Can you work out whether the statements below are Fact or Fiction?
Click on each one for the answer.

The Vikings wore helmets with horns on them.


The Viking helmets didn't actually have horns. They were usually round in shape and made from leather.

Thursday is named after the Viking god Thor


Also, Wednesday is named after his father Odin because the original translation of his name was Woden.

The Vikings were really dirty and wild-looking.


Vikings were actually quite vain and liked to keep clean. They had combs, tweezers, razors and even ‘ear-spoons’ to clean out ear wax!

Wolves still roam the Irish Countryside.


The last Irish wolf was killed by farmers in 1786 for slaughtering sheep.

The Vikings introduced pockets to Irish trousers.


As Arthur learned in the books, the Vikings gave us pockets. Luckily for us. Otherwise, we wouldn't have had anywhere to put our mobile phones and wallets!

The Poddle is a real river.


And it actually does run under the streets of Dublin. You can even see where it flows into the Liffey as in the book. Check out the interactive map for more info on the river Poddle or watch this great video to see the tunnel itself.

Lough Faol is a real place.

FICTION! (Actually, it's kind of fact too!)

Lough Faol isn't real but Alan did base it on a real place, Lough Owel. It's just as it's described in 'Arthur Quinn and the Fenris Wolf'; it's near Mullingar, runs alongside the railway and has an island in the middle. Have a look at the interactive map to see it for yourself.

Olaf really was a Viking King of Dublin.


Arthur and his friends meet an actor playing King Olaf in the Viking Experience. Olaf was actually king of Dublin from 941 onwards. He also went by the name Amlaíb Cuarán. Find out more about him here.

In the Viking legends, there were 12 gods and 12 goddesses of Asgard.


As it mentions in the books, Odin was the leader of the gods, known as the 'All-father'. If you're interested in reading more about the Norse legends, there are lots of resources online but the best place is to go along to your local library where you'll find lots of books on the myths.

Ask Alan your own question!

About the Book Characters Author Fun Stuff Store Gallery Blog Contact Home Videos Fact & Fiction School Visits