61 Viking Quotes and Norse Sayings

The Vikings were mysterious and strong seafarers, and their popularity has grown throughout time. Many of their sayings and ideas are still relevant today.

Below you’ll find a selection of Viking quotes, sayings and ideas from the Norse mythology, movies and authors.

Viking Quotes

  • Better to fight and fall than to live without hope” – Volsunga Saga, Chapter 12
  • Viking quote better to fall than live in hope

  • It is better to stand and fight. If you run, you’ll only die tired
  • If you find your axe is too short, add to it’s length.. by continuining to take steps forward
  • Eyes can not hide a woman’s love for a man – The Saga of Gunnlaugur the Worm-tongue, chapter 13
  • Our most important baggage on our journeys is wisdom – Hávamál
  • One should not ask more than would be thought fitting – Hávamál
  • Never break the peace which good and true men make between you and others – Hávamál
  • No one is a total fool if he can be silent – The Saga of Grettir the Strong, chapter 88
  • Never laugh at the old when they offer counsel, often their words are wise – Havaml: 134
  • A tale is but half told when only one person tells it – The Saga of Grettir the Strong, chapter 46
  • Courage is better than keenest steel – Sigurth, Fáfnimál
  • Where fault can be found, the good is ignored – The Saga of Burnt Njal, chapter 139
  • Bravely and gladly a man shall go, till the day of his death is come – Hávamál: 15
  • Viking quote bravely a man shall go

  • Do well by your kinsmen and take little revenge for their wrongdoings. Endure patience and you will win long-lasting praise – Brynhild
  • Over the foaming salt sea spray, The Norse sea-horses took their way, Racing across the ocean-plain – Heimskringla
  • Viking quote Over the foaming sea

  • There are few more certain tokens of ill than not to know how to accept the good – The Saga of Grettir the Strong, chapter 78
  • Though glad at home, and merry with guests, a man shall be way and wise – Hávamál: 103
  • He is bad-tempered, and may be that I shall let another’s wound be my warning – The Saga of Burnt Njal, chapter 37
  • Love is mingled when a man can say to a bosom friend what burdens him – Hávamál: 124
  • There are more things to be thought of by men than money alone – The Saga of Grettir the Strong, chapter 47
  • Shun not the mead, but drink in measure – Hávamál: 19
  • All dead men’s ghosts do grow more dread as daylight darkens to dimness of night – Helgakviða Hundingsbana II
  • For heroes, ’tis seemly the truth to speak – Helgakviða Hundingsbana II
  • Braver are many in word than in deed – Grettir, The Saga of Grettir the Strong
  • Push away pride! Your strength, your power, are yours for how many years? Death comes faster than you think, no one can flee it – Beowulf
  • I demolish my bridges behind me – then there is no choice but forward – Fridtjof Nansen
  • Never stop because you are afraid – you are never so likely to be wrong – Fridtjof Nansen
  • Viking quote Never stop because you are afraid

  • We will never flee from our enemies but rather endure their weapons – Hjalmar, Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks: 4
  • Now the youth was to enter the line of battle with his lord, his first time to be tested as a fighter. His spirit did not break – Beowulf
  • Do not dispute with those who are drunk on wine and have lost their wits – Saga of the Volsungs
  • There are few more certain tokens of ill than not to know how to accept the good – Grettir Saga, c.78
  • Old friends are the last to break away – The Saga of Grettir
  • What brothers own jointly is best seen together – Gisli Sursson’s Saga, c.10
  • Few are bold in old age that are cowardly in childhood – Volsunga Saga, c.18
  • Stand by your own trial and not by what others say – Gudmundur Jonsson
  • Often times it is not numbers that wins the victory, but those who fare forward with the most vigor
    The Saga of Thrond of Gate, c.19
  • When men meet foes in fight, better is stout heart than sharp sword – Volsunga, c.19
  • To take up great resolutions, and then to lay them aside, only ends in dishonor – King Olaf Trygvisson’s Saga, c.9
  • Ill is the result of letting fear rule thine actions – The Saga of Harald Hardrade, c.46
  • Too much ale and a man’s heart is laid open for all to see – The Saga of Olaf Haraldsson, c.151
  • There’s no excusing the man who rejects the truth once it’s proven – Fóstbrœðra saga, c.23
  • When ill seed has been sown, so an ill crop will spring from it – Njal’s Saga
  • Likely is ill the result when words of slander fly – Heitharvega, c.35
  • Varied will be his fortunes who fares far – The Saga of Fridthjof the Bold
  • Sorrow is lightened by being brought out openly – The Saga of Sigurd the Crusader and His Brothers Eystein and Olaf
  • Forethought is better than afterthought – Vatnsdæla Saga

Norse Sayings

  • “Du skal kravle, før du kan gå” – You have to learn to crawl before you can walk
  • “Ju senare på kvällen, desto vackrare folk” – The later in the evening, the more beautiful the people
  • “The cowardly man thinks he’ll live for ever, if he keeps away from fighting; but old age won’t grant him a truce even is spears spare him”
  • “If aware that another is wicked, say so: Make no truce or treaty with foes”
  • “Árinni kennir illur ræðari” – A bad rower blames the oar
  • “The unwise man is awake all night,
    and ponders everything over;
    when morning comes he is weary in mind,
    and all is a burden as ever”
  • “Bara döda fiskar följer strömmen” – Only dead fish follow the stream
  • “Praise day at even, a wife when dead,
    a weapon when tried, a maid when married, ice when ’tis crossed, and ale when ’tis drunk”
  • “Berre bok gjer ingen klok” – Merely book makes none wise
  • “About his intelligence no man should be boastful, rather cautious of mind; when a wise and silent man comes to a homestead blame seldom befalls the wary; for no more dependable friend can a man every get than a store of common sense”
  • “Den hund som bieffer meget, han bider ikkun lidet” – Barking dogs seldom bite
  • “A guest must depart again on his way, nor stay in the same place ever; if he bide too long on another’s bench the loved one soon becomes loathed”
  • “Gammel kjærleik rustar ikkje” – Old love does not corrode
  • “Det är som mörkast innan gryningen” – It is darkest before dawn
  • “Let none put faith in the first sown fruit nor yet in his son too soon; whim rules the child, and weather the field, each is open to chance”

Sources: Vikingrune.com

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