One of the worst executions a person could go through was the Blood Eagle, it was intended for those which were dubbed Honour less and therefore anyone subjected to it would not be able to enter the halls of Valhalla. The blood eagle was reportedly first thought up by Ivarr the Boneless, one of the most notorious and heinous Vikings of the 9th century and one of the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok, who used it to strike fear into his enemies, Ivarr is said to have used this method of execution on the Northumbrian King Aella in revenge for Aella killing Ragnar by throwing him in a pit of snakes. So what did it actually involve?
First the intended victim would be restrained, face down; next, the shape of an eagle with outstretched wings would be cut into his back. After that, his ribs would be hacked from his spine with an axe, one by one, and the bones and skin on both sides pulled outward to create a pair of “wings” from the man’s back. The victim, it is said, would still be alive at this point to experience the agony having salt rubbed, quite literally, into his vast wound. After that, his exposed lungs would be pulled out of his body and spread over his “wings,” offering witnesses the sight of a final bird-like “fluttering” as he died.
Also as a little side note, if you cried out whilst this took place, your soul went to Niflhel, the darkest part of Helheimr the norse realm of the dead where your soul would be devoured by Nidhoggr the corpse eater and lost into oblivion forever.
#viking #norse #bloodeagle
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