King Harald Gormson of Denmark was greatly angered when he heard that Jarl Haakon had turned his back on Christianity and reverted to his Pagan Gods. King Harald decided to gather his army and travel to Norway to make the disobedient Jarl pay for his misdeed. The Danish king sailed to Norway and laid waste to the lands ruled by Haakon with his vast army. After he felt that he had taught the Jarl a lesson the Danish king headed south, and returned to his kingdom in Denmark. Jarl Haakon afterwards rebuilt all the farms and buildings that were destroyed by the Danish Viking army, and never again paid any taxes to the Danish king.
( The next episode of Jarl Haakon's life involves his fight against the Jomsvikings, with his son Eric, which I wrote about a few weeks ago, 2/21/12 thru 2/29/12, and I see no reason to re-write this part of his life. It is also a very long story ! If you wish to re - read it be my guest, my older posts are in the right hand column under archives. )
Haakon the Jarl ruled over all of Norway's sea coast, and had sixteen districts under his control. Harald Hairfair, however, made a law that decreed that all districts have a Jarl, so from that time foward Jarl Haakon had a Jarl for each of the districts under him. I find this fascinating in that it implies that even though Jarl Haakon ruled over the sea coast and sixteen districts, he obviously had to bow to King Harald Hairfair' s will. Jarl Haakon at first became good friends with the bonders, but over time his improper dealings, especially with the daughters of the bonders, which in some cases he had brought back to his fortress, began to wear on the bonders good feelings. It did not take long for the bonders to start talking amongst themselves against the rule of Jarl Haakon.
It was at this time that Jarl Haakon heard rumours about a man who was the son of Trygvi Olavsson. If this man existed he would have a rightful claim to Jarl Haakon's lands, and this worried the Jarl greatly. Haakon decided to send his good friend, Thore Klakka, who he had gone on many Viking raids with, to Dublin to find out the truth about this man. Thore went to Ireland and asked around about this man who was know as Ali. Finally, after some searching, he met with Olav Trygvasson, and he became engaged in conversation with him. Olav asked Thore about the Upland kingdoms, and who ruled them . He then asked about Jarl Haakon and if he were liked by his people. It was then that Thore betrayed Jarl Haakon by telling Olav Trygvasson that many men would rather have a king of Harald Hairfair's kinsmen rule the kingdom. Olav then asked Thore if he thought the bonders would rally around him if he went back to Norway and claimed the kingdom of his ancestors. Thore praised him and told him he believed they would accept him as their king.
Olav then began to plan his return to his ancestors homeland. He first sailed east with 5 ships to the Hebrides Islands accompanied by Thore. Then he sailed to the Orkneys, and later to the isles where he threatened Jarl Sigurd Lodverson that if he did not convert to Christianity he would face his fire and sword. The Jarl held the position of acceptance and chose baptism over war for himself and his people. The Jarl also swore oaths to Olav, and gave his son Whelp as a hostage. Olav then sailed to Norway landing on the coast at Moster. Thore Klakka advised Olav Trygvasson that he should not hesitate, but go forth at once and surprise Jarl Haakon suddenly before he could raise an army. Olav took this advice and sailed quickly, and silently, ( not allowing anyone to learn his identity ), searching for any sign, or word of the whereabouts of Jarl Haakon. When he came to Agdenes he was told by the inhabitants that the Jarl was in the area of the fjord, and that he was not well supported by the bonders. This surprises me a little after his great victory against the Jomsvikings. He must have made a lot of enemies with all of his womanizing ! Olav Trygvasson had Jarl Haakon right where he wanted him, and he suspected nothing !
End Part 3
Next : Part 4 : The Death of Jarl Haakon
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love and Thor's protection !