No other word in Scandinavian history has imprinted itself so deeply into human consciousness as the word Viking. The term ‘Viking’ conjures up images of resilient men and women of honor, who are tough, fit and virile, and has become a Nordic trademark of independence, strength and quality.
The people who lived in Scandinavia during the 8th to 11th century weren't Vikings. Viking was a profession, and Vikings made up a very small part of the population. Calling everyone from Scandinavia in this period of history a ‘Viking’, is like calling everyone in California a Navy Seal.
The origin of the word Viking comes from the Old Norse Vikingr, meaning Scandinavian seafarer. A ‘Viking’ was a part time farmer-warrior, who travelled to other lands and traded, raided, became sword for hire or conquered lands. In the sagas, the phrase "to go a Viking" was used to describe the people from the north who went on voyages of discovery. These farmer-warriors were so successful in their part time profession in the late 8th to late 11th centuries that this period of history became known as the Viking Age.
For hundreds of years before the Viking Age, the people from the lands that would later become Norway, Sweden and Denmark, had been trading around Europe. With the introduction of the Viking longship, the people of the North became a force to be reckoned with. As daring explorers, Vikings became masters of the stormy seas, and their expeditions took them to countries all over Europe, the Far East, Russia and even North America 500 years before Columbus.
Vikings traveled to and through dangerous lands, opened up trade routes, fought to keep them open, and became feared and admired as great warriors in all the lands they travelled. One of the earliest documents about Vikings was written by a Muslim diplomat called Ibn Fadlan, in 922 A.D, who described Vikings as “The wildest warriors I have ever seen”.
What these part time warriors did, was no different than what people from many other countries did, Vikings were just better and more successful than the rest. Vikings fought for, and carved out kingdoms, around the world. They are an integral part of the world’s history, and the Viking warriors who created the Viking Age, paved the way for the world as we know it today.
Much historical and archaeological research has been done over the centuries concerning the Vikings, from their diet to their shipbuilding. There has been much written about Vikings, by poets, academics, and historians, but very little by warriors, martial artists or elite soldiers. Yet warriors, martial artists and elite soldiers have a special insight into what being a Viking really means.
Being a Viking meant being tough, smart and well rounded. A Viking could farm and hunt and live off the land and sea. A Viking could build a house and repair it. A Viking could sail a ship and repair it. A Viking could make weapons and armor and repair them. A Viking could also fight with and without weapons against all enemies and their different forms of fighting techniques.
Growing up in the hard lands of the cold north meant growing up tough. Children were expected to help with chores in and around the home and farm, help with providing food and materials for the family, and learn how to be a benefit to their society. In the Viking Age, a boy was considered a man, and a girl was considered a woman, at the age of 12. At this age, everyone was expected to survive and thrive without help.
Many men and women today call themselves Vikings because they are reenactors, put on a show fight, dress in Viking clothes, or simply take part of a Viking market or festival. These are worthy activities that create awareness regarding the Norse people of the Viking Age, but they are not representative of what it was like to be a Viking.
A Viking was self-reliant, had a particular set of values, and had a heightened sense of spirituality that few modern people can understand, let alone live by. Only by living like a Viking can a person understand how it was to be a ‘Viking’. If a person can’t hunt, fish, farm, build or repair a house, ship or equipment, or train in glima, they aren’t anything like a Viking.
Vikings were independent, strong, resilient, tough, fit and virile men and women of honor. Are modern day children, youths or adults anything like this? Are you? If you want to be anything like a Viking, read the Hávamál, learn some handcrafts, train in glima, travel, take some wilderness survival courses, take responsibility for yourself, become independent, and build a strong body, mind and spirit.
menn bazt lifa
sjaldan sút ala
en ósnjallr maðr
sýtir æ gløggr við gjöfum
The generous and brave
and rarely nourish sorrow
The cowardly fear everything
and the greedy
HÁVAMÁL – verse 48
Travel Channel series FOLLOW YOUR PAST Episode 1 - Vikings and Kings
Senior instructor with the AVK, Tyr Neilsen (56) and 3 x Norwegian Glima Champion, Andreas Sørensen (28) demonstrated Viking fighting with weapons at Borre Gilde Hall in Norway for the Travel Channel episode Vikings and Kings.
The episode is about the exciting heritage of two midwestern brothers who discover their past is filled with Viking warriors and royalty. In the show, Tyr and Andreas demonstrate armed and unarmed Glima to the brothers, quickly teach some basics, then let the brothers fight each other using the Viking combat techniques they had learned.
This episode aired on the Travel Channel, March 21, 2016.
Instructors from the Academy took time out to teach balance, strength and Viking wrestling principles in Drammen
''Viking-age wrestling is becoming increasingly popular as a martial art or recreational sport''
Article written by M. Michael Brady for the 'Norwegian American Weekly' about for the Glima.
Photo: Egil Scott Synnestvedt / courtesy of Norwegian Glima Association
One wrestler defeats another in a match in the Norwegian Championships, November 2015.
Glima wrestling renaissance in Norway
BY M. Michael Brady · PUBLISHED JANUARY 15, 2016 · UPDATED JANUARY 13, 2016
Viking-age wrestling is becoming increasingly popular as a martial art or recreational sport
Glima is a form of Scandinavian folk wrestling dating from the Viking Age. It classifies both as a martial art and as a recreational sport, and is most popular in Iceland, where annual national championships have been held since 1906. Glima now is enjoying a renaissance in Norway, where national championships have been held since 2009.
The word Glima is Old Norse for “brilliant flash,” which implies speed of movement. Glima is entwined in myth, being first mentioned in ninth-century poetry recounting a wrestling match in which an aged goddess, Elli, defeats Thor, the god of thunder and strength. Some three centuries later, Glima is mentioned in the Prose Edda, also known as Snorri’s Edda, the principal work of pagan Scandinavian mythology assumed to have been written by Icelandic historian Snorri Sturluson circa 1220.
In modern times, Glima wrestling was a demonstration sport in the 1912 Olympic Games held in Stockholm. Unlike Greco-Roman wrestling, contested in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and incorporated in the Games program from 1908 on, Glima did not become an Olympic sport. There are three forms of Glima wrestling: Brokartök, Hryggspenna, and Lausaatök.
Brokartök (“Trouser-and-belt grip”) is the most widespread form in Sweden and in Iceland. It favors technique over strength, and opponents wear special belts. The two opponents stand erect and step clockwise around each other, as if waltzing, each attempting to trip or throw the other.
Hyrggspenna (“Backhold grip”) resembles other forms of wrestling that emphasize strength over technique. Opponents grasp each other’s upper bodies, and the one who touches the ground or floor with any part of the body except the feet has lost.
Lausatök (“Free-grip”) is the most widespread form in Norway and is practiced in two varieties, as a martial art of self-defense or combat, and as a recreational sport. The opponents may use any holds they wish. The winner is the one still standing while the loser is the one lying on the ground. Matches usually are held outdoors or indoors on a wooden floor, so hard throws are discouraged.
Viking Glima now is increasingly popular outside Iceland. The Viking Glima community in Norway is an example. Norges Glima Forbund (“Norwegian Glima Association”) was established in 2013 by Tyr Neilsen, who despite his Icelandic-sounding name was born in Liverpool in 1959. He began practicing martial arts as a teenager and settled in Norway in the mid 1980s to delve into Viking mythology and lifestyles. Today he is a senior instructor at the Academy of Viking Martial Arts and is involved in promoting Viking culture.
In 2014 Tyr joined with editor and photojournalist Bente Wemundstad in compiling Viking Wisdom: Hávamál, the Sayings of Odin, a large-format illustrated book published by Nova Forlag.
Further reading and viewing:
• History of Martial Arts in Iceland and their Image in Media, by Jóhann Ingi Bjarnason, 2012 thesis, University of Akureyri, Iceland, 40 pages including 6 pages of references, link: skemman.is/stream/get/1946/12161/28907/1/History_of_martial_arts_in_Iceland_and_their_image_in_Icelandic_media.pdf
• British Pathe 1931 Glima-Iceland Wrestling film now on YouTube, link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVGB1Z3btIY
• The International Glima Association promotes Glima wrestling outside Iceland, link: internationalglima.com
• The Viking Glima Federation with information and a directory of instructors in Scandinavia, link: www.viking-glima.com
This article originally appeared in the Jan. 15, 2016, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.
Norwegian actor Rune Temte plays Viking cheiftan Ubba in the BBC TV series The Last Kingdom.
In preperation for his role, Rune trained in the authentic Viking fighting art of Glima at the Academy of Viking Martial Arts in Buskerud, Norway. For several months Rune trained with Viking sword, axe and shield with Tyr Neilsen and Viking wrestling with former 3 x Norwegian champion, Andreas Sørensen.
Throughout training Rune showed true Viking Spirit. He was always ready to train, whether it was rain or snow, and always gave 100%.
Photos: Rune Temte training Viking Fighting ith and without weapons at the academy and article by Ingun Wiborg Gislerud on Rune, his training and his role as a viking chieftan in the BBC tv series The Last Kingdom - Based on the bestselling novel by Bernard Cornwell.
The Academy would like to give a big thanks to Andy Mckie, Jarl of the Volsung Viking group in York, for his invitation to the Academy of Viking Martial Arts, so we could demonstrate the art of Glíma at the 31st Jorvik Viking Festival in febuary 2015.
It was an honor for us to be able to participate in this great event, the largest Viking festival in Europe.
We would also like to thank all of the Volsung Vikings, the English Vikings at the central camp, and the Jorvik arrangers, for their generous hospitality and warmth and for making the festival so memorable.
Instructors from the Academy of Viking Martial Arts in Norway are the first Norwegians to be invited to Europe's largest viking festival to demonstrate Glima - The Martial Arts system of the Vikings!
"I traveled down to the Jorvik Viking Festival to seek inspiration , get ideas and talk to the people behind the festival. So it was great that Jorvik Viking Festival had invited Tyr Neilsen and Andreas Sørensen as the first Norwegians to actively participate in the festival, both in combat and in the academic program." says Ole Harald Flåten of the Saga Oseberg project, and Project Manager at Tønsberg Viking Festival.
Andreas Sørensen with Volsung Viking leader Andy McKie at Jorvik castle
Here's some links you can click to the facebook videos posted by Andre Villa and the news paper article online in Norwegian.
Hávamál is one of the most important documents from Viking Age Scandinavia, and is well described as the Wisdom of the North. This collection of ancient sayings attributed to Odin, is to Scandinavian culture as the Tao is to China, the Vedas to India and the Iliad to Greece.
Havamal means "the high one’s speech", or Odin's speech, and Havamal is a collection of wisdom and guidlines for living, written as a poem and attributed to the Norse God Odin. Havamal is both practical and supernatural in content, and expresses highly valued ideals such as wisdom, friendship, morality, caution, courage, and commonsense. No one knows who wrote the Havamal manuscript, or if it originated in Norway or Iceland, but Odin’s advice for living is believed to be based on a source from around the 9th century, and reference to Hávamál is found in the 10th century Hákonarmál by Eyvindr skáldaspillir.
Havamal is the most famous poem from the Elder Edda manuscript, (also called the Poetic Edda), written around the year 1270. The Elder Edda consists of 32 poems in all, written on 45 pages of vellum, or calfskin parchment. The Elder Edda manuscript is beautifully made and stunning to look at, with ornate letters and decorated capitals to each paragraph. The term Edda was originally the name for Snorri Sturlason's book on poetry from around 1220, and the word Edda is believed to be related to the word meaning grandmother, which means stories from grandma's time, a derivation of óðr, which means writing. Together with Snorri's Edda, the Elder Edda is the most important surviving source on Norse mythology and heroic legends.
In the first part of the Elder Edda, there are three poems by Odin as protagonist, of which the first is Havamal. Havamal is presented as a single poem in the Elder Edda, but its 164 verses make Havamal the longest of all edda poems. Havamal itself consist of at least five independent parts:
Verses 1-80 are known as Gestaþáttr, Havamal guidelines for living, or the ‘Havamal proper’.
Verses 81-102 are about women, love and Odin.
Verses 103-110 are about how Odin got the mead of poetry.
Verses 111-138 are called Loddfáfnismál, a collection of gnomic verses similar to Gestaþáttr.
Verses 139-146 are called Rúnatal, an account of how Odin won the runes.
Verses 147-165 are called Ljóðatal, which is a collection of spells.
Although the Elder Edda was written in the 13th century, we know nothing about its whereabouts until it was found in Iceland in 1643 by the Icelandic bishop Brynjólfur Sveinsson. In 1662, almost 20 years after it was found, the Bishop sent the manuscript to Denmark as a gift to King Frederik III of Denmark and Norway. The manuscript was named Codex Regius, or Konungsbók (King’s Book) in Icelandic, and was incorporated in the Danish Royal Library's Manuscript Collection.
In 1971 the Elder Edda manuscript was transported back to Iceland by ship, accompanied by a military escort, and is now kept in the Árni Magnússon Institute in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. The only surviving source for Hávamál is contained within the Elder Edda, and this priceless document is considered one of Iceland's most prized possessions.
Havamal is a reflection of its time, and the poems are as tough and resilient as the Vikings themselves. Havamal’s insight remains timeless and as relevant today as it was in the Viking Age. It has been handed down from generation to generation, and there is still much wisdom and inspiration to find here, inherited from our powerful ancestors.
Old Norse poetry derived from an oral tradition, which was told in verse to slaves, freemen, Vikings and Kings alike. Such poetry was very important to Viking Age Scandinavian society, as it contained history, heroic tales, Norse mythology and words of wisdom. This poetry was not just informative, it was also entertainment, often acted out as a performance. Viking society also considered poetry as an “Idrott”, which in Old Norse means sport, and there were Viking poetry idrott competitions, something even the Norse gods participated in.
Vikings considered poetry as the primal source of the ability to speak and write beautifully and persuasively. Poetry was the gift of the gods, and the highest Norse god, Odin, was the divine patron of poetry. Odin acquired the gift of poetry after stealing the mead of poetry from the giants. The mead’s Old Norse name is Óðrœrir, meaning “The Stirrer of Óðr,”. Óðr is the root of Odin’s name, and means “ecstasy”, “fury”, and “inspiration”. After having gained the ability to compose poetry, sometimes Odin gives the magic of poetry to gods, humans, and other beings he deems worthy of it.
Old Norse poetry can be traced to the early 9th century, with the earliest being carved in stone and the majority being written on vellum in Iceland in the 13th century. Ragnarsdrápa is considered the oldest surviving Norse poem, and was written in the 9th century by the skald Bragi Boddason, of Norwegian descent. Skáld in Old Norse means ‘poet’, and a skald was an historian, a storyteller, a poet and singer of songs. Skalds were highly respected in Norse society for their skills, and there have been many famous skalds, such as Egill Skallagrímsson and Thorbjorn hornklofi, who gained much fame with their 10th century poems composed for kings.
Viking society valued poetry highly and rewarded poets handsomely, but as the centuries passed, the skald profession became almost extinct, until the most famous Icelandic skald, Snorri Sturluson, compiled the Prose Edda in the 12th century. His Prose Edda is not only an epic work, it is a manual to preserve and pass on the traditions and methods of the skalds.
Bragr is the Old Norse word for poetry, and in Norse mythology, the god Bragi is the skaldic god of poetry. Husband to the goddess Idunn, Bragi was said to have possessed eloquence surpassing all others. His name may have been derived from bragr, or the term bragr may have been formed to describe 'what Bragi does'.
Old Norse poetry is split into two types: Eddaic poetry and skaldic poetry. Eddaic poetry is the name given to an unnamed collection of Old Norse anonymous poems. Eddaic verse was usually simple, in terms of content, style and metre, and deals mostly with mythological or heroic content. Skaldic poetry is poetry from skalds who composed at the courts of Scandinavian and Icelandic leaders during the Viking Age and Middle Ages. Skaldic verse was complex, had historical content, and was usually composed as a tribute or homage to a particular jarl or king, typically have relating battles and other deeds from the king's career.
There are several forms of skaldic poetry: Drápa, Flokkr and Lausavísa.
Drápa is a long series of stanzas (usually dróttkvætt), with a refrain (stef) at intervals.
Dróttkvætt is the most predominant metre of skaldic poetry.
Flokkr (vísur or dræplingr) are a shorter series of such stanzas without refrain.
Lausavísa is a single stanza of dróttkvætt, said to have been improvised impromptu for the occasion that it marks.
Skaldic poems about kings and jarls include:
Glymdrápa - The deeds of Harald Fairhair
Knútsdrápa - The deeds of Cnut the Great
Bandadrápa - The deeds of Eiríkr Hlaðajarl
Vellekla - The deeds of Hákon Hlaðajarl
Skaldic poems that have mythological content include:
Þórsdrápa – relates to the thunder god Thor telling the tale of one of his giant-bashing expeditions.
Ragnarsdrápa - relates four tales from the mythology as painted on a shield given to the poet.
Haustlöng - relates two tales from the mythology as painted on a shield given to the poet.
Húsdrápa - describes mythological scenes as carved on kitchen panels.
Ynglingatal - describes the origin of the Norwegian kings and the history of the House of Yngling. It is preserved in the Heimskringla.
Viking poetry has many metrical forms which range from the simple fornyrðislag, to the very complex dróttkvætt.
Fornyrðislag – "the metre of ancient words", is generally used where the poem is mostly narrative. It is composed with four or more syllables per line.
Ljóðaháttr - "chant metre" is so called because of its structure which comprises broken stanzas, which lends itself to dialogue and discourse.
Málaháttr - "speech metre" is similar to fornyrðislag, but with a fixed metrical length of five syllables.
Kviðuháttr - "discourse metre" is another variant of fornyrðislag with alternating lines of 3 and 4 syllablesDróttkvætt - "courtly metre" or "noble warrior's meter" normally uses a structure of 6 syllables, ending in a long stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one.
Hrynhenda - “flowing metre” is a variant of dróttkvætt. It uses all the rules of dróttkvætt, with the exception that the line comprises four metrical feet rather than three.
Galdralag - "magic spell metre" contains a fourth line which echoes and varies the third line.
Many Viking poems have names that end in mál, which in Old Norse means ‘speech’. Some of the most famous of these poems include:
Skáldskaparmál – “Poet-creating-speech” tells the story of how Odin brought the mead of poetry to Asgard.
Hákonarmál - The death of king Hákon the Good and his reception in Valhalla.
Eiríksmál - The death of king Eiríkr and his reception in Valhalla.
Reginsmál – "Regin's speech" relates to Loki's dealings with Andvari and then Sigurd's relationship with Reginn and the advice given to him by Odin.
Fáfnismál – “Fáfnir's speech” is about a meeting between Sigurd and Fáfnir and the claiming of a gold hoard.
Sigrdrífumál -"Speech of the victory-bringer" (also known as Brynhildarljóð,) is the title of a section of the Poetic Edda relating to the meeting of Sigurðr and the valkyrie Brynhildr.
Hávamál – “Odin’s speech”, is one of the most valuable and most famous poems from Viking Age Scandinavia.
Sunrise breaks o’er thy snow decked peaks
O glorious Asgard
From flushed dell whence Yggdrasil towers
Yon sky of glowing hue
Crowns in splendor
Deep forest and weathered vale
Lofty mount and azure plane
That burnish with dazzling radiance
Testimony to godly endeavor
This enchanted vista
Soaring resonance, rich, untamed
O’er enchanted woodland
and Iðunn blessed orchard
To this land good call rewarded
Freyja’s host through distant cloud sings
With stroke for their fair chains
An honored gift
Overture of no small contented words
From mortal warriors
To golden hall
Comes cry receptive
That joins with sweet peal
Neath plummeting foss and comforting storm
Verse for Bifrost’s crossing
And harmonious clash
Practiced evr’y day
From dawns fine promise
To sunset’s curtain
Steering valiant souls through gent'lest day
And storms of thunder
Ride on Noble Valkyrie
Raise cold spirits upwards
Exalting warm elation whilst they climb
Assemble your selected slain
Neath Odin’s tower
Where vaults from shield to shield
Nailed golden clad
Deep timbre rings joyful cheer
On yon glowing standard
A glint of single orb
Death’s day yet ends
To fetch the favor’d
For nights everlasting
Where ashen branches
Strive for Hlidskjalf’s crown
And yawning tendrils
Drink deeply from Urd’s well
Ever here the high ones
Each day hold court
This fate observed
O first vision of Buri’s spawn
In cloud of golden guard
Do shield maidens convey
Their honored choice of princely men
Whose martial fame and high acclaim
Be now renowned
And shine like Brisingamen
Glimpsed in early morn
When surpassed is beauty’s glow
To all ladies loathe and envy
Though words may tell against
Their eyes speak true
Once glittering jewels break
And glowers ensue
As bloodied oath
And pledge of sacred vow
From man and king as one
A trade of final days
For promise of yon misty trail
That trembles under hoof
Of noble winged steed
Whence emerge fair choosers of the slain
Thus charged by Sigrdrifa
Behold her liberated locks
On bleak wind gliding
With solemn bearing
So graceful stirred
Lost loves bearer to this place
With sturdy horde
Victory bringers all
To flourish not in vain
For favor, praise or fame
But everlasting glory
When final fate in battle
Fighting side by side with Gods
Aye, and of more than they
Fate's golden throne
At this time placed
Spectacle as ne’er seen
Collisions so violent
That day be stolen
To ne’er return
Yet such radiance exudes
From anguished maidens
Whose cries of ache doth reverberate
To tear from souls all sense of dread
And bolster forth frailest of heart
Tho weary and forlorn
To stand once more as heroes
Our paragon of valor
Doth rise and face
Whose dread countenance constricts our ancestral blood
The very source of being
Not Thor, beloved heir
Whose might renowned
Nor Tyr, whose boldness
Leads the chosen ever on
Though realms may fall
And worlds are wrought asunder
Twas ever thus
In highest esteem
These Einherjar stand
Firm and fast
Alongside yon sovereign
Whose sacrifice begot
Rune mystery and well wisdom
Greatly prized and age refined
Go not unused
Where deeds of man and gods
In truth and cunning
For such a time
As when whispered words are hushed
And desired breath is stayed
Held attentive as needs
Once such threat pervades
Darkest menace gathers speed
Hastening ever to this place
This wrathfull storm
Distant Ragnarok draws near
Resembling most condemned dread
That grips the heart
And pains the ear
Now blackest thoughts stain fairest hope
In fears cold clasp no sun could thaw
Rise again o’er highest hope
That heart doth beat
Bid thee primal thirst
Where deepest force
May forever reign
And decree everlasting
With wondrous thread
Flawlessly woven by hand of favored age
Interlaced in all designs
Thine fates entangled
O thy chosen
In evr’y realm be heard
Such agony vouchsafe
Thus tremble the nine worlds
When at Vígríðr there gathers
A host foretold
Devastating forces of monstrous expanse
That rise and descend
In colossal clash
Like ocean surge of raging tremors
And such destruction
That Sól be not spared darks deepest shadow
Yet knowing thus
Does mighty thew
Grip weapon of iron and steel
Awaiting such fare
As cruel Fimbulwinter calls ever closer
To crimson gore of fated men
Let not thy mettle waver now
Nor mercy expect
Thou art favored of Odin
3 x Norwegian Glima Champion Andreas Sørensen was featured as Einherjar in the book Viking Wisdom - Hávamál - the Sayings of Odin.
In Norse mythology, Odin sends his Valkyries to select the bravest warriors on Midgard. These brave people are chosen by the Valkyries to die in battle and then accompany them to Asgard.
Once they are in Asgard, the fallen brave are divided between Odin and Freya.
Those chosen by Odin are called Einherjar, which means One-army.
The Einherjar they stay at Odin’s hall called Valhalla, which means Hall of the Fallen. In Vallhalla, the Einherjar will be taken care of by the Valkyrie, who will give the warriors mead and ensure that they thrive.
In the morning when the Einherjer wake, they ready themselves with their armor, helmet, shield and weapons, and then go to iðavöllr for combat training, so they can fight on Ragnarok. The Einherjar continue their combat training until sundown, when the fallen arise unscathed, and all ride back to Valhalla as good friends. In Valhalla, the Valkyries serve mead and meat from the boar Sæhrímnir, to the Einherjar.
The Einherjars symbol is the Valknut, a symbol consisting of three interlocked triangles. Valknut is from the Old Norse ‘Valras’ meaning 'killed warriors’ and ‘knut’ meaning' knot '. This symbol found on various Norse and Germanic places, like runestones and the Osberg ship.
One of the Norwegian kings who became an Einherjar is Håkon the Good. It is the Valkyrie Skogul who chooses that the jarl will die in battle and be with her to Valhalla. When Håkon arrives at Valhalla, he dreads meeting Odin, as he chose a different faith. But Håkon is welcomed by the gods, and the god Bragi tells Håkon that he has eight brothers in Valhalla, that he should drink of the Æsir’s mead, and that would possess the peace from all Einherjar.
Eirik Bloodaxe is another Norwegian king chosen to be Einherjer. In Valhalla, the god Bragi wondered who was making the sound of thunder. Odin replied that Bragi know it was Eirik Bloodaxe who would shortly be arriving in Valhalla. There was a reason for celebration new Einherjer came to Valhalla, especially Einherjer who were kings.
Einherjar are a confirmation in Norse mythology, that to live a bold life, a person can be reborn at a higher level, meaning to live with the gods. With the gods, the Einherjar have one task, which is to fight at Ragnarok, and sacrifice themselves for the new world.