The next day he sent out lookouts to watch for the army of the bonders. Jarl Haakon also sent his son Erlend to look after his ships. Thereafter Haakon sent his men away, and traveled with just his thrall Tormad Kark. Kark and the Jarl spent some time hiding in a cave in Jarlsheller. It was here that Kark had dreams of the deaths of Erlend and Jarl Haakon. The Jarl then sent Kark on an errand to see Thora with a message asking her to come at once in secret to meet him. The Jarl was greeted quite fondly by Thora, who told Haakon that the bonders were looking for him in her houses, but that there was a place on her farmstead where she knew that they would not look for a man of his high stature. On this farm she had the thrall dig a great ditch, which she made him lay boards over to conceal their hiding place.
It was during this time that Thora learned that Olav Trygvasson had entered the fjord and was searching for Jarl Haakon. The Jarl and his thrall Kark then went down into the hole, and Thora covered the ditch with boards and sprinkled dirt over them to further hide them. To make it look more natural she allowed her swine to walk of above the hiding place.
Olav Trygvasson sailed into the fjord with five long ships, and was met by Haakon's son Erlend with his three ships. Erlend's men fearing unrest turned their ships and headed back for land. When they had almost reached land they hit bottom, and ran aground. All the men then jumped overboard and swam for the beach. When Olav saw a handsome man swimming in front of his ship, he grabbed the tiller, and threw it at him with all his might. The tiller hit Erlend in the head bursting open his skull, and killing him. Olav's men killed many of Erlend's men, captured others, but a few were lucky enough to escape. The men who were captured were later given quarter.
When Olav met with the bonders afterwards he was told that they had driven the Jarl away, and that his army was scattered throughout the countryside. The bonders agreed to join with Olav's army, and accepted him as their king. They combined and searched for Jarl Haakon everywhere, including Thora's farms, but could find no trace of him. It is written that at one point Olav actually gave a speech on a rock that was right next to the ditch that Kark and the Jarl were hiding in. Olav promised to give a great reward to anyone who captured Haakon. In the darkness of his hiding place he heard this entire speech word for word. When Olav had left, Haakon turned to Kark and asked him if he would betray him for the reward. Kark answered, " Nay", and said, " We two were born on one night, and will die not far apart. "
Still, the Jarl did not trust his thrall Kark, and stayed awake most of the night, as did Kark who no longer trusted Haakon, and was suspicious of his motives. The Jarl tried not to sleep, but dozed in the early hours of the morning, and had a bad dream that made him kick and scream. Kark became frightened and pulled out a large knife, and slit the Jarls throat. This was the end of the Jarls life. Kark then decided to cut the head off of Jarl Haakon and seek out King Olav for the reward money. King Olav, after hearing Kark's story, however, had him taken away, and beheaded as well. I guess you could say he was paid a lie for a lie !
At the end of his life it is written that Jarl Haakon had become so hated by his own people, especially by the bonders of Trondheim, that no one would say his name, unless they called him the evil Jarl. Jarl Haakon had not only lost his life but his reputation as well..... according to Heimskringla. Whether the story of how he died is historical fact or Christian fiction is up to the reader to decide. Today, however, we in the Asatru religion honor him for his valiant attempt to save our ancient religion from the Christians. That is how he will always be remembered by those who call themselves Asatru !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !