Skip to main content

Harold Fairhair First King of Norway

If you watched the History show “Vikings,” you are aware of Harald Fairhair, but you might not be aware that he was a real person from history.

According to the Icelandic sagas, Harald Fairhair was the first king of Norway, and he lved (approximately) between 850 and 932. According to tradition (in Norway and Iceland), it is believed that he reigned between approximately 872 and 930, and two of his sons survived him after his death.

The exact details of his life are not known, and they are up for speculation; much of what we believe we know about his life was not written down until approximately three hundred years after his life. Because those accounts of him were written so long after he had lived, some people argue that he might not have lived, and he was just a character in the sagas (making him something like Robin Hood in England).

Many of the details that are given about him in the sagas are different, but one thing is believed to be completely certain: he united all of Norway into one kingdom.

Scroll to Continue

From some of the details I have come across about Harald, it was said that he was a god king, if you were on his side and did what he said. If you were reluctant to \ do everything that he wanted, he would make things extremely difficult for you. As a result, many people left Norway during his reign (going to many other countries), preferring being somewhere where they could find more freedom than what his rule provided.

If you watched “Vikings” on the History channel (or you streamed it later on), you would likely have seen the character of Harald singing a song across a distance with his brother. What you may not know was that this song was based on a poem from the sagas, and it is called “My Mother Told Me.”

The story of this song is that the family of the boy who wrote it had escaped from Norway to get away from Harald Fairhair, and they had ended up settling in Iceland. Having Harald singing at least part of the song in one of the episodes gives it a bit more significance during the episode.

Related Articles