Valknut - Knot of the Slain Warrior

artistic representation of norse symbol valknut

The Valknut is an ancient Nordic symbol associated with Odin, the ruler of Asgard. This is one of the more interesting symbols in Norse mythology, due to the etymology of its name and its general design. Valknut is comprised of two words, “valr” and “knut” which mean “slain warrior” and “knot” respectively. Therefore, Valknut translates to mean “knot of the slain warrior”. The symbol is formed from three interlocking triangles, sometimes they are drawn as overlapping, but the most interesting variation in design is a unicursal line, where one single unending line forms all three triangles as one.

There have been numerous Valknut symbols unearthed from archaeological sites bearing the shape of Odin himself, and occasionally animals, such as Odin’s ravens and wolves, who were his constant companions. This is likely why the Valknut is known the symbol of Odin today, as well as symbolising the recognition of the brave warriors who sacrificed themselves for the good of the realm. For a symbol so closely associated with the most important god in Norse mythology, surprisingly little is known about its exact meaning and purpose, this is because there are no written records directly or indirectly mentioning the Valknut or anything like it.