Friday, 17 June 2016


Hroar and Helgi jointly rule Denmark but are opposites. After failing to force himself on Queen Olof, Helgi:

"...took the fleet to Wendland as promised, where he went forward in a recklessness, slaughter, and burning that shook the toughest of his crew." (Hrolf Kraki's Saga, p. 53)

When he complains to Hroar that the rough treatment that he had received from Olof and her men was a shame on them both, Hroar retorts:

"'...who brought it?...Who deserved it?'" (p. 54)

And when Hroar's father-in-law kills a man and must flee:

"Young though he was, Hroar did not order the war-arrow passed from steading to steading. 'What boots it to raise a host, kill and burn and sack, making still more death-foes for ourselves?'" (p. 59)

Instead, Hroar sends a go-between who arranges peace and a weregild and helps his father-in-law to pay it. During the negotiations, two marriages bind the families together. Hroar is proof that, even during the Dark Ages, everyone did not have to be "...insanely egoistic." (p. xx)

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I agree with what you said about King Hroar, that not all men during the Dark Ages were wild freebooters. And I hope Poul Anderson's description of Hroar in HROLF KRAKI'S SAGA was historically accurate.