Between Thor's presence in the Marvel movies and the hit History channel show there is a renewed interest in those savage Nordic warriors known collectively as the Vikings.
Known for their ingenuity and hardiness as much as their ferocity in combat, the Vikings were a diverse and loosely banded group of clans whose heroes were hardly what you'd call heroic.
Have you heard tales about the great Viking hero Erik the Red? Turns out his fellow Vikings saw Erik as too violent.
Erik found trouble with his fellow Vikings wherever he called home, and having a disagreement with Erik meant you and yours would be killed in cold blood.
His life was a series of deadly brawls and banishment, but he did sire the great explorer Leif Erikson, so his life wasn't all death and destruction.
Speaking of death and bodily dismemberment- it's funny that the Vikings found Erik to be such a brute, considering Vikings were known for bloody duels called Holmgangs, ritual sacrifice, infanticide and a brutal torture technique called the Blood Eagle.