Fifteen years ago, the PBS series NOVA ran a special two-hour episode called “The Vikings.” That episode is still highly rated and available for rent. And the original promotional materials for it are still available online, including a generator that explains Viking runes.
Runes are the characters of the alphabet used by the Vikings and other Germanic peoples from about the second to the 15th centuries A.D. Some runes vaguely resemble letters in our own alphabet; others look more like symbols. All had meaning to the Vikings, who carved them into their so-called rune stones—large monuments that honor the memory, and the names, of Norsemen past.