Do people actually request to taxidermy or deflesh their loved ones?
Yes in fact, Doughty says this is not an uncommon request.
Oh, if you knew how often I got that question, Well why can't I prop dad up in the corner or taxidermy him? And the reason is because yes, you're in charge of making decisions for your dad when he dies, but it's in a very narrow legal range of options cremation, burial or donation to science. There's no deflesh and keep his skull on the mantelpiece or taxidermy him or give him a Viking funeral. Those just aren't on the list of state or mandated options for dad's dead body.
Do Viking funerals work?
Not really. Doughty says many of the Viking funerals you see on TV cue Game of Thrones arent the real deal.
The reality is that if you just had a simple wooden canoe or boat and you put a body on it and you set the whole thing on fire, the boat and the wood in the boat is going to cremate much faster than the dead body. So what you're going to have is a half-charred dead body just bobbing around in a municipal waterway somewhere, which is not your romantic idea of a complete Viking cremation. So it's just not logistically possible nor is it the actual historical reality.