Wednesday, 19 December 2012


Magnus dies because a running hare throws his horse, either a chance event or an ill omen depending on how you look at it.

Now sole king in Norway, Harald is greeted for the first time as "...the great King Harald Hardrede." He comments:

" 'So that's what they're calling me!...Well, like most nicknames, it rings true.' " (Poul Anderson, The Road Of The Sea Horse, New York, 1980, p. 52.)

This has been an extended heroic "origin story." At last, Harald bears the full name and title by which he will be known to history and for the remainder of The Last Viking Trilogy.

He is a "hero" in two senses, the central character and brave in battle. As for any other heroic qualities, I do not think so. In fact, by modern standards, the bickering of the kings about position and precedence is childish and their wasting of lives on such issues is callous. At least in some ways, the world has progressed.

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