Viking Valknut Symbol

Image of Viking Valknut symbol

Valknut pronounced as “VAL-knoot” was one of the most sacred Viking symbols. The reason why Viking Valknut symbol was famous and respected was mainly attributed to its direct link with Odin the Allfather. This Valknut symbol was one of the mightiest Odin’s symbols.

Viking Valknut Symbol of Death

The symbol of Valknut consisted of three interlocking triangles that pointed upwards. This symbol appeared in many runestones and depictions that dated back to the Viking ancient time and on the Swedish island of Gotland or even on the goods from the ship burial of Oseberg in Norway. However, there appeared no word related to “Valknut” in any sources about Norse myth that survived until now. Rather, “Valknut” is the modern word that people in this day and age call the symbol. The compound “val” meant “the slain warriors” and “knut” was for “knot”. So the word meant the Knot of the Fallen Warriors.

Image of Viking Valknut symbol and rune circle
Valknut symbol and rune circle

Well, Odin was not only the chief god in Asgard but he was also one of the most powerful Norse gods of war. Warriors who did not survive their battles would stand a chance of being selected into the great hall Valhalla of Odin. There, they would dwell and fight with Odin until the end of Ragnarok. Several depictions of Valknut symbol remind us of the process of selecting the fallen warriors. Odin himself or ravens and wolves (those are Odin’s constant companions) would appear with the symbol of Valknut. Accordingly, we can assume that the Valknut symbol had the power related to the transition between life and death. So, Valknut could be the sign that presenting not only the death but also the afterlife with Odin. The Viking warriors believed that the afterlife in Asgard was a typical Viking wish. That was why they respected the Viking Valknut symbol so much.

Another theory about Valknut

There was another famous interpretation about this Valknut symbol. That was seen as the Hrungnir’s heart. Hrungnir was a giant that was the dark spirit of winter, night, and grave. Thor god of Thunder and Storm killed this arrogant giant when the giant challenged Thor to a duel. The heart of Hrungnir was described to have sharp points and be made by stone. But this resemblance of the shape was not enough to satisfy the scholar to conclude Valknut to be the Hrungnir’s heart. The irrelevence with Odin reduced the weight of this theory.



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