Some of my ancestors came from the Hadeland district of Norway. ‘Hade’ means warrior. Hadeland translates to ‘Land of the Warrior’. Early Vikings chieftains liked to hunt and fish in the forests and lakes of this area. King Halvdan the Black, father of King Harald ‘fair-haired’ who united Norway, visited Hadeland. According to legend, in the winter of 860 he and his entourage attended a banquet and were crossing the ice on Randsfjord on their way to home to Ringerike. The ice gave way. The men, horses and the King were drowned.
The sagas tell that men from Romerike, Vestfold, Hedmark, and Hadelent wanted to corpse buried in their district. This would give the area good harvests. No one could agree on where to bury the King. In the end, they agreed to dismember the body. Each took home their part and buried it. The Viking burial site at Granavollen, named Halvdan’s hill, contains the torso of the King Halvdan.
The Vikings worshipped the gods Odin, Thor and Freya among others.
Odin: father over the Aesir gods. the ‘Allfather’, Seeker of knowledge
Thor: god of thunder, warrior, with his mighty hammer he is the defender of the Aesir gods.
Freya: goddess of love, fertility, beauty. She is something of party girl.
Loki: the trickster. Played a role in the death of Balder. Loki is chained to a rocks. A venomous serpent sits above him, dripping poison onto his forehead.
Karen has visited places where her ancestors lived and churches dating back to the Middle Ages that they were baptized and confirmed. She has heard the story of King Halvdan many times and visited Halvdan’s Hill in Hadeland.
Taking her love of Norway, Karen is working on two manuscripts that intertwine Norwegian mythology with the present day along with an adventure back to Viking times in the northern lands of Norway. The Norse gods Thor, Odin, Freya and the trickster Loki come alive in these stories.