Sunday, 16 December 2012

Chapter VI

(The image shows the cover of another book that identifies Harald Hardrada as "The Last Viking.")

On page 125 of Poul Anderson's The Golden Horn (New York, 1980), Harald is "...nearing the ripe age of twenty five years..." so I had calculated his age correctly in a recent post.

On page 124, Harald speculates on the place of origin of the Aesir, until recently worshiped as gods. The human originals of these Norse deities are thought to have come from around the Black Sea area about the time of Christ. In particular, Harald notices that the place names "Asgorod" and "Azov" are similar to "Asgard."

And, indeed, in Anderson's The Golden Slave, a one-eyed man called "Eodan" and his companion, Tjorr, led people called the Rukh-Ansa north from near the Azov Sea just before the time of Christ. Here is another strong connection between two works by Anderson and a further reason to read his historical fictions in their historical order. Harald has now referred directly to Gunnhild and indirectly to Eodan, both of whom we have already met if we have read the novels chronologically.  

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