He was fostered by King Athelstan of England, who brought him up in the Christian religion, and on the news of his fatherís death provided him with ships and men for an expedition against his half-brother Erik Bloodaxe, who had been proclaimed king. On his arrival in Norway Haakon gained the support of the landowners by promising to give up the rights of taxation claimed by his father over inherited real property.
Erik fled and was killed a few years later in England. His sons allied themselves with the Danes, but were invariably defeated by Haakon, who was successful in everything he undertook except in his attempt to introduce Christianity, which aroused an opposition he did not feel strong enough to face. He was killed at the Battle of Fitje in 961, after a final victory over Erikís sons. So entirely did even his immediate circle ignore his religion that a court skald composed a poem on his death representing his welcome by the heathen gods into Valhalla.
The succession issue was settled as Harald, third son of Eric, ascended the throne. However the Norwegians were severely tormented by years of war and welcomed the Danish invading force led by Harold Bluetooth.
Original text from 1911 EB
|List of Norwegian monarchs||