85 Striking Viking Quotes on Honor, Battle, and More

The Viking quotes below show lessons learned through their worldwide conquests and wars. 

The adventurous Vikings symbolize strength, honor, and wisdom.

According to the Icelandic Sagas, Viking society was highly structured, with a complex system of social classes and a strict code of honor.

Warriors were expected to demonstrate bravery and courage in battle, and failure to do so could result in loss of honor and social status.

What do you know about Vikings? 

The Vikings lived in Scandinavia from the 8th century until the 11th century.

Often thought of as being brutal and commandeering, Vikings were also intellectually and culturally advanced.

These quotes not only speak on topics such as battle but also go into love and honor. 

Our list of quotes is from ancient sagas featuring the adventures of Viking ancestors.

These stories were passed on orally for generations until they were first written down around the 13th century. 

Interested in learning more about Viking lore?

Check out the insightful quotes below!

Don’t forget to also check out these warrior quotes on having an unbeatable mind.

If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement. 

Read more related content on our inspirational quotes category page.

Powerful Viking quotes

1. “The error is the result of letting fear rule your actions.” – The Saga of Harald Hardrade, c.46.

powerful Viking quotes

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2. “A person should not agree today to what he will regret tomorrow.” – Saga Bandamanna, c.10.

Viking quotes from Saga bandamanna

3. “Defend your own judgment and not what others say.” – Gudmundur Jonsson

Viking quotes about defend your own judgment

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4. “Let another’s wounds be your warning.” – Njal’s Saga, c.37

Viking quotes from Njal's Saga

5. “The guess of the wise is truth.” – Grettir Saga, c.31

Viking quotes about the guess of the wise is truth

6. “Wisdom is welcome wherever it comes from.” – Bandamanna Saga, c.10

wisdom Viking quotes

7. “No one is a total fool if he knows when to hold his tongue.” – Grettir’s Saga, c.88

Total fool Viking quotes

8. “A tale is but half told when only one person tells it .” – The Saga of Grettir

Special Viking quotes

9. “He knows all who knows when to stop.” – Gudmundur Jonsson

Top Viking quotes

10. “We often regret saying too much and seldom regret saying too little.” – The Saga of Hrafnkel Freysgothi, c.7.

More Viking quotes

11. “Those who take large resolutions, and then set them aside, only end in disgrace.” – The saga of King Olaf Trygvisson, c.9

Best Viking quotes

12. “Stand by your own trial and not by what others say.” – Gudmundur Jonsson

Other Viking quotes

13. “When truth and fairness are different from what is law, better it is to follow truth and fairness.” –  Bandamanna Saga, c.6

Viking quotes about truth and fairness

14. “One should not ask more than would be thought fitting.” – Króka-refs Saga, c.10

Wise Viking quotes

15. “The fool is busy in everyone’s business but his own.” – Kormak’s Saga, c.14

Inspirational Viking quotes

16. “Where fault can be found, the good is ignored.” – Njal’s Saga

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Viking quotes and saying

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Viking quotes about love

17. “Too much beer, and a man’s heart will be open for all to see.” – The Saga of Olaf Haraldsson, c.151

Viking quotes about love

18. “Ill it is to take love from another man’s wife.” – Saga of the Volsungs, c.21

Viking quotes to take love

19. “The more folk stand in the way of two hearts that yearn for each other, the hotter the flame of love waxes.” – The Story of Viglund the Fair, c.11

Viking quotes from the story viglund

20. “The common always love what is new.” – The Saga of Olaf Haraldsson, c.33

Viking quotes about the common always love what is new

21. “Eyes cannot hide a woman’s love for a man.” – The Saga of Gunnlaugur the Worm-tongue, c.13

Viking quotes about eyes cannot hide a woman's love for a man

22. “Good to love good things when all goes according to thy heart’s desire.” – Volsunga, c.28

Viking quotes to love good things when all goes according to thy heart's desire

23. “Never a whit should one blame another for a folly which many befalls; the might of love makes sons of men into fools who once were wise.” – The Havamal

Viking quotes from The Havamal

24. “Go you must. No guest shall stay in one place for ever. Love will be lost if you sit too long at a friend’s fire.” – The Havamal

Viking quotes about honor and trust

Viking quotes about honor and trust

25. “The one you trust the most may disappoint you the most.” – Saga Fljotsdale, c.23.

Viking quotes to inspire

26. “Better to die with honor than live with shame.” – The Saga of the Jomsvikings, c.23

Viking quotes to die with honor than live with shame

27. “Kinsmen to kinsmen should be true.” – The Saga of Olaf Haraldsson, c.186

Viking quotes about kinsmen to kinsmen should be true

28. “With many who come to power and honor, pride keeps pace with promotion.” – The Saga of Magnus the Good, c.8

promotion Viking quotes

29. “Trust not him whose father, brother or other kin you have slain no matter how young he be, for often grows the wolf in the child.” – Volsunga Saga, c.21

Trust Viking quotes

30. “A man’s own hand is most to be trusted.” – Viga Glum’s Saga, c.4

Viking quotes to be trusted

31. “Trust no man so well that you trust not yourself better. Many are unfit to be trusted.” – Grettir Saga, c.67

32. “There is more honor in accumulating little by little than in reaching for the sky and ending up flat on your face.” – Vatnsdæla Saga, c.7

33. “It is their lot who stand with the great that they enjoy high honors, and are more respected than others, but stand often in danger of their lives.” – The Saga of Olaf Haraldsson, c.67

34. “Stubbornness brings either greater humiliation or greater honor.” – The Saga of Hrafnkel Freysgothi, c.10

35. “It’s better to be betrayed than to trust no one.” – Fljotsdale Saga, c.13

36. “Better a brief spell of honour than a long rule of shame.” – Laxdaela Saga, c.29

Viking quotes about death and battle

37. “It is better to fight and fall than to live without hope.” – The Saga of the Volsungs, c.12.

38. “When men encounter enemies in the fight, a robust heart is better than a sharp sword.” – Volsunga, c.19.

39. “Numbers cannot skill withstand.” – The Saga of Harald Hardrade, c.65

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40. “Many breakers of battle-axes are more brag than brains.” – Grettir’s Saga, c.4

41. “It often happens that he who gets a death wound yet avenges himself.” – The Story of Hreidar the Fool

42. “The thrall alone takes instant vengeance; the coward never.” – Grettir Saga, c.15

43. Fear not death for the hour of your doom is set and none may escape it.” – Saga of the Volsungs, c.5

44. “Bravery is half the victory.” – The Saga of Harald Hardrade, c.103

45. “A hungry wolf is bound to wage a hard battle.” – Laxdaela Saga, c.19

46. “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

47. “Where the wolf’s ears are, the wolf’s teeth are close.” – Volsunga Saga, c.19.

48. “Fight your enemies in the field, don’t burn in your home.” – Saga Volsunga, c.21.

49. “All a people need in order to rise up against tyranny is a leader bold enough to take up the banner.” – The Saga of Harald Hardrade, c.45

50. “Many have been brought to death by overconfidence.” – Grettir Saga c,54

More Viking quotes

51. “Only death is certain, and even then draugrs walk.” – Linnea Hartsuyker

52. “A strong arm kills but a cunning mind keeps you alive.” – Giles Kristian

53. “The Norsemen may have begun as raiders, but they developed into skilled conquerors and competent administrators.” – Robert Wernick, The Vikings

54. “Honor and daring, valor, strength and agility, all these were qualities the Vikings prized and upheld. There was another, somewhat less admirable side to their nature as warriors that the Vikings were only too pleased to highlight. This was their brutality toward their foes.” – Robert Wernick, The Vikings

55. “A sword age, a wind age, a wolf age. No longer is there mercy among men.” – Snorri Sturluson

56. “Where wolf’s ears are, wolf’s teeth are near.” – Volsunga Saga

57. “Do not expect to make headway with a frail sailcloth.” – Eyrbyggja Saga

58. “Fight your foes in the field, nor be burnt in your house.” – Volsunga Saga

59. “There is greater consolation than money.” – Grettir’s Saga

60. “Great deeds and ill deeds often fall within each other’s shadow.” – Gisli Sursson

61. “Many are wise after the event.” – Fljotsdale Saga

62. “The brave man well shall fight and win, though dull his blade may be.” – Fafnismal

63. “One should warn even a dim-witted troll if he sits naked by a fire.” – Heitharvega

64. “That which has a bad beginning, is likely to have a bad ending.” – Hen-Thorir’s Saga

65. “Often it is that anger is blind to the truth.” – The Foster-brother’s Saga

Life advice from viking quotes

66. “No one is a fool if he knows when to shut up.” -‘Grettir’s Saga’

67. “The worse it seems to me that the advice of foolish men will suffice us, when more come together.” -Laxdaela Saga

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68. “There’s always a better choice than cowardice, if you have business to take care of.” -‘The Poetic Edda’

69. “One day long ago my life was already shaped, and my fate was fixed.” -‘The Poetic Edda’

70. “Nothing good can happen to people who break their solemn vows.”  -‘The Saga Of Hrafnkel Freysgothi’

71. “Too much ale and a man’s heart is laid open for all to see.” -‘The Saga Of Olaf Haraldsson’

72. “Never cheat your duty.” -‘Njal’s Saga’

73. “Varied will be his fortunes who fares far.” -‘The Saga Of Fridthjof The Bold’

74. “Bad counsel comes to a bad end.” -‘The Saga of Magnus Barefoot’

75. “Work not done, needs no reward.” -‘Grettir’s Saga’

Viking Quotes That You Will Learn From

76. “You Vikings are incorrigible. You emerge from the womb with only one thing on your mind—how to die.” — King Ecbert

77. “A man should have his plans worked out before he enters into great undertakings or incites others to them.” — The Saga of Ref the Sly

78. “It is a wise leader who considers the needs of others.” — Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

79. “Who can’t defend the wealth they have must die, or share with the rover boldly.” — The Saga of Olaf Haraldsson

80. “Power is always dangerous. It attracts the worst. And corrupts the best.” — Ragnar Lothbrok

81. “Man without a sword is still a warrior, but one with no shield is just a target.” — Robert Low

82. “In the ancient poetry of the Norse, to feed the raven meant to kill the enemy, providing a meal for beasts that feed on carrion.” — Anders Winroth

83. “Seldom will a voyage go well if the men are at odds.” — The Foster-brother’s Saga

84. “Always remember to finish off your opponent, if you can. No man ever ran away with his entrails hanging to his knees, or his head cut off.” — Rollo

85. “Power is only given to those who are prepared to lower themselves to pick it up.” — Ragnar

What’s more important: physical strength or emotional strength? 

Vikings often won during battle because they prioritized both their physical and mental strength.

They understood that to win you needed both.

That’s even relevant today.

Without a strategy, you’re not going to get anywhere with your strength.

Even if you do win on strength alone, you need that strategy to sustain your wins long-term. 

Through the quotes above, the adventures of the Vikings were able to live long after them.

Their life lessons were passed down from generation to generation, and now they’re given to you. 

Which of these Viking quotes and sayings is your favorite?

Tell us your thoughts below!

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