List of Kings Viking

As a starting point, we should recognize the difference between historical kings and legendary kings. There have been many, islandic sagas written on behalf of the royal power to justify their rulings.

Some of them are nothing less than legendary tales where the first king fought the gods. Therefore, we need to be careful not to attribute false legends to the past, but rather stick with historical facts and archeological evidence. When it comes to Norwegian kings, this is even more true. It is important to remember that Iceland was colonized by the Norwegians.

The list only summarizes kings and rulers, not fighters. Despite the movies' portrayal of viking leaders as brutal warriors, in reality, war was not their majority activity. Initially, they were a lawmaker, a konungr.  

Harald Bluetooth

King of Denmarkc(958-987AD). His was the second king of the Jelling dynasty. Moreover, he was the first one to officially convert the Vikings to Christianity. It took place between 958 and 965.

It was also he who erected the famous Jelling Stone to honor his father Gorm the Old.

During the year 987, Harald was exiled within a slave city near Stettin

Svein Forkbeard

King of Denmark between (987-1014AD). In his efforts to make Denmark more like an European power, he and his son let the Vikings ways behind them, but Danes were not ready and social problems resulted.

Svein has formed an alliance with the Norwegian king in order to raid England. Svein tries to conquer Norway after receiving a payoff from the England king. 

Cnut the Great 

King of Denmark (1019-1035AD), King of England (1016-1035AD) and King of Norway (1028-1035AD). In a movie about the Vikings, the story of Cnut the great would represent Viking tradition at its peak. Following that, all viking sovereignty became Christian. Furthermore, Cnut, Svein Forkbeard, and Harold Bleuthooth are all three responsible for the transition of values and beliefs in Scandinavia.

Aethelraed Anglo-Saxon has been crowned King of England at the age of 12 years old. His kingdom was in a very unstable state. From 990 to 1015, Olaf Tryggvason of Norway, Svein Forkbeard of Denmark, and Thorkell the Tall of Normandy ravaged England. In 1016, after the death of his father, Cnut the great conquered all of England.

During 1014, Harald, the brother of Cnut, became king of Denmark after Svein died. When Harald died in 1018, Cnut became King of Denmark as well. In 1028, Sweden and Norway form an alliance and attempt to conquer Gotaland. Cnut responded by conquest Norway with a fleet of 50 ships. Furthermore, he was able to converse in Norwegian during his reign.

It took a very short time for his empire to fall apart after his death in 1035.

Harald Finehair 

King of Norway (880-930AD). Iceland's origin is often associated with his name. The terror regime has apparently forced many people to refuge in Iceland.

Compared with what is described in islandic saga, Harald actually has very little control over his kingdom.

Ragnar Lothbrok

(Legendary King)Since he too well knows, we need to add him to the list. However, he was not a king of any nation, and he was probably not even real.

In the islandic sagas, he has a large role, but his importance in Viking history is very small. There is no evidence to suggest otherwise.

Another possibility is that he is a giant exaggeration of a true Viking king.

Erik Bloodaxe

King of York (948 and 952-954AD)  Despite having a large presence in islandic sagas, this character is not very important in viking history. In 948, he gained the crown of York Kingdom, but was immediately kicked out by the English Eadred. In 952 he regained the crown and was kicked out again in 954.

When Erik's father died in 930, we don't know for certain whether he was crowned King of Norway or refused to be crowned. Nevertheless, Hakon the Good, his brother, has taken the throne in 936.

Olof Skotkonung

King of Svear (995-1022Ad) There isn't a lot of information available about him or the Swedish king in general. Primary sources are mostly from western Europe. The Sweden interact mostly with eastern Europe, so the sources are limited. In addition, most of Sweeden today was Danish territory in the past.

Having said that, Olof was probably the one who united many people around the crown of Uppsala. The conversion to Christianity in Sweden was also started by him.

a boat in the watera boat in the water

Olaf Haraldson (St Olaf)

 King of Norway (1015-1028AD). Having defeated his rival in a nasty fight in 1015, Olaf took the throne of Norway. His enemies grew throughout his reign and, in 1028, Cnut the great of Denmark took over the throne of Denmark.

After spending two years in Novgorod, Olaf returned with an army of Swedish soldiers. At the battle of Stiklarstadir on 29th July 1030, he lost and died.

This is nothing out of the ordinary! However, after his death, all kinds of miracles happened; miracle healing, natural lighting, and more. These miracles and legends have created a pilgrimage at Nidaros, where his body was buried.

The Nidaros Cathedrale, still open today, was built to welcome travelers in the 12th century. St Olaf's cult may have been a mixture of Christian tradition and pagan belief.  

Olaf Tryggvason

King of Norway (995-1000AD). King of Norway (995-1000AD). There is no question he is the hardest king to distinguish saga legendry from reality. He is mentioned in many sources. His story is exaggerated a lot, but he is a very important figure in Norway's history.

However, he and Svein the Danish raided fragile England Kingdom between 991 and 994. In order to send Olaf away, the young king of England gave an extremely large payout. After receiving this payoff, Olaf returned to Norway a very wealthy man with a reputation as a successful military commander. The Norwegian throne was divided by numerous rivals. In response to Olaf's claim that he is rightfully the king, all the powerful chiefs of Norway agree to allow him to become king.

Immediately following that, Olaf enforced the Christian belief on the predominantly pagan nation. In order to converge to Christianity, he had killed, banned, and imprisoned everyone who did not converge. Iceland and Greeland converged in 999 under his rule.

Once Tryggvason died in 1000AD, Norway became unstable again until Olaf Haraldson finished his work in 1015.

Harald Hardrada

King of Norway(1045-1066AD). Described in islandic sagas as a fearless hero, he was actually a great warrior.

During the battle of Stiklestad in 1030, we fought on behalf of his brother Olaf Haraldson. Harald returns to Novgorod after the brutal loss and the death of his brother to become mercedery for the Rus and Byzantines.

A rich man and a great general, Harald became king of Norway in 1046. He forces his rivals to obey by imposing a hard rule style on them.

A contest for the crown of England erupted in 1066 between Hardrada, Harold Goodwing of Wessex, and William the duke of Normandy. Sadly, Hardrada was killed at Stamford on 25 September 1066. On the 14th of October 1066, Goodwing will also die at Hasthing.  

William the Conqueror

Duke of Normandy(1035-1087AD) and King of England (1066-1087AD).  In the first place, William the conqueror and William Longsword are not the same person.

By 1035, the Duchy of Normandy had doubled in size since 911. Following the death of Edward the Confessor in 1066, Harold Godwinson of Wessex, Harald Hardradra of Norway, and William of Normandy claimed the throne of England. As a result of Willam the Conqueror's victory at Hasting on 14th October 1066, he will be crowned king.

The coronation of a king born outside England did not satisfy everyone. Several rebellions take place. Between 1066 and 1071, Danish king Svein Estrithson and his son Cnut attempted to dethrone William multiple times. There is no success in any of their attempts.


Rollo of Normandy

Duke of Normandy (911-925AD). In most cases, the raids of the Vikings were conducted on the coast of the Frankish Empire. In order to stop those raids, all Frankish kings tried several different strategies, but nothing worked. After the defeat of Chartres, Charles the simple handed Rouen over to viking leader Rollo.

In the Orkneyinga saga, Hrolfr is said to have conquered Normandy. Some historians say Rollo and Hrolfr are the same, while others disagree. Following Normandy's receipt, Viking raids along the coast slowed down. Rollo settled down and adopted Frankish culture and faith.

Bibliography :

1-John Lindow ''Norse Mythology : A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals and Beliefs ''  New York : Oxford University, 2002

2-Régis Boyer ''Les Vikings : Histoire, Mythes, Dictionnaire '' France: Édition Robert Laffont , 2008

3-Lee M.Hollander ''Introduction in  The Poetic Edda''  United State : University of Texas , 1990

4-John Haywood ''Historical Atlas of the Vikings '' United State : Penguin Books, 1995