Six Great Viking Kings That You Should Know (Part 1)

Ivar the Boneless was a son of Ragnar Lothbrok great Viking hero. He later founded the Viking Great Heathen Army that sought revenge for the deceased Ragnar Lothbrok

Although the kingship only existed in later time, many Viking kings made their names with great achievement which lasts until now. In this blog post, we are to discuss the first three out of six Viking kings that you should know whether you are a Viking enthusiast or not.

Ragnar Lothbrok

If you have done some research about Viking Age, you must have come across “Ragnar Lothbrok”. He was a semi-legendary king of Sweden and Denmark. His father was King Sigurd Hring. Ragnar allegedly attacked Francia and Anglo-Saxon England in the 9th century.

He had three wives and many sons who later became great Viking kings. While the sons were historical figures, whether Ragnar was historical or not remains a debate among the scholars.

Ragnar Lothbrok in "Vikings" TV series
Ragnar Lothbrok in “Vikings” TV series.

In the Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok, he fought a dragon and killed it when wearing a special defensive pant. Later, when his ship was blown off course and landed in Northumbria, King Aella captured him and sentenced him to death. King Aella of Northumbria executed Ragnar in a holes full of snakes.

On hearing the death of father, Ragnar sons declared eternal war upon King Aella of Northumbria. They formed the Great Viking Heathen Army to seek revenge for the deceased father.

Hearing the death of Ragnar Lothbrok, the Ragnar's sons declared eternal war on King Aella of Northumbria
“How the piggies will grunt when they hear the old boar suffer” was allegedly the dying words of Ragnar Lothrok. Ragnar’s sons then declared eternal war on King Aella of Northumbria

Ivar the Boneless

Ivar the Boneless was allegedly the first son of King Ragnar Lothbrok. According to Saga of Ragnar’s sons, Ivar was physically disabled as he could not walk properly on his legs.

When Ragnar returned from his voyage, he strongly desired his wife. However, Ragnar’s wife, Aslaug, warned him that he had to wait for three nights before they could consummate or their son would be cursed. But Ragnar didn’t listen a word. As a result, Ivar was born with imperfect legs.

Many scholars have put forward their thought why Ivar had the nickname “boneless”. Many agreed that he was physically disabled while some other believed that Ivar had a very flexible military strategy.

Ivar the Boneless was a son of Ragnar Lothbrok. He was among the greatest Viking kings with cunning and flexible military strategy.
Ivar the Boneless was among the greatest Viking kings with cunning and flexible military strategy

According to saga, Ivar was the founder and leader of the Great Heathen Army. He carried out the blood eagle execution on King Aella for killing his father. The Blood Eagle was a Viking way of execution. They cut away the ribs and lungs from the back making it resemble the wings of eagle on the back of the victim. The victim was conscious when they carried out the execution.

Harald Fairhair

Harald was the very first King of Norway although at that time he didn’t control all Norway now. He managed to unify many tribes in Norway under a banner. He never treated his enemies well but he was nice and kind to his kinsmen and people. His father was Halfdan the Black one of a great Viking chieftains in his time. Yet the 10-year-old Harald never saw his father again when the ship of his father crashed and sank.

Harald succeeded his father’s ruling place when he was just 10 years old. This was laughable for a boy to rule over a territory. But with the aid of Duke Guthorm a loyal brother of Halfdan, Harald managed to do it very well.

Harald never spared a life for his enemies. On one time, he heard of a neighboring king was up to overthrow him, Harald ordered his warriors to sneak into that kingdom at night. And they set the whole fort on fire. When that neighboring king ran out of the fire, he was caught on the spear of Harald.

When his power was stable, Harald decided he had to settle down. He proposed a neighboring princess yet she rejected. She believed she deserved someone better than just this Harald. This refusal didn’t make Harald angry. Rather, he regarded it as a motivation and the princess as the prize for his upcoming achievement. He solemnly vowed that he would never comb his hair until he united all these small kingdoms.

Harald Fairhair was among the most awesome Viking kings in the Viking Age
When Harald cut off his floor-reaching beard and hair, everyone realized how handsome Harald was

After roughly a decade, he managed to unify all tribes under a banner becoming the first king of Norway. At this time, his hair made him look like an old man. But when he proposed to the princess, he cut his hair which finally earned him “Fairhair” nickname. He turned out to be a handsome king with fine hair.

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