The most famous love story in Norse mythology must be that of Freyr God of Fertility and Gerd the Giantess. But how about the Viking Love Story in Viking legends? The story revolves around Ragnar Lothbrok and Aslaug.
The name of Ragnar Lothbrok is no longer a strange name to those who care about the Vikings. Although sources about Ragnar describe different versions, Ragnar remains a powerful king in whatever texts he appeared.
Ragnar was born in a house of the noble family where his father was a king of a petty kingdom. Ragnar’s father was King Sigurd Ring who used to win the legendary king Harald Wartooth. Maybe this background affected Ragnar a lot. He grew up as a handsome man with a true Viking warrior spirit inside him.
Why Ragnar Is Lothbrok?
Before Ragnar met Aslaug, he already had the nickname “Lothbrok”. His nickname simply meant “Shaggy Breeches”. Legends had it that once Ragnar met a dragon who threatened to kill the son of Sigurd, Ragnar fought this monster. Thanks to the “Shaggy Breeches” that Ragnar could survive the dragon.
Actually, Ragnar made a promise with an old man whose daughter was Tora, a beautiful woman sleeping near the dragon. After Ragnar killed the dragon, he was the only one who could marry the beautiful woman.
But the Norns were cruel to the Tora for cutting off the love thread between Ragnar and Tora. The death of beautiful Tora turned Ragnar into a widower. And like many other grieving Viking man, Ragnar carried out a journey to earn himself fortune and more lands.
Ragnar and his men were somewhere in the Norwegian fjord where they decided to stop and rest. Ragnar ordered his men to do some baking stuff. As they were doing the bread things, they saw a beautiful woman standing away. The beauty of this woman finally made them forget the baking thing and burnt up everything.
When Ragnar found out the burning, he was a little bit angry. The crew blamed Aslaug (named Kraka at this point) for all of this. They described the gorgeous appearance of the woman to Ragnar. But what interested was not only her appearance but also her name as Kraka meaning the crow.
Ragnar decided that he would find out about the woman himself. He wanted to meet her and to test her wits. He demanded her to come neither dressed nor undressed, neither eating nor fasting, neither alone nor in company.
Aslaug finally arrived dressed in a net, biting an onion, and with a dog as her company. Ragnar completely fell for this beautiful and wise woman. Without a second of hesitation, he proposed to Aslaug. But the beautiful woman refused and she said she would marry Ragnar only after he had conquered Norway.
But the Norns already connected their fate together. This Viking love story began. The two finally wedded after Ragnar completed his mission. They had many sons together and many of them also became famous and powerful kings in the future.
At some point, many of Ragnar’s men thought that Aslaug was not suitable for becoming Ragnar’s wife. But that’s when they had no idea about who Aslaug actually was.
Aslaug was the only daughter of Brunhild the Valkyrie and Sigurd the Dragon-Slayer. But when Aslaug turned twelve, her parents passed away. The foster-father of Brunhild, Heimer was afraid that people would harm Aslaug, he vowed to protect this little girl.
Heimer built a harp and put Aslaug there. Heimer then brought the harp to wherever he went. On occasion, Heimer stayed in a stranger’s house where the host finally murdered him to steal the harp. They believed Heimer stored something precious inside. Finding out the beautiful girl inside, they wanted to raise her up. But to protect her, they made her wear dirty clothes and always look dirty.
Until the day Aslaug was bathing near the baking spot of Rangar’s men.