10. Ragnar Lodbrok
Perhaps you have seen the television series ‘ Vikings ‘? The creators were inspired by the life of Ragnar Lodbrok. This Norse Viking is also celebrated in old Norse poetry and sagas. During his life “>Ragnar Lodbrok . fell many times in the United Kingdom and France. Not only did he then take many riches, he also impregnated the women. According to the stories, Ragnan Lodbrok is the progenitor of many famous men.
In turn, some of them have also made a name for themselves as Vikings. Then you can think of Ivar Ragnarsson and Bjorn Ironside. At one point things went wrong; during a robbery, Ragnar Lodbrok was captured. This was followed by the death penalty. This action had to be avenged; under the name ‘The Great Heathen Army’ his sons invaded the United Kingdom. They did a lot of damage in doing so.
9. Freydis Eiriksdottir
Freydis Eiriksdottir proves that the designation ‘tough Viking’ is not only reserved for men. By the way, she is no stranger to it; her father was Erik the Red. You will find his name further down this list. About 975 Viking woman Freydis Eiriksdottir was born in Greenland. According to the stories, she was closely involved in an expedition to the United States. Incidentally, the stories differ; in the first story – written by her father – Freydis’s combativeness is described much more positively than in the other story. In the latter saga she is portrayed as a heartless woman who wanted to achieve her goal at the expense of her compatriots. Anyway, it’s very real to think that Freydis Eiriksdottir ever set foot in the United States.
8. Bjorn Ironside
With a father like Ragnar Lodbrok you obviously have a reputation to uphold. In the eighth century, Bjorn Ironside – along with his brother Hastein – was a real plague for the rulers of France and Spain. Once their Viking army reached the coast, they did not hesitate to venture inland. While plundering, the Vikings – led by Bjorn Ironside – headed for Italy. I’m sure it’s clear to you; Bjorn Ironside was not a little boy. His strategic insights were especially feared! According to the stories, he was the ruler of the Munsö dynasty. This dynasty would later have been merged into the Swedish royal house. About 1720, archaeologists claimed to have found the grave of Bjorn Ironside. He is said to have been buried on the island of Munsö.
7.Erik I of Norway
If you listen to the nickname ‘blood axe’, it says something about your personality! Eric Bloedbijl is known as a murderous ruler. He was not interested in the fact that he – as one of Harald Veelhaar’s many sons – was entitled to a part of his estate. To increase his empire, Eric Blood Ax killed some of his brothers. By the way, his father had left Eric the greatest empire. Apparently that wasn’t enough. The moment his half-brother Haakon returned, the people turned against Eric Blood Axe. He barely escaped the wrath of the enraged people! In England he was crowned king of Nordimbraland. You’d expect him to keep a low profile here. Nothing is less true; Eric Blood Ax didn’t stop looting. In the end it cost him his life.
6. Gunnar Hamundarson
If we are to believe the stories, the description ‘tough Viking’ – as it is affectionately given to nice, blond boys – certainly applied to Gunnar Hamundarson. He is described as a great warrior! Not only was Gunnar Hamundarson extremely athletic and well trained, he was also extremely loyal to his homeland. In self-written stories, he seemed enchanted by the beauty of Iceland. What most of his fellow Vikings couldn’t, Gunnar Hamundarson couldn’t do; he could kill opponents with stones – even from a great distance. You can say that Gunnar Hamundarson has developed into a real hero. Of course, such a glorification provoked an anti-reaction.
5. Harald Hardrada
photo: Colin Smith / Wikicommons
From 1047 to 1066 Harald Hardrada – officially Harald III of Norway – was king of Norway. As you can guess from the name ‘Hardrada’, Harald ruled with a heavy hand. In this way he succeeded in consolidating the various kingdoms – which Norway then consisted of – into one country. Above all, Harald Hardrada is known as the Viking, who led the failed campaign of 1066.
In fact, this expedition marked the end of the Viking Age. In that year Harald Hardrada – equipped with 300 Viking ships and 15,000 soldiers – traveled to England. He wanted to claim the throne of King Harald II. At first, Hardrada and his men did good business. With great ease they defeated the Earls Morcar of Northumbria and Edwin of Mercia. Five days later they were preparing for the battle of Stamford Bridge. This is where it went wrong; the Vikings were defeated. Harald Hardrada was then killed. He is buried in Trondheim.
4. Sweyn Forkbeard
What is remarkable about the Viking Sweyn Forkbeard is that extremely contradictory stories have been recorded about him. A possible explanation lies in the fact that Sweyn Forkbeard as a Viking – as some of his predecessors interpreted being Viking – did not deliver much. He is not known for being a murderous looter. He did, however, form the basis of the relationship between Denmark and the United Kingdom. J
ust before his death – around 1013 – he was crowned the first ‘Danish King of England’. His sons took over from him. After their deaths, the House of Wessex presented itself. In 1469 the ties between Denmark and the United Kingdom were again strengthened. Then Margaret of Denmark – a descendant of Sweyn Forkbeard – married James III of Scotland.
3. Egil Skallagrimsson
In doing so, Egil Skallagrimsson was the opposite of Sweyn Forkbeard. Skallagrimsson committed his first murder at the age of seven; after an argument with some peers, he placed an ax in the head of one of the boys. Egil Skallagrimsson was known as a complicated person. Many of his actions come under the heading of ‘unpredictable’! You can also call it ruthless. For that reason he was gladly added to their army by those in power. Egil Skallagrimsson has fought in many wars and other Viking battles. He was also a poet at the Norwegian court. If you google his name, you will come across a brewery in Reykjavik. This brewery brews a delicious beer!
2. Ivar the Legless
Together with his (half-)brothers – including Bjorn Ironside – Ivar the Legless was part of ‘The Great Heathen Army’. They do everything they can to avenge the death of their famous Viking father – Ragnar Lodbrok. The men have caused many victims. And amassed riches! Ivar the Boneless was the eldest son of Ragnar and his wife Aslaug.
He is described as a tall, strong and honest man. This combination of qualities made him a wise ruler. According to the stories, his brothers liked to call on his expertise. More generally, Ivar the Legless is considered one of the wisest Vikings. It is all the more strange that at some point nothing more was heard of him. Even the dates – in which he may have died – vary! One writer mentions the year 870,
1. Erik the Red
In all likelihood, Erik de Rode’s urge to expand was mainly motivated by his desire to discover new countries. In the various writings, for example, we mainly read about his voyages of discovery. Not much is known about looting and massacres – which Vikings liked to engage in at the time – committed by Erik the Red. He is known as the one who discovered Greenland. At least, Erik the Red claimed to have made this discovery.
The fact that he was very interested in making such a discovery is apparent from the fact that he was on the road for almost three years. The first winter Erik the Red and his crew were stranded off the island of Eiriksey; the second winter they reached Eiriksholmar. It was not until the following summer that they docked at Greenland. It is worth mentioning that the red-haired Erik passed on his ‘discovery genes’ to son Leif Ericson. The latter has developed into one of Iceland’s most famous explorers.
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