Archive | January 2015

Vikings meet highlanders: who wins the battle!

 

 

As most of you who visit this site are well aware of, I am a devoted fan of those Highlander Warriors as well as their Viking ancestors. My blog battles a constant fight between the two rivals even though they are related to each other… It’s almost like a blood feud at times as to which faction wins in the interest and viewing skirmishes that keep us a float here! So, in effort to be fair to both parties involved in this ongoing battle, I’ve taken a few moments to share their possible meeting? It’s possible… Well, ok- maybe not… but since we have time on our hands before both factions return to us, let’s just presume for hypothetical argument sake that it did or could happen?  In the spirit of those early Viking ancestors and their Highland Warrior descendants, I propose one last battle of wills and determination! Stand strong and fight/vote for your chosen side in this battle. When the battle is over, rest easy in knowing in some ways you have already won… Both sides are returning soon and we will have our fill of fine Warriors to admire! In order to make this a fair battle, I will be keeping track of views of individual posts concerning each category as well? Because there are so many more Outlander related posts, I will try to even things out a bit by considering a view of the home page as a points toward the Viking side- I feel this is fair in that we are currently in the middle of our Vikings adventure so many of the more recent and upcoming posts concern the Vikings while a great number of the previous posts are Outlander related… and they still continue to do even battle with Viking related posts!

Vikings meet Outlander

Now, first of all, we need to be aware that the history and culture of the Scottish Highlands is due  to the fact that Viking ancestors did invade, conquer and settle much of the northern portions of Scotland! We also need to take into account some theories that connect one Rollo of history to portions of Scotland such as the Orkneys and the Shetland Isles. There is also history and information that connects him in some way to the lowland areas of Scotland.

Here is interesting information on a certain clan of the Lowlands Scotland:

The chiefs of Clan Rollo are of Norman origin and can trace their roots to the feared Norsemen who raided the coast of Scotland during the 7th and 8th centuries.  Sigurd Rollo was Jarl of Orkney and Shetland.  His son, Einar, was a Viking who raided both Scotland and also his own Norwegian home.  As a result he was harried by Harald Fairhair, the first King of Norway.  Einar turned his attention to the north coast of France where his descendants became established as Dukes of Normandy and who came to England in the Norman conquest of 1066.

Erik Rollo accompanied his uncle, William the Conqueror, in the invasion of England in 1066.  It is believed that Erik Rollo’s son or grandson, Richard Rollo, later followed David I of Scotland when he left the English court and reclaimed the Scottish throne.  The name first appears on record in Scotland in a charter of 1141 that was granted by Robert de Brus.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clan_Rollo

This information is in addition to other theories linking Rollo to Scotland, including the theories put down in the Norse Sagas about Rognvald Eysteinsson and his descendants.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rognvald_Eysteinsson

 

So, given all of this historical information and legend, it is feasible to consider that our Vikings Rollo did manage to convince his group to spend some time in the highlands of Scotland?

Here is a quick version of how this might have went for our Rollo? Someone tells Rollo of these northern spaces… Now, Rollo is a warrior first and foremost- he thinks like a warrior and the idea of a fight in these northern lands sounds better to him at the time than a long haul in a boat to that even more foreign place of France?

heading for the highlands4

His suggestion to Ragnar about it most likely falls on deaf ears for the moment… Ragnar has other more important things to think about than some lame idea from Rollo?

heading for highlands5

Bjorn has always looked up to his Uncle Rollo and thought it sounded like a good plan?

head to the highlands2

Bjorn is persistent and as stubborn as the rest of his family… he keeps backing Rollo’s idea?

heading to highlands3

The more Ragnar thinks about the idea, the more he is interested? He of course will take credit for the idea and lead the way as he always does. In the end, he decides that as they have some time to kill before invading Paris, they will take a trip north to practice their fighting skills in preparation for future raids.

heading for highlands6

They make a trek northward to leave their mark on the highlands of Scotland!

head to the highlands

Now, most likely they have merely just seen a vision of the past…That will teach them to limit their whisky consumption on the road! 

OUT_105-20140408-ND_0609.jpg

Of course, we all know that the Vikings-whether our Vikings or some other ones- were highly successful in their conquest of Northern Scotland, which had a direct result on the character and culture of those Highland Clansmen and warriors. The fighting spirit is in their blood passed down from their fierce and often stubborn Viking ancestors.

As we wait for each of  them to return, here is my thought and suggestion for all of the faithful fans of both sagas… To my Viking followers, show me your Viking spirit and pride in this ongoing battle between distant relatives. Visit here often and show your Outlander descendant just how fierce you are by voting for Vikings Saga. I am warning you now that the Outlander Warriors are truly ferocious and fierce competitors who will fight to the death for their Highland Warriors to win at anything!

Should the Vikings win this battle, they will rest assured they have truly won a great battle indeed!

We win, we have the heads to prove it!

We win, we have the heads to prove it!

Their conquest of the Scottish Highlands will be complete and will ever be the glory of legends! Do not let me down, Vikings fans… I am on your side in this enormous battle that you are facing! This is for those of you who do not care about the ensuing battle as long as Jamie and Rollo take their shirts off?

Jamie's backside Rollo

 

 

Vikings: Rollo needs a bigger boat!

 

As I think back to when I first began my journey to the past, I am reminded of  dear Mrs. Graham… I do hope she is doing well. I have been here in the past for such a long time now and much of the time, I am so caught up in trying to survive in this world that I forget I was sent here originally on a investigative and fact finding mission for Mrs. Graham and her associates at Crag na dun Time Tours.  In the beginning, I tried hard to follow their directives and guidelines- such as remaining a distant and wholly objective observer? That may have been fine and feasible had I been able to stick to our plan of only being here for a short time… Because of the events that took place early on with Earl Haraldson and then so many other events, I felt it my obligation and duty to remain here and follow what ever path this place sets before me.  I found it impossible not be caught up in the lives of these people and could not stand aside and just watch them suffer! I made my choice to remain here and live my life with these people that history may have told the wrong stories about or forgotten entirely. I only hope that I do nothing to change the course of the future too much- I do not foresee that happening as I am but a small part of this time and place… an unknown woman with little power to change or influence anyone’s destiny! I just try to go on with my life as best I can now. I am happy here for the most part, and like many of the other travelers, I find myself more content and at peace here despite all of the difficulties I face on a daily basis.

I am ever thankful to Mrs. Graham and Crag na dun Time Tours for this opportunity and I now believe that it was my destiny to follow this path.  I shall never again mock or ridicule her Tea leaf readings nor her palm readings! I can only hope to repay her by documenting my journey and I pray that someday it will all arrive safely back into her hands to be shared in the future!

craigh_na_dun_time tours

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/crag-na-dun-time-tours-update/

tea leaf reading2

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/mrs-graham-tells-my-fortune/

Mrs graham demonstrates tea leaf reading

As I mentioned, I found it impossible not to become involved with these people and care about what happens to them. I do remember one of her most specific directives for me… It was not so much to follow Ragnar Lodbrok but to find out more about his brother, Rollo?  Of course, in our version of history as we know it- Rollo was a great warrior and ancestor of  King William I or William the Conqueror.  What I was to do was find out more about this Rollo brother of Ragnar Lodbrok and see if there is any correlation or connection between the two?

I took this directive quite seriously, and even if I have not been able to comply with any of their other directives, I am determined to carry through on this particular one as it feels so important to do so? I will write much more about this man, Rollo in the future as he has become such an integral part of my life here. first and foremost, I must caution that Rollo Lodbrok may be a great warrior, but as Lagertha once commented, not so great a man at times?

you're too great a warrior but perhaps not so great a man

you’re too great a warrior but perhaps not so great a man

He has made more than his share of mistakes from the very beginning and often I become so frustrated with him that I should like to kick him senseless and give up on him completely. He is stubborn, short tempered and many times acts before he thinks of the consequences! But, despite these flaws, I am constantly drawn back to him and feel that some where deep within him, there is greatness and worth… my loyalties and my heart will forever be with him and I will follow where ever his path leads. Yes, there are untold times when I question his actions and my sanity for such a fierce loyalty to him?  I often find myself questioning, much as he does himself, whether he is truly worthy? But, then I see how he beats himself up so well that there is no point in the rest of us beating up on him as well? I leave that action to Siggy… she is so good at it, and she seems to able to get through to him when the rest of us can not! 

siggy and rollo

I will share more of the story between Siggy and Rollo later. I do not begrudge her actions, or his involvement with her. After the terrors that we all have faced over the past few years, I understand and accept that we all do what ever we must to survive and live to fight another day. We have all made our share of mistakes and must live with the consequences.

I swore my loyalties and my allegiance to Rollo whether that be right or wrong, it is done and I will abide by it for I made my oath with clear conscience. I asked him only one thing… I will follow him anywhere and I will wait patiently for him to become the man I know he is destined to be, but he must put more thought into his plans for the future and cease to act before thinking? He must think ahead and plan his actions more carefully… an example of this is when he told me that we would sail to France?

Rollo needs a bigger boat

I had to remind him to please think his plans through more thoroughly and not act quite so hastily! Just because he wants to be his own man is no reason to act foolishly… I had to state the fact that it would be far better to take advantage of  a plan that involves Ragnar and much bigger, better equipped ships?

rollo2

Do not act so rashly, think ahead to your future and you will become a man of great worth, Rollo!

rollo5

 

Outlander break!

A quick break from our Viking adventure to inhale a draught of Outlander! I am not usually a big fan of the music videos made for shows but I saw a link for this one on my facebook page and decided to check it out? So glad I did cause it’s fantastic! So, for those of you who are suffering from Outlander droughtlander syndrome, watch this video… it will get you through a bit of the dry spell and put a smile on your face! No explanations needed, the video and the music do it all!

Outlander: Bohemian Rhapsody

Viking history and culture: Shetland celebrates Up Helly Aa Viking fire festival

While I was preoccupied with the past history of the Vikings, the Shetland Isles in northern Scotland were busy celebrating their own connection and Viking heritage!

Shetland’s annual Up Helly Aa fire festival has been celebrated, culminating in the burning of a replica Viking ship.

The spectacular event celebrating Shetland’s Viking heritage was held in Lerwick on Tuesday.

A band of latter-day Viking warriors known as the Jarl Squad marched through the town, recreating its history.

Hundreds processed with flaming torches which were thrown into a longship that had been dragged through Lerwick.

Volunteers had built the boat and produced more than 1,000 torches, with preparations for the event beginning in October.

 

Up helly Aa Viking festival on shetland Isles Up hely Aa festivalup helly Aa festival

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-30999590

Up Helly Aa (/ˈʌphɛliə/ UP-he-lee-ə) refers to any of a variety of fire festivals held in Shetland, in Scotland, annually in the middle of winter to mark the end of the yule season. The festival involves a procession of up to a thousand guizers in Lerwick and considerably lower numbers in the more rural festivals, formed into squads who march through the town or village in a variety of themed costumes.

The current Lerwick celebration grew out of the older yule tradition of tar barrelling which took place at Christmas and New Year as well as Up Helly Aa. Squads of young men would drag barrels of burning tar through town on sledges, making mischief. After the abolition of tar barrelling around 1874–1880, permission was eventually obtained for torch processions. The first yule torch procession took place in 1876. The first torch celebration on Up Helly Aa day took place in 1881. The following year the torchlit procession was significantly enhanced and institutionalised through a request by a Lerwick civic body to hold another Up Helly Aa torch procession for the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh.  The first galley was introduced and burned in 1889.

There is a main guizer who is dubbed the “Jarl“. There is a committee which a person must be part of for 15 years before one can be a jarl, and only one person is elected to this committee each year.

The procession culminates in the torches being thrown into a replica Viking longship or galley. The event happens all over Shetland and is currently celebrated at ten locations – Scalloway, Lerwick, Nesting and Girlsta, Uyeasound, Northmavine, Bressay, Cullivoe, Norwick, the South Mainland and Delting.

After the procession, the squads visit local halls (including schools, sports facilities and hotels), where private parties are held. At each hall, each squad performs its act, which may be a send-up of a popular TV show or film, a skit on local events, or singing or dancing.

According to John Jamieson‘s Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language (1818),  up is used in the sense of something being at an end, and derives from the Old Norse word uppi which is still used in Faroese and Icelandic, while helly refers to a holy day or festival. The Scottish National Dictionary defines helly, probably derived from the Old Norse helgr (helgi in the dative and accusative case, meaning a holiday or festival), as “[a] series of festive days, esp. the period in which Christmas festivities are held from 25th Dec. to 5th Jan.”,  while aa may represent a’, meaning “all

Up Helly Aa Official website:  

http://www.uphellyaa.org/

Heritage: Up Helly Aa is a chance for multiple generations on the Shetland Isles to celebrate their Norse heritage!

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2929223/Vikings-descend-Shetlands-Hundreds-fire-wielding-visitors-march-town-annual-Helly-Aa-festival-marking-Islands-ancient-past.html#ixzz3Q6yznygF

up helly Aa fest2 up helly Aa fest3 up helly Aa fest4

 

Shetland (/ˈʃɛtlənd/; Scottish Gaelic: Sealtainn), also called the Shetland Islands, is a subarctic archipelago of Scotland that lies north-east of the island of Great Britain and forms part of the United Kingdom.

Shetland-Islands-006 shetland

The islands lie some 80 km (50 mi) to the northeast of Orkney and 280 km (170 mi) southeast of the Faroe Islands and form part of the division between the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the North Sea to the east. The total area is 1,468 km  (567 sq mi)[1] and the population totalled 23,167 in 2011.  Comprising the Shetland constituency of the Scottish Parliament, Shetland is also one of the 32 council areas of Scotland; the islands’ administrative centre and only burgh is Lerwick.

Humans have lived there since the Mesolithic period, and the earliest written references to the islands date back to Roman times. The early historic period was dominated by Scandinavian influences, especially Norway, and the islands did not become part of Scotland until the 15th century. When Shetland became part of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, trade with northern Europe decreased.

The local way of life reflects the joint Norse and Scottish heritage including the Up Helly Aa fire festival, and a strong musical tradition, especially the traditional fiddle style. The islands have produced a variety of writers of prose and poetry, many of whom use the local Shetlandic dialect.

The islands’ motto, which appears on the Council’s coat of arms, is Með lögum skal land byggja. This Icelandic phrase is taken from Njáls saga and means “By law shall the land be built up.

In AD 43 and 77 the Roman authors Pomponius Mela and Pliny the Elder referred to the seven islands they call Haemodae and Acmodae respectively, both of which are assumed to be Shetland. Another possible early written reference to the islands is Tacitus‘ report in AD 98, after describing the discovery and conquest of Orkney, that the Roman fleet had seen “Thule, too”. In early Irish literature, Shetland is referred to as Inse Catt—”the Isles of Cats”, which may have been the pre-Norse inhabitants’ name for the islands. The Cat tribe also occupied parts of the northern Scottish mainland and their name can be found in Caithness, and in the Gaelic name for Sutherland (Cataibh, meaning “among the Cats”).

The oldest version of the modern name Shetland is Hetlandensis, the Latinised adjectival form of the Old Norse name recorded in a letter from Harald count of Shetland in 1190,  becoming Hetland in 1431 after various intermediate transformations. It is possible that the Pictish “cat” sound forms part of this Norse name. It then became Hjaltland in the 16th century.

As Norn was gradually replaced by Scots, Hjaltland became Ȝetland. The initial letter is the Middle Scots letter, “yogh“, the pronunciation of which is almost identical to the original Norn sound, “/hj/“. When the use of the letter yogh was discontinued, it was often replaced by the similar-looking letter z, hence Zetland, the misspelt form used to describe the pre-1975 county council.

Most of the individual islands have Norse names, although the derivations of some are obscure and may represent pre-Norse, possibly Pictish or even pre-Celtic names or elements.

 

Due to the practice, dating to at least the early Neolithic, of building in stone on virtually treeless islands, Shetland is extremely rich in physical remains of the prehistoric eras and there are over 5,000 archaeological sites all told.  A midden site at West Voe on the south coast of Mainland, dated to 4320–4030 BC, has provided the first evidence of Mesolithic human activity on Shetland.  The same site provides dates for early Neolithic activity and finds at Scord of Brouster in Walls have been dated to 3400 BC.  “Shetland knives” are stone tools that date from this period made from felsite from Northmavine.

Pottery shards found at the important site of Jarlshof also indicate that there was Neolithic activity there although the main settlement dates from the Bronze Age. This includes a smithy, a cluster of wheelhouses and a later broch. The site has provided evidence of habitation during various phases right up until Viking times.  Heel-shaped cairns, are a style of chambered cairn unique to Shetland, with a particularly large example on Vementry.

Numerous brochs were erected during the Iron Age. In addition to Mousa there are significant ruins at Clickimin, Culswick, Old Scatness and West Burrafirth, although their origin and purpose is a matter of some controversy.  The later Iron Age inhabitants of the Northern Isles were probably Pictish, although the historical record is sparse. Hunter (2000) states in relation to King Bridei I of the Picts in the sixth century AD: “As for Shetland, Orkney, Skye and the Western Isles, their inhabitants, most of whom appear to have been Pictish in culture and speech at this time, are likely to have regarded Bridei as a fairly distant presence.”  In 2011, the collective site, “The Crucible of Iron Age Shetland“, including Broch of Mousa, Old Scatness and Jarlshof, joined the UKs “Tentative List” of World Heritage Sites.

 

The expanding population of Scandinavia led to a shortage of available resources and arable land there and led to a period of Viking expansion, the Norse gradually shifting their attention from plundering to invasion.  Shetland was colonised during the late 8th and 9th centuries,  the fate of the existing indigenous population being uncertain. Modern Shetlanders have almost identical proportions of Scandinavian matrilineal and patrilineal genetic ancestry, suggesting that the islands were settled by both men and women in equal measure.

Vikings then made the islands the headquarters of pirate expeditions carried out against Norway and the coasts of mainland Scotland. In response, Norwegian king Harald Hårfagre (“Harald Fair Hair”) annexed the Northern Isles (comprising Orkney and Shetland) in 875.  Rognvald Eysteinsson received Orkney and Shetland from Harald as an earldom as reparation for the death of his son in battle in Scotland, and then passed the earldom on to his brother Sigurd the Mighty.

The islands were Christianised in the late 10th century. King Olav Tryggvasson summoned the jarl Sigurd the Stout during a visit to Orkney and said, “I order you and all your subjects to be baptised. If you refuse, I’ll have you killed on the spot and I swear I will ravage every island with fire and steel.” Unsurprisingly, Sigurd agreed and the islands became Christian at a stroke.  Unusually, from c. 1100 onwards the Norse jarls owed allegiance both to Norway and to the Scottish crown through their holdings as Earls of Caithness.

In 1194, when Harald Maddadsson was Earl of Orkney and Shetland, a rebellion broke out against King Sverre Sigurdsson of Norway. The Øyskjeggs (“Island Beardies”) sailed for Norway but were beaten in the Battle of Florvåg near Bergen. After his victory King Sverre placed Shetland under direct Norwegian rule, a state of affairs that continued for nearly two centuries.

What is important to remember in any discussion of Viking history and about these islands it that while we tend to group all of the Vikings into one singular category, there were actually two separate groups of Viking invaders and raiders.  This map shows a basic representation of those groups and where they sought out territories. The Norse Vikings followed paths to Northern Scotland and Ireland, including the Shetland and Orkney Isles, and from Ireland they raided the western coasts of Britain. The Dane Vikings followed a more southern path in historical accounts, landing them in southern Britain, northern Germany, and eventually parts of France.  I have made mention of this aspect before in discussions of the Vikings saga and their landing at Lindisfarne. It was more likely that it was Norse Vikings landing there in 793 than Ragnar and his Danish Vikings! But, understandably, the Lindisfarne event did provide a good story point for Michael Hirst to use in developing the Vikings story line.

Lindisfarne793

In a more accurate look and comparison of the two groups, The Norse Vikings were more successful in their conquest of the northern areas. They maintained control of the Orkneys and the Shetland Isles until the 1400s. The Dane Vikings were successful in the southern portions for a much shorter length of time. Their demise came with the death of the Danish king Cnut in 1035.

Cnut the Great  (Old Norse: Knútr inn ríki;  c. 985 or 995 – 12 November 1035), more commonly known as Canute, was a king of Denmark, England, Norway, and parts of Sweden, together often referred to as the Anglo-Scandinavian or North Sea Empire. After his death, the deaths of his heirs within a decade, and the Norman conquest of England in 1066, his legacy was largely lost to history. Historian Norman Cantor has made the statement that he was “the most effective king in Anglo-Saxon history”, despite not being Anglo-Saxon. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cnut_the_Great

Cnut the great

Cnut the great

 

One interesting theory and legend about the Shetland isles does connect to Ragnar Lodbrok and  Rollo of history, but not necessarily Ragnar or Rollo of the Vikings saga!

Rognvald Eysteinsson (fl. 865) sometimes referred to with the bynames of “the Wise” or “the Powerful” was the Earl of  Møre in Norway and a key figure in the founding of the Earldom of Orkney. Three quite different sources for the creation of the Norse earldom on Orkney and Shetland exist. The best known are those in the Norse Sagas but older evidence is found in the Historia Norvegiae and the Fragmentary Annals of Ireland. This last source refers to a “Ragnall son of Albdan” who was active in Orkney in 865. The Historia includes a brief reference to Rognvald, which events are also referred to in the saga material.

The saga sources have much to say about Rognvald, his relationship to the Norwegian king Harald Fairhair, his brother and sons, and the founding of the Orkney and Møre earldoms. However, these are not contemporary, having been written down some three centuries after the events described, and must be treated with considerable care.

The oldest account that may refer to Rognvald and the earldom of Orkney is that found in the Fragmentary Annals of Ireland.

The annals make Rognvald the son of “Halfdan, King of Lochlann.” This is generally understood to mean Halfdan the Black, which would make the Rognvald of the annals the brother of Harald Fairhair. However, the later Norse sagas claim that Rognvald’s grandfather was named Halfdan.

These events are placed after an account of the devastation of Fortriu, dated to around 866, and the mention of an eclipse confirms a date of 865. The entry goes on to describe Ragnall’s older sons raiding in Spain and North Africa but there is no specific mention of the earldom and it is by no means certain that this Ragnall is to be identified with Rognvald Eysteinsson. Runic inscriptions found inside Maeshowe dating to the 12th century mention that the mound was “built before Loðbrók”, perhaps meaning Ragnar Lodbrok and it has been suggested that the Irish fragment may refer to this legendary 9th century saga character.

Norse sagas

“Snorri Sturluson”, 13th century compiler of the Heimskringla by Christian Krohg (1890s)

The saga accounts are the best known, and the latest, of the three surviving traditions concerning Rognvald and the foundation of the Earldom of Orkney. Written, long after the events they describe, their contents must be treated with caution as a literal or accurate version of history.

In the Orkneyinga saga Rognvald was made the Earl of Møre by King Harald Fairhair. The Heimskringla recounts that Rognvald caused Harald Fairhair to be given his byname by cutting and dressing his hair, which had been uncut for ten years on account of his vow never to cut it until he was ruler of all Norway.  Rognvald then accompanied the king on a great military expedition. First the islands of Shetland and Orkney were cleared of vikings who had been raiding Norway and then continued on to Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man. During this campaign Rognvald’s son Ivarr was killed and in compensation Harald granted Rognvald Orkney and Shetland. Rognvald himself returned to Norway, giving the northern isles to his brother Sigurd Eysteinsson.  Sigurd had been the forecastleman on Harald’s ship and after sailing back east the king “gave Sigurd the title of earl”.  The Heimskringla states specifically that Sigurd was the first Earl of Orkney.

Family

The Orkneyinga saga says that Rognvald was the son of Eystein Ivarsson, himself the son of Ívarr Upplendingajarl.  and was married to a daughter of Hrólfr Nose called Ragnhild,  although in the Heimskringla she is called Hild.  Their son Hrólfr “was so big that no horse could carry him”, hence his byname of “Ganger-Hrólf”,  and he is identified by the saga writers with Rollo of Normandy ancestor of the Dukes of Normandy  who signed the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte with King Charles the Simple in 911. In addition to Ivar and Hrólfr, both sagas also refer to Rognvald’s son Thorir the Silent, and three more sons “by concubines” called Hallad, Einarr and Hrollaug, all three being “grown men when their brothers born in marriage were still children”.

Rognvald having given his earldom to Sigurd, according to the Orkneyinga Saga, the latter died in a curious fashion after a battle with Máel Brigte of Moray. Sigurd’s son Gurthorm ruled for a single winter after this and died childless.

Rognvald’s son Hallad then inherited the title. However, unable to constrain Danish raids on Orkney, he gave up the earldom and returned to Norway, which “everyone thought was a huge joke.”[19] The predations of the Danish pirates led to Rognvald flying into a rage and summoning his sons Thorir and Hrolluag. He predicted that Thorir’s path would keep him in Norway and that Hrolluag was destined seek his fortune in Iceland. Turf-Einar, the youngest, then came forward and offered to go to the islands. Rognvald said: “Considering the kind of mother you have, slave-born on each side of her family, you are not likely to make much of a ruler. But I agree, the sooner you leave and the later you return the happier I’ll be.”

His father’s misgivings notwithstanding, Torf-Einarr succeeded in defeating the Danes and founded a dynasty which retained control of the islands for centuries after his death.

Death and legacy

Earl Rognvald was killed by King Harald’s son Halfdan Hålegg and Gudrod Gleam who engineered a sudden attack, surrounded the house in which he was staying, and burned it to the ground with the earl and sixty of his men inside it. Harald “flew into a rage” when he heard about this and sent out a “great force” against Gudrod who was then banished. Halfdan escaped into the western seas and Rognvald’s death was later avenged by Torf-Einarr who killed him on North Ronaldsay and then made his peace with Harald. Harald made Rognvald’s son Thorir Earl of Møre and gave his daughter Alof to him in marriage.   The sagas thus identify Rognvald as the apical figure of the Norse Earls of Orkney who controlled the islands until the early 13th century, and a forerunner of important Icelandic families. Furthermore, through his son Hrolfr Rognvald he is an ancestor of the Dukes of Normandy who, following the Norman conquest of England in 1066, became the kings of England.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rognvald_Eysteinsson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vikings: Message to Athelstan!

To my Dear friend Athelstan,

I send you this message to entreat you to tread very carefully on your future path in England. I have received some unclear tellings of the future from the Seer here in Kattegat… some of which concerns you? I feel I must warn you of this and ask you to be most careful in any affairs of the heart that you may at some point enter in to. I know that you are torn by your beliefs and most likely will eventually forsake your vows as a monk… that is not what I am concerned about. It is more the choice of which ever woman you will forsake these vows for which concerns me. I know too that you will treat this message and it’s contents as much private and will not share this information with anyone else, as it could put us both in grave danger from all sides.

athelstan season3

I have spoke to you before of my visions, as you are want to call them, of what the future may hold for all of our friends- both in Kattegat and in England. What I must warn you of  concerns those in England?  I know and understand how you are torn in your loyalties to both the Vikings and the English as am I. This very touchy matter of which I warn you about regards the English of whom you feel some of that loyalty to?

athelstan with aethelwulf and ecbert

You have developed a close relationship to Ecbert, and not so much of a closeness to his son, Aethelwulf… The matter of which I must warn you of  concerns these two men, or rather more so- Ecbert’s son Aethelwulf and his wife, Judith?

judith vikings

We know that Judith, the daughter of Aella has been wed to Aethelwulf as a show of peace and alliance between Northumbria and Wessex. It is a fragile peace and alliance as most are… and if this marriage should not work out for what ever reasons, it will not bode well for either side? I mention this because I do realize that it may not be the easiest or happiest of marriages for Judith? Aethelwulf is reported and recorded as being a very devout and overly zealous Christian… I understand there was some difficulty for you when he accused you of turning into a Pagan?

aethelwulf and athelstan

I bring this up because as he is such a devout man, he would take his marriage vow, and those of his bride quite seriously? There is also the matter of any offspring from this union, which would hold great importance in the future. 

aethelwulf and judith Judith_Wedding vikings

What I know of the future of  England is that sons of Aethelwulf will play very important roles? My sight of the future may differ from what will happen… I can only say that you should take great care in any relationship you may form with Judith. Someone will bear Aethelwulf sons who will be a part of shaping the future of England. Now, whether Judith bears those sons or some one else does is difficult to determine? There is also the possibility that Judith could bear him sons who may or may not be of his blood? That would be extremely difficult to prove in this time!

aethelwulf vikings2

The Seer has shared some images with me that lead me to believe that Aethelwulf becomes much troubled over some event in his life? What ever this event is, it takes a toll on the man and he resorts to gevious  penance and religious fervor over it.

what on earth is going on here?

what on earth is going on here?

what goes on here 2

what goes on here 2

The Seer has also shown me some vague images that perhaps you and Judith may become more than just good friends?

more wooo but with who?

more wooo but with who?

I just feel that I must warn you to take great care and caution if this is the path you choose… Aethelwulf will one day be King of Wessex, Judith will be queen and it could be dangerous for both of you should this relationship be found out! I do not think that Ecbert will take this matter lightly either should it come to light while he is King? Please use care. Judith seems to be a good woman and I know it would pain you deeply if one you cared about were to be greatly harmed by this affair of the heart. I will leave this matter to your soul and pray that you will find happiness in the future, but will not find it at the harm or heartbreak of another. Please let your conscience and your mind be your guide in this, and not some other part of your person. Think of what I have shared with you on the future of your England?

athelstan and ecbert aethelwulf and ecbert

Aethelwulf in history:

Æthelwulf, also spelled Aethelwulf or Ethelwulf; Old English: Æþelwulf, meaning “Noble Wolf”, was King of Wessex from 839 until his death in 858. He was the only known child of King Egbert of Wessex.  He conquered the kingdom of Kent on behalf of his father in 825, and was sometime later made King of Kent as a sub-king to Egbert. He succeeded his father as King of Wessex on Egbert’s death in 839, at which time his kingdom stretched from the county of Kent in the east to Devon in the west. At the same time his eldest son Æthelstan became sub-king of Kent as a subordinate ruler.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%86thelwulf_of_Wessex

 

Judith in history: Judith’s true history differs from what is portrayed and presented in our Vikings version of history.

Judith of Flanders (or Judith of France) (c. 843 – c. 870)  was the eldest daughter of the West Frankish King and later Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Bald and his wife Ermentrude of Orléans. Through her marriages to two Kings of Wessex, Æthelwulf and Æthelbald, she was twice a queen. Her first two marriages were childless, but through her third marriage to Baldwin, she became the first Countess of Flanders and an ancestress of later Counts of Flanders. One of her sons by Baldwin married Ælfthryth, a daughter of Æthelbald’s brother, Alfred the Great. She was also an ancestress of Matilda of Flanders, the consort of William the Conqueror, and thus of later monarchs of England.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_of_Flanders#Queen_of_Wessex

Vikings: Closer look at season 3 preview

Before we get into our preview, I want to share fan art that sums up what we are doing here! Our lives are stories waiting to be told and shared with the future. Much thanks and credit to Jul Sanchez at Vikings the Aftermath fan group!

Lagertha Our lives are stories: Fan art by Jul Sanchez at facebook group, Vikings the Aftermath

Lagertha Our lives are stories: Fan art by Jul Sanchez at facebook group, Vikings the Aftermath

 

 A closer look at season 3 preview with stills from the preview trailer

It seems that everyone is fearful about the future and willing to face the Seer in order to find answers. Unfortunately, he speaks so oft in riddles and his prophecies are a jumble of thoughts, it is difficult to understand his advice or warnings?  Lagertha sought out his help but is left with only more questions…

lagertha seeks the seer's advice

lagertha seeks the seer’s advice

lagertha with the seer

lagertha with the seer

Like many of us in uncertain times and in desperate circumstances, Lagertha has become preoccupied with knowing the future, what it holds, and when she will die?

Lagertha: when will I die?

Lagertha: when will I die?

A stranger has shown up asking his own questions…

 

is this the wanderer?

is this the wanderer?

Like everyone else here, I am worried as well. I set aside my own fears of the Seer, though it was extremely difficult and I trembled in so much revulsion that I am sure that is part of why everything he said became a jumble of images that make little sense!

not understanding the prophecies

not understanding the prophecies

His words and his images were not clear or in any particular order so I will just share them as they were presented to me? I understand little of it, but have such serious worries now that I can not sleep at night for thinking of all of it!  Above all else, I worry for my friend Helga and the images he showed me of her in trouble? The image is not all clear, but someone is causing her great harm… I can not be sure of who it is but I fear for Helga’s life now!

 

this is just bad

this is just bad

could this be ragnar

There are many other disturbing and terrifying images but the one of Helga shook me more than all of the others… Who could want to hurt Helga, Why???

 

and yet a another wtf

Ragnar is King now and there will be trouble between him and his son, Bjorn?

Ragnar and Bjorn

Ragnar and Bjorn

ragnar season3

ragnar season3

Bjorn talking to ragnar about power

Ragnar berates Bjorn You have the strength of a man but the will of a little girl

Ragnar berates Bjorn You have the strength of a man but the will of a little girl

Yes, there will be much trouble and anger between them…

Who is this woman watching it all take place? Ohhhh My God! It’s Yarl Borg’s missing wife… apparently she did not leave Kattegat after all? But, what does she want with young Bjorn?

another new face

Who is this woman watching it all?

bjorn and ragnar2 bjorn after he has been berated

Lagertha will be caught in the middle between father and son?

lagertha caught in middle of father and son

lagertha caught in middle of father and son

 

There will be prayers to the Gods…

seeking help from the gods

seeking help from the gods

help from the gods

maybe not liking the gods answers?

maybe not liking the gods answers?

 

The Saxons will pray to their own God in their own way… And, they say our ways are barbaric and bizarre? After much thought and some research on this particularly disturbing scene, it is clear that  King Ecbert’s son- Aethelwulf is having a severe bout of religious zeal here?

Historians give conflicting assessments of Æthelwulf. According to Richard Humble, Æthelwulf had a worrying style of Kingship. He had come to the throne of Wessex by inheritance. He proved to be intensely religious, cursed with little political sense, and with too many able and ambitious sons.  To Frank Stenton, “Æthelwulf seems to have been a religious and unambitious man, for whom engagement in war and politics was an unwelcome consequence of rank.”  However, Janet Nelson thought that his reign has been under-appreciated in modern scholarship, and that he laid the foundations for Alfred’s success, finding new as well as traditional answers, and coping more effectively with Scandinavian attacks than most contemporary rulers.  In Simon Keynes‘s view, “it was he, more than any other, who secured the political fortune of his people in the 9th century, and who opened up channels of communication which led through the Frankish realms and across the Alps to Rome.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%86thelwulf_of_Wessex

what on earth is going on here?

what on earth is going on here?

what goes on here 2

what goes on here 2

another WTF moment

Well, Ragnar will prove that some of our ways are indeed barbaric?

We win, we have the heads to prove it!

We win, we have the heads to prove it!

ragnar may be going berserker

ragnar may be going berserker

we surrender... We've seen the boat with the heads!

we surrender… We’ve seen the boat with the heads!

Ragnar will face great battles, both in his personal life, his warrior conquests and his beliefs…

ragnar in contemplation

ragnar in contemplation

ragnar goes berserker again

Ragnar leads his warriors in battle cries

He will return again to England to meet with Ecbert…

ecbert and ragnar meet ecbert at his court

And, he will be drawn into some plan of Kwentrith’s… never a good sign?

the return of kwentrith

the return of kwentrith

Will she be his downfall? And, just what is her final plan?

you must fight for me I promise I shal give you more than gold and riches

you must fight for me I promise I shal give you more than gold and riches

ragnar and kwentirith

ragnar and kwentirith

I want his head

how many heads did you want

 

God knows what she's done to who

He will face battle with Aslaug as well, who will question whether he loves her?

Aslaug Do you love me aslaug at home

So, is this Aslaug taking her solace elsewhere? Such as in the arms of a wanderer?

Whooo

There may be a few hours of reprieve and happiness for him with Lagertha…

ragnar and lagertha happy

ragnar and lagertha happy

But, will that last? Lagertha has her own destiny and path to follow that may not include Ragnar any longer?

ecbert and lagertha3 ecbert and lagertha2

lagertha3

lagertha3

lagertha and Rollo,  All men are ambitious

lagertha and Rollo, All men are ambitious

Ragnar will fight a great and bloody battle…

ragnar in fight for his life

ragnar in fight for his life

Ragnar's fight begins 2

Ragnar’s fight begins 2

The blow

The blow

The blow 2

The blow 2

The blow 4

The blow 4

Will he survive to win this battle? There will be much carnage and many will question his decisions… His beliefs will drive a further wedge between him and Floki, who asks, “How many more of us must die for your Christians?”

how many more of us must die for your christians

how many more of us must die for your christians

dying for the christians

dying for the Christians

aftermath of battle

aftermath of battle

 

Could the harm to Helga have something to do with floki’s deepening resentments?

floki beserker as usual floki season3

As to those Christians… where will Athelstan truly stand?

athelstan season3 Athelstan with ecbert

Will Athelstan succumb to the wiles of Kwentirith… is that really him or her?!! Ohhhh I can not take any more of this!  I was in such distress over this possibility but others have put forth their own thought on this event- that No, it is not Kwentirith but the Lady Judith with Athelstan? Well, that would be a relief! The Lady Judith may be experiencing great frustration in dealing with her husband, Aethelwulf’s religious fervor and devotion? And. as Athelstan’s sense of Christian principle and propriety are wavering… Well, I would only wish him well in this affair and a cautious warning not be caught at it?

more wooo but with who?

more wooo but with who?

 

athelstan season3

And… what of Rollo, where does he stand in all of this?

Rollo, Lagertha and Bjorn

Rollo, Lagertha and Bjorn

rollo season3 trailer

rollo season3 trailer

ragnar and rollo

ragnar and rollo

battle3

Things don't look for rollo again

Things don’t look for rollo again

Where does it all lead…

ships in the mist

ships in the mist

It leads to Paris…

paris in the distance

paris in the distance

 

 

Vikings season 3 preview!

I have been here in this time and place with these people now for what seems like a life time? The stories and tales I am sharing with you are much distant memories. I know that it needs be shared so that you in the future will know of what happened to the people I have come to know and care about. I will continue to share as much as possible of the early days with you until it comes time to embark on a new and even more perilous, I think, journey? Soon we shall be leaving on another voyage back to England and I know not what will happen to all of my friends. We have suffered many tragedies and troubles over the past years and I do not think it will end any time soon? There is talk of  raids and quests to other places soon if things do not work out well in England this time… I have heard rumors and rumblings of Paris but we shall have to wait and see what unfolds for us.

vikings season3 1 vikings_2 13 vikings_3 14 vikings_4 15 viking-season-3 2 vikings-season-3 3 vikings-season-3_0 9 vikings-season-3_1 6 vikings-season-3_2 5 vikings-season-3_3 4 vikings_1 12vikings-season-3_4 10 vikings-season-3_5 8 vikings-season-3_6 7 vikings-season-3-spoilers1