The winners write the history. Much is made by how bloody handed Erik Bloodaxe supposedly was. Maybe he was, but given that Christian monks wrote the histories I’m going to take it with a large salt mine. The mystery of the fire that killed many of Erik’s half brothers offers up several suspects Erik, Hakon and Gunnhild being the most likely as I see it.
Looking through the haze of propaganda that is recorded history I don’t think we can be sure of much. What I can be sure of from my fifty three years incarnate in this life is no one gets through life without regrets. As I saw Erik he was a fighting man who had seen too many friends die in battle. Erik strove for greatness comparing himself to the impressive yardstick of his father and falling short. Not seeing his own virtue in this equation while condemning his father for lacking those traits Erik dismissed as unworthy of counting in his assessment of himself. Eric, again as I see him, was a man of action and a broad strokes thinker. He was annoyed by miner trifling details and would rush in decisively while others wasted time doting every I and crossing every T. As such, I set up a natural animosity between him and Hakon who was a bureaucrat and tax collector.
As I see Hakon, and again through the haze of history and propaganda I could be wrong, he was an every hair in place berate the underling because he brought him a milk and sugar coffee instead of a double double, kind of guy. Officious and self important. If you get the impression I don’t like the man; you’re right. I’m not found of the type. Again, this is my interpretation and others may see these historic figures in completely different lights.
Dramatically setting up this dichotomy adds to the conflict by making it a clash of personalities and leadership styles. Casting doubt on the Christian monks’ claims of who murdered many of their half brothers opens more conflict and dramatic potentials. Fate of the Norns doesn’t do pure villains or heroes, part of why it is such a great game, people are shades of grey. I encourage anyone to look at history with a view to who wrote it and decide for themselves.
Horn of the Kraken: Amazon buy link