Calling all Vikings

Thing at the thingstead

What happens at The Thing?

The thing is held inside the tribe at the thingstead. At a thing, the elders act as judge and jury with their decisions being final. Most disputes relate to territory money or currency, but elders do have to deal with the more aggressive crimes like murder, rape and assult on occasion. In these cases most of the time the eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth philosophy is used.

Viking punishments

Death, although a severe punishment, is not the worst to be dealt out in viking society. The worst is banishment! Banishment means not only does the defendant have to leave, the entire family have to leave. It’s not just a matter of moving to a new tribe, once banished the family will always be an outcast.

Note: If it wasn't for the Thing, America may not have been discovered by the Vikings. Leif Eriksson's father, Eric the Red was cast out of his village and the rest of his family had to follow.

All free men and women

All free men have the right to bear weapons and to participate at the Thing. Wealth in the form of land ownership is the most important factor in determining free men’s status and importance in relation to one another.

Every free man has a duty to meet at the Thing. Women were also welcome to attend the thing too. At a thing, the principle of equality is very important and as a standard, every free man should be treated equally.

Note: Slaves are not protected by the law. Slaves are looked upon as their owners property.

Viking all thing

There will be a Viking all thing held in Iceland towards the end of next month.


Note: Sometimes there would be an all thing, involving other tribes around the area. This was their basic democracy. Vikings made a day out of an all thing with trading stalls and feasts.