The whole question of whether Norse women carried weapons or fought is a complex one. The ship and the various equipment all look reasonable to my non-Norse-naval-archaeologist eyes. As a result, in this first period of Viking raids, the Vikings generally stayed very close to their ships. Aethelwulf is so pious that instead of rushing out to fight, he spends the whole battle praying. After he shaved his head in the episode he looks like a dead ringer for Channing Tatum. Photo courtesy of HBO.
R45, it's also a myth that they are 5".
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They preferred to ransom the captives and plundered holy books when they could, because ransom got them money without fighting. The jury's still very much out on that one. But The Vikings is an example of a show that does moral ambiguity poorly, and the result is a series that teeters on the brink of being flat out immoral in my opinion. The monks were not fighters, and in fact were generally pacifists, so they were unlikely to effectively defend themselves. The series appears to be drawing heavily on the Gesta Danoroumwritten by the late 12 th century Christian Danish author Saxo Grammaticus. Links work for me.