About Ulfhednar

This story was written by Sylas Iorundr

In Norse mythology and history there are two types of berserkers: the Berserkir (from what I can tell it is pronounced bear-zer-kir), which is where we get berserker from, and the Ulfhednar (ulf-het-nar) who sadly get mashed into a group with the Berserkir as they are fairly similar.

Starting with what they have in common, both groups would go into a frenzied rage during or before a fight. This is what they are most famous for but there really isn’t any knowledge as to how they went into this rage, some people speculate that they ate a type of mushroom or mixture of herbs which is possible and even likely as they were shamanic warriors, but there’s no proof of this that I know of. The only other important similarity is that Berserkir and Ulfhednar went into battle wearing nothing but bear skins or wolf skins respectively.

The biggest difference between the Ulfhednar and the Berserkir was that the Ulfhednar could supposedly shapeshift into a wolf or wolf like creature, I like to think this is where the idea of werewolves came from but there’s no way to be sure.

Next, the Berserkir would bite and hit their shields in rage before and during fights, frankly I think the Ulfhednar would too, you know, if they used shields. The Ulfhednar believed Odin would not let them die and because of that refused to use shields or armor.

Generally people agree that the Ulfhednar were higher ranked or had a higher standing than the Berserkir, often being called elite guards or, on one occasion I found, the hunting wolves of Odin. Why you would EVER want a Ulfhednar as a guard is beyond me but that’s what they say.

To Sylas, he does not believe Odin is a God as much as a powerful being as he can, and is in most versions of Ragnarok, be killed. Which is why Sylas will wear armor and use shields but he does not like to use shields as they tend to get in his way.

1 thought on “About Ulfhednar”

  1. Thanks for sharing Sylas! I always love to learn something cool, especially about mythology.

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