Historical Characters

Historical or Legendary People Who Feature or are Referred to in the BLADE HONER books so far…

empress irene charlemagne

  • Attila (ON: Atli): Hunnish war general and king who died in 452/3 AD after a century of Hunnish dominance in Europe, and appears as an important character in the Poetic Edda.
  • Al-Mahdi: Abbasid Caliph who introduced the first large-scale persecution of Moslem Heretics in the eastern Caliphate (lived ca. 745-785 A.D.)
  • Ása Haraldsdóttir (ON): Lived ca.795-840 AD.  Queen Ása of Agder, mother to Halfdan the Black. According to the Ynglinga saga, King Guðrǫðr of Vestfold wanted to marry Ása, but her father, King Harald Red Beard of Agder, refused the match, upon which Guðrǫðr attacked Agder and had Harald killed with his sons and other male relatives, leaving the very young Ása as the single heir to Agder, now forced to marry the Ynglinga king. Ása had Halfdan the Black around 810 A.D., after a year of marriage. The enforced marriage to a man who had killed her father and brothers and raped herself, was very unhappy, and Ása Haraldsdottir was not to be underestimated. Guðrǫðr stayed away from home as much as possible, drinking heavily (perhaps wondering why his son by Ása had pitch-black hair). Ása sent her “shoe-boy” (a male servant for errands) to murder Guðrǫðr, and succeeded. The “shoe-boy” was killed, but there was no consequence for a woman who had acted within the rights of just vengeance. Ása was free to return to Agder with her son, and there she ruled the kingdom as the last and female end to her royal lineage, and mother to a new lineage: Halfdan the Black. Ása was long suspected to be one of the women in the Oseberg (“Ásabergr”) burial in 834 A.D., but this has later been disputed since Ása evidently died some years later. However, Ása was a contemporary to these women and may very well have played a part in the Oseberg mystery, perhaps even giving name to the sacred mound if she, for example, had patronized it.
  • Ása the Bad Ruler: The psychopathic daughter of the equally psychopathic Ingjald the Bad Ruler, mentioned in Ynglinga saga, lived possibly during the 5th or 6th century AD
  • Auð the Deep-Minded (ON: Auðr hina Djúpugda) Three different “Deep-Minded” women called Auð are mentioned in the saga literature, always being pioneers (like the first female settler of Iceland) or the beginning and end of a lineage (like the 8th century Auð mentioned in this book, who established a new Danish royal dynasty with her son Sígurð Ring (begotten by a Russian Viking lord) and a new Swedish royal dynasty with her first son, Harald Wartooth.
  • Blenda (ON): According to legend a maiden from Småland in Sweden in Götaland who found a way for the women of her tribe to trick and defeat an army of hostile Vikings who had disembarked at their shores while their men were out looking for the same Vikings elsewhere. When the men returned and learned how the women had defended their country in their absence, the women were given special rights at parliament, taugth the arts of combat, and would go to their weddings wearing the attires of warriors.
  • Charlemagne (ON: Karl Magni): King of the Franks from 768 until his death in 814 A.D. Became known as Holy Roman Emperor and a warrior of Christendom against Heathens.
  • Godfred of Denmark (ON: Guðrǫðr): Son of Sígurð Ring, King of Denmark and West-Götaland between 804 and 810.  He was a serious threat to the Franks and an enemy to Charlemagne. In 810, Godfred was killed by one of his house-servants. This coincides with the story of the death of his Norwegian namesake, Guðrǫðr of Vestfold – and Vestfold was, during that era, possibly ruled by the Danish king.
  • Grimhild (ON: Grímhildr): Queen mother of the Burgunds in the Poetic Edda
  • Guðrún Giukidottir (ON: The Bane of “Atli” (Attila) in the Poetic Edda, daughter to Grimhild.
  • Guðrǫðr of Vestfold (ON): Also known as Guðrǫðr veiðikonungr – the Hunter King. Son to Halfdan the Mild. According to the Ynglinga saga, Guðrǫðr was anYnglinga king of Vestfold and father to Halfdan the Black by Ása Haraldsdottir. Murdered by Ása´s “shoe-boy” some time after 810 A.D. His historical identity is very uncertain, and it has been speculated as to why his name is identical to the Danish king Guðrǫðr who ruled Denmark at the same time, known to the Franks as Godfred – who also ruled in Vestfold and southern Norway during the same era.
  • Halfdan the Black (ON: Halfdánr Svarti): Son of Guðröðr, the Ynglinga king of Vestfold, and Ása, the princess of Agder. Conquered many Norwegian kingdoms and became the father of Haraldr Hárfagri, the king who united all Norway under one kingdom. Historical person, mentioned in Ynglinga saga and in Halfdan the Black´s saga etc. Contemporary with the Oseberg burial in 834 AD (He was perhaps born around 810 AD).
  • Harald Wartooth (ON: Haraldr Hilditann): Legendary Swedish/Danish King (died ca. 750 A.D.)
  • Harun Al-Rashid: (Lived 763-809 A.D.): Caliph in Baghdad, known from many stories in “1001 Arabian Nights”
  • Hlaðgerðr (ON)/ Lagertha (Latin): Shield maiden and wife to Ragnarr Lóðbrok
  • Ingjald the Bad Ruler (ON: Ingjaldr hinn illráði – 5th -6th century AD Ynglinga king mentioned in the Ynglinga saga)
  • Irene: Byzantine Empress (752-803 A.D.)
  • Ivarr Rules Widely (ON: Ivarr inn Víðfamni ): 7th-8th century AD  king of Scania (southwest-Sweden) who took the seat of Uppsala from the Ynglinga lineage under Ingjald the Bad Ruler, according to Ynglinga Saga
  • Ólaf the Tree-Feller (ON: Ólafr Tretelgja): Son of Ingjald the Bad Ruler, became king of Vermland
  • Ólaf Geirstað-elf of Vestfold (ON: Ólafr Geirstadalfr): Brother to Halfdan the Black, king of Vestfold. He was famous for being good and wise, and thought to have lived on in his mound to help people. It was later believed that one of his descendants, Ólaf the Holy, was his reincarnation, but Ólaf later renounced this idea when he realized that rebirth was not a good Christian tenet.
  • Ráðbarðr (ON): An eight century Rus “king” (Sea King – Viking) who assisted Harald Wartooth and married his mother, Auð the Deep-Minded.
  • Ragnarr Lóðbrok (“Furry Trousers”) (ON): Known from historical English sources as a Viking chief raiding the British isles and challenging the Anglo-Saxon kings for almost a hundred years during the early 9th century, and also known from several legendary Norse sources as the son or relative of Sígurð Ring (who was the king of Denmark during the age of Charlemagne).
  • Sígurð Ring (ON: Sigurðr hringr): King of Denmark, Scania and West-Götaland since ca 750 A.D. and until 804 A.D., grandson to Auð the Deep-Minded  and Ráðbarðr. He was a contemporary to Charlemagne and Widukind, known to the Franks as “Sigfred” of Denmark. According to legend, he was the father of Ragnarr Lóðbrok by Alfhildr, a princess from Alfheimr in Norway.
  • Yrsa (ON: She-Bear): The mother of Hrolfr Kráki in Ynglinga Saga, Hrolfs saga Kráki etc. She was born to a Saxon noblewoman after a rape by a Viking, was abducted by Swedish Vikings together with many slaves. Her noble conduct, intelligence and good manners impressed the Vikings, made them free her, and when she was grown, the king married her and had Hrolfr Kráki.  It was later discovered that her husband was her own father, the Viking who had raped her mother in his youth. Her mother had placed the girl among her slaves when the Vikings returned  – a vengeance that resulted in incest and great shame to the king.
  • Widukind (SAXON): A Saxon war general and gueriila leader who fought against Charlemagne

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