1. SUPERdime
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    SUPERdime New Member

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    Viking age Assassins

    Discussion in 'Research' started by SUPERdime, Feb 23, 2014.

    I am writing a story about a prophecy group/cult that assassinate Viking Kings and Queens to get hold of Arc stones. I was wondering if there were assassins back then and what sort of weapons they used.

    Help would be appreciated.
     
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  2. Bjørnar Munkerud
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    Bjørnar Munkerud Contributing Member

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    There were lots of unfair game going 'round, but I've never heard of assassinations that I can recall. Usurping kings was a favourite pastime for many a brave Norseman, but while it wasn't always through huge wars or battles they did this, I don't imagine they had ninja clothing and katanas and tend to walk silently on top of rooftops either. They weren't idiots, however, so they wouldn't bring a battleaxe to a knife murder, so to speak. If you're doing assassins in the Viking Era I believe you'd need some willing suspension of disbelief, so as long as they don't fight using samurai swords or light sabres I believe you'll pretty much be allowed the historical inaccuracies. My source isn't more specific than that I'm Scandinavian, so please look around for more information on the matter. Even Wikipedia should suffice to give you the information you need to know what kinds of weapons and societies they had etc. Good luck! :-D
     
  3. SUPERdime
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    SUPERdime New Member

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    Thanks
     
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  4. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Despite TV and Hollywood, an assassin is not some super powered or skilled killer. A real assassin is simply a person who sets out to kill one person in particular for a cause, rather than fight as part of an organised group against other organised groups. The only difference from a murderer is that he/she is doing it for a cause. People tend to throw the term "terrorist" around too easily nowadays. If the suicide bomber is targeting a specific person or group of people, then he is an assassin.

    Real assassins often don't expect to survive the attempt.

    Given the above, the Vikings definitely had assassins. As for weapons, I would guess daggers, strangling cords, throwing axes, and bows (for ambushes). Or the good old blunt instrument.

    According to Google, King Godfred (also spelled Gottrick or Gudfred) was assassinated by his own son in 811 AD.
     
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  5. Morbius
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    Morbius Member

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    I must disagree.

    Socially important people (Kings, Prime Ministers, Presidents, Celebrities, Business Leaders, etc.) are "assassinated" while poor folks of no consequence are simply "murdered".

    Its a class thing, kind of like how rich people are "eccentric" and poor people are just "crazy".

    Political/religious zealots don't expect to survive the attempt and die for their "cause".

    Professional killers, like military or SWAT snipers kill specific people and move on to the next assignment.
     
  6. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    "First rule of assassination: kill the assassin."
    ~James Kirk
     
  7. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    If a "poor" person was killed by a person hired to do so and who held no personal grudge against that person, most people would call that a "hit" and the killer a "hitman". A hitman is simply criminal slang for a professional assassin.

    However I agree that whenever an official or politician is killed, the media tend to describe it as "an assassination" even if it was because the official was screwing the guy's wife or he was stoned on PCP and thought he was killing Godzilla. It is more discreet to say that so and so was "assassinated" rather than "was beaten to death by a jealous husband" or "stabbed by an unpaid hooker".

    Just a niggle, but SWAT snipers are empowered by the law to kill withing their own country and are not assassins. If a SWAT sniper snuck over to Mexico and shot the head of a drug cartel, then he would be an assassin.
     
  8. Peter Werme
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    Peter Werme Member

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    I'd say that assassination have existed throughout the lifespan of humanity. As long as people are unhappy, they find motives to harm others.
     
  9. Glen Snow
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    Glen Snow Member

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    Assassination isn't always cloak & a literal dagger. It was often done with poisons, maybe even food allergies if the assassin was close enough to the target to know about them. The Norse would be more than aware of what weed could kill you, and assassins aren't exactly honorable warriors.

    The only Norse assassination I can think of right now has to do with a King being killed by his wife's page. The page used a spear, if I recall correctly. I also read that Norsemen nearly always carried around a large one sided knife called a seax. So I imagine they were used in assassinations pretty often. Assuming of course there were more assassination then was recorded.
     

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