Sunday, 27 January 2013
Harald, who has been the central character throughout the trilogy, falls at last:
"Thunder and night rolled over him." (p. 265)
- and Anderson neatly summarises what happened to the survivors afterwards. If Harald had defeated Harold, then William, - no mean feat -, then his wife would have become the first Queen Elizabeth of England.
In 1088, Elizabeth, now an Abbess back home in Kiev, hears from a visitor, Jon Ulfsson, how Norway has been changing: towns; trade; guilds; churches; chimneys; glass windows; fine clothes. She pronounces that:
" 'The old North died at Stamford Bridge.' " (p. 281)
- and, when Jon leaves, she listens:
"...till the hoofbeats faded into stillness." (p. 282)
- a haunting conclusion.