When applying tattoos to Eivor, you might wonder just what the namesakes of the designs are. Wondering myself, I went to “Norse Mythology for Smart People.” I discovered there that some of these tattoo backgrounds make sense right off the bat, once you understand the name, like Gungnir Strike. But others, like the Dupuytren Emblem, might surprise you with their origins.
You’ll likely find, as I did, that the designs themselves do mean more when you know their background, and it’s always nice to have a curiosity satisfied. With that said, here is Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s tattoo lore, explained. Not every one in the game is included, but a healthy helping of unique, curiosity-inducing designs.
Loki’s Children Tattoos
Jörmungandr is the name of the Midgard Serpent, whom you may have already met in God of War. The child of Loki will play a big part in the apocalyptic event called Ragnarök, causing tsunamis and fatally poisoning the god Thor. The design fits the name, at first glance: ornate and winding, like a serpent. The fact that it covers such a distinct portion of Eivor’s face is appealing.
Hel is the sister of both Jörmungandr and the wolf Fenrir, but not as discussed as her two brothers. She is said to be greedy and cruel, and as for her appearance, half of her body resembles the dead, and the other half the living. (I would very much have appreciated a split-face design). This face tattoo simply covers the chin, and reminds me of a metalhead’s goatee.
Muninn is one of two ravens that brings Odin information about and from all over the human world. One would sit on the god’s left shoulder, and the other on the right. The wise birds were, therefore, symbols of the god’s favor, and as the poem goes: “Huginn and Muninn fly each day, over the spacious earth. I fear for Huginn, that he come not back, yet more anxious am I for Muninn.”
Gungnir is the name of Odin’s spear, perhaps even more powerful and deadly than Lugh’s spear and Thor’s Mjolnir. If you look at this piece you’ll see it resembles a bird, likely Muninn or Huginn. Or you might consider it an homage to your own loyal raven companion Synin, whom you can also decorate with cosmetic alterations.
More God Tattoos
Lugh is a Celtic god of nobility, who wields a fearsome spear. The god was an ace of all trades, even an expert horse racer. The inspired design is swirly; when looking at modern Celtic tats, I noticed swirls, sometimes in the form of knotted ropes, were a recurring theme, indeed. This aesthetic ties to (no pun intended) the insular art style, which is a merge between Celtic and Anglo-Saxon traditions.
Vidarr is a god of vengeance, a younger divinity and the half-brother of Thor. At Ragnarök, he will brutally kill Fenrir the wolf, and survive the apocalypse. Maybe this piece is also meant to imply other common interpretations of the god, which include antlers atop his head. Fully drawn antlers would have been cool, I must say. No matter the appearance, this Vidarr tattoo should evoke nicknames like “The Wolf-Slayer,” ironic since Eivor is the “Wolf-Kissed.”
Very strange, but Odin carries around the decapitated head of the god Mímir as it spouts wisdom and advice. If you’re like Kratos, you may just refer to the god as “Head.” This design is way different than most in the game, in that it’s white and red rather than black. This makes it one of the most unique overall, and personally, reminds me of red blood upon pale, deathly skin.
Enough with gods; here’s a pattern on a very different topic. Dupuytren’s contracture, for which this look oddly appears to be named, is a thickening of the skin in one’s hand. It’s called the Viking Disease, since it was common among them, unfortunately causing some’s fingers to become permanently bent. The arm tattoo of this set appropriately extends all the way down Eivor’s arm and hand.
Lastly, the ink you can get from Ubisoft Connect’s rewards catalogue, Sigrdrifumal, is a piece of Poetic Edda, a collection of Norse myths and poems. This part tells the story of Sigurd, Eivor’s brother within the game, obtaining advice from a Valkyrie, something like an angel of war.
There you have it, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla‘s tattoo lore explained. With this info at your disposal, you’ve hopefully gained some insight into the cosmetics of the game, if not for practical purposes, then at least for curiosity’s sake.