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This blood is not my blood! It is our blood! It is Viking blood!

–Harald Sigurdsson

Harald Sigurdsson (Old Norse: Haraldr Sigurðarson), also known as Harald Hardrada (Old Norse: harðráði; meaning "stern counsel" or "hard ruler"), is the Prince of Norway. He is the great-grandson of Harald Finehair.

Biography

Early Life

Harald was born into Viking nobility, and is one of the last Viking berserkers. Olaf Haraldsson is Harald's half-brother, through their mother. Harald also has a brother, Sten Sigurdsson.

Season 1

Harald has been visiting his brother Sten at the Danelaw Viking Settlement near London. It is St. Brice's Day and the people are celebrating. Harald is saying good-bye to the community before leaving to return to Norway. Sten tells Harald he can't stay to see him off as he has been summoned by King Æthelred II. Sten says farewell and urges Harald toward a beautiful young girl named Merin who appears to have been Harald's lover during his time in the Danelaw.

Harald is in Kattegat where he is helping King Canute assemble a massive army to avenge the victims of the St. Brice's Day massacre. Harald spots Freydis Eriksdotter on her boat when she, her brother Leif Eriksson, and their crew arrive in Kattegat after a vicious storm. He approaches her and introduces himself. They flirt and then immediately have sex. Afterwards, while she is in a bathtub, Harald sees the cross scar on her back. Freydis tells him the story of how she was raped and branded by a Christian Viking and explains that she, her brother, and their friends are in Kattegat in an attempt to find and kill the man responsible.

Harald greets his brother Jarl Olaf and his right-hand man Gunnar Magnússon when they arrive after having waited out the storm. Harald brings them to King Canute and introduces them. Olaf refuses to join his warriors with Canute's unless all the pagans in the army convert to Christianity, much to Harald's frustration. Later that day Harald visits Olaf and Gunnar at their tent and appeals to his brother's greed and ambition to change his mind. That night, the whole army gathers together and Canute gives a rousing speech. Jarls Nori and Gorm refuse to fight with the each other and begin fighting. Harald intervenes and gives an impromptu speech about unity. Leif watches on from the crowd.

The next day, Harald witnesses Leif single-handedly defeat the Becken brothers and their men without killing them. Harald is very impressed. He tries to recruit Leif to join the gathered army, but Leif is uninterested in the glory Harald promises him.

Harald intervenes in Freydis's trial for killing Gunnar. He manages to save Freydis and Leif's lives by having Leif pay off Freydis's debt by taking Gunnar's place in the army under Canute's command. Meanwhile, Freydis will remain in Kattegat under Jarl Estrid Haakon. Everyone accepts this result. As everyone prepares to leave for England, Harald gives Leif his father's ship to captain. Before departing, Harald visits Freydis who is unhappy about being separated from her brother. She feels that Harald could have gotten them a different outcome. Despite this, Freydis gives Harald one of her necklaces, telling him it will bring him good luck.

After scouting the defenses of London, Harald and Leif devise the plan to defeat the English. The Vikings will isolate King Edmund from the rest of his forces and then capture him because as the King of England, Edmund is England.

After defeating Kåre, Freydis runs back outside and sees a severely injured Harald. Harald at first thinks Freydis is going to abandon him to die, but she reappears with two horses. She helps him onto one of them and mounts the other. The two flee Kattegat together.

Season 2

Harald and Freydis are in hiding 200 miles from Kattegat. Their romance has only intensified. Despite this, they end up separating as they find themselves on different paths. Harald and Leif journey to Novgorod to seek out Harald's uncle Grand Prince Yarsolav the Wise.

Personality

Harald is handsome, charismatic, ambitious, and a leading man in Norse society. He is able to unite both followers of Odin and Christians. He is a ferocious fighter, and one of the last Viking Berserkers. He fights bare chested while wearing a wolf's pelt. Harald knows the tensions between the pagans and the Christians are coming to a head, but he wants things to be resolved without a civil war. Harald is rational and a moderate who prefers diplomacy to violence. His main ambition is to become King of Norway. He can be a bit naive and hotheaded. Harald is a Christian, but is not intolerant of pagans. He believes that it can be possible for the two groups to live together in peace. He is observant, proud, traditional, cultured, and strives to keep his emotions under control, except of course when in battle. His strongest trait is being a mediator.

Relationships

Leif Eriksson

Harald and Leif become quick friends. Harald is impressed by Leif's fighting skills and by his willingness to avoid killing. Leif is impressed by Harald's leadership skills and charisma. Their raid to England only strengthens their bond, and they view each other as brothers.

Freydis Eriksdotter

Harald and Freydis are drawn to each other instantly. However, they clash over their differing religious beliefs. Harald realizes that he loves Freydis and declares his love to her. He tells her he will even give up his dream of ruling Norway to be with her. Harald and Freydis are playful with each other. They enjoy competing on their hunts. Their romance only intensifies with time. Despite loving each other, they separate. Freydis says that while Harald is a good man, they are on different paths now.

Olaf Haraldsson

Harald and Olaf have a contentious and often-times strained relationship. Both brothers are ambitious, but have different methods of attaining their goals. These methods are often in conflict with one another. Harald seems to be more dedicated to maintaining their relationship. Olaf appears indifferent to Harald's feelings and ambitions.

In History

Harald Sigurdsson is based on Harald Hardrada, King of Norway. He is revered in Viking history for his claim to both the Danish and English thrones. He was King of Norway from 1046 to 1066. Before becoming king, he spent fifteen years in exile as a mercenary in Kievan Rus' and in the Byzantine Empire. He was married to Elisiv of Kiev and Tora Torbergsdatter. He had four children, Ingegerd, Maria, Magnus II, and Olaf III.

Trivia

  • Harald and Olaf are both descendants of Harald Finehair, but not by their shared mother. Instead, they are related to him through their different fathers who are descendants of two of Harald Finehair's sons. Thus, Harald and Olaf are third cousins once removed as well as half-brothers.
  • Leif Eriksson was actually born fifty years before Harald Sigurdsson.
  • Harald was actually an infant at the time of Canute's invasion.

Appearances

Vikings: ValhallaSeason One Appearances
The Greenlanders Viking The Marshes The Bridge
Miracle The Last Daughter of Uppsala Choices The End of the Beginning
Vikings: ValhallaSeason Two Appearances
The Web of Fate Towers of Faith Pieces of the Gods The Thaw
Birth and Rebirth Leap of Faith Pecheneg The Reckoning
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