Tag Archive | time travel

Time travel dilemma: From Last Kingdom to Vikings Saga and back again…

****Warning**** Spoilers involved in this post for Last Kingdom series and Vikings Saga!

Ahhhh Okay, I wrote this post quite some time ago and never got it finished… Many of you are probably thinking to yourselves, “Why bother with it now since we’ve already seen what happens with the Vikings return?”  Well, yes we have seen what happened when the Vikings returned to Paris but we have also been given a glimpse further into a future that will coincide on some level with the events taking place in that parallel universe of The Last Kingdom. We have also been given an interesting clue that directly relates to the premise of this original post. While much of the anticipation and preview concerns the sons of Ragnar, there is one other very important young man that did not get included in the preview of the future. Just because you did not see him does not mean that he will not be important to that future when the next generation  heads  to England. Everyone is so entranced and fascinated with others such as Ivar or even Ubbe that they pay little attention to others who will play an important part and role in the events that take place in England.

 

adult sons of Ragnar

adult sons of Ragnar

Ivar

Ivar

Ubbe

Ubbe

 

I  admit that after my first visual immersion into the Last Kingdom world, I had difficulty transitioning back to the Vikings Saga world. When I wrote this piece back in October, I knew that I would have some trouble adjusting to the altering worlds and their differences. Now that I have experienced the first half of Vikings Season 4 and had some time to adjust to it, I find that some of my earlier thoughts actually have merit and possibility here in this fantasy world of revised history.

 Before I present this prequel type narrative, I want to take time to give some praise and credit to Mr. Hirst for his work on this season so far.  As most of you who read this blog know, I have at times been rather critical of Hirst’s creative license and adaptation of history. What I saw in the first half of this season was some redirection on his part back from the all out historical fantasy realm. True to his assurances, he has steered Rollo in a direction that more accurately portrays his history… yes he did have to put Rollo in that most difficult position of much hated betrayer of his own people but in my opinion, he has done so in a way that also shows Rollo’s inner struggle with that decision- one that I believe will come full circle in the second half of the season.

At the end of the battle Rollo is in pain emtionally as well as physically

At the end of the battle Rollo is in pain emtionally as well as physically

 

I also appreciated the historical aspects that Hirst touched on with Ecbert’s power play in Mercia as well as little Alfred’s pilgrimage to Rome. I will discuss all of this in future posts.  

Wigstan to ecbert you shelter for your own interests and purpose another of my mad descendents Kwentirith whose only claim to the throne is by way of killing her uncle and her own brothers.

Wigstan to ecbert you shelter for your own interests and purpose another of my mad descendents Kwentirith whose only claim to the throne is by way of killing her uncle and her own brothers.

For now, I want to stick to the subject that I originally wrote this post about so many months ago. As I spent time in the Last Kingdom, I became quite fond of one Viking in particular, Guthrum.  As my time there came to an end for an undetermined and unforeseeable future, I found myself torn between him and my other loyalty, Rollo.  People scoff at this loyalty and often accuse me of being a betrayer and traitor… I know that I must hold my head up and stand firm in spite of these words. There have of course been instances as well where my stand for Guthrum has been questioned but I stand firm in that too. In some ways, the two of them are quite similar- their early pasts are not much known about, they went their own ways and made compromises to their Viking beliefs in order to accomplish their personal goals of victory and success. Both Guthrum and Rollo accepted Christianity (at least on the surface) to reap the benefits that the Church backing would bring them…

The importance and the future of Guthrum

The importance and the future of Guthrum

As you read through my earlier thoughts and my dilemma at the time, you will find historical information- as much as there is- on Guthrum which may help you in figuring out his role and his his historical importance or relevance in both the Last Kingdom and in the future of the Vikings Saga.  I do need to say here that since so little is actually known about his early history, I have no qualms or issues with Hirst’s creative license with his back story! I am looking forward to seeing Hirst’s version of him, although I readily admit that I am most partial to the Guthrum I already now know in Last Kingdom. Hirst has his work cut out for him as far as presenting me with a version of Guthrum that comes close to the one I already know!

Guthrum God of rome strike me down

 

My earlier time travel dilemma (written back at the end of October)

In just a few months, I shall be packing my bags and heading back to France to join my friend Rollo as he follows his destiny in founding the Kingdom of Normandy. I am having a worrisome visit here in Wessex. Things are not going so well here even though this King Alfred will soon achieve some glory and begin his life long quest to unite England. This land is in the midst of upheaval and war between Saxons and Danes right now… much a different place than when I visited Ecbert’s home earlier. I think this Standing Stone method of time travel has some flaws in it? I truly believe now that they send us not only to different points in time, but to some sort of parallel version of history as well. I had my suspicions about it previously but now I am quite sure of it… When next I return to the future, I am going to have a serious discussion about this with that Mrs. Graham of Craig Na Dun Time Travels!  

craigh_na_dun_time tours

I will share more of what has happened in this Wessex with Alfred, the Dane Guthrum and the warrior Uhtred later. Right now I want to share some thoughts on what I may find when I return to Rollo and those other Vikings.  I hear much speculation, assumption and even accusations on what Rollo’s actions may bring in the future. I also hear many rumors and assurances from a certain other authority that Rollo’s destiny and story will play out as our history reflects it. In the midst of all these swirling rumors and predictions, I have also heard another King will make arrival… a Norse King by the name of Harald Finehair and his brother Halfdan the Black will be showing up, for reasons as yet unknown.  I make mention of these Norsemen because I do wonder what their story will entail, what reason will they have for their appearance and of what consequence if any, will this be for Rollo?  I do not presume to know the future… or the past in this case. I am not a seer, although there be some in these times who have suspicions about me because occasionally this altered state of history makes some match with what I know of our version of history.  

Right now, I am sitting here somewhat rather comfortable and safe for the time being in the sanctuary and seclusion of a Viking version of  Royal residence.  I can not say more but will only leave it at this… I shall never complain about Viking camps again after having spent some time with Alfred’s group in the swamps!

Eilswith in the swamp

I can not say which was worse, living in the swamp or having to endure that Eahlswith’s company for a length of time. The time spent with her was intolerable and being unable to take any more of it, I sought my refuge instead with Guthrum of East Anglia! I enjoy his company and he enjoys mine… we shall leave it at that. He has ensured my safety and has offered protection as I attempt to find a suitable place from which to make my next journey.   In the past I have used various standing stone sites and even some ancient boat burial grounds. My current dilemma is finding such a suitable site here in East Anglia during Guthrum’s time. Were I still in Wessex or any western portions of the Isle, I should have no difficulty finding sites, for they are plentiful in other regions of the land. But, here in Guthrum’s Kingdom of East Anglia, there are few such Stone circles or most ancient of sites. 

My other dilemma is of course the time line and trying to ensure that I arrive in the same altered place and time that my other Viking friends are in. That may be the most difficult problem to solve since I do firmly believe that other place and time is very seriously altered as far as it’s time, events and people. The history that I reside in right now is fairly stable and reasonably accurate as far as people and events. That does not make it any easier to live here but at least I have some idea of what will take place and I can also be reasonably certain of travel points which will fit my needs and send me where I need to go back and forth in time. It is that oddity of time lines that I am concerned about right now.

Here with Guthrum, I know well the time and area that I am residing in.  The year is 878 and Guthrum recently signed the Treaty of  Wedmore with Alfred. 

Guthrum gets baptized

Guthrum gets baptized

guthrum: I've heard mention of this heaven

guthrum: I’ve heard mention of this heaven

Under the Treaty of Wedmore the borders dividing the lands of Alfred and Guthrum were established, and perhaps more importantly, Guthrum converted to Christianity and took on the Christian name Æthelstan with Alfred as his godfather. Guthrum’s conversion to Christianity served as an oath or legal binding to the treaty, making its significance more political than religious.  Politically, of course, Guthrum’s conversion to Christianity did nothing to loosen the Danish hold on the lands that Guthrum had already acquired via conquest.  Instead it not only garnered Guthrum recognition among Christian communities he ruled, but also legitimized his own authority and claims. By adopting the Christian name of Æthelstan, which was also the name of Alfred’s eldest brother, Guthrum’s conversion “reassured” his newly acquired subjects that they would continue to be ruled by a Christian king rather than a heathen chieftain.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Wedmore

I also know that I could remain here fairly safe under Guthrum’s protection for some time if I were so inclined to do so. Guthrum will uphold his end of this treaty. Guthrum upheld his end of the treaty and left the boundary that separated the Danelaw from English England unmolested. Guthrum, although failing to conquer Wessex, turned towards the lands to the east that the treaty had allotted under his control free of interference by Alfred. Guthrum withdrew his army from the western borders facing Alfred’s territory and moved eastward before eventually settling in the Kingdom of Guthrum in East Anglia in 879. He lived out the remainder of his life there until his death in 890. According to the Annals of St Neots (ed. D. Dumville and M. Lapidge, Cambridge 1984), a Bury St Edmunds compilation, Guthrum was buried at Headleage, usually identified as Hadleigh, Suffolk.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guthrum

kingdom of guthrum mapalfred1

I know that I can travel safely throughout this area of East Anglia that Guthrum controls, but to go elsewhere in the land right now would be unwise and unsafe as Guthrum reminds me. The battles and wars will continue on for some length of time throughout much of the land. Guthrum can only guarantee safety to a certain extent and does not want to provoke or incite any additional revolt or uprising just to ensure my protection in travel to a place because of my odd whimsy… He has stated that he would prefer that I just remain where I am but because of his regard for me, is willing to indulge this strange fascination of mine regarding ancient monuments and such . So, I must find a place within our realm that may or may not connect me to that other realm that Rollo is now residing in.

Along with finding such a site, I must also find some connection between the two realms such as some sort of factual information shared by both realms even though the timelines may be different.  I must look at the times, the people and the events which took place in that other realm and find some connection here in this history.  There is so much that is distorted in that other realm of Viking history, including of course the major issue of the timeline… how do I determine a connection to get me back to the correct place?  When I made the journey from there to here, I used those Stones in Wessex and thus landed into this more accurate history. I would have to assume then that those Stones predate all of these changes in timelines and history- they would thus take me back and forth between time and between realms in accordance with my thoughts. Tis extremely complicated and difficult, this time travel process- do not assume that it is as easy as just walking through the Stones!  As I mentioned, those Stones of Wessex are not available to me, nor are any people of Wessex who might provide some sort of connection to that other past or realm. 

It is almost impossible to ascertain some linking time, place or person to that other Viking realm. Out of all of the people there, I would guess though that my friend Rollo is most out of place and time and he is the one person that I want to get back to. As far as I know, in that other Viking realm, the great Heathen Wars have not yet occured… Ecbert is still alive, Alfred is still a baby… that would put their time period feasibly around the years of 840 to 850s. In accurate history, Ecbert died long before Alfred’s birth. Ecbert died in 839 and Alfred was not born until about 849. Ragnar’s sons are still very young-far too young to yet be involved in those wars that began in 866, so my assumption of a time frame around early 850s might be close approximation except for Rollo.  Rollo in our history as we know it, was not born until about 846… putting him close to the same age as Alfred.  For some reason, I believe that if I look at Rollo and his history, that may be my key to getting back to him in that other realm. My reason for this is that a certain authority on the Rollo of that other realm of Vikings history (aka Michael Hirst) has implied many times that Rollo’s destiny and path there will remain fairly close to that of the history we know of him in this realm.  I keep thinking that perhaps if I know more about Rollo’s truer history, it might take me back to him in that other realm. I know it is far fetched reasoning, grasping at proverbial straws  but tis all I have to go on at the moment! I try to remember all that I have read about other versions of Rollo’s history in hopes of making some connection between the Rollo of this realm and the Rollo of that other place.  I keep thinking of all of this and it is driving me to distraction, of which Guthrum comments upon- asking me of where my mind wanders to so much of late.  Of course I can not tell him of everything- he already thinks I am touched by some spirits. His reasoning and comment on that is these spirits do not seem dangerous and other than my often strange ideas and ways, I am of entertaining and sometimes useful value to him so he pays it not much mind. 

As I ponder on Rollo of this history and Rollo of that other realm, I suddenly begin to wonder what Guthrum might know of the Rollo in this world, or possibly any others who might serve as some connection. As I have mentioned, the year here is now 878 looking towards 879 and Guthrum has some peace in this East Anglia. But, before this peace occurred he fought with many of the other Viking armies throughout the land, knew many of these warriors and probably still keeps some form of contact with some of them.  Perhaps Guthrum is my key to unlocking this puzzle? Why did not I not think of this earlier and realize that my spirit guides, my sisters of fate had set me on path to him for more reason than just to escape the confines of Eahlswith’s court and company. Guthrum is the one person who could be my link to that other version of history.  I must use Guthrum’s knowledge and possible connections to my own gain and advantage.

I am not so concerned right now about Alfred or the English for now though if I were to ask, Guthrum probably knows much more than he lets on about all of them.  I am more curious and interested in the Danes and others here who might prove to be of some connection to that other realm. Guthrum is happy to talk of his acquaintances, his comrades and the various victories they have achieved but talks seldom of any early connection he might have with any of them.  Of course, Ubba the great warrior son of Ragnar Lothbrok is dead now, as is his brother Ivar and another brother Halfdan. Guthrum sighed and shook his head as if to clear his thoughts, “Fine warriors all of them, now gone on to Valhalla together”  I ask him about the other brothers I had heard of such as Bjorn Ironside and Sigurd Snake in the eye… Guthrum thought again and said that  Bjorn did never come here and was not a part of these wars. “Bjorn has been occupied with his own raiding in other parts of the world.”  As for Sigurd, yes Guthrum did mention of him being with his brothers in the battles against Aelle and Osbert at Northumbria. Guthrum laughed and said how Sigurd was probably the wisest of all of them even though none thought so at the time… Sigurd took a daughter of Aelle as wife and returned to their homeland with her.  All of these things I had read varying accounts of in the future where they would appear in different versions of the Norse Sagas.  Guthrum was speaking of the basic beginnings of these events before they were embellished on over the centuries so I could see the truth in these events. But, none of this really helped me so I asked him of one other of which I knew and was most curious about. Did he know of a man called Rollo or Hrolfr Rognvaldsson?

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

This question caused Guthrum some puzzlement and then suspicion. “Why should you ask of him? How would you know of him, he is not part of this war, has sworn no oath or allegiance to any here and if he has fought it is only for his own personal gain…not that there is any wrong in that mind you, every man must look out for himself first, especially if as with Rollo, there is little family backing or love between them.”  He paused and still eyed me with some doubt before going on with what little he knew of this man Rollo. He had heard some stories that the man was a relative of Rognvald Eysteinsson whose family rules an Isle in the far north, Orkney. That family is bound and connected to Harald Fairhair, a King of Norway. Guthrum added, “There is little love between the Danes and the Norse, the only reason we have fought together here is to achieve an equal goal of land and wealth. Now that is some accomplished, we will try to avoid each other and stay to our separate territories. They can have those lands in the north, no one else should want them anyway!”  He laughed at that, then grew serious again. “This Rollo that I know of, he is a loner and seeking his own gain, fortune and reputation. He is not much attached to that family in the north or where ever… so there may have been some bad blood or feud along the way? He fights now for who ever serves him best. He has fought in some battles here, some in the north, and even some in Ireland.  Now he raids in Francia with Danes, Siegfried and his partner Godfried.”  Guthrum laughed and voiced a final thought, “I have heard that this Rollo is a man of such appearance that women are much attracted to him even when they should be fearful of his kind.  I think you have heard stories of him from other women and now ask about him because even you are curious and desire to see him. You must remain curious because I will not send you on to Francia and I do not think he plans to return to this land!” Guthrum paused before adding, “Besides I have heard that he has found a Frankish woman  that suits him well…” 

Rollo victorious

rollo to gisla don't be afraid... Gisla I can't wait for the games to begin

I just smiled and nodded my agreement. I assured him that was my only intent, womanly curiosity had gotten the best of me and I would be content to remain curious… He was not so gullible, did not fall for my agreement quite so easily. Before departing my company that night, his words were a sterner reminder. “You will remain in this land and there will be no trips across the sea!”

 

After his leaving, I am left alone again in the peaceful quiet of this room. Guthrum has gone to spend the evening with his warriors… the hall will be much noisy and boisterous with ale flowing. He has made his supposed commitment to the Christian God as per Alfred’s request and I do think that he has some belief but only as far as to count this God among the many others as so many others do the same. He puts on good display of this religion when need be but he allows his men the freedom of their own beliefs and he is far from the pious zealot that Alfred is. Guthrum’s court is far more friendly and merry to the point of raucous and rowdy. The few wives and women of this place generally retire to their rooms and allow the men their enjoyment. Guthrum believes that this time serves his men well. They gather together like this in some solidarity, celebrate their survival, release their pent up energies and frustrations.  Guthrum says that they need this time together and it makes for better warriors. He also says that in this way, they are all together in one place and he can watch them easier to see what is going on… once they have drunk some ale, he often sees who may be likely to cause trouble, which men do not get on with each other, who might be plotting betrayal and which men are truest and loyal to himself and to the Danes in general. 

I spend the rest of the evening thinking over what little information he has provided. It certainly is not much and I can see little value in it. Most of it, I already knew of and I can not see how it will help me.  His description of Rollo is vague and he professes not to know much about him or his history but for some reason I feel as though he is keeping something from me. What he does know though seems quite similar to my Rollo… some sort of troubled childhood and early family problems which have caused him to seek his own destiny separate from his family and hold few if any close family ties. He has been in this land before, involved in some battles and possibly made some other connections or acquaintances along the way but as Guthrum says, he is unlikely to return here and has chosen to seek his fortunes in Francia.  I remember Guthrum’s mention of those other men that Rollo has joined… Siegfried? Could that be the same Siegfried who was with us in Paris? My mind goes back to that battle and I must calm my nerves as the visions of that horror wash over me and leave me much shaken. I suddenly recall reading of Siegfried and this partner of his, Godfried! I dig through my chest to find my worn leather bag filled with scraps of  parchment, and anything else capable of being scratched and scribbled upon over the years. These writings are quickly strewn across my room as I search for one that contains the story of Siegfried and Godfried… finally I find it within a document about the Frankish city of Trier.

 

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/from-treveri-to-trier-from-celts-to-vikings/

vikings in trier1

I stare at the words on this parchment… this was the siege of Paris in which Rollo and Sigfried were involved. The one that eventually led to Rollo’s destiny of Normandy, the one that we were all at together. This is the time and place that I must somehow get to. It is only 879 right now so I suppose that I have two options. I could remain here with Guthrum in East Anglia for a few more years and try then to sail to Francia in the spring of 886, but that would really not work because I would arrive there at the right time but this would be a different version of the event and a different Rollo who would not know me at all. No, I must still try to find a way to travel to this other parallel and altered world in order to find the correct Rollo. I must either find some spot here in East Anglia to attempt the trip from or convince Guthrum to allow me to sail to Francia and find a spot there to attempt the trip forward in time and place. I do suppose that much of this will depend on what events will be taking place here in that future- how safe would it be for me to travel forward to that year and land in this place as it will be altered according to what ever is taking place in that other world? Along those same lines, I must try to think of what will be happening in Francia during that time and where would I even find a site in that region that might suit my needs? These are the very serious dilemmas that time travelers must concern themselves with! To further complicate the time travel issues, I must also contend with this matter of alternate realities and worlds.

I think on this problem for some time as I attempt to enjoy what time I have here with Guthrum. I know not if or when I might see him again and I do like him. He speaks little of his past and there are times when he reminds me of Rollo or who Rollo may become in the future.  It seems to me that Guthrum has done much like Rollo in putting distance between his past and even other Danes here now to achieve his own goals and his own fame or reputation. I know that he was and is a well respected warrior leader of these Danes but with this Kingdom of East Anglia, he has carved out his own place, is working to have peace here and is working towards some longer lasting goal for this Kingdom. He does not speak of the earliest years of this war or how he became leader of the Danish war chieftans, nor does he speak of how they managed to gain such foothold in East Anglia to begin with… His words are that it was war, a war in which difficult decisions must be made in order to win. His reason seems to be, first you must win enough to have equal balance or hopefully upper hand, then you can make concessions and negotiate for that which you truly desire. What ever his reasons or theories, they seem to have worked for him. I would like to tell him or warn him of the future- one that will not bode well for East Anglia.

I should like to warn him that this trouble and demise will come not from his own doing, but that of his somewhat less than capable young heir. I know next to nothing about this young man named Eohric but sometimes called Guthrum. This young man’s existence is somewhat similar to that of Ecbert and his son Aethelwulf…  Guthrum never speaks of a wife but does call this young man son at times… at others, he curses the boy wildly and refers to him as a waste of seed. He has on occasion commented that this Eohric is about as capable and trustworthy as that English by-blow Aethelwold. I hate to be bearer of such news that in the future, Eohric will indeed team up with Aethelwold and that will be the downfall of everything Guthrum has worked for.

Guthrum and Aethewold

Guthrum and Aethewold

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guthrum_II

 As I said, I should dearly like to warn him but I do not want to be considered as a seer… Guthrum has little time for that sort of nonsense and Ubba’s reliance upon seers is still fresh in his memory.

Ubba's sorcerer, Storri

Ubba’s sorcerer, Storri

Storri has learned the hard way do not mess with brida

Storri has learned the hard way do not mess with brida

No, tis bad enough that he thinks me a bit addled, it would not do for him to view me as a sorceress or seer! I would like to remain on his good side, in his good graces. All I do for now is try to suggest that he keep a firm eye and hand upon Eohric and try to steer him the right way. I think Guthrum knows the youth is much of a lost cause and disappointment but can not bring himself to completely set him aside… besides, there is no other heir at this point and Guthrum does not seem keen on naming anyone else who might prove as useless as Eohric. It is Guthrum’s problem and I can not concern myself with it- my problems are many enough as it is without trying to sort out all of his as well! 

For the time being, I content myself with traveling throughout East Anglia with Guthrum, learning more about this Kingdom, it’s people and it’s history. I keep hoping to find a site which might call to me and be a means of travel to that other time and place.  

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

All of those months of searching and wondering about some connection. Imagine my surprise and my relief  to find that the connection is indeed  with Guthrum himself! He seldom spoke of his past, his connection to the sons of Ragnar… it seemed to be a rather touchy subject with him that would oft put him in a foul mood so I did try to make no further mention of them. One night however, he was in a somber mood.  I asked what bothered him and he mentioned only that he thought of his home, his youth and the Mother he so vaguely but fondly remembered. I did not want to pry or cause him to react in a bitter way as he had in past recollections of his earlier years so I chose simply to sit next to him and softly add  thoughts of missing my own family at times. He spoke so quietly as if to only himself, it was difficult to hear his words as he murmured a name from my distant past with those of Kattegatt.  I heard him say that familiar name of Torvi…

no tears from torvi she is resolute she is viking

never mind... torvi's mind is working over time

it is easy all you have to do is turn point and pull the trigger

Torvi has inherited Erlandeur's crossbow

 

Perhaps though, it was a much common name so I did not seek to question it.  He sat there for some length of time staring out our small window at the stars before he continued his wandering thoughts of a long gone childhood, “They are all gone now, all those who were a part of my life but I remember them. I remember all of it even when I try to forget.” He closed his eyes for a moment as if to see them, to hear them again. “I think of her often, as do I think of the other one, Lagertha who gave me wise counsel as a young child.”  I tried to hide my surprise at the mention of Lagertha but there was no need for he was lost in his own world of memories. “I took much heed of her words so long ago, she advised me to keep my friends close for some of them would die all too soon and the others would betray me. That counsel has kept me alive to this day.” 

Lagertha tells Guthrum she must leave

Lagertha tells Guthrum she must leave but that he must remember to keep his friends close for some of them will die and others will betray him.

Guthrum's destiny

Guthrum’s destiny

Lagertha assures Torvi that her son is well and she has no doubts the Gods have great plans for him

Lagertha assures Torvi that her son is well and she has no doubts the Gods have great plans for him

 

I had not words in response to his remark but rose to stand behind him, place my hands upon his shoulders and stare out at the night sky with him. I attempted to offer some small measure of solace and assurance to his thoughts as I whispered, “I will not betray you or your heart, Guthrum.”  There was an odd comfort in our silence together as we each watched the stars that night thinking of the past and of the future. 

My thoughts turned to my own memories and my reasons for this journey… It had begun so long ago as a gift with ulterior purpose. I had received my wish to travel back in time, to experience this time period on condition that I document the events, not interfere and discover the mysteries surrounding all of these people. I had been forewarned and cautioned not to form attachments to any one person or side but to be unbiased in my observations.  I felt now as though I may have failed in that objective. To live this long in this time and not form personal attachments or take a side in events was nearly impossible. I also felt that one portion of my objective was complete as far as I could tell in both of these worlds that seemed to be converging on each other. Rollo was now where he should be, on his path to shaping history as we know it. Perhaps there was no need for me to make that dangerous time travel journey once more? Perhaps I could just remain here now with Guthrum for what would remain of his life.  I knew that as far as history would record, Guthrum would remain here in East Anglia and continue his peace with Alfred. He would not return to his homeland and his life would be centered on this Kingdom that he had won. That thought brought me some measure of peace and I was content now to remain here with him in this history.  Perhaps over time, he would share those events of his youth and I would then learn of what happened to all of those others. 

My only nagging concern was that of these two different worlds coming together, merging together… there was little I could do about that but I did wonder if it had been destined to happen from the beginning or if it was the result of our time travel? All that I could really do now was try to decipher some of the events that would lead up to this convergence. I did not want to go back again to that earlier time again and I did not want to go home to the future yet. No, I would remain here where I was for now and make some effort to find out about those differences in history by the only means available to me now, listening to the stories that these people around me would tell of the past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Viking Saga: The beginnings

****Note to readers: Fans of the Vikings  can look at this material as good refreshers for the upcoming season in February.  For those who have not seen the show, You should! These recaps will of course contain spoilers for all of the episodes, eventually up to the new season. With that warning provided, We can now begin our adventure!****

 Link to Vikings Official site:  http://www.history.com/shows/Vikings

For more information on cast and characters see this page:  https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/vikings-saga-cast-characters-and-reference-information/

 

lindhom hoje denmark

lindhom hoje denmark

I started  my  journey to  the past at these Stone Ships…  I will admit that I was leery and doubtful that this would work? I was also extremely scared that it would work! It was a rather nasty, cloudy day- which did not add to my feelings of dread? It was one of those things where you are excited and thrilled with the chance to experience such a thing, but underneath it all, you are thinking, “This has to be the stupidest idea that I have ever come up with?”  Mrs. Graham and her associates were all calm and reassuring as they began their rituals of calling the Sun… Good luck with that one was my only thought at that moment! Then I remembered that I needed to focus, concentrate on what they were doing, where and when I wanted to go. My previous experience had been a good lesson in that, just as Mrs. Graham had warned.  I knew the time travel worked at those other Stones in Britain, but would they actually work here at these Stones?

As I listened to the dancers and callers, my mind cleared. I was able to focus on the Stones, and on the energy that was starting to come through them. The mists surrounding us got thicker.  I began to feel that distant humming and vibration coming from the Stones and the ground as it crept up through my feet. My body grew warm despite the chilly wind, started to tingle like needle pricks. I closed my eyes, controlled my breathing, then opened my eyes again… I saw those images, felt others than just the dancers surrounding me.

ghosts of the past2

I felt Mrs. Graham push me towards the Stones, and reached out to touch them. Immediately, I was pulled into them with such force that I thought I would be crushed! Everything went cold and dark as if I were in a deep tunnel or cave… have mentioned how much I hate caves, hate the whole thought of being trapped, buried alive as rocks tumble down over me? That is exactly how I felt as I passed out, probably more from the extreme fear than anything else.

I have no idea how long I was in that tunnel, or how long I was unconscious. All I knew was that when I came to, I was in the bottom of boat filled with people. My head hurt, my vision was still blurry and my brain was foggy but these people were speaking English? They were dressed in an ancient Viking style, and from what I could tell, the boat seemed to be an old style but newly built?

Viking-Village-Visit

When I tried to sit up and get my bearings, one of the men came over to help me. “Well, you’re awake then and survived the trip! We weren’t sure if you’d make it?”

I rubbed my face and shook my head in attempt to clear the fog and the ringing still in my ears. The man laughed, handed me a small container and urged me to take a drink. Thankfully it was just water… but then I had a second thought? I looked at the bearded man skeptically and he  smiled as he sat down next to me. He assured me that the water was fine, it was fresh spring water from near their camp. He then went on to explain that, Yes I had indeed arrived at my proper destination. His small group of travelers had been waiting for me to appear and it seemed I was only a few days off schedule.  I was speechless, all I could think to myself was, “Holy Crap! It worked, now what do I do?”

The man, who introduced himself as Gunnar, continued talking while I ate some bread and cheese that he handed me. He said that we were headed to their small farmstead for now, where I could rest and they could prepare me for the trip to Kattegat.

Viking_Village_by_traveling_Bard

I stayed at the farmstead for a few weeks with these other time travelers. It was an isolated place up in the hills as most places were back then. I learned that this farmstead was sort of  a way stop or station for the many time travelers who were coming through this area. It was being researched a great deal now and many of the travelers were historians working much the same as I would be, piecing together history as it was happening.  Most of them, too, I quickly realized were men. They didn’t think it was safe for women to be here and were not happy about my arrival! There were some women though, and even a few families. Some men refused to leave their families at home while undertaking this journey, a few had married or handfasted with Viking women and started families here. These families were here to stay, they had no intentions or desires to return to the present. It was these people who were the most helpful to me in adjusting to this time.

Some of the many travelers who came and went from the hidden farmstead while I was there.

viking men6 viking men4 viking men14 Viking-Village-Musician older viking woman viking men10young viking woman

viking men7viking men15 viking men8 viking men17

While I was preparing myself at the farm, I was introduced to a young Viking woman who would help me fit into the village… or not, as I later discovered? She was a local farm girl but did not seem put off by any of our strange ways here at the farm. She simply mentioned, “Oh, I’ve seen odder and stranger behavior, believe me!” She said her name was Helga..

helga3

Helga knew of the families I needed to meet and offered to help me gain introductions. She also mentioned that she might be able to help me with finding some place to live and work? She was a bit hesitant at first though and warned me that this would not be the easiest of ways to earn my keep and it could prove dangerous in the end… After some thought, Helga said she knew that the Earl’s wife was looking for additional house servants. Siggy, her name was… was looking for well trained, well bred young women who knew their place and would set good example for her household and her daughter.  Did I think I could do this and not call question or attention to myself? I would be well taken care of there if I could convince Siggy to take me in. This would be no easy task as this Siggy was demanding, suspicious and very cunning… If I did not think I could pull this off, perhaps I could go up to the farm of Ragnar and Lagertha?  Lagertha would appreciate the help with her farm and maybe she could teach me about being a shieldmaiden?

vikings_gallery_1_5-P lagertha and daughter

Helga looked at me again and sighed… “Ahhh I think you should take your chances with Siggy, I do not think you will do well on the farm with Lagertha and I doubt you will do well as a shieldmaiden!”

After she left, I talked to the others about her suggestions and her warnings. They all agreed with her thoughts on my situation and opted to send me into the village to Siggy. It took a few more weeks of intense study with them before they decided I was ready to make my presentation to Siggy.  When they determined that I was as ready as I would ever be, they brought me by a larger boat to the village of  Kattegat.

village of kattegat

kattegat bay

Gunnar had worked with me non-stop, drilling into my head the back story of my life. He warned me that this woman Siggy would be determined to find any flaw in my story. She was as ruthless as her husband the Earl, and almost as paranoid that someone, anyone would seek to betray them and gain their power. Gunnar was known as a sea faring merchant here. I was to be his younger sister and he wanted me placed in a household of good standing. He then warned me once more to keep to myself, not call attention and not interfere in anything whether I thought wrong or not! “Remember, you are here to observe history, not change it!”

viking men4

 

That walk from the docks up to the Great Hall  felt like the longest I’d ever taken. I was shaking the whole time, wondering how impressed this Siggy would be if I threw up in front of her?

viking village

Well, I managed to make inside without tripping over my skirt… only to realize that it was not just Siggy who would grill me, but her husband the Earl Haroldson as well! I was about to turn around and run but Gunnar held my arm tight, pinching it as if I were a child. He just smiled at these two power mongers and said, “Haaaa She is so shy, my sister is…forgive her please!”

Siggy with Earl Haroldson

By some miracle, I made through their interrogation and was accepted into the household. I would be a personal servant to Siggy and to her daughter…not really sure this was a good thing? I thought I might have been better off in the kitchens or better yet, up on the hill farm of Ragnar Lothbrok and his wife, Lagertha!

Siggy as queen

Siggy as queen

So, here begins my story. I am stuck in the household of Siggy and Earl Haroldson, looking for any way out of it! I really don’t think it’s going to be safe here?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Viking Adventure begins!

vikings_gallery7_1-P

 

 

Despite my current state of health (we’ll try hard to ignore it, maybe it will disappear during the trip) I am determined to get started on this voyage to the past. As I have mentioned previously, our departing place will be at the Lindholm Høje near Aalborg Denmark. This site was chosen for it’s somewhat close proximity to Kattegat and the family we will be following, and for it’s concentration of Viking burial mounds.  No, it is not the normal type of Standing Stones that one usually thinks of in terms of traveling through the Stones. My mentor and sponsor for this trip, Mrs. Graham of  Crag na dun Time Tours, assures me though that this site has a power and energy of it’s own due to the many early souls buried here. She and her associates have been testing it for some time and report that it’s energy is unique and filled with so many spiritual connections that one should be in awe of it, rather than looking at it and only seeing a bunch of old stones strung about in half hazard fashion. If you focus and concentrate on it’s deeper meanings, it’s history and think of those who were set a sail from this place in their Stone Ships to make their journey to that other shore and other life, you will feel the vibrations and the energy they’ve left on their path.

luftfoto-lindholm-hoeje_2012_top_ten

Our journey begins with the trip to Aalborg Denmark. Aalborg (or Ålborg)  is an industrial and university city in the North of Jutland, Denmark. As of 1 January 2014, it has a population of 130,853 (including Nørresundby), making it the fourth most populous city in Denmark. With a population of 205,809 (1 January 2014), the Municipality of Aalborg is the third most populous in the country after Copenhagen and Aarhus. By road Aalborg is 64 kilometres (40 mi) southwest of Frederikshavn, and 118 kilometres (73 mi) north of Aarhus.

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

Aalborg

Aalborg Denmark

denmark_country_map

If you look at the map, you will see it’s proximity to Kattegat.

Denmark-CIA_WFB_Map

The area around the narrowest point on the Limfjord attracted settlements as far back as the Iron Age leading to a thriving Viking community until around the year 1000 in what has now become Aalborg. In the Middle Ages, royal trading privileges, a natural harbour and a thriving herring fishing industry contributed to the town’s growth. Despite the difficulties it experienced over the centuries, the city began to prosper once again towards the end of the 19th century when a bridge was built over Limfjord and the railway arrived. Aalborg’s initial growth relied on heavy industry but its current development focuses on culture and education.

Aalborg traces its history back over a thousand years. It was originally settled as a trading post because of its position on the Limfjord. The sites of what were two settlements and a burial ground can be seen on Lindholm Høje, a hill overlooking the city. These large settlements, one from the 6th-century Germanic Iron Age, the other from the Viking Age in the 9th to 11th centuries,  evolved at the narrowest point on Limfjord as a result of the traffic between Himmerland to the south and Vendsyssel to the north.

The first mention of Aalborg under its original name Alabu or Alabur is found on coins from c. 1040, the period when King Harthacnut (Hardeknud) settled in the area. In c. 1075, Adam of Bremen reported that Alaburg, as he called it in German, was an important harbour for ships sailing to Norway.  In Valdemar’s Danish Census Book from 1231 it was called Aleburgh, possibly meaning “the fort by the stream” as in Old Norse all meant a stream or current and bur or burgh a fort or a castle.  The Church of Our Lady in Aalborg was originally built in the early 12th century but was demolished during the Reformation.  Grey Friar Convent, on the east side of Østerå, was probably built around 1240; it was documented in 1268 when it was a Franciscan Convent of the Order of Friars Minor, but like many other Roman Catholic monasteries and convents was shut down in 1530 as a result of the Reformation.

In order to better understand it’s long history and it’s early importance, we need to know a little more about that history? Himmerland is a peninsula in northeastern Jutland, Denmark. It is delimited to the north and the west by the Limfjord, to the east by the Kattegat, and to the south by the Mariager Fjord. The largest city is Aalborg; smaller towns include Hobro, Aars, Løgstør, Støvring and Nibe. In northeastern Himmerland is the Lille Vildmose, Denmark’s largest high bog, which sustains a rich bird life of international importance.  It is generally assumed that the name Himmerland is derived from the tribe of the Cimbri since, in the Geography of Ptolemy (2nd century AD), the Kimbroi (in Greek Κίμβροι) are located in the northernmost part of the peninsula of Jutland, called Kimbrikē chersonēsos in Greek (Κιμβρική Χερσόνησος). The Latin c and Greek k attest an earlier stage of Germanic in which the Germanic sound shift was not yet completed (*k > *χ > h), or it has been assumed the Latin form may be derived through Celtic which substituted ch for h (Germanic *himbr-, Celtic *chimbr-, Latin cimbr-).

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

800px-Immerland_in_medieval_times_(cropped)

The Cimbri were an ancient people, either Germanic or Celtic who, together with the Teutones and the Ambrones, fought the Roman Republic between 113 and 101 BC.  The Cimbri were initially successful, particularly at the Battle of Arausio, in which a large Roman army was routed, after which they raided large areas in Gaul and Hispania. In 101 BC, during an attempted invasion of Italy, the Cimbri were decisively defeated by Gaius Marius, and their king, Boiorix, was killed. Some of the surviving captives are reported to have been among the rebelling Gladiators in the Third Servile War.

Roman sources such as Strabo and Tacitus identify these Cimbri with a group living in Jutland, but strong evidence for this connection is lacking.

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

ancient map of Augustus showing location of Cimbri in northern jutland

 

This history shows that Aalborg and the surrounding area were being settled long before the Viking age but we are most interested in that Viking era so will only focus on that aspect. Our specific focus is of course, Lindolm Hoje.

Lindholm Høje  (Lindholm  Hills,  from Old Norse haugr, hill or mound) is  a  major Viking  burial site  and  former  settlement  situated to  the north  of and overlooking the city of  Aalborg  in Denmark.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindholm_H%C3%B8je

The southern (lower) part of Lindholm Høje dates to 1000 – 1050 AD, the Viking Age, while the northern (higher) part is significantly earlier, dating back to the 5th century AD in the Nordic Iron Age.  An unknown number of rocks has been removed from the site over the centuries, many, for example, being broken up in the 19th century for use in road constructions. The Viking Age part of the burial ground has suffered more from this than the older parts.  The first major archaeological excavation, which ultimately included 589 of the approximately 700 graves,  began in 1952, although excavations had been conducted as early as 1889.

Remains of villages has been found.  The settlement is at an important crossing over the Limfjord, a stretch of water which divides what is now Jutland. During the Viking Age, it was only possible to make the crossing at this point or much further west along the fjord at Aggersund, because of the swamps which then edged the fjord on either side.

The settlement was abandoned in approximately 1200 AD, probably due to sand drifting from the western coast, which was a consequence of extensive deforestation and the exposed sand then being blown inland by the rough westerly winds. The sand which covered the site served to protect it in large part over the intervening centuries.

Urnes  style  brooch  in bronze; a silver version was found at Lindholm  Høje

Because of its location and transportation links, the settlement was obviously a significant centre for trade at the time, and this is borne out by glassware, gems and Arab coins found at the site.  An 11th-century silver Urnes style brooch found in one grave is the model for bronze copies that were being cast in a Lund jeweler’s workshop in the early 12th century.

The majority of the burials discovered were cremations, although a number of inhumations were also discovered, and it appeared that the tendency towards cremation or burial depended upon the period, cremation supplanting inhumation in the Viking Age. The pre-Viking Age burials were under mounds. Of the later graves, some women’s graves appear to be distinguished by placement of rocks in a circle or oval, but most of the graves are marked with rocks either in a triangle or in the traditional shape of a boat (stone ship),  indicating the importance that the Vikings placed upon water. The ship settings constitute the largest assemblage of well preserved examples extant.  The shape and size of the grave outline apparently indicate the status of the person – all of which is reminiscent of the ship burials of the Anglo-Saxons, Norwegian and Swedish Vikings and other ancient Germanic societies.

A museum adjacent to the site donated by Aalborg Portland A/S cement company to commemorate their centennial  was opened in 1992. In 2008 the museum was enlarged, and a new exhibition of pre-history in the area of the Limfjord opened.

lindholm-hoeje-vikingegravp lindholm-hoeje2-aalborg

I find the history of this place fascinating and  wonder what it might have looked like in that ancient time when so many Vikings would have been using it as a sacred burial site. There evidence that it was used as a burial site long before the Viking era, with mound graves dating back to before the 5th century. The majority of the Stone Ship Viking graves date from about 1000 AD and later. I was concerned about this time frame and voiced it to Mrs. Graham, as our planned trip calls for us to go back a bit further but not so far back as the early grave sites.  Mrs. Graham and her researchers assure me that this site was known about and used during the intervening times but so much damage has been done to the entire site due to weather, erosion and deforestation, it’s difficult to asses all of the grave sites. There was also a period of time when large portions of the Ship Stones were removed by those who were unaware of their importance… for example during the 1800s Stones were broken up and removed to be used in various road projects!

Standing out there on this hill, it’s easy to forget the present and see those souls from the past?

Lindholm-Hoje_web

And, this is where our journey begins! Through those Stone Ships to find the ghosts of the past and tell their story for them!

ghosts of the past2

Their ships have long ago set sail for that distant shore of  Valhalla and Freyja‘s field Fólkvangr.   All that remains of them and their life here are vague and unclear images, memories and legends that have become muddled and clouded with time.

viking ghost ships

We will search for the truths, the myths, the mysteries of their lives and ensure that they are not forgotten in the mists of time!

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

1024px-Walhall_by_Emil_Doepler

 

Freyja’s Fólkvangr

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%B3lkvangr

Ring5 Freya 640px-Freia_Gestures_to_Hyndla_by_Frølich

In Norse mythology, Fólkvangr (Old Norse “field of the host” or “people-field” or “army-field”) is a meadow or field ruled over by the goddess Freyja where half of those that die in combat go upon death, while the other half go to the god Odin in Valhalla. Fólkvangr is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. According to the Prose Edda, within Fólkvangr is Freyja’s hall Sessrúmnir. Scholarly theories have been proposed about the implications of the location.

In Egils saga, when Egill Skallagrímsson refuses to eat, his daughter Þorgerðr (here anglicized as “Thorgerd”) says she will go without food and thus starve to death, and in doing so will meet the goddess Freyja:

Thorgerd replied in a loud voice, ‘I have had no evening meal, nor will I do so until I join Freyja. I know no better course of action than my father’s. I do not want to live after my father and brother are dead.’

Britt-Mari Näsström says that “as a receiver of the dead her [Freyja’s] abode is also open for women who have suffered a noble death.” Näsström cites the above passage from Egils saga as an example, and points to a potential additional connection in the saga Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks, where the queen hangs herself in the dísarsalr (Old Norse “the Hall of the Dís“) after discovering that her husband has betrayed both her father and brother. Näsström comments that “this Dís could hardly be anyone but Freyja herself, the natural leader of the collective female deities called dísir, and the place of the queen’s suicide seems thus to be connected with Freyja.

John Lindow says that if the Fólk- element of Fólkvangr is to be understood as “army”, then Fólkvangr appears as an alternative to Valhalla. Lindow adds that, like Odin, Freyja has an association with warriors in that she presides over the eternal combat of Hjaðningavíg.

Rudolf Simek theorizes that the name Fólkvangr is “surely not much older than Grímnismál itself”, and adds that the Gylfaginning description keeps close to the Grímnismál description, yet that the Gylfaginning descriptions adds that Sessrúmnir is located within Fólkvangr.  According to Hilda Ellis Davidson, Valhalla “is well known because it plays so large a part in images of warfare and death,” yet the significance of other halls in Norse mythology such as Ýdalir, where the god Ullr dwells, and Freyja’s Fólkvangr have been lost.

Britt-Mari Näsström places emphasis on that Gylfaginning relates that “whenever she rides into battle she takes half of the slain,” and interprets Fólkvangr as “the field of the Warriors.” Näsström comments that:

Freyja receives the slain heroes of the battlefield quite respectfully as Óðinn does. Her house is called Sessrumnir, ‘filled with many seats’, and it probably fills the same function as Valhöll, ‘the hall of the slain’, where the warriors eat and drink beer after the fighting. Still, we must ask why there are two heroic paradises in the Old Norse View of afterlife. It might possibly be a consequence of different forms of initiation of warriors, where one part seemed to have belonged to Óðinn and the other to Freyja. These examples indicate that Freyja was a war-goddess, and she even appears as a valkyrie, literally ‘the one who chooses the slain’.

Siegfried Andres Dobat comments that “in her mythological role as the chooser of half the fallen warriors for her death realm Fólkvangr, the goddess Freyja, however, emerges as the mythological role model for the Valkyrjar and the dísir.

 

Whether our legendary ghosts of the past now reside with Odin in Valhalla or with Freyja in Fólkvangr  is most likely up to Odin and Freyja, and whether they died noble and honorable deaths… that last part remains to be seen for some that we will encounter on our journey!