A symbol comprising three interlocked triangles, the Valknut is one of the most enigmatic symbols connected with Norse mythology. The symbol has been found on a number of memorial stones and rune stones from the Viking Age. It also appears on a number of Germanic objects, such as cremation urns of the Anglo-Saxons. However, the term ‘Valknut’ used to describe the symbol is a modern Norwegian invention, evolving from the combination of Old Norse words, ‘Valr’ meaning slain warriors and ‘knut’ meaning knot.

There is historical evidence of two types of Valknut symbol formations. One is in the Borromean form, where the three triangles are separate but connected. The other has the three triangles joined in the unicursal form.

The Valknut

No one knows exactly what the Valknut represented for the ancient people, but a few theories have been put forth. According to one, the Valknut refers to ‘Hrungnir’s Heart’. The basis for this assertion is the 13th-century book, Prose Edda that describes the giant Hrungnir’s heart as made of stone and having three sharp corners. Another theory connects the Valknut with the Norse God Odin and his powers to bind and unbind the minds of men. The symbol has often been found in art depicting Odin and is believed to represent the afterlife.

Some theories connect it with reincarnation and consider it a talisman against evil. The nine sides or nine points of the three triangles are associated with the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology. Interlinking of the three triangles symbolizes inter-connectedness of the realms of heavens, earth, and hell.

The Valknut symbol holds significance even today for the Germanic Neopagan faiths. It is sometimes used in popular culture like as logos of companies, sports teams, and organizations.


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