got some pretty good fighting, so that’s cool. I mean, what would a Viking show be without warfare and raiding? Still, though, our main character not using the standard axe and sword and circular shield of the Viking people is pretty neat. Who wouldn’t want to fight with two knives like a total badass? I think that would be awesome.

So yeah, the time period is accurate, but I’m thinking that the different aspects of what is used in this show and what actually happens isn’t anything that actually has merit in history. I still find it pretty cool, though.

Vinland Saga thorfinn

That’s all I really have for this week, though. I know it’s not much, but the fact that the show is taking place in a historically accurate area and time, and the fact that the weapons seem to be pretty accurate with the exemption of Thorfinn’s dual knives, it seems like this show is somehow going to continue going through history and take from that with a little spin. These are some of the kinds of shows I really enjoy because I’m a history nerd, and seeing what people do with history in their own spins are fantastic to me.

Thanks for reading!

Alexie 🙂

7 thoughts on “Vinland Saga and the Vikings: Is There Actually History Here?

  1. Wait’ll you see how King Canute is portrayed (following his ‘conversion’ at least). I’ll be curious to see whether you find him portrayed in keeping with history or not. 😸


    1. I’m excited for that. I really want to know if they’re simply taking the timeframe of the 11th century and spinning a whole different story that has no historical basis, or if they’re going to get into some historical aspects of Viking raids and other aspects.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When I was a kid at highscool I once had a lecture about Vikings. Since then I have always been fascinated by them. Weirdly enough I haven’t yet seen this series (that is I know it is around, but I haven’t actually watched it yet). After reading this, I guess I am adding another one to my way too big list of things to watch! Definitely enjoyed reading this post! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Vikings fascinate me, although I do know after some research into my own family lineage I come from people who fought against them..which is cool. So, Viking history and my own are sort of connected. I really want to know how this entire series is going to play out, though.

      Through my findings for the post I did find something about Thorfinn having a statue somewhere in North America, which means he was an explorer…. this whole Viking thing is interesting and I want to know how the show is going to play out even more now.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That makes me want to add the series in my watch list. I’ve read some Middle English ballads from that period that dealt a lot with Danish vs. English nationality, and they were so incredibly fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome! If I had the time and resources I used to this would have been more in depth, but sadly I do have have the time or resources. Still, though, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

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