Norwegian claim to the throne of England

  • Kingdoms around the North Sea
  • Haraald the Ruthless of Norway had no blood ties to either the Anglo-Saxon or Danish royal families of England. Years earlier, however, his nephew Magnus and then king of Norway, had apparently made a pact with Hardecanute that whichever of the two rulers would outlive the other would inherit both kingdoms. The English people, as well as probably the Norwegians, never gave much credence to this arrangement. Nevertheless, Haraald, as successor to Magnus, could have attempted to claim the English crown through the tenuous line of that old treaty.

    Was Haraald Hardrada of Norway really swayed by the words of Tostig when every other monarch of the North Sea had not taken the Englishman very seriously? Did Haraald really expect to win the kingdom of England, or was Haraald and his Norwegian army really just on a Viking raid in the old Northmen tradition? Only a couple years prior to 1066, Haraald had given up trying to subjugate Denmark for that very reason, with his men more interested in plunder than conquest over fifteen years of campaigning. In Godiva and the Golden Dragon, King Haraald of Norway is a true berserker, out for one last adventure before he is too old.