When people see that Gareth does Viking reenactment, they have a lot of questions because it’s a bit unusual and they’re usually interested in it. His Viking group have just become independent from another society so what better time to write this and introduce them?
Odin’s Aett (pronounced like the number 8) are a reenactment group from in and around Peterborough who are always looking for more members to join. Each member of the group come up with a different persona to portray based on historical facts and figures to educate and entertain the public. You’ll find them at many events throughout the year, leaving behind their present day selves, getting into character and going into battle. They also have regular training sessions, usually every fortnight where each warrior fights in one on one as well as group fights so that they’re completely safe on the battlefield. It looks a lot more violent to members of the public though which makes it really effective and an amazing thing to watch.
I thought it’d be a really cool idea to interview them all, find out a little bit about their characters and why they do reenactment. As they’re in the middle of a recruitment drive now that the events season has died down, it’s also an excuse for you to read about them and see if it’s something which interests you. Me and the boys go along to most of their training sessions as well as the events so it’s something which the whole family can get involved in.
Their leader (who to them is a Jarl) is known as Ragnarr Ironsides and here’s what he had to say;
I started reenactment because I have always been interested in ancient history and found my calling during the Viking period because of the influence it generated over such a short period of time. I do what I do to experience a brief moment living a life our ancestors did, the fighting aspect helps relieve stress and releases the need to battle without causing injury to people! I also find the camaraderie very appealing, being ex-forces I miss that a lot.
As reenactment, in particular Viking, is quite niche there isn’t any reason that stands out to join as it’s personal to each individual, however I can list what can be gained;
A strong feeling of family
Experience what our ancestors had to do to survive and thrive in an unforgiving and turbulent time
As in life you get to be you, write your own story, learn new crafting like woodwork, weaving, cooking with ingredients and equipment possibly alien to you.
It’s a hobby you control and you can swim in it for as long as you like and go as deep as you like, learning every aspect of their everyday lives.
I don’t play the part, I live it.
Their training officer is Ulfmaerr Peterson and it’s his job to make sure that all the warriors are safe in battle and training;
I’m the son of the town’s blacksmith and I chose to join in the Viking raids instead of staying in our home town and assisting my father.
My wife’s brother found a local reenactment group and I went along to see what it was about. I haven’t looked back since. I also have a love of all history but feel drawn to the Viking period because of the myths and legends as well as the real-life documented people who lived throughout that time.
I do it for fun. There’s also an element of kinship and fitness, as well as to spread the knowledge of the Dark Ages and educate the public at the shows we attend.
If you enjoy watching the TV Show “Vikings” or even Game of Thrones, why not come along and try it out in real life?
In charge of health and safety is Erik Grasstooth;
My son and I are the only surviving family after a drunken Jarl wrecked our ship off the coast of Frisia. We’re now starting again with virtually nothing with the aid of generous (now dead) Saxons.
I started reenactment because my son wanted to join.
Other people should give it a go because where else can you have so much fun hitting people with axes?
Hopefully, this post answers some questions people have around Viking reenactment and maybe even encourages some of you to go out and join your local group. If you’re near to Peterborough and you want to come along and see if it’s for you, go to their Facebook or Instagram pages where you’ll find all the information you need. I can also pass along any comments or questions to the group if you have something else you want to know.
You won’t find me in a kirtle anytime soon but I really enjoy watching them fight so there’s no reason why you wouldn’t either!