In NBC’s series “Hannibal” one of the episodes mentions a Viking torturing technique known as blood eagle. So in case you were wondering…
The blood eagle - ritual associated with Odin where the back is cut open, the rib cage spread apart and the lungs pulled out all while the victim remains alive. It is supposed to be the classic example of Viking and therefore pagan barbarity. There is just one problem — other than in the fertile imagination of 12th century and beyond writers, there is actually very little concrete evidence that it happened.
Carving a blood eagle is now considered to be a 12th century misinterpretation of skaldic verse. In short a 12 century Christian invention to show how dreadful and terrible the pagan Vikings were.
image (click for larger view): A section from the Stora Hammars I stone from Gotland,Sweden. The illustration shows a man lying on his belly with another man using a weapon on his back. There is a Valknut above him, and two eagles, one of which is held by a man to the right.