I have just posted first drafts of Chapters 17 to 23 of “The Saga of Ivar ‘the Boneless’ Hraerikson” to the website SeiberTeck.com under the Book Heading of that name. Earlier posts, Chapter 0.1 covered “The Birth of Ivar ‘the Boneless’ (c.896)” as Prince Ivar (Igor) Hraerikson of Kiev and Chapter 7 covered “The Creation of Ivar ‘the Boneless’ (c.916)” in which Prince Ivar (Igor) was attacked by Drevjane subjects who tore his lower legs off in a botched threat of execution with ‘Death by Sprung Trees’ as recorded in Byzantine Annals.
The new chapters find Prince Ivar in Denmark as their new King Harde Knute (Hard Knot) as he founds the famous Knytling Dynasty of Scandinavia and as King Ivar ‘the Boneless’ of Northumbria as he exacts revenge from Princess Blaeja of York for her part in the killing of his grandfather, Hraegunar Lothbrok, by her father, King AElla of York, a generation earlier. The chapters dig deeper into the interpretation of Ragnar Lothbrok’s death by poison snakes as being a kenning for death by poisoned blood-snakes (swords) in a ritualistic execution that the healer, Princess Blaeja, was forced to participate in by her father, King AElla of York.
Hraegunar’s last words after being slashed twelve times by poison slaked swords were,
“If the porkers knew the punishment of the boar-pig,
surely they would break into the sty and hasten to
loose him from his aﬄiction.”
When I read this in “Ragnar’s Saga Lothbrok”, I wondered why Hraegunar would compare himself to a boar and his sons to young porkers when their banner was the Raven? Then I did some research and I found that, in Viking times, if snakes were over-running your farm, you set your pigs loose and they trampled the snakes to death, for pigs were the fiercest foes of snakes. Then I wondered if perhaps this was actually a curse. King AElla, the Snake King, and his offspring were to be set upon by the offspring of Hraegunar Lothbrok, the Swine King. I believe I have uncovered the greatest vengeance cycle of Viking times and it carries through all the books of “The Varangians” series, from Book One to Book Five. But it is only a theory of a dead man.
The last chapter posted, Chapter 23, “The Second Battle of Brunanburh (c.937)”, begins to take us into recorded history and I reference the story of the Battle of Brunanburh as told in Egil’s Saga, a 12th century saga that I first studied in University. In the battle, Egil’s brother, Thorolf, kills Earl Hring by impaling him upon a spear and Hring’s brother, Earl Adils, ambushes and kills Thorolf with a spear. Egil then fights his way to Adils and kills him with his sword called Adder. Quite the vengeance cycle in itself. Egil’s Saga also contains the words of Egil’s cousin, Prince Arinbjorn: “That’s what my kinsman Bragi the Old did when he had to face the anger of King Bjorn of Sweden. He made a drapa of twenty stanzas overnight and that’s what saved his head.” This is the same Bragi the Old that I conjecture may have written the first Hamlet story for Denmark. I think we may be seeing more of Egil Skallagrimsson in Book Four of the series.
Ivar the Boneless was a Grandson of Hraegunar Lothbrok
Book Three, “The Saga of Ivar ‘the Boneless’ Hraerikson,” reveals how Ivar the Boneless Ragnarson was actually Prince Eyfur/Ivar (Igor in Slavic) Hraerikson of Kiev and then King Harde Knute of Denmark. By comparing a twenty year lacuna in the reign of Prince Igor in the Russian Chronicles with a coinciding twenty year appearance of a King Harde Knute (Hard Knot) of Denmark in European Chronicles, Prince Igor’s ‘death by sprung trees’, which reportedly tore his legs off, may have rather just left him a boneless and very angry young king. Loyal Danes claimed, “It was a hard knot indeed that sprung those trees,” but his conquered English subjects, not being quite as polite, just called him, “Ivar the Boneless”.