Ubisoft's latest trailer for Assassin's Creed: Valhalla is best described as a crash course in barbarism, and one must admire Eivor's proficiency in that department.
If we didn't know better, we'd say that Ubisoft are announcing a Discovery Channel series on proper ways to invade countries in ancient times, and Eivor would certainly make for a good host. Of course, it's not, but it's a pretty good crash course in what awaits players in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla.
If we were to wax historical here, we'd have to compliment Ubisoft on doing their homework pretty well. We say that because going by what's left of the records of Viking-invaded regions, you'd barely hear a good, or even human description of their invaders.
Nevertheless, their society was far more sophisticated than what could be seen when they're running at you. After all, instilling fear in your enemies is half the battle won, but beyond their facade was a complex and refined society, whose poetry was arguably as sharp as their swords. Axes, whatever.
Dr Hannah Burrows, the Honorary Secretary of the Viking Society for Northern Research, and Senior Lecturer and Director of the Centre for Scandinavian Studies at the University of Aberdeen talked to us about the actual historical records, and her take on their poetry is as follows:
"Skaldic poetry was a kind of praise poetry composed for Viking kings, an elite language with a complex system of metaphors which sometimes can be read in a good way or a bad way. And because reputation is so important in Viking society, if your reputation is commemorated negatively in poetry it lasts forever, beyond the life of the individual."
You can learn more about the actual history behind Assassin's Creed: Valhalla here .