[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/viking-funeral_6613.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350: [-"The Funeral of a Viking" (Frank B. Dicksee, 1893)-] ]]

A subtrope of BurialAtSea in which the deceased (usually a warrior, but not necessarily a Viking) is laid in a boat with his effects, such as a sword, and set out to drift at sea. Then, a character (usually someone with emotional ties to the dead, or simply the most skilled [[ArcherArchetype archer]] present) lights a [[ArrowsOnFire flaming arrow]] and shoots it at the sail. The ship is then engulfed in flame and slowly breaks up and sinks.

Played straight, it can be a TearJerker. When PlayedForLaughs, the character charged with shooting the flaming arrow will continually miss or fumble his bow.[[labelnote:*]] When played historically accurately, [[BreadEggsMilkSquick a slave will be killed]] (and probably [[GetTheeToANunnery gotten known]] by her late master's companions) [[HumanSacrifice as part of the ceremony.]] [[/labelnote]]

In some cases, the fire-arrow step isn't performed. This can be due to a lack of flammable sails and fire arrows, a need for haste, or simply different funerary practices.

A third variant exists in which the boat is not [[BurialAtSea set out to sea]], but instead used to lay the corpse in for a [[BurnBabyBurn funeral pyre]].

Note that some funerals may also add a living slave to the pyre as a HumanSacrifice.

And finally, Viking funerals need not be literal. Many examples feature metaphorical stand-ins for any of the aspects of the ritual.

!! Because this is a DeathTrope, there are unmarked spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.
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!!Examples:

[[AC: {{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* On ''OnePiece'', the Straw Hat Pirates do this for the ''Going Merry'', their first ship, after it has become too damaged to repair and keep seaworthy.
* In chapter 39 of ''Manga/VinlandSaga'', a Viking Funeral is held for Thors.
* Yamagata from ''Manga/{{Akira}}'' gets this, with his companion Kaneda crashing his bike:
-->"I'm gonna send Yamagata his wheels!"

[[AC: ComicBooks]]
* Viking funerals are common amongst the [[NorseMythology Asgardians]] of the MarvelUniverse. They have even been known to extend the practice to outsiders who prove themselves worthy. When Asgard was floating over Oklahoma (ItMakesSenseInContext) they made funeral pyres with boats.
* The eponymous V from ''ComicBook/VForVendetta'' is given a funeral in the spirit of this trope, with the train acting as a proxy for the traditional boat. Instead of being shot with a fire arrow, the train is packed with explosives.
* Lauren in ''ComicBook/{{DMZ}}'' is given one of these, although instead of a wooden boat and a flaming arrow it's an inflatable raft and a flare gun.

[[AC: {{Film}}]]
* The beginning of the 1939 movie adaptation of ''Film/BeauGeste'' shows the Geste brothers as boys giving a Viking funeral to a toy soldier by setting a toy boat on fire, and Michael expresses his wish to get a Viking funeral himself. Near the end of the movie, Digby fulfills Michael's wish by burning his body on an improvised pyre. Probably the first depiction of a Viking Funeral on film.
* Happens in the Hollywood epic ''Film/TheVikings'' (1958) by Richard Fleischer. The Viking Funeral of Viking prince Einar (Kirk Douglas) is the last scene of the film ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LClTjcyNJSI see it on YouTube]]). The TropeCodifier for cinema, this is the earliest instance to add FlamingArrows to the mix.
* King Arthur is laid to rest this way in ''Film/FirstKnight''.
* The Creator/RobertZemeckis ''Film/{{Beowulf}}'' film features one [[spoiler: for Beowulf himself]]. The ship is kindled by pouring flaming oil onto it as it passes beneath an arch of rock.
* ''Film/HistoryOfTheWorldPartI'' features such a funeral in the ComingAttractions segment. The shot of the burning ship is pilfered from ''Film/TheVikings'' (1958).
* [[BurnBabyBurn Cremation on a pyre]] is the traditional funerary rite for Jedi in the ''Film/StarWars'' films, the most iconic being Darth Vader's at the end of ReturnOfTheJedi.
* Happens at the end of ''Film/{{Outlander}}''. A similar funeral at the beginning of the film would have made BookEnds, [[WhatCouldHaveBeen but was cut for time]].
* ''Film/ItRunsInTheFamily'' (2003) features a Viking funeral that is both a TearJerker and one of the [[FunnyMoments funniest scenes]] in the film, particularly because it is set in modern day New York City.
* [[spoiler: Ray the firefly's]] funeral at the end of ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog''. Shortly after that, [[spoiler: he comes back as a star in the sky.]]
* King Harold is actually given a funeral resembling this after [[{{Pun}} croaking]] at the very beginning of ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}} Shrek the Third]]''. It even comes with [[WesternAnimation/{{Rupert}} a choir of singing frogs]] performing his funeral dirge.
* In the ''Film/ConanTheBarbarian1982'' movie, Conan burns Valeria on a funeral pyre after she's killed by Thulsa Doom. It's especially poignant for Subotai's line.
-->'''Subotai:''' He is Conan, Cimmerian. [[HeWillNotCrySoICryForHim He will not cry, so I cry for him]].
* In ''[[Film/{{SOB}} S.O.B.]]'', the heroes decide their friend needs a better send-off than a Hollywood funeral full of phonies so they steal his body from the funeral home and send it out to sea in a burning boat.
* In ''Film/VanHelsing'', the titular character gives the love interest this treatment after accidentally killing her.
* The grandfather in ''Film/RocketGibraltar''.
* The film ''Film/GrandTheftParsons'' revolves around the protagonist's attempt to keep his word to his friend, the late musician Gram Parsons, by burning his corpse in Joshua Tree National Park. Parsons' father wants a more conventional funeral, hence the need for the titular felony. {{Very loosely based on a true story}}; the movie adds a bitch-on-wheels ex as the main antagonist, presumably so the real (step)father who claimed the corpse (who probably has real lawyers) didn't have to be the heavy.
* Played for laughs in the direct-to-video film ''Film/{{Eulogy}}''.
* V gets one in ''Film/VForVendetta'', his body is laid to rest in the train that delivers his bomb to the British Parliament.
* Unsurprisingly considering it's a tale of an Arab experiencing Viking culture, two of these feature in the film version of ''Literature/TheThirteenthWarrior'', one near the beginning and one near the end of the film.
* In ''Film/WhatsNewPussycat'', psychiatrist Creator/PeterSellers, suffering a case of unrequited lust, attempts suicide by Viking funeral, wrapping himself in a Norwegian flag and intending to set himself ablaze with a road flare in a rowboat on a Paris riverfront. He's rudely interrupted by Creator/WoodyAllen, who chooses the spot for a sit down dinner.
* In ''{{Film/Troy}}'', this is standard practice for both Greek and Trojan heroes.
* One of the last scenes of Peter Jackson's ''Film/TheFellowshipOfTheRing'' shows Boromir's body laid out in a boat and drifting over the waterfall of the Anduin.
* In ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'', Frigga and the others who fell during the dark elves' invasion of Asgard are given a mass funeral, each set out on their own boat and set on fire by arrows.
* ''Film/BeastsOfTheSouthernWild'': [[spoiler: Hushpuppy gives this kind of funeral for his father, Wink, with her friends and their families, mostly survivors of the storm, watching in respect.]]
* [[spoiler:Stoick]] was given this in ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon2''.
* The children honour their grandfather's wishes in ''Film/WhatWeDidOnOurHoliday'' and give him a Viking funeral. By building a boat of driftwood, a striped sail from a deck chair, and dousing the corpse in petrol before setting fire to it.

[[AC: {{Literature}}]]
* The probable TropeMaker is the funeral of King Scyld of Denmark in ''Literature/{{Beowulf}}''. Scyld's funeral boat is ''not'' set on fire, though. Note that Beowulf himself is buried more conventionally, by cremation on a pyre and the remains being put into a mound.
* ''Literature/ProseEdda'': The pyre of the god Baldur is built on a ship which is pushed out to sea as the pyre is kindled. TropeCodifier.
* A very fine how-to-guide appears in the 13th century ''Literature/{{Heimskringla}}'' in the description of the funeral of King Haki of Sweden. This variant involves fire.
* Discussed early on in the P. C. Wren's adventure novel ''Literature/BeauGeste'' (1924), when the three Geste brothers stage a "Viking's funeral" with a lead soldier and a toy boat set on fire, and the twelve-year-old Michael "Beau" Geste expresses his wish to be buried in this way. Many years later, his brother Digby fulfills his wish by burning Michael's body on an improvised pyre (thought without a boat).
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'': At the beginning of ''The Two Towers'', Boromir is laid to rest by Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas in one of the Fellowship's elven boats with his weapons and the swords of the orcs he killed when defending Merry and Pippin. The boat is then pushed into the Anduin and allowed to tumble over the waterfall. This treatment is [[JustifiedTrope justified in-story]] by the fact there is not enough time to give him a "proper" burial, but given that Creator/JRRTolkien studied ''Beowulf'' extensively, it is likely he was influenced by the funeral of King Scyld.
* The Silver Horde in ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'' plan to give [[spoiler:Teach]] such a funeral. In fact they plan to give him every barbarian funeral they can think of.
-->'''Cohen:''' ''In'' a longship set on fire, ''on top of'' a heap of the bodies of his enemies, ''under'' a burial mound.
* In the Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse short story collection ''Short Trips: Time Signature'', several of the stories involve the Sixth Doctor trying to show his companion, William, some Vikings. He never succeeds, but after William's death, the Eighth Doctor takes his ashes to Vinland, and arranges for him to have a Viking funeral.
* In the finale of the ''Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian'' story, ''Literature/QueenOfTheBlackCoast'', Conan sees off one of his greatest loves, the pirate queen Belit, like this, turning her ship into a funeral pyre and sending it out to sea.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', this is the customary burial rite for the riverlands lords. Played for some laughs at Hoster Tully's funeral, when Edmure repeatedly fails to hit his father's boat with a flaming arrow.
** [[spoiler:Khal Drogo]] gets the third variant plus slave, only the slave is [[spoiler:the woman who killed him.]]
** Victarion Greyjoy peforms a rather horrific variation when he sacrifices some maidens to the Drowned God and R'ollor the lord of light by giving them a Viking funeral while they're still alive.
* In ''Literature/TheDarkIsRising'': Will gets the sixth and last sign from a great ship, carrying a long dead king who was a an ally of the Light (but not King Arthur), and all his possessions. After he claims it, in an [[KickTheDog act of spite]] the Dark sets the whole ship on fire. Will is horrified by it, but Merry points out that Dark was so eager to be spiteful that they didn't think it through. All they have done is give the King a Viking Funeral, which is exactly what he deserves.

[[AC: LiveActionTV]]
* ''Series/{{Vikings}}'' probably had the single most straight and well researched version of this trope ''ever shown on television''; having been taken directly from Ahmed Ibn Fadlan's account of the Russ. It comes complete with fighting, drinking and other festivitites and a slave girl being sacrificed and having sex with a couple of men who say "tell your master I did this out of my love for him", which is taken directly from Ibn Fadlan's account. It even has an 'angel of death' overseeing the sacrifice. They sidestep the possible problems of shooting an arrow by just lighting the pyre on the longship while it's at anchor.
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "The Impossible Astronaut", [[spoiler:the Doctor]] gets one of these. "Last of the Time Lords" featured [[spoiler:The Master]] getting one as well. The in-universe reason is that a Time Lord's body, to any other species, is considered a miracle of nature, and sufficiently-advanced societies could potentially reverse-engineer some kind of bio-WMD from even a single cell.
* In the ''Series/{{Fringe}}'' episode "The Day We Died", [[spoiler: Peter Bishop performs one for his wife, Olivia Dunham.]]
* In ''Series/{{Merlin}}'', [[spoiler: Merlin gives one to Freya, sending her floating on a lake before setting her body on fire magically, from afar.]]
** Happens again in [[spoiler: Lancelot's second funeral. It's the same lake. Since he CameBackWrong the first time, this is partially as a gesture of respect and partially a way to insure it never happens again.]]
** In the GrandFinale, Merlin sends off [[spoiler: Arthur]] also in this manner, except that he does not set fire to the body. Earlier in Series 5, the Camelot court give this to [[spoiler:Elyan]]
* ''Series/MysteriousWays'': Performed for a character in "Something Fishy," although they light the boat on fire with torches before setting it out to drift rather than doing the flaming arrow thing.
-->'''Peggy:''' It's a Viking funeral.\\
'''Miranda:''' Yep.\\
'''Peggy:''' Isn't this illegal?\\
'''Miranda:''' Yep.
* Spoofed in one episode of ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'', when Francis discovers a dead janitor in a hidden closet at Marlin Academy. He decides, along with several other cadets, to give the corpse a send-off worthy of a Viking prince by loading it into a dinghy, along with the janitor's worldly goods, dousing the whole thing with half a can of gasoline, lighting it and giving it a good push into the lake. Unfortunately [[spoiler:one of the other cadets has left the rest of the can of gasoline in the dinghy, and the whole thing drifts into Commandant Spangler's boathouse just as the can ignites, thereby causing it to explode.]]
* During Season 1 of ''Series/TheTribe'', [[spoiler: Zoot, the psychotic leader of tribe Locos,]] gets a Viking-style sendoff as well. This is mainly because the local cemetary has been overrun by members of a hostile rival tribe, but also because (as [[spoiler: his brother]] Bray explains) "[[spoiler: Zoot]] thought of himself as a warrior chief."
* Played for laughs in one of Rose's stories on ''Series/TheGoldenGirls''. She says one of her relatives was being given a Viking funeral, but the fire department kept putting it out.
* On ''Series/{{Wiseguy}}'', ArmsDealer Mel Proffit gets one courtesy of his sister, Susan.
* In one ''Series/MacGyver'' episode, an evil therapist convinces one of his clients to give ''himself'' a Viking funeral... And he takes a friend of Mac's to [[HumanSacrifice play the part of the slave]].
* At the end of "A Reunion ...", the second-season premiere of ''Series/DontTrustTheBInApartment23'', James van der Beek, having abandoned the idea of a ''Series/DawsonsCreek'' ReunionShow, decides to put the past behind him by loading a [=DVD=] boxed set of the series and other memorabilia on a rowboat in the Central Park lake and lighting it on fire.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': Hunters usually give their fallen comrades the third variation to prevent their [[OurGhostsAreDifferent ghosts]] from rising.

[[AC:Music]]
* After Dave Brockie's death in 2014 {{Music/GWAR}} gave Oderus Orungus a viking funeral.
* The Music/{{Manowar}} ballad "Swords In The Wind" references the funeral-pyre version of this trope, owing to the band's general love of Vikings and warriors in general.
-->''Place my body on a ship, and burn it in the sea''
-->''Let my spirit rise, Valkyries carry me''
-->''Take me to Valhalla, where my brothers wait for me''
-->''Fires burn into the sky''
-->''My spirit will never die!''
* The OfMonstersAndMen song "Your Bones" is about one.
--> "In the spring we made a boat / out of feathers / out of bones... Said goodbye to you my friend / as the fires spread / All that's left are your bones / That will soon sink like stones"

[[AC: TabletopGames]]
* [[http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Ruathym Ruathym]] in ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' apparently does it. At least, in a novel they solemnly cremated a captain with his ship. Unsurprising for the motherland of [[FantasyCounterpartCulture local Viking stand-ins]].

[[AC:VideoGames]]
* ''VideoGame/TheLostVikings'' being, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Vikings]], send their fallen off on a burning ship on the game over screen.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'': It appears to be tradition in Ferelden. After the siege, the dead of Redcliffe are sent off in floating pyres. In the Return to Ostagar DLC, this is the most respectful send-off you can give the late King.
* Ezio gives one to his father and brothers in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood''.
* The video game based on Zemeckis' ''Film/{{Beowulf}}'', like the movie, features one in a cutscene.
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', true to its Viking-inspired roots, has one of these for [[spoiler:Kodlak Whitemane]], who is burned on a funeral pyre at [[spoiler:the Skyforge]] following [[spoiler:[[VanHelsingHateCrimes the Silver Hand's attack on Jorrvaskr]]]].
* [[spoiler:Deckard Cain]] receives a funeral on a pyre at the end of the first act of ''VideoGame/DiabloIII''.

[[AC: WebAnimation]]
* In the Strong Bad Email from ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' where the Paper is dying, Strong Bad actually responds to the Paper's death by burning it with his BMW lighter.

[[AC:WebComics]]
* Seen [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002458 here]] in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}''. [[RuleOfFunny For a safe]].
* The female lead of ''Webcomic/ThistilMistilKistil'' is a slave slated for the HumanSacrifice part of her master's funeral.
** Also, Coal's corpse is first seen floating along the sea in a burning boat.
* ''Webcomic/OriginalLife'' [[http://jaynaylor.com/originallife/archives/2011/11/256.html has one]] for a [[SeriousBusiness couch]].

[[AC: WebOriginal]]
* Blog/ThingsMrWelchIsNoLongerAllowedToDoInAnRPG:
--> 1018. Elves do not get Viking Funerals.

[[AC: WesternAnimation]]
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', when Bart decided he needed to grow up and [[ItsAllJunk put away his childish things]], he did so by giving them a Viking Funeral.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' launched an actual Viking longship into ''[[HurlItIntoTheSun the Sun]]''.
** While Dianna read ''Literature/TheRimeOfTheAncientMariner'', for some reason. It does have very roughly the right portentous, marine feel, and the person in question ''had'' spent centuries trying to die, so points for the vague FlyingDutchman tie-in, but viewers who recognized the poem were still somewhat taken aback. What kind of elegy is that for a Viking prince?
* In ''WesternAnimation/KickButtowski'' Gunther gives Kick's helmet a viking funeral. We even see nordic god/ancestor constellation entities watching the funeral.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' sees what's left of Frybo get this treatment after [[spoiler: Peedee and Steven finish him off]] in his namesake episode.


[[AC:RealLife]]
* The vikings themselves (duh) as reported by Ahmad ibn Fadlan. Also, archaeologists have discovered viking age and pre-viking iron age graves in Scandinavia where the ship was burned on dry land.
* Very much averted in the RealLife. The VikingFuneral was reserved only for really remarkable chieftains and warlords. Usually the Norsemen simply either interred their dead or cremated them and interred the ashes. If a boat was used, it usually was a simple rowing boat, and it was often used simply as a casket. The reason is [[CaptainObvious obvious]]: boats, and more so ships, are expensive investments and of more use in mundane and martial tasks than as funerary implements. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_ship Stone ships]] would usually substitute real ships.
* Apparently, certain pet owners found it a more interesting alternative to burial in the garden. You can try searching for "viking funeral" on Youtube; chances are there won't be many film scenes among search results.
* WWII vet [[http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/2/wwii-veteran-given-viking-funeral-coast-guard-agre/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_reader=feedly Andrew Haines]] requested a Viking Funeral before his death of natural causes. The Coast Guard allowed it.
* Ensign Jesse L. Brown, the first African-American naval aviator could qualify. His plane was shot down during the battle of the Chosin Reservoir. His aircraft crashed, and despite rescue attempts he died trapped in the wreckage. To prevent his body or the plane from falling into enemy hands, a flight of naval aircraft dropped Napalm on the wreckage, as a pilot recited the Lord's Prayer.
* Abhorred in the RealLife amongst boaters. A fire onboard a boat or yacht while underway is often fatal, and almost always results in destruction of the said boat.
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