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You might be getting used to the concept of Vikings in some Hollywood movies. However, this concept is not as true as the Vikings really look like in the past. Therefore, "what did Vikings look like?"

In this post today, to answer the question “What did Vikings look like?”, I will give you some useful information about how Vikings really look like and make a comparison between the Vikings in Hollywood movies and the Vikings in real life.

The Vikings in Hollywood movies

    In recent years, Hollywood is constantly releasing many movie series which have the appearance of the Vikings like “Rise of the Viking”, “The Viking saga” etc.

    what did Vikings look like

    Picture 1. Poster movie "Rise of the Viking"

    Hair and beard

      You can see in movies, both Viking men and women had long, ruffled hair. Sometimes, their hair was braided in different and unique types. Men's hair was often tied neatly back of their heads or braided into small curls. On the other hand, women would like to decorate their hair with sparkling accessories or simple flowers.

      Most Viking men preferred beards, especially warriors. They were proud of their beards very much. Some Vikings men liked shaggy while others would like to have little beards. Moreover, some men were more stylish, they braided their beard in many styles. In general, Viking men took care of their beard very well.


        In movies, the question “What did Vikings look like?” is quite easy to answer. Most Viking movies are about wars, battles or fighting so that the main characters are usually warriors. They often wear armors which made with solid materials. In cartoon movies, a common feature of Viking clothes is the hat. Vikings warriors usually have horned-helmets. Besides, normal people prefer animal-skin hats.

        how to look like a Viking

        Picture 2. A scene in the cartoon movie "How to train your dragon"

        In terms of Viking women in movies, they often wear long dresses with sleeves. These dresses have a cut-out line on the collar of each dress to reveal a part of the soft breast of the women.

        What did Vikings look like in real life

        The height of the Vikings

          According to the researcher, the Viking was about 8-10 cm (3-4 inches) shorter than we are today. In a report, the archaeologists have found that a Viking man was around 172 cm tall (5.6 ft), and a woman had an average height of 158 cm (5,1 ft).

          People who had access to more or better food in the Viking age were often taller than the average person due to having a better lifestyle. The higher class in Viking society was taller than other classes because they have a richer life.

          Hair and beard

            Hollywood movies might make us have wrong thoughts about the appearance of the Viking. When hearing about Vikings, you will immediately think about a muscular guy with blonde hair, a shaggy beard, a loud voice, wearing a horn helmet and a big axe. It seems definitely coarse. However, it is not accurate very much in real life.

            The men in the Viking age loved their hair and beard. 

            One of the most famous hairstyles in the Viking age was a reverse mullet. A reverse mullet is when you have long hair in the front and short hair in the back of the head.

            look like a Viking

            Picture 3. Mullet hairstyle.

            The women also had beautiful hairstyles. They often had long hair or braided hair. Viking women decorated their hair with some beads headwears or other accessories like jewelry, headbands, flowers, etc.


              Now, there is no more cruel wars so that the Vikings do not wear armors anymore. Thus, they are now wearing normal clothes as we are today. Their clothes is often made by silk, leather. However, the winter in where they live is really draconic so that they will wear animal skin or fur to keep warm in this season.

              The clothes of Viking women is absolutely attractive. They add more handmade patterns on their dresses to make them look more gorgeous.

              In the past, Vikings society is decided into three main classes. They are Jarls-the highest class, Karls- the middle class and Thralls- the lowest class. Of course, the more money you have, the fancier outfits you wear. The rich always choose high-class materials for their clothes. The poor has no choice, they have to wear mediocre fabrics. The middle class also wear normal materials but a few of them had vestments to wear in important events.

              Facial features and strength

                Back in time, to find out what did Viking look like, scientists has done many tests and then they shown us the following result.

                In the Viking Age, the facial features of the men and women were more alike than they are today. The women had more prominent brow ridges which are typically a masculine feature, and the men had a more feminine face than today with a less prominent jaw and brow ridges. The scientists used to face difficulty when research Vikings’ skeletons. They cannot decide whether a skeleton was a male or female because of its facial features.

                Vikings are often described as strong muscular guys, and that is actually not that far from the truth. The Vikings were more robust and muscular than the average person, and that was for both women and men. One of the reasons for this is the hard physical work, that was needed to survive in a landscape like Scandinavia in the Viking age.

                what did a Viking look like

                Picture 4. The Icelandic Vikings in their traditional clothes

                In a nutshell, The images of the Vikings in the movies are somewhat similar to the Vikings in real life. Nonetheless, if you would like to find out what did Viking look like, in reality, you should read documents which have scientific basis, visiting a museum or even take a trip to the Norse. The Vikings look much friendlier than their appearances, I am sure that they will welcome you.

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