According to the Norwegian newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad, Barrie Osborne will produce a film trilogy based on Harald Hardrada's life. Barrie Osborne is the well-known producer of Matrix and The Lord of the Rings. It is not clear if this film project is the same as Warner Brother's King Harald in which Leonardi DiCaprio is rumoured to play Harald Hardrada.
|Leonardo DiCaprio as Harald|
Hardrada in planned movie?
A real game of thrones
When Harald Hardrada took on England, he was a much feared warrior. At the age of 15 he fought beside his half-bother Saint Olav in the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030. In the battle Olav tried to retake the Norwegian throne, but when Olav lost and died, Harald had to flee to Sweden and later to Kiev. In Kiev he became a great military leader under King Yaroslav, whose daughter, Elisiv, he later wed.
As commander of the Varangian Guard in Constantinople, Harald made conquests in Greece and Sicily, plundered gold in North Africa, and made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. With his immense wealth he travelled back north and fought and bought his way to the Norwegian throne. Despite a parallel claim to the Danish throne, he never managed to defeat Sweyn Estridsson, the elected Danish king. When Edward the Confessor died in London in 1066, Harald Hardrada also had a claim to the English throne.
So, he set off with a huge army to take the throne from Harold Godwinson, who had seized power in England. When the Norwegians came to Northumbria, Harald Hardrada's fleet counted 300 ships. After the defeat at Stamford Bridge, the army returned to Norway with 25 ships and without their king, utterly beaten. No Viking army ever tried to take England again. The Viking Age had ended.
|The Lord of the Rings producer Berrie Osborn wants to make|
a trilogy about the Norwegian warrior-king Harald Hardrada.
Harald Hardrada has got his own saga in Snorri Sturlusons Heimskringla (History of the Kings of Norway), translated by Lee M. Hollander, and for Norwegian readers Halvor Tjønn has written a portrait of Harald in the book Harald Hardråde. Historical fiction writer Peter C. Whitaker is also writing a very readable trilogy about the events in England in 1066. The first book, The War Wolf, tells the story of the Battle of Fulford (a kind of prelude to the Battle of Stamford) in which Harald Hardrada crushed his Northumbrian opponents. In the book the war wolf is, yes, Harald Hardrada.