I agree, these helmets are all bad ass. This is, I think, one of the main reasons we want to simulate this period. That, and leather bath robes, splint grieves and vambraces, lamellar, ring hilt swords and crazy ass belt buckles.
I think this is probably the scariest, coolest helmet I have ever seen, I wish they had used more of this in the LOTR movies (I still have hopes they will do a 300 style story from the Silmarillion with vendal style stuff):
Most archeologists seem to think these ornate helmets are ceremonial and kingly, but I think they don't have a clue and they are just guessing. They think they are ceremonial because they are ornate and to them, impractical. I wish academics would make it clear when they are guessing, or what their guess is based on, but that would be unlikely given the game of academia (get stuff published or die). Maybe this type of helmet was common and used in battle. Heck, it seems like most of the helmet that have been found in the ground were pretty whacky. Maybe every huscarl had a helmet like this and a fancy sword and a chariot full of hot topless chicks. That is my bet. We will never, ever, ever know. In fact, it doesn't even really matter that much.
Same with the idea that swords were rare and only a rich handful of warriors had them. How do we know that? Do we have a historian from the period telling us that, or a letter from a visiting Arab saying that most of them don't have swords, or is it a guess by some modern academic who wrote it in a book 100 years ago based on what he thought was plausible and it has become the accepted wisdom? Is it because we don't find many swords? Compared to what? Are we finding 50 times as many spear heads as swords? I have no idea, since that sort of information seems to be rarely published.
Scroll down and see some of the whacky ass helmets I have never seen. Are these Victorian fakes or what? http://www.myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic ... c&start=22
Sorry, I am just venting after reading these myarmoury threads (should be called "mybaselessopinionisbetterthanyours.com"). They are full of the usual "but archaelogists say that these were used for ceremonial purposes only and I tried on a replica and couldn't see good out of it" or "Vikings were actually peaceful traders". People need to realize the context of academic writing to understand what a load of crap most of that stuff is.
Ok, I feel a little better now.