According to Viking saga, Harald Fairhair was the first Viking King of the united Norway. Harald Fairhair was a man of everything as he achieved nearly everything that a Viking man ever desired in their life. He had power, health, fortune, wives, and most of all his good looking. But to rise to that high seat, Harald had to push himself very very hard and sometimes against what his society held dear as well.
Harald Fairhair Childhood
Although we do not have much information about Harald Fairhair, this king was historically true. Not many sources wrote down stories about Harald Fairhair though.
During his childhood, he spent most of his time training himself and thinking how to become a better version of himself.
Back to the Viking Age around the 9th century, Norway was shattered into pieces with many tribes and each tribe was ruled over by a king. These kings assumed themselves to have power over the whole of Norway. These minor kings often nowhere in their political path.
Harald lost his father when he was just a little boy. His father, who was a minor king died on a voyage. His ship crashed into an iceberg and his name was Harald the Black. No one ever saw Harald Father again.
Harald Haraldson had no idea about his future and his future nickname – Fairhair.
This 10-year-old boy was the only one to get the throne of his deceased father. But of course, it was a political fight and every “politician” always wanted to win for themselves the best seat. However, accompanying Harald the Son was Duke Guthorm – killing machine during the reign of Harald the Black. Duke Guthorm helped Harald Fairhair a lot to cement the King’s power.
And There Came the “Fairhair”
The first milestone in Harald’s political path was his fight against King Gandalf.
King Gandalf always wanted to seize the throne of Harald. Thinking that Harald was just a little boy without any fighting skills, he was about to kill Harald.
But Harald Fairhair showed his people that he was the only one who could take the throne of his father, not anyone else. Gandalf was quick at assmebling warriors but Harald and Guthorm were far faster. They secretly made it to the army of Gandalf attacking them and killing them, all of them.
After the battle, Harald heard some minor kings were thinking of dethroning him. Without a second of hesitation, Harald planned carefully and killed all of those who dared to think about his throne.
What he could not have, he would have
The quote sounds a little bit controversial. But it described the case of Harald.
He spent his youth fighting and cemeting his power. One day, he woke up and a thought of settling down just came into his mind. Harald Fairhair then proposed a neighboring princess Gyda.
Much to our surprise, Harald Fairhair was rejected by the princess. She thought that she deserved a man better than Harald. From that moment on, Harald Fairhair made a vow that he would have this woman as his wife after he had united Norway under a single banner. And until the day he became the King of Norway, he would never comb his hair.
After ten years of fighting, he finally became the King of Norway. But what Harald looked at this moment could scare everyone off. Because ten years of not combing his hair, he destroyed his excellent appearance. Every woman saw him would never think him as a king. And one day, Harald decided to comb his hair for the first time after a decade.
And the hairy Harald finally became Harald Fairhair with all excellence.
And he also had Gyda as his wife. But a king would never have one wife. He married about ten more wives and had more than 20 children.