The Weapons of Vikings

The Weapons of Vikings

In Vikings, each character’s choice in weapon defines them in battle. These choices show us quite a bit about who they are. It dictates their fighting style, and at times can say quite a bit about their personality. Each character has used at least one weapon prominently, some using several to make up their unique style of fighting. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Battle Axe

The weapon choice of many characters, including Ragnar, Bjorn, and Rollo. This type of weapon seems to be popular with strong, independent characters. All three of these characters are skilled warriors, and very involved in combat. Bjorn seems to follow in his father’s footsteps with his choice, wishing to emulate both his father’s and his uncle’s prowess in battle.


Often seen on the Vikings’ side during battles, the spear is very well used in combination with shield walls. This weapon is a large part of the Vikings’ fighting strategy, and definitely works to their advantage many times in the battles we’ve seen in the show.


Take a quiz: What’s your Vikings battle weapon?



Okay, so this isn’t a weapon, but it’s used with weapons. Used most famously by Lagertha, giving her breed of warrior its name: “shieldmaiden.” Shields are used heavily in Viking battle strategy, allowing them to make shield walls and advance on their enemy unharmed.

This is used by warriors who use battle strategy well, and employ cunning  as well as bravery in battle.


Used by Ragnar in addition to his use of the battle axe, this weapon is classic and well known. This is also a primary weapon of Lagertha. Two skilled warriors with quite a bit of experience in the field. Swords are particularly used when paired with Viking shields, allowing the Vikings to stride forward confidently and quickly towards their enemies.


Floki’s weapon of choice, they’re smaller and easily wielded by a more slight warrior. For Floki, who’s unconventional in every single way, a weapon that isn’t traditional fits perfectly. He’s quick and agile, and his smaller weapons move with him, and are able to be thrown and retrieved as well.

This weapon especially allows versatility in battle, and the ability to change tactics quickly and effectively. They also allow close combat as well as ranged attacks.

Throwing Knives

Ivar’s weapon of choice, these weapons allow him to attack on his own terms. Close combat wouldn’t work to his advantage because of his legs, so by using ranged weapons, he can shape the situation to work in his favour.

These weapons also work in a frenzied way, and Ivar can often be seen hitting targets without much effort. It’s interesting that he uses these, which are similar in use to Floki’s hatchets, because it gives more credit to their relationship. Clearly, Ivar has taken quite a lot of inspiration from Floki and his battle techniques.


Similar to the use of the shield, a horse isn’t exactly a weapon in itself but it can work similarly to one. Bishop Heahmund fights almost exclusively on horseback, and uses his mount to both trample and divide opposing warriors. It definitely affects his battle style, and he has a clear advantage over most foot soldiers.

These are just a few of the most prominent weapons used in Vikings, and some of the explanations behind them and why the character’s chose them. It will be interesting to see the continued evolution of the battle styles used in the show, and what weapons stay prominently displayed within the scenes. Don’t miss new episodes of Vikings on Wednesdays at 9 ET.