The Viking-Klingon Connection

When the late Gene Roddenberry first conceived of Star Trek in the early 1960's, he probably never imagined what a wild success his creation would become. After the initial series ended, there was a long hiatus before the first Star Trek film appeared in 1979. Then came a string of films and eventually the rebirth of Star Trek as a television series in the form of "Star Trek -- The Next Generation" (TNG), Deep Space Nine, etc.

During the long run of TNG, most of it overseen by Roddenberry himself until his death near the end of the series, many of the 23rd-century social constructs originated in the initial series and continued in the films were more extensively developed. These included aspects of the Federation as well as alien cultures such as the Vulcans, the Romulans, and the Klingons.

With the emergence of the Klingon Worf as a main character in TNG, the Klingon culture was brought into sharper focus. For some reason, Klingons have always seemed to fascinate the general public more than any other alien culture introduced by the Star Trek phenomenon. However, there are a great many parallels between the Klingon values and way of life, and the Viking values and way of life that existed nearly 1000 years ago.

Did Gene Roddenberry model the Klingons on the Vikings? There are some striking similarities -- judge for yourself...

One last striking similarity: The sagas depict Egil Skallagrimsson as overly large, with a massive balding head, furrowed brows, black eyes, and a fierce demeanor. Further, the discovery of his bones some 200 years after his death (see Did Egil Exist?") revealed a large, thick and scalloped skull.

Sound familiar?

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