Norse Viking Tattoo Ideas

Odin was a god of war, magic and death.
Odin was a god of war, magic and death. (Image: Images)

People often get tattoos to express a sense of connection with a thing, place, topic or culture. Whether you are a Norwegian proud of your Viking ancestors, a mythology buff specializing in Norse sagas, or simply gravitate toward the rich history of the Vikings, a Norse Viking tattoo will signal to everyone who sees it that you have an allegiance to this fierce, fascinating culture.


Design a tattoo depicting Odin, the main deity in the Norse mythological pantheon. An Odin tattoo would be particularly well-suited to placement on the bicep, the thigh, the forearm or the calf because of its tall, narrow shape. The tattoo could show Odin as a cartoon figure with a horned helmet or depict him undergoing a self-inflicted ordeal at Yggdrasil, the mythical "world-tree" where he was said to have suffered to gain knowledge.

Odin was a god of war, magic and death.
Odin was a god of war, magic and death. (Image: Images)

Viking Warrior

Commission a tattoo depicting a Viking warrior in the midst of "berserker" battle rage if your interest in Norse Vikings stems from their well-deserved historical reputation as fierce warriors. Such a tattoo could fit on almost any area of the body, depending upon whether you chose to depict only the warrior and his weapon or if you showed him mid-pillage in some European town.

Viking Longship

Design a tattoo depicting a fully manned Viking longship, complete with a dragon on its curling bow, if you have a taste for the dramatic and a desire for a large tattoo. A Viking longship would be particularly suitable for someone looking for a design for a full-back tattoo. The expertise of Norse craftsman in shipbuilding allowed Vikings to become a much-feared sea power. A longship tattoo would be a subtle homage to the Vikings' period of dominance.

Viking longships bore distinct bow designs.
Viking longships bore distinct bow designs. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)


Have your name or a meaningful word or phrase tattooed on you in Norse runes. While runes are perhaps most recognized today because they are used in divination, they were used by Norse Vikings to record elaborate sagas, cast magical spells and label items with ownership, according to NOVA Online. Consult a respected scholar of Norse mythology and runes prior to having your tattoo done to make sure you get the translation right.

Rune stones are sometimes used in divination.
Rune stones are sometimes used in divination. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

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