- Viking movies saw a resurgence of popularity due to the success of TV shows like Vikings and The Last Kingdom.
- There is a lack of Viking movies compared to other subgenres of historical drama.
- Many Viking movies are based on real Viking history but take fictional liberties for storytelling purposes.
The best Viking movies transport audiences to the world of the 9th to 11th centuries for bloodlustful battle-filled adventures with some of the most notorious warriors in history. These movies tell the story of Vikings, those polytheistic Norse warriors who sailed the seas, pillaging and conquering. In the world of streaming services, the tales of Viking warriors have become much more popular. With TV shows like Vikings and Last Kingdom, there is a clear lack of Viking movies compared to other subgenres of historical drama.
Viking stories go back thousands of years, with the brave and violent warriors blazing a trail through history, creating an exciting backdrop for any movie or TV show. Thanks possibly to the success of shows like Vikings and its spinoff, Vikings: Valhalla, this unique time and place in history became popular again — though the best Viking movies show that there’s always been an interest in the longboat-sailing warriors.
20 The Viking (1928)
Silent Era Viking Movie
Tales of Viking warriors and their exploits go back centuries, so it is no surprise there is a very early Viking movie from the silent era of Hollywood. This is The Viking and is a fictional story surrounding the real-life character of Leif Erikson. The first European to come to North America, this movie details his journey to the country along with a love triangle between Leif, Alwin of Northumbria, and Leif’s protégé Helga. The Viking is the first soundtracked Technicolor film of all time (via Widescreen Museum), and that makes it an important piece of cinema history on top of a great Viking movie.
The Viking (1928) is currently unavailable for streaming.
19 The White Viking (1991)
The Finale Of Hrafn Gunnlaughsson’s Epic Viking Trilogy
Over the course of nearly a decade, director Hrafn Gunnlaughsson made a series of Viking movies, and the final of his Viking Trilogy arrived in 1991 with The White Viking. This story is loosely based on real-life Viking history. The movie takes place during the reign of Olaf I of Norway. King Olaf defeats Earl Godbrandur and captures his daughter Embla, who he holds captive. The only way her husband, Askur, can save her is by traveling to his home and christening its people. The movie also received a re-release in 2007 with a director’s cut that focuses more on Embla.
The White Viking is currently unavailable for streaming
18 Valhalla (1986)
Dutch Animated Viking Movie
Released in 1986, Valhalla is an animated Dutch movie that is based on the Danish comic book series of the same name. The original comics were based on Norse mythology and this movie re-tells three of the volumes of the comic book series. The movie sees Thor and Loki constantly at odds, with Loki continuously using his trickster skills to get people (mostly kids but also a goblin) to disrupt Thor’s life, all while claiming to not know why it is happening. The main characters are two kids, Tjalvi and Röskva, who end up as Thor’s servants and have adventures. Valhalla received a live-action adaptation in 2019 that was more serious, also made in Denmark.
Valhalla is currently unavailable for streaming
17 When The Raven Flies (1984)
The First Movie In The Classic Viking Trilogy
Released in 1984, When the Raven Flies is an Icelandic Viking movie that has often been compared to Akira Kurosawa movies like Yojimbo, as it features a man whose parents died in a Viking raid when he was a child and returns for revenge 20 years later. He then plays two rival Viking gangs against each other, in the same basic plot from the Kurosawa classic. This was the first movie in Hrafn Gunnlaughsson’s Viking Trilogy, and Iceland nominated it for the Oscars, although it wasn’t chosen in the category. When the Raven Flies was nominated for the 1986 International Fantasy Film Award for Best Film.
When the Raven Flies is currently unavailable for streaming
16 Hagbard And Signe (1967)
A Viking Movie In The Style Of Yojimbo
Hagbard and Signe is also known as The Red Mantle and is a romantic Viking adventure movie. The movie’s plot centers on a bond between two previously warring clans that is ruined thanks to jealousy. Oleg Vidov and Gitte Hænning portray Hagbard and Signe in an almost Romeo & Juliet story about two lovers who attempt to further their relationship even as their clans’ war tears them apart. The movie is not as fast-paced, and it is more about a tragic romance, but it is still violent and the doom that rests within the story makes this a truly tragic Viking movie. Hagbard and Signe won the Technical Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
Hagbard and Signe is currently unavailable for streaming
15 Erik The Conqueror (1961)
The Classic Italian-French Remake Of An American Viking Movie
Erik the Conqueror is an Italian-French epic Viking story that is loosely based on one of the best Viking movies, the 1958 American release, The Vikings. The saga follows two brothers who were separated at birth, one who is raised in England, and the other in Scandinavia. The two brothers reunite when they’re forced to fight against each other in a war between the English and the Vikings. Although not as lovable as the source material it’s based on, it’s still a decent Viking movie for fans to check out.
Erik The Conqueror is available to stream on Arrow
14 Knives Of The Avenger (1966)
The Best Viking Movie From Italian Genre Legend Mario Bava
The tale of a knife-throwing protector desperate to defend his family from invading forces, 1966’s Knives of the Avenger comes across as a little silly today, but it hides more merit than face value discloses. Made on a low budget, Knives of the Avenger was a victim of a rushed re-shooting schedule. Still, the capstone of Italian filmmaker Mario Bava’s best Viking movies, it’s an effort that dedicated film buffs shouldn’t ignore, and it presents enough charm and interest to be worthwhile to those who love the typical Viking tale as well.
Knives of the Avenger is available to stream on Tubi
13 Erik The Viking (1989)
A Viking Movie From Monty Python’s Terry Jones
This comedic action-adventure Viking movie by Monty Python’s Terry Jones looks at Norse mythology through a humorous lens. One of the best Viking movies, it follows the Viking Erik who doesn’t want to pillage villages anymore, so he decides to travel to Asgard to try to save the home of the Norse gods from a mythic wolf. The story then involves Erik and his allies on their misadventures trying to reach Asgard in a British comedy that’s hilarious and brings much of the humor of Monty Python to the Viking genre. The movie is based on a children’s book authored by Jones, but it has a different storyline.
Erik The Viking is available to stream on Tubi
12 Prince Valiant (1954)
A Classic Mix Of Scandinavian Folklore With Arthurian Legend
Based on an American comic strip that began in the mid-30s, Prince Valiant tells the tale of its titular character, a refugee who is taken in by King Arthur after his native land of Scandia is invaded by a rival clan. He receives training under Sir Gawain, a member of the Knights of the Round Table, but the plot thickens when Prince Valiant is drawn into the center of political disputes in Camelot. An interesting mix of Scandinavian legend and folklore, Price Valiant may make for a bit of a slow watch today given its age, but stands out as an epic from the earliest decades of color cinema.
Prince Valiant is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video
11 The Last King (2016)
A Viking Movie Set In The Civil War Era In Norway
The Last King follows two Vikings (Jakob Oftebro and Kristofer Hivju) who are tasked with protecting a child, the last heir to the throne, in Norway. A civil war is raging in the 13th-century setting, creating a tense and snowy adventure for the trio. One of the best Viking movies, it is based on real events in Norwegian Viking history, even if it’s not the most historically accurate re-telling, making it essential viewing for any fan of the genre. This lesser-known Viking movie has a high 89% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Last King is available to stream on Fubo.
10 Pathfinder (2007)
A Viking Teams With Native Americans To Battle Invaders
Viking and Native American tribes clash at the beginning of Pathfinder, leaving the former with only one surviving member, who is then taken in and raised by the latter tribe. Years later, he has been accepted into their society, but he must now face off against another group of encroaching Viking belligerents. Released in 2007, Pathfinder was relatively overshadowed by its opening-week competition in the form of Zack Snyder’s epic Ancient Greece movie 300. Still, this 00s Vikings movie is worth watching, especially for those interested in the Viking’s settlement of North America.
Pathfinder is available to rent and purchase on a number of platforms including Apple TV & Amazon Prime Video
9 Outlander (2008)
A Surprisingly Accurate Sci-Fi Alien Movie During The Viking Era
Outlander explores what would happen if Kainan, a man from another world, crash-landed in Norway during the reign of the Iron Age Vikings. But Kainan isn’t alone; he’s brought a predator called the Moorwen. Sworn as a soldier to murder his enemy, Kainan bonds his advanced tech with the Viking weaponry to defeat it. The idea around Outlander is reminiscent of the Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig-led Cowboys & Aliens, and, when it works, it works well. It offers more of an authentic look at Vikings than its premise might suggest, and the battles involving Kainan, his Viking allies, and the Moorwen are impressively done.
Outlander is available to stream on Roku
8 The Long Ships (1964)
Based On The Swedish Novel Of The Same Name
An epic Viking film made in the mid-60s, The Long Ships focuses on a highly-prized bell made out of gold called the “Mother of Voices” and the two powerful men who seek to obtain it. The mythical treasure that’s bigger than a truck has elicited the attention of Moorish ruler El Mansuh and Viking leader Rolfe.
Rolfe sails with his men from Scandinavia to seek the bell in Africa, reluctantly taking El Mansuh and his cohort along for the ride. They focus all their energies on an object that may be pure fantasy, testing the depths of their spiritual fortitude and physical strength. With elaborate costumes and large sets, it’s one of the best classic Viking movies, though it only half focuses on Viking culture.
The Long Ships is available to stream on Tubi.
7 How To Train Your Dragon (2010)
The Movie That Started The Animated Viking Franchise
This animated feature from DreamWorks Studios perfectly captures both the real and fantastical aspects of the Viking age. It centers around a young Viking boy named Hiccup who manages to train a Night Fury dragon, one of the most dangerous of the species, to be his constant friend and fellow fighter against attacks on his village. The plucky film about a boy and his dragon spawned two sequels, each gaining momentum and popularity. The series results in a glorious dragon utopia for the Viking people with Hiccup, his partner Astrid, and his Night Fury Toothless. A live-action How to Train Your Dragon movie is currently in development.
How To Train Your Dragon is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
6 The 13th Warrior (1999)
Antonio Banderas Leads This Viking Movie About Clashing Ancient Cultures
One of the best Viking movies that focuses on the blending of culture, The 13th Warrior chronicles a Muslim ambassador in exile who becomes part of a Viking caravan. Ahmad ibn Fadlan is originally confused, bewildered, and offended by the behavior of the unruly Norsemen. As they overcome more adversity throughout their travels, he comes to admire their strength. As…