Whether it's diving into detailed accounts of infamous Viking raids, exploring Norse mythology, or shedding light on the understudied lives of Viking women, here are 11 standout podcasts that offer fascinating views into the Viking world for everyone to enjoy. They are presented in no particular order.
1) Gone Medieval
It was only earlier this year that original co-host Dr. Cat Jarmann stood down to focus on an upcoming research project – let's hope something like her brilliant book, River Kings: A New History of the Vikings from Scandinavia to the Silk Roads, comes to fruition!
This podcast, hosted by Matt Lewis, delves into every aspect of the medieval period, from the Fall of the Western Roman Empire to the Renaissance, from Genghis Khan to the Viking expansion. What sets this apart from other medieval-related podcasts is that every second podcast has a Viking theme. Recent episodes include "The Viking in Spain," "How Norse Myths Shape the Way We Think," and "878: A Key Anglo-Saxon Year". New episodes are out every Tuesday and Saturday.
Tune in to the podcast here.
2) Vikingology Podcast
What do two Viking historians and published authors, who live in the same U.S. state (Oregon) and share the same birth year, do when they meet each other? Start a Viking podcast, of course! Hosts Terri Barnes and C.J. Adrien take a multidisciplinary approach to analyzing all the facts of Viking history and how and why the Vikings have remained so popular a millennium after the last Viking ship ever sailed. Some recent guests on the show include historians and archaeologists from UCLA, Baylor University, the founder of Medievalists.net, and the author of the "Holy Bible" of Viking combat, Men of Terror.
Available to listen to here.
3) Nordic Mythology Podcast
This is perhaps the best podcast in all of the universes (the Vikings believed in 9 of them, remember?) if you are interested in the rich tapestry of Norse mythology. Dr. Mathias Norvig, a professor of Nordic studies at Colorado Boulder University, and Daniel Farrand, the owner of the Viking clothing and accessories website Horns of Odin, sit down once a week to delve into a wide range of Norse mythological topics, including runic poetry, Viking ghost stories, and the history of trolls. Each episode is absolutely jam-packed with over an hour of information and interviews.
Get the full episodes here.
The Shieldmaidens: Women of the Norse World podcast shines a light on the significant, yet understudied lives of Viking women. Photo: Nejron Photo / Shutterstock
4) Shieldmaidens: Women of the Norse World
It has been argued that women in Viking societies possessed a surprising amount of agency and power compared to women in other European civilizations. The sad truth remains that these women's lives and stories were excluded from any formal or authoritative written record for much of history. However, lucky for us, Johanna Wittenberg and K.S Barton, two published authors of Viking lore and legend, have started this podcast to right this historical wrong. They take a deep dive into all aspects of the lives of females throughout the Viking Age.
Listen to it right here.
5) History Extra Podcast
This podcast accompanies the brilliant History Extra magazine, which is available for purchase monthly. Whilst this BBC production focuses on history in general, there is a wealth of Viking information in their back catalog. Recent Viking episodes include an interview with Professor Alice Roberts on how archaeology and genetic science can help us better understand the Viking story in England, "Everything you wanted to know about the Vikings, but were afraid to ask," "The Vikings global connections" and the real inspiration behind the hit Netflix series, Vikings: Valhalla.
You can access the series here.
6) Skål! A Viking Age Podcast
The rotating series of hosts aside, this is an easygoing look at aspects of Viking history without all the (sometimes) stuffy nonsense of learned academia. Some of the more remarkable episodes include a deep dive into Viking food and drink (more mead, anyone?), a fine analysis of the fact and fiction in several popular Viking-based Netflix series, and the history of Christianity in Denmark.
Bring the past alive by listening here.
7) Viking Story
Presented by archaeologist, historian, and soon-to-be-published author Alan Laycock-Fuchs, this podcast gives a wide-ranging "macro" view of the Viking story. Whilst the latest season is dedicated to Alan's new Viking novel, the other seasons are devoted to an overview of Viking life, from law to religion, from war to the history of each country that the Vikings raided and traded with. This podcast is an excellent introduction to the broad brushstrokes of Viking history.
Step into the Viking world here.
The Orkney Islands, the captivating setting for the Vikings of the Pandemic saga. Photo: rphstock / Shutterstock
8) Vikings of the Pandemic
This is a bit of a choice straight from leftfield if you'll forgive the baseball expression. Whilst most of the above podcasts have dealt with the historical accounts of Vikings, the hard facts, this podcast is based heavily on fiction. It is a modern-day saga that traces one (fictional) family who lives on the Orkney Islands, back throughout history from the Viking Age to the early 2020s. Unlike more historical accounts, this work of fiction helps to bring some of the color, the noise, and the everyday life that often gets lost when one reads a Viking history book. Great to listen to on long journeys!
Click here to start your auditory adventure.
9) A Flatpack History of Sweden
Surely taking the cake for one of the best podcast titles out there, sorry IKEA, but "A Flatpack History of Sweden" is hard to beat! Hosted by Åsa and Chris, this married couple decided to broadcast their love of Swedish history by developing a podcast in English. There is a great wealth of material on the Viking Age in Sweden, covering over 11 episodes.
Hear the full story here.
10) Dan Carlin's Hardcore History
Former journalist turned self-professed "history nerd" Dan Carlin's podcast is not necessarily just about Vikings, but they do feature heavily. Three episodes in particular – these are mammoth listening events, clocking in at over 3 hours each – help give a detailed picture of the Viking Age. In "Thor's Angel" (Episode 41), Dan relates what happened, in Western Europe, when Rome collapsed and how this presented the perfect political opportunity for the Vikings to rise and raid. While "Twilight of the Aesir" (Episode 69) looks at the last half of the Viking Age, it especially focuses on how the Christianization of Scandinavia and the Baltic region impacted Viking societies. This is a deep, deep dive into Viking history, so bring your best historical swimming gear!
Ready to dive in? Listen here.
11) The History of the Vikings
This podcast is so academically researched and historically accurate that it could almost be used as an undergraduate course. Host Noah Tetzner, who has published an authoritative guide on the Prose Edda, carefully and analytically studies the story of the Vikings, from their origins all the way through to the Northern Crusades. Regular guests include Who's Who of the academic world of Nordic and Viking studies. One for the bookworms!
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