Did Vikings all come from one nation?

Legends & Chronicles: The Vikings

Viking History

(c) Legends and Chronicles

We talk about Vikings as if they were a single unified nation, as the site linked from the image does, but that is far from the truth. Historically, Viking referred only to raiders. The Old Norse word víking means 'a raid', while víkingr means 'a raider'. Usually in English we remove the final letter (the inflected ending) to make the English word, so English Viking comes from víkingr (raider), not from víking (raid) as some online articles suggest. However, early scholars used the word loosely to refer to the whole population of Scandinavia and Iceland in the Viking Age, and this usage has stuck, becoming part of modern usage and a useful shorthand to refer to the Viking Age inhabitants of Scandinavia and Iceland in the nineteenth century.

Unfortunately, this usage gives a sense of unity that is not accurate. At the start of the Viking Age, the Scandinavian nations did not exist. These areas were controlled by different local tribes with related but different customs. Only later in the Viking Age did kings start to control whole regions and then whole countries, but even then customs and culture varied between areas.

Did Vikings all come from one nation?