“Deadliest Warrior” – S01E02 – Viking vs. Samurai
Deadliest Warrior – Season 01, Episode 02 – Viking vs. Samurai
Right off the bat I’ll say that Vikings and Samurai are two of my favorite fighting groups from history.
On one side you have highly disciplined, lightning fast warriors made famous during the feudal days of Japan, and on the other you have fierce warriors from ice cold Scandinavia made famous for their brutal aggression and terrifying raiding parties. Both groups are armored, one using body armor and the other famous for wearing a helmet and carrying a tough shield. Both carry long swords capable of killing opponents with ease. And both are famous for their ways of arriving in battle, one on horseback and attacking on land, and the other riding on longships capable of sailing in the shallowest of water.
And both, Samurai AND Vikings, are fearsome, bad ass warriors.
Assuming that the Samurai and Viking arrive on foot and fight on an even playing field, it’s a tough call as to which one would win a battle. I’d give a slight edge to the Samurai because of their discipline and lightning fast attacks, but the Vikings are still incredibly tough and aggressive, especially when going berserk. Just take note that the Samurai has to kill the Viking without delay, otherwise it’s game over for the legendary Japanese warrior.
For this episode of Deadliest Warrior, the Viking was armed with the great axe, long sword, spear, and his mighty shield. The Japanese Samurai was armed with a katana (long sword), naginata (spear weapon), yumi (bow and arrow), and kanabo (club).
short-range weapons: Katana versus Great Axe
The Samurai quick-draw with the katana sword is one amazing feat. In the art of drawing the sword, the Samurai warrior is capable of killing several opponents standing around him. The demonstration of slicing through two pig carcasses was nothing short of amazing. But as we saw in the final test of the sword, the Viking chain mail armor stood its ground and protected the target.
The Viking’s great axe showed the power of not only killing an unarmed opponent, but severely traumatizing an armed one. When wielded by a large Viking, the great axe is a devastating weapon and those unlucky enough to avoid the blow are as good as dead.
When it comes to killing, personally, I see the katana as a better weapon. It can easily slice and dice, and in the hands of a skilled warrior, many opponents will be killed within a very short amount of time. But the difference here is that instead of just measuring how well the weapons work against unarmed opponents, the Deadliest Warrior crew also conducted the tests against their opponent’s armor. And in this case, the katana was basically brushed away by the Viking’s chain mail armor, and while the great axe did not penetrate or break the Samurai’s helmet, it still gave the opponent one hell of a hit and most likely stunned him, giving the Viking time to strike again and deliver a killing blow.
mid-range weapons: Naginata versus Long Sword
The naginata showed the brutal combination of speed and precision. In the demonstration, the gelled torso was destroyed as the steel tip of the spear sliced open the skull and came back again for a devastating cut along the jawbone and chest. But how well could it strike against the Viking’s steel helmet? Alas, that was not tested.
In addition to being famous for carrying axes into battle, many Vikings also carried long swords. The short demonstration against the gel torso showed the awesome power and absolute brutality of a double-bladed steel sword in the hands of an expert. The sword was able to carry a ton of strength and momentum as it struck the opponent, dishing out major damage and easily killing the target on the first blow. As it was pointed out, had there not been a steel rod holding the torso together, it would have been decapitated on that first strike.
Just like with the naginata, the long sword was not tested against the Samurai’s armor. The crew easily decided that the long sword was the better of the two mid-range weapons.
long-range weapons: Viking Spear versus Yumi
Like swords and axes, spears were also very common weapons used by the Vikings. They are also versatile weapons being able to be thrust into and thrown at an opponent. As we saw in the demonstration, the chunks of wood were easily penetrated by the steel tip of the spear.
The Samurai yumi (bow and arrow) proved that it was the more lethal of the two weapons by being able to deliver fatal blows with pinpoint accuracy from a greater range. The best demonstration was when the archer shot both of the eyes of the gelled head wearing Viking armor.
But a spear versus bow and arrow in this test? Come on! The bow and arrow is going to win every time until the opponent manages to close the distance without getting maimed or killed.
special weapons: Viking Shield versus Kanabo
In this unfair match-up we have a defensive weapon being tested against an offensive weapon. Yes, the Viking’s shield can seriously injure an opponent when striking with the edge or steel tip, but its primary use was to block an attack and set up for the Viking’s follow-up strike with the hand carrying the weapon.
Against the leg bone, the Samurai’s kanabo had no problem breaking it in half. The two-handed heavy club could easily break a person’s leg in the heat of battle. But when it was tested against the Viking’s shield, the best it could do was only crack part of the shield. Since it cracked a small part of the shield and it was assumed that the person holding it might have a broken bone in that arm from the trauma of the blow, the edge was given to the kanabo in this match-up.
The thing here is that unless the kanabo strikes a person’s head or neck, it really is not a lethal weapon. Yes, it’ll ruin your day and give out a hell of a lot of trauma, but it’s not lethal unless it strikes a certain target. Was it tested against the Viking’s steel helmet? No. Do we know if this weapon could kill a Viking? No.
In this case I’d give the edge to the Viking shield. While the Viking may suffer an arm injury while deflecting the kanabo’s blow with his shield, he’s just going to turn and come around with a follow-up strike with his other hand, attacking with an axe or long sword. Unless the Samurai can quickly dodge the counterattack, he’s going to be dead meat against the Viking’s revenge.
OVERALL WINNER — SAMURAI
After testing all of the weapons, this battle of a Viking versus a Samurai is still easily debatable and tough to call.
Can the Samurai find a way to penetrate the Viking’s armor and deliver a killing blow?
Can the Viking close the distance and fatally strike the agile Samurai?
As we saw in the epic battle, it was the Samurai who emerged victorious, but the margin of victory was about as close as it comes. The Samurai only won 522 out of the one thousand simulated battles, barely 52% of them. If more credit was given to the defensive power of the Viking’s shield, perhaps we’d see a different outcome in the simulated battles.