TV shows like History’s “Vikings” and BBC’s “The Last Kingdom” attempt to find the balance between realistically showing the brutal violence of the Viking Age, but at the same time not have it be gratuitous maiming. And the producers should be commended for this – the shows are after all primarily intended as main stream entertainment.
However, there is also a real risk of romanticizing what was undeniably a very harsh and brutal life in the Viking Age. It is worth remembering that the life expectancy / average age is thought to have been less than 30 years old at the time. Natural causes like disease and illnesses could not be treated effectively. But death from violence was also significantly higher than it is in our modern age.
Therefore, came across a couple of demonstration videos – showing the awesome destructive power of Viking weapons. A potent reminder that it’s one thing to watch a TV show or read about how lethal the Viking axe and sword were… it’s another to have been at the receiving end back in the Viking Age!
Be warned, they are graphic!