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Berserks and Ulfhednar

Article, figures and pictures by Werner G. Elb

Thanks to our member Marco Petermann for his help with the translation

(Please click a picture to get (in most cases) a greater picture)

The berserks, mentioned in Viking Sagas dressed themselves in bearskins to get the power of the bear.

When they became angry, they went berserk. They would then have attacked the closes enemy immediately and it was said that they were immun against blades.


Berserking Berserks

Figure:  Foundry

Attacking Berserks

Figure:  Foundry

There are theories that the berserks used drugs to work themselves into a berserker rage. In  peacetimes they seemed to be mistrusted by other Vikings. The berserks might had been outsiders of the Vikings, good in war but dangerous in peace time .

It is not sure if they existed but they are marvellous figures. There is an evidence that they might have existed : Law of Norway and Island  forbidded berserking after 1015.

Old  Berserk

Figure:  Foundry

Ulfhednar howling like a wulf

Figure:  Foundry


Ulfhednar were a special group  of berserks wearing wulf skins to get the power of a wulf.

They were mentioned in many Wikingersagas specially as a 12 men elite unit of King Harald at the sea battle of Hafrsfjord.



Attacking Ulfhednar

Figure:  Foundry


Ulfhednar with spear 

Figure:  Gripping Beast


It is questionabele, if they wore clothes and armour or if they had been naked under the wulfskins.
It is not sure if they existed but the figures of Foundry and Gripping Beast are so nice, I just had to paint them.



Advancing Ulfhednar

Figure:  Foundry


More Viking, Berserk and Ulfhednar figures you find on my private webpage

Historische Zinnfiguren / Historical Miniatures in the section Wikinger / Vikings .