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Imagine all the Scandinavians started sprouting horns, much like their stereotypical image, out of their heads. Now, how do they redesign their helmets to match a horned head?

Note that your helmet still needs to protect your head. You might even want a little protection for your horns, since those will bleed if they're badly broken.

For example, might they put slits in the sides of the helmet, so they can just put them straight on? What sort of design can a horned human use for their helmets?

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    $\begingroup$ so they cant cut the horn? $\endgroup$ – Li Jun Jan 19 at 4:03
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    $\begingroup$ it would look like an underwear made of metal ;D $\endgroup$ – user6760 Jan 19 at 4:39
  • $\begingroup$ Please note that there are very few helmets that survived from the viking age. That's a good thing for a world builder. You can imagine anything you like, just consider that they need to be worn in battle and made. If you want an in depth answer that is more than common sense + minimal googling, you should offer more information. What horns, why not cut them, what era exactly, used in what context from which sort of soldier? There are simple foot soldiers, huscarls or the legendary varangian guard (much later than the viking age), norman knights and so on. $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Jan 19 at 17:08
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Cut, Burn, & Cover:

FRAME SHIFT: As fanatical as we Minnesotans might be about our Vikings, horns would be a serious impediment to normal human behavior. Actual Vikings did NOT wear horned helmets, because they were impractical and would provide leverage in combat, so a blow against the very broad horns might twist or break a warrior's neck. If those horns were actually IN the warrior's head, it could be quite lethal. Not to mention sleeping difficulties and neck/back pain. It's likely the presence of Viking-helmet-style horns might adversely affect brain development. Not to mention that I am just a little insulted on behalf of my Norwegian neighbors - I can't picture Knut and Signe with horns.

Such horns would mark Scandinavians out as being non-human, and the Vikings needed to maintain a quite large trade network where their reputations were important. While Vikings MIGHT have liked terrifying their enemies, they knew the advantage of getting along with people as well.

So it's likely the Vikings would trim and saw their horns and burn the stubs to remove impediments to their social and military effectiveness. Then they would likely take up wearing lots of hats to cover the stubs. "Horns? What horns? That's a Thor-cursed lie to make us look bad. What, these bumps? From a childhood religious ritual. You aren't on the inside, so I really can't share the details..."

Such horns would, however, provide spots where the helmet could be made snug to the head. For those die-hard cases where they refused to "fit in," they would likely need to go without traditional helmets (these would be more akin to berserker-type troops: there more for terror than practicality). If they had helmets they would need to protect their horns from injury, or partly trim them back to make them less vulnerable. In the same way spear shafts had an iron guard along them, the horns would need a guard or wrap to shield them. Perhaps a two-piece clamshell helmet that slipped over each horn, then pinned together to a middle plate. Otherwise a very minimal helmet over the top of the head (and yes, likely slitted to go over the horns) would be the only practical solution.

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  • $\begingroup$ Breaking the neck by hitting a horn would be quite impressive. I think the horn would break from that much force, unless the man's neck was weak and the horn was very thick. Certainly, some people probably would take the approach you mention, sawing them off to appear normal. But if Scandinavia broke out in horns, as the scenario went, this would become normal, no the other way around. The Norse weren't highly self-conscious, the Rus covered themselves in tattoos and drank from the skulls of their enemies. The clam-shell, possibly like a bevor, was what I was considering. $\endgroup$ – Johnny Jan 19 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Johnny I'm assuming horns akin to what were on stereotyped "Viking" helmets. If you look at animals with such horns, the have necks thicker than their heads (very strong) and such horns embedded in the skull would be a lot stronger than you might think - the bone of a human skull would likely split open before the horn snapped from an impact. I considered mentioning deliberate weakening of the horns to facilitate breaking as you described. If the horns were smaller, this is a much simpler question. $\endgroup$ – DWKraus Jan 19 at 22:06
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, you were thinking of large horns, fair enough. A bulls horns are strong enough to throw other bulls, so they'd certainly be too much for the skull and neck. I was thinking of having a strong, thick necked, thick skulled people with larger horns, though I'm not sure how large their horns could be. I could make it that some have their horns grow too thick or large, so that they're an issue. These points are useful for such cases. Thanks, DWKraus. $\endgroup$ – Johnny Jan 20 at 0:44
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This question makes me think of Estelle from Arknights. (I don't know how to put pictures in a question or answer on SE, sadly, so you'll have to find it yourself).

The spike-like horns on her brow could be accounted for with simple holes in the helmet. However, the big, curved horns on the side of her head would be quite a bit more difficult. A clamshell helmet like DWKraus suggested could work, but what about a two-piece helmet, with the pieces desighed so that they lock together (tight as a vise) around the head and horns? The locking mechanism could be like a puzzle piece, or like the teeth of a gear, with alternated positions (think teeth, but laying flat) at the edges to fit together.

Otherwise, a simple but perhaps flawed solution would be to make a helmet with holes where the horns will fit and put it on just before the horns regrow (assuming they regrow). The horns will be ritually cut off or shed naturally once the bones of the skull have fused and stop growing (so they won't grow against the helmet and squeeze against the brain).

To protect the horns, a metal sheath or plating would be ideal; with sharp edges, serrations,and/or spikes, to add intimidation factor and add an additional weapon to be used at close range (berserkers would like that, now wouldn't they?)

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  • $\begingroup$ Good job elaborating on DWK's idea. Weaponizing the horns would be neat. $\endgroup$ – Johnny Jan 19 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you @Johnny. Out of curiosity, do you know the character and/or game I was referring to? $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Jan 19 at 21:04
  • $\begingroup$ Wasn't. Looked it up. Interesting horns, cute design. Those would be the trickiest to get into a helmet. $\endgroup$ – Johnny Jan 20 at 0:45
  • $\begingroup$ Honestly though, that is the best horn position in my opinion. You can slash and stab. As for the cute design, I agree the visuals are great, but a svelte fighter? So implausible. So I'm more than a little conflicted there. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Jan 20 at 2:29
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here several image of horn helmet from:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horned_helmet

enter image description here

enter image description here

if the horn is like the typical viking one, just put some opening or slit in the horn for easy wear, something like ear slit in helmet like this for example, or like the image above to protect the horn by covering it into the helmet (dont take the image too literally), put the opening bellow the horn shape for easy wear. or make separate metal socket that can be removed or attached to cover or put into the horn that strapped or linked to the helmet.

outside of that, you can add chainmail or gambeson or thick cloth to cover the horn to at least give some protection against cut and blunt trauma.

the rest you can just combine the usual scandinavian helmet design or motif to it.

and here several horn helmet if the horn is shaped or grow in different angle.

enter image description here

and from:https://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php?threads/great-helm-add-on-v-1-8-updated-06-02-10.62719/

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I'm reasonably confident non of these helmets would be very practical in an actual battle (well, maybe the Saracen one). I think the bottom one is designed to shear off in battle - likely for a noble, and more for visibility than protection. Great pics, though - nice examples. $\endgroup$ – DWKraus Jan 19 at 4:25
  • $\begingroup$ @DWKraus agree its not practical, cant say about the celt and the japanese dont wear it in battle though. $\endgroup$ – Li Jun Jan 19 at 4:29
  • $\begingroup$ None of the horned helmets you have posted can be actually worn by someone having horns on his head $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Jan 19 at 5:28
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch-ReinstateMonica dont take the image to literally (this is why i change the last image), also try reread it, i mention slit in the bottom there. $\endgroup$ – Li Jun Jan 19 at 6:35
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to WBSE, Li Jun. You did a good job using pictures with your answer, showing what a horned person with a helmet might look like. While these might not be as practical as an unhorned helmet, I don't think they'd be much trouble to wear into battle. Being seen is important for prestige and command and control, which is why many helmets from across cultures had crests and horns. Thanks again for the good answer! $\endgroup$ – Johnny Jan 19 at 20:48

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