Tag Archive | Siggy of Vikings Saga

Vikings Scarred: Sacrifice in Kattegat

 

Deep space nebulae

It is late, dark and quiet here… I stand at a window in this Villa of King Ecbert’s and stare out at the night sky. The stars shine so brightly tonight and I am reminded of something I heard as a child? Each of those stars  is a soul, a person departed from this life and now a shining star in the heavens above looking down on us lighting our way and guiding us. It comforted me as a child and it comforts me now as I look up and wonder which of those stars is my friend, Siggy.  My heart is aching, my eyes red from tears that I can not keep back no matter how hard I try.  I suffer my grief alone for now as I can not tell anyone here what has happened. All I can do is urge and plead with my friends to go home, go home quickly for I feel they are needed in Kattegat and in Hedeby. I fear for our safety here now as well… But, as I have said, I can say nothing for to tell them would cast me in a fearful light. Tonight is not a time to put myself in any doubtful position, not after the spectacle that happened at their feasting celebration. My friends here put up with my sometimes odd behaviors and thoughts for the most part. I make every effort to fit in and not call undue attention to myself. I am used to it, I have been living here in the past with these people for many years now have so far managed not to cause doubts or accusations on my sanity or be labeled as a sorceress or seer. I do not want that label at all, nor do I want the label of crazy villager, or worse here in a Christian world- that of witch?

Tonight is one of those rare times when I think about my past… the future and I wonder if I should not just go back to my life there? I really do not know if I am strong enough anymore in my heart to continue with this life in the past.  My mind is filled with doubts and with fears for our future and all I can do is stand here and weep for the loss of good friend. I look down at the parchment in my hands, know that I should burn it but I can not do it. It is all I have left of Siggy, these words, this account of the events that led to her death.  I hold on to the pages, my hands shaking and my tears dripping down to this paper.  My nose is running now as well, and with little thought, I wipe my nose on the sleeve of my dress. I do not care for my appearance at this point, in fact I have cared about little since receiving this message some days ago. I make excuses of illness to everyone here, they give me wide berth and avoid me… if it is something catching, none wants to be too near to me. That is fine with me, I am far better off with this solitary time in which to deal with my sorrow.

we all watched the final act of the feast a night of glorious feasting and celebration

I mentioned that there was a great celebration and feast of sorts tonight in honor of our victory over Mercia. Our warriors have returned home and they celebrate in some fashion, this victory. Whether it is truly a victory remains to be seen. I will speak more of this later.  for now, I must tell of how I came to receive this sad news of Kattegat.  You may recall that in some earlier writings, I mentioned my interest in Wilton Abbey and my desire to visit there. I enlisted the help of Lady Judith in this endeavor but she seemed quite preoccupied with her own personal matters and Athelstan.  I was about to give up hope on this whole idea when a young priest came from there in search of me.  Now, at first I assumed that the young man was mistaken when he insisted that he came with a message for me. He said that he had an urgent message for one Lady Judith… I of course told him that he must have the wrong Judith? I pointed him towards Lady Judith and told him that she was most likely the one he was in search of.  The young priest shook his head and said, “I know who that Lady Judith is! I am in search of you, the one who arrived with the North settlers.”

I was highly puzzled and confused by this. I know of no one outside this small village and our settlement. My concern must have shown on my face and he took some pity on me. He motioned to an alcove where we could speak more privately. Once there, he whispered his explanation.  “Shhhh just listen to me, this is important. We have a traveler there who has just recently arrived from the Dane lands. This traveler has a grave message for you. He said to tell you that Gunnar waits there for your visit.”  The priest held on to me when it appeared I might fall at his feet in a shocked faint. My “brother”, my friend Gunnar is still alive and is searching for me!

We had spoke at one time of Wilton Abbey and the possibility of using it as a meeting place or safe house. One of the first and most important things one learns in training for this time travel is knowing of such places where you might find shelter and safety if becomes necessary.  In our early discussions of this Wessex area, we chose Wilton Abbey as such a place for it’s proximity to Standing Stones… Stonehenge to be exact, and for it’s earliest reputation as a lesser known sanctuary. We also chose it because of it’s connections to Ecbert’s family, thinking it might be a more feasible option than some other places.

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/vikings-on-to-wessex-season-premiere-review-part-2-of-3/

judith eying athelstan as usual

The priest made arrangements with Lady Judith, saying that he would gladly take me with him to Wilton… Judith being so pre-occupied with those other matters, happily went along with his suggestion. So, I made the trip to Wilton Abbey and was reunited with my friend Gunnar. It had been years since we saw each other last and frankly, I had assumed him dead! I did have a feeling that besides his news, what ever it might be, was not the only reason he was searching for me.  I was in possession of a rather large amount of treasure that was rightfully his. He had left it with me and told me to care for it, but to use it as I saw fit if he should not return. Ummm well, I guiltily looked at the chest… there was still quite a bit left but I had made use of some of it.  Damn, now I supposed he was going to want it back- so much for my retirement savings!

My worries over such pettiness as wealth were quickly forgotten once I met with Gunnar. We had our heartfelt reunion and he did express his guilt and apologies for having left me there in Kattegat on my own and not returning to see to my welfare. He did admonish and remind me though, that it had been my choice to stay. I could have left with the other travelers when they fled Kattegat during those years of Earl Haraldson’s madness and then the mess with Jarl Borg. He assumed that I had left with the others. When he met up with all of them they told him of my decision to remain with Siggy. He thought that I was safe enough with Siggy, and with Rollo so he continued on with his sea adventures. He had returned to Kattegat recently, now that it was at peace and was told of my leaving for England. Gunnar was in Kattegat to witness the awful events taking place and knew that he must come in search of me to tell me this news himself.  He took time to write it all down so that there is a written account of it for the future. That is what we are suppose to do here… document the various events with no interference or subjective slanting on our parts. We have all come to realize how impossible that task is though after being in the middle of history, meeting these people and becoming friends with them.

Gunnar made two copies of the story, one he will keep safe and send on with messengers to the future. The other copy, he gave to me to keep for myself, for my own memories of my Siggy. I know that I probably should not keep it. It is so risky to keep our journals but I can not part with it. So, I will hold it with my other treasured writings and thoughts… then I will take them out at times such as this, read them and remember my time spent here, remember those that I have come to hold so dear to me and cry my tears in private.  I know that returning to the future is but a fleeting thought in these moments of fear and heart ache. I will find my inner strength and I will go on. There are still others here that need me, such as Rollo. He has made such strides in putting his life together and becoming that man of greatness but I fear that this news of Siggy might cause him undue stress and much heart ache. I can not leave him to bear the brunt of it on his own, I worry that he is not yet strong enough in his convictions and determination to handle this well. No, I must stay on here now for Rollo’s sake. I will continue my path, and keep the promise I made to Siggy when I left her in Kattegat. I promised her that I would follow Rollo and watch over him as much as possible, see him safe and on his path to his own greatness. 

preview of episode 5!

preview of episode 5! Thanks to Ines Jager at Facebook Vikings Aftermath group!

As is often the case with sudden and unexpected tragedies, I am filled with doubts and second guessing as well. Perhaps I should have remained in Kattegat with her… would that have changed this outcome? I knew that she was suffering much guilt and depression over the events that happened with King Horik. She was not herself but she assured me that I should go with Rollo and she would be fine there on her own. I knew too of Aslaug’s disregard of Siggy, and her ill treatment of her but, then Aslaug treated all of us much in the same manner. She has always presumed that she is better than the rest of us, has treated us all as her servants and taken advantage of those with good hearts.

aslaug

Now, as my last honor to my friend Siggy, I will share the story here so that no one shall question the events that took place! Gunnar’s telling was far more objective but I can not be objective in the telling. I lived with these people for so long, I know them well and I know in my heart what that Bitch, Aslaug is capable of. After this, I will have no respect at all left for her and I will be happy to be witness to what ever downfall may come her way.

The problems in Kattegat began before the arrival of a strange wanderer named Harbard. Gunnar was in the village at the time and said that Siggy was not herself even then. He has known Siggy for some time from his days of trading in Kattegat, and he said that she seemed much bothered and unhappy even before the wanderer showed up in the village. There was talk of strange dreams and everyone in Aslaug’s household seemed ill at ease. At the time Gunnar put it down to them having to live with Aslaug, who he referred to as a shrew? He said too, that it must have worn on their nerves, the continuous crying of that baby, Ivar.

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/vikings-wanderer-other-strangeness/

Siggy did share that she was bothered by bad dreans and feelings of  unknown fear? She mentioned that she had went so far as to seek help from the Seer, and he was no help at all! In fact, he seemed bothered by his own feelings of impending doom? When Siggy asked him for help, his reply was “No one can help you”

nobody could help you   It's true

nobody could help you It’s true

When this man, Harbard arrived in the village, strange things started happening and Siggy was open in her mistrust and misgivings about him. She was suspicious of him from the beginning. Then when those two boys were found drowned, and Ivar’s pain was temporarily relieved, Siggy became fearful and filled with dread that this strange man was not who he claimed to be. Her premonitions of danger increased, her nerves were on edge and she sank into a dark mood.  Siggy grew irritated and impatient with Aslaug’s attitude and shirking of responsibilities.  Aslaug was infatuated with this Harbard would listen to no warnings against her behaviors with him.  When Siggy tried to remind her of her responsibilities to the village and to her family, Aslaug bluntly told her that it was none of her concern, to mind her place and not speak to her Queen in such a way.

siggy is supsicious of how habard does his magic

Ragnar has left Kattegat in your care! You have responsibilities to this village and to your family.

Ragnar has left Kattegat in your care! You have responsibilities to this village and to your family.

It's not your concern . No it is my concern since you are once again leaving your children behind

It’s not your concern . No it is my concern since you are once again leaving your children behind

If you will not be responible I will do it  I will accept the responsibility for this village

If you will not be responible I will do it I will accept the responsibility for this village

Siggy had been caring for these boys since they were born… Aslaug has ever and always been too busy to pay too much attention to them or care for them. She can easily produce them and bring them into the world but does not seem to have too much concern or patience for the raising of them? In her opinion, I guess she feels that duty is somehow beneath her… The one she does care much for is the infant Ivar, who she insisted on saving from death, only to now have him live in constant suffering and pain.  In some limited defense of her Mothering abilities, maybe she is overwrought by the number of boys she has brought into the world in a rather short time. And, perhaps her feelings for baby Ivar are spurred by some guilt on her part at saving his life but now seeing what he must endure as a result.  Part of her infatuation with Harbard is due to the fact that he is the only one who is able to ease Ivar’s pain!

wanderer takes away the pain

Siggy has been more of a Mother to the boys than Aslaug. She cared deeply for those boys, maybe it was because of losing her own children that she cared for them. Probably too that is much of the reason for her frustration and anger at Aslaug’s inattention to her own children. Aslaug began spending far too much time with Harbard, leaving Siggy to hold the family and the matters of the village together. It caused Siggy to think of her previous life…

siggy wants to know where aslaug is going  can't you pay attention to your family and your duties

siggy wants to know where aslaug is going can’t you pay attention to your family and your duties

 

Siggy watches Aslaug walk out on her responsibilities

Siggy watches Aslaug walk out on her responsibilities

siggy remembers her past

siggy remembers her past

one last time to sit on this throne and think of this village One last thought of the man who used to sit beside her

Everyone wondered about this man, Harbard. Who was he? He claimed to be a wanderer, a story teller, told stories of the Gods and of life in Russia? I asked Gunnar about his thoughts on the man… as Gunnar and I are both travelers from the future, we do have our own thoughts on this strange man. Of course, many firmly believe that he is indeed a some sort of God like figure come to earth or Midgard to either mettle, interfere,  teach us some lesson, or test our faith.

Midgard (an anglicised form of Old Norse Miðgarðr; Old English Middangeard, Swedish Midgård, Old Saxon Middilgard, Old High German Mittilagart, Gothic Midjun-gards; literally “middle enclosure”) is the name for the world (in the sense of oikoumene) inhabited by and known to humans in early Germanic cosmology, and specifically one of the Nine Worlds in Norse mythology.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midgard

Harbard tells many stories of his homeland, Russia and insists that he is Father to the current Grand Duke of Russia, Olaf.

Now this Olaf is Grand duke of Kiev over all of Russia

Now this Olaf is Grand duke of Kiev over all of Russia

In the future of Russia, there will be another such wanderer, a mystic and a healer of Royal children… and eventually was in part responsible for the downfall of that Royal monarchy. While many would call Harbard a God, perhaps even Odin himself, others might see him as a charleton, a fake and a cult like influence? This is much the way the other “wanderer” of the future was also viewed. No one can be certain of who Harbard is but, for some of us who know the future, he bears some resemblance to the man known as Rasputin.

Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin (Russian: Григорий Ефимович Распутин; IPA: [ɡrʲɪˈɡorʲɪj jɪˈfʲiməvʲɪtɕ rɐˈsputʲɪn]; 21 January [O.S. 9 January] 1869 – 30 December [O.S. 17 December] 1916) was a Russian peasant, mystical faith healer and a trusted friend to the Tsar’s family. He became an influential figure in Saint Petersburg, especially after August 1915 when Tsar Nicholas II took command of the army at the front.

There is much uncertainty over Rasputin’s life and the degree of influence he exerted over the shy and irresolute Tsar and the strong-willed Alexandra Feodorovna, his wife. Accounts are often based on dubious memoirs, hearsay and legend.  While his influence and role may have been exaggerated, historians agree that his presence played a significant part in the increasing unpopularity of the Imperial couple and the downfall of the Russian Monarchy. Rasputin was killed as he was seen by both the left and right to be the root cause of Russia’s despair during World War I.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grigori_Rasputin

Maybe this Harbard is Odin come to midgard… or perhaps, he is some long distant ancestor of Rasputin? What ever the case, he has some mystical healing abilities along with ability to influence the gullible and willing Aslaug.  His ability to calm the troublesome Ivar is more than enough for Aslaug to feel greatly indebted to him and for her to find some way to repay him? Harbard does have a suggestion on how she could repay him?

she gave birth to a son called Olaf

Me I am not suffering . Yes you are,  your husband is gone and you fear he does not care for you any longer

Me I am not suffering . Yes you are, your husband is gone and you fear he does not care for you any longer

The most important thing to remember about this affair is that Harbard gives Aslaug a choice. He does not force her into anything, he tells her that if she is not willing, she should return to her children. Aslaug’s answer is clear and telling of  where her children fall on her list of priorities. “I do not want to be with my children… I want to be with you.”

Then go back to your children.   I do not want to be with my children

Then go back to your children. I do not want to be with my children

I want to be with you

I want to be with you

Aslaug makes her choice

Aslaug makes her choice

aslaug would ignore her children for a chance to have sex with a stranger

aslaug would ignore her children for a chance to have sex with a stranger

While she involves herself in this affair with Harbard, Siggy as usual is left to care for the children. She is left to keep them out mischief, and answer difficult questions such as “Where is our Mother? Why is she never here?”

where's our Mother  why is she always gone

where’s our Mother why is she always gone

Siggy in her own frustration with the whole situation, did grow a bit impatient… I am sure that she did not mean for her words to come out the way they did and set such a possible tone for future sibling rivalry? “Ivar needs your Mother more than you do”

 

Ivar needs you Mother more than you do   Hmmm way to set up future sibling rivalry siggy

Ivar needs you Mother more than you do Hmmm way to set up future sibling rivalry siggy

Siggy’s maternal instincts and her true caring for these boys takes over as she tries to help them understand. She tried to make excuses for Aslaug and not put the woman in a bad light to her sons.

siggy tries to make excuses for Aslaug  Your Mother goes to Harbard for help with your brother.

siggy tries to make excuses for Aslaug Your Mother goes to Harbard for help with your brother.

Siggy also poured out her heart in her explanation of sacrifices that a Mother makes for her children. As I said, Siggy raised these boys, and in some way I think she felt like they were her own sons. I think too that is part of why she remained so long in that household with Aslaug!

someday you will understand the sacrifices a Mother makes for her children

someday you will understand the sacrifices a Mother makes for her children

The boys were a handful though, curious and mischievous much like their Father. And, besides trying to keep them under control, she also had to deal with baby Ivar and his constant needs.

listening to baby ivar cry

listening to baby ivar cry

Once again, Ivar’s needs took precedence and the older boys saw a chance to escape for adventure.

so much for speeches they're busy with him again let's go

With Aslaug nowhere in sight to help care for the children, Helga and Siggy were stressed to their limits in caring for all of the children. When the boys took off, Helga could not follow as she had other children namely her own child, to watch!

the women have their hands full with little ones and Helga can not follow the boys

the women have their hands full with little ones and Helga can not follow the boys

Siggy’s bond with those boys caused her to feel a Mother’s intuition of when their child is in danger… Something that Aslaug obviously was lacking!

siggy has a premonition of fear for the boys

siggy has a premonition of fear for the boys

Siggy felt an overwhelming fear for the boys and took off in search of them. her search takes her through rocks that ominously resemble the sight where a young boy earlier sacrificed his life for her husband’s greed.

siggy heads out to search for the boys

her search takes her through rocks that ominously resemble the sight where a young boy earlier sacrificed his life for her husband's greed.

her search takes her through rocks that ominously resemble the sight where a young boy earlier sacrificed his life for her husband’s greed.

She also wanders  through woods such as  where her own two  boys might have perished in their own sacrifice.

and through woods where her boys might have perished in their own sacrifices

and through woods where her boys might have perished in their own sacrifices

Finally she arrived at the edge of the frozen lake to see the boys wandering out on to the ice. Panic stricken, she tries to remain calm and calls out to them to stop. They hesitate for a moment…

she arrives at the frozen lake and finds the boys out there they stop for a moment

With no thought of danger to herself, Siggy knew only that she must make a choice to step out on the cracking ice to reach the boys.

with no thought for herself Siggy steps toward her fate

with no thought for herself Siggy steps toward her fate

 

waiting for the ice to settle

waiting for the ice to settle

treading carefully over the ice with only thoughts of the boys safety in her mind

treading carefully over the ice with only thoughts of the boys safety in her mind

As she tried desperately to reach them in time, the ice cracked underneath the boys

the ice cracks underneath the boys

the ice cracks underneath the boys

 

a secondary hesitation before she disregards her own life for the boys

a secondary hesitation before she disregards her own life for the boys

she will go after them no matter what cost to herself

she will go after them no matter what cost to herself

She frantically struggled to find the boys under the ice…

searching the icy water for the boys

searching the icy water for the boys

finding the boys in the water

finding the boys in the water

As she fought to save them, an unknown hand reached down to help…

an unknown hand reaches down to help help from the gods and the angels above

The Gods above have sent help. Siggy sees the face of her daughter Thyri come to help save these two boys and welcome her Mother.

siggy sees her help radiant and glowing thyri come from above to help save these two boys and welcome her mother siggy sees the face of her daughter

thyri fills siggy with strength to rescue the other boy

thyri fills siggy with strength to rescue the other boy

Thyri filled Siggy with strength of the Gods to rescue the other boy.

siggy is filled with the gods strength in this final rescue

siggy is filled with the gods strength in this final rescue

He opens his eyes to see the face of Siggy as she rescues him from death… and perhaps in the future, he will remember those words she once spoke to him and his brother about the sacrifice a Mother will make for her children.

the boy comes awake and see the face of siggy saving him

the boy comes awake and see the face of siggy saving him

the sacrifice of a mother

the sacrifice of a mother

siggy's unearthly joy in knowing she has saved him

siggy’s unearthly joy in knowing she has saved him

After rescuing the second boy, Siggy sees not Thyri waiting for her on the ice, but Harbard?

habard suddenly appears habard looks down at siggy

Siggy’s hand clings to the ice while Harbard watches her. Will he reach down to save her… will she fight to stay alive? The choice seemed to be up to her to make. In those last few moments, she had to decide her own fate. He would not interfere, it was her decision to make for herself…. much as the earlier decision by Aslaug had been hers alone to make.

siggy's hand clings to the ice and to life for a moment longer she slips away she slips into the depths of the water

In the end it comes down to your choice… As Ragnar has often said, “We are always free to choose.”  Siggy made her final sacrifice for those boys she loved as much as her own. She gave them life and she chose to go on to those who waited for her on the other side.

siggy chooses her path

Will there be consequences for the choices we make? There are always consequences and we must always be accountable for our actions and our choices in this life.

 

I have only one last comment to add regarding my thoughts on Aslaug right now… 

You ass you took away my best babysitter now who is going watch these kids2

 

Last, but certainly not least by any means, I want to say a heartfelt thank you and appreciation to Jessalyn Gilsig for bringing Siggy to life for these seasons of Vikings! You have done an amazing job and I wish you much happiness in the future! My thanks and appreciation also to Michael Hirst for this final honor and tribute to the character of Siggy, and for his thoughtful handling of the necessary departure by Jessalyn from the series!

jessalyn-gilsig-history

http://www.zap2it.com/blogs/vikings_jessalyn_gilsig_explains_why_scarred_death_had_to_happen-2015-03

I knew that Siggy and Rollo would eventually have to part ways, but I did always hope that Siggy would find peace and happiness in life and maybe remain in Rollo’s life in some capacity even if it was just as friends… that did not happen, but Siggy, I think has found her peace in her sacrifice for the boys.

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/?s=siggy

 

Rollo and siggy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vikings: In defense of my friend Siggy!

 

 

 

A new dawn, a new voyage and adventure draws near now and our past is just that. As we head to this unknown future, we must try to put the past behind us and begin anew? As many of us know, that is much easier said than done? The past will forever follow us, haunt us and even be our guide at times, no matter how hard we try to forget and forgive, to say it does not matter? We carry those memories with us deep inside our minds and our hearts and they shape our destinies whether we would admit it or not… In the past years, there have been many hurts, many betrayals, mistakes and misgivings on all our parts which we must tell ourselves to set aside for a new beginning, a fresh start, and for some of us- a final revenge upon past misdeeds. We know not what tomorrow will bring or what path our fates will lead us upon. We can only hope for the best, pray that our Gods are on our side and choose wisely.  We can listen to the Seers, the prophecies, the Volvas and perhaps rely upon them to tell us what the future might hold for us. In the end though, it is us who decide our own destinies, for although the Norns, the spinners of fate, or as Christians believe-God sets our course on life, we are free to choose our path, our way. As some Christians believe, God has given us free will and it is up to us each moment, each day to make the right decisions.

Most of my Norse friends believe that the Norns set us upon our path, our destiny and determine our fate in life? They are with us from the moment of our birth, spinning, weaving and often twisting the threads of our life and as such they determine the outcome of our life.

800px-Norns_(1832)_from_Die_Helden_und_Götter_des_Nordens,_oder_Das_Buch_der_sagen Norns three women spinners of destiny

Norns are female beings who rule the destiny of gods and men, twining the thread of life. They set up the laws and decided on the lives of the children of men. Their names were Urðr (that which became or happened) related with Wyrd, weird (fate), Verðandi (that which is happening)  and Skuld (that which should become, debt, guilt).

In younger legendary sagas, the Norns appear to have been synonymous with witches (Völvas), and they arrive at the birth of the hero to shape his destiny. It seems that originally all of them were Disir, ghosts or deities associated with destruction and destiny. The notion that they were three, their distinction and association with the past, present and future may be due to a late influence from Greek and Roman mythology.

The Valkyries (choosers of the slain), were originally daemons of death. They were female figures who decided who will die in battle, and brought their chosen to the afterlife hall of the slain. They were also related with spinning, and one of them was named Skuld (debt, guilt).  They may be related to Keres, the daemons of death in Greek mythology, who accompanied the dead to the entrance of Hades. In the scene of Kerostasie Keres are the “lots of death”, and in some cases Ker (destruction) has the same meaning, with Moira interpreted as “destiny of death” (moira thanatoio :μοίρα θανάτοιο) .

The Germanic Matres and Matrones, female deities almost entirely in a group of three, have been proposed as connected to the Norns and the Valkyries.

Two men on horseback meet three women. All are in Elizabethan dress.

Macbeth and Banquo meeting the three weird sisters in a woodcut from Holinshed’s Chronicles.

In Anglo-Saxon culture Wyrd (Weird) is a concept corresponding to fate or personal destiny (literally: what befalls one). Its Norse cognate is Urðr, and both names are deriven from the PIE root wert, “to turn, wind”, related with “spindle, distaff”.  In Old English literature Wyrd goes ever as she shall, and remains wholly inevitable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moirai

For many, the belief that the Norns have already determined our fate or our path and we can not change it is equal to the Christian Monks and church saying that what ever happens to us is God’s will. It is a fatalistic view and one that does not take into account or approve of our thinking for ourselves, for our questioning our circumstances or our station in life… It is a thought that the Gods, or God has willed my life to be this way and I should not attempt to change it. It is a concept or thought that they have chosen us to either suffer or glory for some reason that we should not question.

I myself have seen far too much suffering and pain over the past years to believe fully that it is the choice of  Gods, or God! I think that this is often a way for men of power to somehow attempt to absolve themselves of personal responsibility or guilt in such events! 

What ever the future holds for us, I will face it knowing and believing that we can steer our course on the voyage of life, make decisions on our own that will guide us through troubled waters… and that we must take responsibility for our each our own decisions and actions. I will go through this life forever more questioning and doubting why the Gods, or God causes us to suffer but I will still hold on to faith that, for everything there is a reason? I will hold faith that in the end, there are fair, just and honorable people with compassion in their hearts whether they be Christians, Northmen, or any other believer. There must be a way for the hatred, the bitterness and the battles of power hungry men to come to some peaceful conclusion. I will also hold faith that someday, the lot, the value and the life of women will see a change for the better. I did see some change in the future, but in many ways, it was becoming as treacherous and difficult as it is now?

 

As I wait for the next voyage that is so soon upon us now, I have not time to write of everything which happened in our past that leads us to our next moves. I have time only for a few last thoughts of those things that left me with the most heart ache, the most concern and the most puzzlement as to what will happen next?

first of all, I must address the rumors and the accusations upon my good friend, Siggy. She has made some grave mistakes and bad decisions… have not we all at one time or another? But, I will stand for  her and deny the claim that she is not a Whore! Siggy is not a Whore… now, that Princess Kwentirith of Mercia- she has most certainly earned and warrented the title of Whore? But, Siggy’s actions of late do not constitute the label of Whore. In my definition and estimation, a Whore is one who is not choosy about their partners, who has few scruples about their actions and does not have care or concern about said actions or activities. Siggy’s situation and her resulting actions were done for only one reason in her mind, and it was not as many think, just for benefit of herself!

I have stated previously, many times, that Siggy’s situation was precarious to say the least? She was in fear for her life and that of her daughter, Thyri at first, and you must understand that all women were in some ways dependent on men for their survival. Very few women were of such high state or power that they could completely make their way in life, rule themselves or make their own choices without the backing of men. Siggy knew this, all women knew this! Siggy lost her place in life and society when Earl Haraldson died and had to find her own way. In the beginning she was able to navigate the tides of change and could accept those changes with help from Lagertha, along with some thoughtful guidance from Athelstan.  She also had some thought, some assurance and protection from Rollo in that beginning. Rollo, who then had faith and belief that he would be an equal to his brother, Ragnar, offered her protection and the opportunity to regain her station in life as his wife.

After Haraldson’s death, Athelstan helped Siggy make her peace and make a new beginning in Lagertha’s household. This was by no means an easy thing to do for Siggy, but she did it. Siggy is a woman of pride and she had to swallow all of it in going to Lagertha. She begged forgiveness for her husband’s actions and she offered herself as servant to Lagertha’s houselhold.  Lagertha showed her compassion and her true judge of character in accepting Siggy into the household, not as a servant- but in the end as a true and valued friend. It was a friendship that would last, would survive through everything.

Athelstan paves the way for Siggy and Lagertha

Athelstan paves the way for Siggy and Lagertha

siggy begs forgiveness and charity from lagertha

siggy begs forgiveness and charity from lagertha

Siggy is doubtful but hopeful with his words

Siggy is doubtful but hopeful with his words

puzzled and untrusting looks at Siggy's offer to serve

puzzled and untrusting looks at Siggy’s offer to serve

Lagertha is uncomfortable with the offer as well

Lagertha is uncomfortable with the offer as well

Siggy and Lagertha formed their bond of friendship and Siggy became a source of great strength and comfort to Lagertha in the worst of times. These two women knew the meaning of friendship, and understood well the importance of women sticking together, supporting each other no matter what each one’s circumstances. It was during this time when the men were off in England that they faced together, one of the most difficult battles that women will ever face… the battle, the fight that men will never quite understand no matter how hard they might try? Men fight their battles and their wars on the field, most often against their enemies. Women fight their greatest battles, and so often lose at them, in attempting to give birth to one they already love and cherish. Their struggle, their fight often ends in the loss of that one they fight so hard to save? And, if they do not lose them in child birth, they lose so many children early in life that often their hearts close against the pain of such loss. They will often become distant and detached, appearing cold hearted towards their children, preparing themselves against another painful  loss. Siggy knew well of these feelings, having lost her two sons and almost losing her daughter Thyri, not to death, but to the inevitability of  marriage.

What began with fears about Ragnar’s safety across the sea brought hopes and dreams of their own future and then turned to something much more tragic.

A long time ago the seer prophecied that your father would have many sons that is how I know it's a boy

A long time ago the seer prophecied that your father would have many sons that is how I know it’s a boy

at home some mother daughter bonding time

at home some mother daughter bonding time

While Ragnar was in England thinking of great treasure and of revenge… Lagertha was at home in Kattegat fighting a losing battle for the life of their son.

Women would oft stand a better chance on the battle field than in the birthing bed

Women would oft stand a better chance on the battle field than in the birthing bed

death and tragedy strike at home

death and tragedy strike at home

the loss of their son

the loss of their son

the hardest fight to lose is one for the life of your child

the hardest fight to lose is one for the life of your child

 

siggy tries to comfort lagertha

siggy tries to comfort lagertha

So, while Ragnar was glorying over his victory in England, he failed to realize that in every reward from the Gods, there is a price to pay?

 

staring at his hard won treasure Ragnar little realizes what he has lost in return for it waving goodbye to Aelle

He returned home to greeted with the sadness that his much precious and prized next son had been lost. After that, there was much doubt in his heart that Lagertha would bear him more healthy sons and he eventually looked at the appearance of a young Aslaug as the Gods’ answers to his doubts? It was while he was off on a journey to aid King Horik that he was faced with the temptation of Aslaug and could not resist that temptation? It was also during this time while he was enjoying himself that the greatest of tragedies beset our village of Kattegat and everyone in it.

I do wonder at times if Siggy does not carry guilt and some kind of unbearable remorse that she can never quite forgive herself for in light of what occurred? It was certainly not her fault in any way, but I know that any one of us in the same situation would feel the same thoughts and wonder if we have caused such death in some way, and if we are then unworthy of forgiving ourselves… No one has ever set blame upon her for it, but in these situations, no one needs blame us- we blame ourselves for eternity and carry some form of unsaid guilt within our hearts forever. It began when she returned from a visit to a cousin who had just lost a child to sudden illness. We thought nothing of it at the time, such things happen all too often in this life.

After Ragnar and the men left on their journey, Lagertha was filled with fear and doubts which she could not shake from her thoughts. Much of it, I am sure had to do with the loss of her baby and her mourning that loss.

a somber family at home  Gyda worries over Lagertha You haven't eaten in three days

a somber family at home Gyda worries over Lagertha You haven’t eaten in three days

She was overcome with some undefinable fear that she felt hovering around her, like shadows in the corners, she called it?

I have fears  it's sometimes better not to know if fears will come true

I have fears it’s sometimes better not to know if fears will come true

Some of that fear had to do with Ragnar and her conclusion was, “Ragnar is in danger from himself!”

lagertha thinks Ragnar is in danger from himself

lagertha thinks Ragnar is in danger from himself

 

Later, Siggy returned home from her visit to relatives and complained of not feeling well? At first we thought she was just overly tired from her journey, but she quickly became very sick!

Siggy  tells of her cousin's son who died suddenly of a sweating sickness

Siggy tells of her cousin’s son who died suddenly of a sweating sickness

siggy complains of not feeling well

siggy complains of not feeling well

siggy becomes very ill

siggy becomes very ill

Suddenly, our entire village succumbed to the deadly illness. Everyone one us suffered and so many died that we could not keep up with caring for the sick and burying the dead? We suffered the loss of young and old alike, and in the end we lost our loved ones. Sweet innocent young Gyda was taken and so was the much loved Thyri.

the dead and dying in Kattegat

the dead and dying in Kattegat

the sickness strikes all and lagertha tries to care for them the great hall filled with sickness sweet young gyda falls ill I am going to die I know I am gyda asks for Athelstan but he is too weak to come to her athelstan is stricken athelstan comforts thyri he is too late  gyda has passed on as wellthyri has passed on horrified and grief stricken siggy holds her daughter

With Thyri’s death, Siggy felt that she had now lost everything? It would have been so easy for her to give up completely right then… as she had nothing left to live for in her mind. Lagertha had lost a baby, and now Gyda, but she did still have Bjorn and a husband left. She had reason left to fight but Siggy did not have that. Lagertha summoned her faith and called upon the Gods to help us. In the end, I do think that the only thing which save the few of us left alive and put an end to the sickness was the fact that custom and beliefs required us to burn the dead and their belongings along with them!

lagertha makes an offering to the gods in hope of stopping the sickness burning the dead

The only remaining comfort and solace for Siggy and Lagertha came in the knowledge that their daughters would travel together to the other side? And, in some way, I think that may have even strengthened the bond between them in this life, that thought that Gyda and Thyri would ever be together waiting on the other side and watching over them.

gyda's death2

gyda’s death

Our village and our people were decimated and nearly destroyed by this plague but there was little time to mourn the loss before even more chaos and destruction hit us. Ragnar and his men returned only to tell of Rollo’s betrayal and of a new battle for King Horik against Jarl Borg. Rollo was so filled with doubts about his own self worth and about Ragnar’s treatment of him that he chose to side with Jarl Borg in this war. The saddest part in all of it was the fact as Lagertha put it, it was not any war of our concern until Ragnar chose to involve us in it! For the life of me, I still do not quite understand all of the reasonings and motives behind all of it? It started as a land dispute between King Horik and Jarl Borg. Ragnar offered his services to King Horik in negotiating some form of agreement or settlement of the dispute. For all practical purposes, Jarl Borg was most probably in the right in his refusal to settle the matter! But, as it is done and over now, that is of little consequence and will not heal the hurts caused or bring back the dead.  After a deadly and vicious battle in which Rollo lost all reason, gave in to bloodlust, killed those who had once been friends and very nearly killed Floki, the battle was ended when Rollo regained some semblance of sanity and admitted that he could not kill his own brother. For all of this death and carnage, the battle did not even result in a victory for either side! They set their differences aside and decided that it would be far better choice to join forces and raid England together than to kill each other! The only one who really lost in this matter was Rollo.

The group returned home with Rollo as prisoner, now disgraced and dishonored, waiting for death. Rollo was really the only person, the only thing that had kept Siggy going on after the death of Thyri. When they brought him back, she did not desert him or give up on him even though he had given up on himself!

rollo in chains

rollo in chains

Siggy did not give up on Rollo even though he kept telling her to leave him be and let him accept his fate.

siggy comes to offer some comfort

siggy comes to offer some comfort

Eventually there was a judgement and the Lawgiver made the judgement to spare Rollo’s life but that did little to ease his mind or his heart? Rollo had lost all faith in himself and deemed himself unworthy of care or concern. He said it would have been better if he had died than to now live in such disgrace and dishonor.  The one person to pull him through this deepest inner battle was Siggy! She refuse to give up on him and forced him to face his demons. Now, at this time, Rollo was at such rock bottom that one could not really say that Siggy was doing this for any benefit to herself. Because, really what use or benefit was a drunken, has been warrior to anyone? Rollo did not have useful connections or grand wealth that would benefit her in the long run… he had nothing and he bluntly told her of this many times! Why would anyone choose to align themselves with him during this time other than out of true care and deep feelings for such a person?

At his lowest point, she had to revive him from having passed out in a snowbank! She most likely saved his life that night and did he care or thank her for it? No, he did not! He wanted to wallow in his self pity and destruction but she would not let him.

siggy bluntly revives a drunken rollo

it will be a long hard climb back up for Rollo

He finally sobered up and decided that he would leave Kattegat. He thought to sneak out of the village without even telling her of his leaving but she caught him and finally lost her temper with him!  She bares her heart to him and tells him, “I have lost everything, my sons, my husband, my daughter, my own worth, I will not lose you as well!”

I have lost everything my sons my husband my daughter I will not lose you as well

I have lost everything my sons my husband my daughter I will not lose you as well

Determined to reach him, she uses the force of the Gods on him, “The Gods have offered you a second chance at life and you would throw it away!”

the gods have offered you a second chance at life and you would throw it away

the gods have offered you a second chance at life and you would throw it away

siggy forces rollo to face himself

siggy forces rollo to face himself

Her final push to his limits is to hand him a seering hot knife and tell him to go and speak to Ragnar or else just end his life right now and be done with it once and for all!

 

go and speak with your brother or take this blade and kill yourself right now

go and speak with your brother or take this blade and kill yourself right now!

 

rollo takes the blade

rollo takes the blade

He could not do it, proving that there was still some spark of hope within his soul. Siggy saved his life and his soul on that night! She did not do it for her own gain, for any great rewards, she did it because she cared so deeply for him!

Rollo did go to Ragnar begging for forgiveness and some second chance at life with his brother. Ragnar was loathe to trust him again but did accept him once more as brother. He refused to allow Rollo to raid with them though… which in the long run was probably a good thing because Rollo eventually saved Ragnar’s family from the revenge of Jarl Borg!

Why should I forgive you or ever trust you again?

Why should I forgive you or ever trust you again?

begging for second chance with Ragnar

begging for second chance with Ragnar

Rollo was relegated to remaining at home while the others planned another raid to England. It was previously decided and agreed upon that King Horik, Ragnar, and Jarl Borg would raid together? But, King Horik changed his mind at the last minute and decided that he did want to include Jarl Borg in the raid. This decision would have disasterous consequences for all later on? King Horik was a devious and manipulative man who would use any means to ensure he got what he wanted?

I will not go into all of the details of his manipulations but it was during this time that Siggy began her own desperate attempts to fight for Rollo’s causes. She entered into the most dangerous of games at this time, taking great risks to herself and her own self worth. After having lived with Earl Haraldson, Siggy was well versed in the ways of dangerous political and power games that men will play and she entered into this world with the only assets she had available, her body… Yes, some would say that this makes her a whore, a prostitute and an ultimate betrayer of Rollo. But, in reality, this was much the way of the world back then, and is even now though we are loathe to admit it! The difference between Siggy’s motives and actions, and those of one such as that Princess Kwentirith is that Siggy did feel guilt, remorse, even disgust with herself at times. And, she did what she did for one sole purpose, Rollo! Siggy entered into a dangerous game, one which she could not back out of in the middle of it. It was one of those situations that you put yourself in, knowing full well the possible consequences and one that you know you must follow through on even when it turns far uglier than you ever imagine?

siggy tries her hand swaying horik

siggy tries her hand swaying horik

 

Siggy was not above using her body if need be to survive.

Siggy was not above using her body if need be to survive.

 

It was also during this time that Aslaug made her appearance in Kattegat and forever changed many lives… and not in a good way! This was a mess of Ragnar’s own making but the rest of us had to suffer it’s consequences! I have no love for Aslaug, and neither does Siggy. The woman was basically good for one thing- making sons for Ragnar. He fell for her wiles and temptations, and in the end lost Lagertha and his son Bjorn because of it. Lagertha chose to leave rather than be degraded and humiliated by Ragnar’s lust for this woman. I do not blame her in the least, but it was heartbreaking to see her go and be left with the haughty and useless Aslaug as leader of the household! We made attempts to get along with her… what other choice did we have?

From the moment of her arrival, she flaunted her pregnant self in front of Lagertha and assumed such an air of superiority over everyone that it was difficult to feel any fondness for this woman!

aslaug arrives

aslaug arrives

Siggy’s heart was with her friend Lagertha and she tried to console her in this matter but knew that Lagertha would not content herself with staying in this situation.

siggy tries to help Lagertha

Siggy tried to help Lagertha through the mess but knew that Lagertha would not stay in such a situation

Lagertha made her choice to leave and our hearts broke for her! It was a wretched and tear filled goodbye between friends.

lagertha prepares to leave friends they have become and friends they will remain a heartfelt goodbye between friends

Lagertha’s parting words for her husband were filled with contempt and disgust, “You insult and humiliate me, I have no choice but to leave!”

you insult and humiliate me I have no choice but to leave

you insult and humiliate me I have no choice but to leave

Bjorn chose to leave with his Mother… so Ragnar had traded one loving wife and son for another younger one who might produce more sons for him?

leaving ragnar is it possible to replace one son with another

And then what did he do? Why, he immediately left her with us to deal with as he went off to raid England again! He also left Rollo behind…

rollo watches the others leave

rollo watches the others leave

Aslaug did make half hearted attmepts at friendship with Siggy and Siggy forced herself to put up with the woman. No one was fooled and all knew that it was a friendship in name only!

aslaug attempts friendship with siggy siggy's response yes women must stick together more

aslaug attempts friendship with siggy siggy’s response yes women must stick together more

let's not fool each other you were once where I am now and perhaps you would like to be here once more

let’s not fool each other you were once where I am now and perhaps you would like to be here once more

As I mentioned, it was fortunate that Rollo did stay behind because it only his skills and his thinking that saved us when Jarl Borg chose to seek revenge upon Ragnar. He attacked the village and took it over while Ragnar was in England raiding with King Horik. and we were relegated to surviving up in the hills with the wining and useless  Aslaug and her sons. It was truly one of the worst times of my life, having to listen to her constantly!

To make a very long story shorter, Jarl Borg maintained control of Kattegat for a great length of time but we all managed to survive and eventually the village was taken back. Some years had passed and then to our great relief and pleasure, Lagertha returned to us for a time with Bjorn. He was now grown, a fine young man he was too! He and Lagertha returned to help fight for Kattegat and they did stay for a time. Lagertha eventually said she must leave and go back to her husband… a different sort of mess that we were unaware of at the time. But, she left Bjorn with us. He wanted to stay with his Father now.

There was still much intrigue and political maneuvering during this time and Siggy still played her dangerous game. She was greatly troubled though by her circumstances and her feelings. At one point, she visited the Seer and admitted her bitterness and resentments over the way her life had turned out. She wants to know if the Gods will ever smile upon her again.

siggy visits the seer are you unhappy do you think the gods have cheated you

siggy visits the seer are you unhappy do you think the gods have cheated you

i-want-my-old-position-back-i-am-bitter-i-am-angry-everything-i-had-everything-has-been-taken-from-me.

i-want-my-old-position-back-i-am-bitter-i-am-angry-everything-i-had-everything-has-been-taken-from-me.

I want to know will the gods ever smile on me again

I want to know will the gods ever smile on me again

The Seer’s answer to her is that the Gods always smile upon brave women like the sirens whom men desire and yet fear so much?

The gods always smile on brave women  like the sirens who men desire and yet fear

The gods always smile on brave women like the sirens who men desire and yet fear

Siggy took his words as some indication that she should continue to follow the path she had chosen no matter how dangerous, treacherous and disgusting it would become. At a meeting of the men after their return from another disasterous trip to England, Rollo and Siggy listen closely to King Horik’s plans for revenge and to his plans of once more joining forces with Jarl Borg? Rollo is suddenly in a much higher and more valued position…

it should be you rollo you know him better than anyone

it should be you rollo you know him better than anyone

siggy and rollo listen closely to horik's plan of revenge on king ecbert

siggy and rollo listen closely to horik’s plan of revenge on king ecbert

At what cost was this to Siggy though? Siggy had firmly entrenched herself in these games of politics and could not back out evenly when the cost became higher than she could stomach. She was visited by Horik and his son and at first thought it was a simple meeting, one which would just assure Horik of her willingness to help him in his cause and ensure some better circumstance for Rollo. She did not imagine what far more devious, deceptive and degrading game he played? She assumed that he would not involve his son in such actions, but that was where she was so very wrong!

siggy entertains horik and his son.

siggy entertains horik and his son.

everything I do I do for Rollo

everything I do I do for Rollo

if rollo rises I rise also     And you need my help

if rollo rises I rise also And you need my help

Horik does involve his son! “I want my son to undertand the games we play, you and I play, and Ragnar tries to play.”

I want my son to start to understand the games we play  you and I play  Ragnar tries to play

I want my son to start to understand the games we play you and I play Ragnar tries to play

my son is ignorant of these games and strangely ignorant of other things as well

my son is ignorant of these games and strangely ignorant of other things as well

I want him to enjoy the attentions of an experienced free woman

I want him to enjoy the attentions of an experienced free woman

Siggy suddenly realized just how far Horik was willing to drag her down to have complete control over her in her desperate attempts to ensure Rollo’s rise…But, she also did realize that she could not quit in the middle of such a treacherous game. For fear of her life and that of Rollo, now she must carry through with this because this act showed just how merciless and soulless Horik was. He would have no qualms about seeing her and Rollo done away with should she not comply with his wishes now. Especially now that she had admitted her feelings for Rollo and that she would do anything to ensure his rise in life.

how far does siggy degrade herself to help rollo rise once the game has begun one can not just quit or back out in the middle of it horik watches and siggy will not forget how low he has forced her to sink

and so siggy will go on with the game now because she must

and so siggy will go on with the game now because she must

Siggy may have played the whore because she felt desperate enough for Rollo’s future that she would have done anything for him, but that did not mean that she did it willingly or because she enjoyed it. Her disgust in herself was evident and she would never forgive Horik for putting her in such a position. There in lies the difference between Siggy and the ones such as Kwentirith!

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/vikings-trivia-who-is-princess-kwenthrith/

kwentirith inspecting the northmen Kwenthrith1 kwentirith talk to me of love and death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vikings: The beginnings of Rollo and Siggy

 

the wrath of a shieldmaiden

Still some time left to fight/vote! I will close the poll on Saturday… which is as we all know, Valentine’s Day- a day for love, peace and togetherness! So, no matter who wins or loses the battle, we will put down our shields and celebrate a well fought battle! The Shieldmaidens have come from behind and are currently the favored odds on favorites but that could change at a moment’s notice so continue to fight!

Now on to our memories of the past…

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/09/vikings-past-and-future/

As I told of earlier, we all attended Thyri’s wedding and wept to see her put up such a brave front in the midst of this arranged marriage which would bring Earl Haraldson such great profit and alliance with greater powers who might prove helpful should he face revolt again in the future.  The rather repulsive and disgusting groom, Earl Bjarni was a cousin of  King Horik, whom we would all meet later…  Haraldson took great pains to stress the importance of this marriage and alliance to Siggy and remind her that the marriage was about far more than just Thyri’s happiness. 

Thyri  tried so hard to maintain her dignity and hold her head high going into this marriage no matter how grieved she was at her fate. As we attended the wedding feast and watched her, we all felt such sadness for the girl.  I think of course, none was so sad as Siggy? 

just go on and remember to look happy

We were all surprised by Rollo’s appearance at the wedding feast for Thyri, the one who had once been used a promise- a pawn- to gain his allegiance to Haraldson? We all knew well that Haraldson now viewed Rollo as a traitor and was watching him closely to see if he would lead to Ragnar? Why would Rollo take such chance as to show up at this time? Did he not know, realize how much danger he was in from Haraldson? Why would he do this… many say it was because Rollo did not think ahead, did not think of consequences, acted on his impulses rather than common sense. At times, I would have to agree with those words about him.  In this instance, I believe though that Rollo perhaps thought this might be the best time to approach Earl Haraldson? Haraldson would not want a blood letting or fight to mar his daughter’s wedding to Earl Bjarni. He would not want Earl Bjarni to know so much about what other real problems there were within his small kingdom… it would not look good to have this more powerful Earl see that he was in a battle for control of his people?

What ever his reasons were, he chose to approach the Earl on this night.  Later that evening he met with Haraldson outside and confronted him about being followed and harassed for no other reason than being Ragnar’s brother.  He tells Haraldson, “You own everything I do not want to be on the outside I want to raid and fight that is what I do.”

Tell your thugs to stop following me it's a waste of time Ragnar is dead.

Tell your thugs to stop following me it’s a waste of time Ragnar is dead.

You own everything I do not want to be on the outside I want to raid and fight that is what I do.

You own everything I do not want to be on the outside I want to raid and fight that is what I do.

Earl Haraldson gives thought to Rollo’s words and advises him that he may work on the boats until such a time as Haraldson makes a decision on his trustworthiness?

Siggy watched this meeting from the shadows and did not trust that any of it would go well? I have said often that I do not know for sure of what may have transpired between Siggy and Rollo before this night… I only know that on this night, Siggy made her choice to involve herself more deeply in Rollo’s life.

siggy watches and listens to rollo and haraldson

Rollo watches Siggy in the shadows

Rollo watches Siggy in the shadows

Now, normally Siggy did not involve me in her personal affairs so much and I appreciated that. There are times when the less we know about certain things, the better off we are? But, after this night, she did ask me to help her? She put it more as helping Rollo than her… she swore he was in grave danger and would not take serious heed to warnings of Haraldson’s deceptions or his hatred of all Ragnar’s family.  I did not know what she thought I could do to help in this matter but she said that all I need to was make some excuse for her absence if any should ask after her? She was determined to meet with Rollo even though I did warn her that she was putting herself in equally grave danger? What if Haraldson should find out of this? Siggy shook this off and told me in confidence that those many were right about Rollo- he was too trusting, and too often believed people’s promises to him…

She arranged a meeting with him to warn him of the danger.

siggy and rollo meet secretly in a whare house

siggy and rollo meet secretly in a whare house

rollo believe me get away he hates you

rollo believe me get away he hates you

I've come to warn you

I’ve come to warn you

 

you must leave at once

you must leave at once

 

Her warning was in vain though, because as he made to leave, he was set upon by Haraldson’s men.

as he goes to leave he is set upon by haraldson's men

as he goes to leave he is set upon by haraldson’s men

Haraldson showed his truest hatred and seemed to take great relish in his torture of  Rollo?  I did never mention my thoughts on this to Siggy, but I think perhaps he knew something of Siggy’s involvement with Rollo and thus took even more revenge on the man?

I will admit to my small part in helping Siggy to find where Rollo was being kept… I was but a maid moving around the grounds and could more easily hear of things than she would be privy to? I think Haraldson did not trust her so much either now… I did help her into that room and then waited in shadows outside for her.  She was overcome with her grief, and guilt, I think at the treatment of him? I mention guilt because I do think  she knew in some way that this was far greater torture and punishment than called for on any level? Was it guilt because she did not warn him sooner, or was it guilt because she had in some way been a part of this? I do not know, for she never spoke of it after this.

beaten and tortured but not killed siggy sneaks in to see him

beaten and tortured but not killed siggy sneaks in to see him

Before I could warn her to leave, Earl Haraldson showed up and found her in the room with Rollo.

very suspicious now

Earl Haraldson is very suspicious of Siggy being in the room but chooses to say nothing of it

 

now a prisoner of haraldson

Siggy looks on in silence as Earl Haraldson approaches his prisoner.

siggy looks on as haraldson threatens more torture

siggy looks on as haraldson threatens more torture

where is ragnar lothbrok

where is ragnar lothbrok

Siggy kept her silent vigil as Haraldson continued to take his revenge on Rollo, asking him “Where is Ragnar Lothbrok?” It did no good to so continuously torture Rollo for he did not know!

rollo barely alive earl haraldson

Only a few knew of Ragnar and his family’s hiding place far up in the hills and woods at Floki’s home.  He had been close to death when young Bjorn searched for Floki and begged him to help. Helga was there with Floki and later told me the story of how Bjorn had shown up asking for help. They took the family in and hid them well with only those few closest to them ever knowing the truth.

desperately seeking floki bjorn meets Helga

I must speak with floki

I must speak with floki

what are you doing here boy My father is dying you must help us

Despite his disgust for the priest Athelstan, floki grudgingly admitted that there was some worth to him and all of them worked feverishly through the next weeks to keep Ragnar alive.

hidden away at floki's cabin ragnar heals.

hidden away at floki’s cabin ragnar heals.

During that time Athelstan learned much more about the Norse Gods as Floki and the others shared stories to help pass the time.

they tell athelstan stories about their gods how the water was made and how the ice came helga tells the story of how the earth was created

Athelstan could not hide his interest and his fascination with their stories…

athelstan is fascinated with the stories

Their peace and Ragnar’s healing was interrupted by Torstein’s arrival to tell them of Rollo’s capture and torture.

Torstien comes to warn of trap and of Rollo's torture

Torstein comes to warn of trap and of Rollo’s torture.

Ragnar was far from recovered of his wounds but decided that it was time to face Haraldson anyway and put end to the matter one way or another. Let the Gods decide on his fate in this battle…

 

tell me if he refuses

He sent Floki to  Kattegat with message and challenge Haraldson to a personal combat with him, making it clear that if Haraldson refuses then shame will stalk him forever and Odin will never allow him into his halls.

 

In Kattegat, Rollo’s life as well as the rest of ours hung on edge… Siggy must find some way to convince Earl Haraldson that Rollo meant naught to her, that she was as loyal and faithful as ever to the Earl and that she would stand with him no matter what.  She knew now exactly what her husband was capable of doing to any or all of us that he might view as traitors to his will and his cause. It only  Floki’s arrival and message from Ragnar that saved us all, that is my personal belief on it.

I must remind all who read this that despite the thought that the story is of  just Ragnar and his glories… it is not! It is so much more than just a telling of Ragnar Lothbrok’s life. Many often think only of Ragnar, of his deeds but I am here to tell the stories of those others like Rollo and Siggy along with others who often fell into the shadows of Ragnar’s larger than life exploits.  I must tell the story as I see it, as I know of it from the perspectives of all of those who shared in the events of his life, good and bad such as they were.

Siggy and Rollo, they are my friends and their stories matter just as much as Ragnar’s or anyone else’s.  Ragnar’s actions dragged all of us into this change of our world whether we should liked to have gone or not. Such is the case of Siggy and Rollo. In order to understand how they came to be who and what they are now to each other, we must see what happened to both of them in those early years to bring them together.

Despite what Siggy might have felt to Rollo at the time, she did love her husband once upon a time. She loved the man he used to be not the one he had become before the deaths of their sons, before the coldness and bitterness set in on him and the need for power and control at all costs took over his life and his mind. When Floki arrived that day with Ragnar’s challenge, I think that she feared the worst for us all no matter what the outcome? If her husband won, all those who might have sided with Ragnar or even been connected to him in the slightest of ways would see their own deaths as well as his. If Ragnar won? Well, if Ragnar won, her husband would die… and where would that leave her and her daughter, Thyri as well?  In those few days before the challenge she sought to find peace with herself and with her husband.

Floki arrived with his message, the challenge of personal combat to Earl Haraldson from Ragnar

floki delivers his message to haraldson

floki delivers his message to haraldson

The Earl’s henchman, Sven makes comment about how ridiculous this challenge is. Ragnar Lothbrok is nothing, a wanted man- how dare he think to issue such challenge to one such the Earl?

he has high opinion of self   Well he is a descendent of Odin

he has a high opinion of himself, doesn’t he? Well he is a descendent of Odin.

Floki tried to remain unphased and continued his speech about how bad it would look for the Earl to refuse such challenge?

others are moved by his speech

After some thought on it, the Earl agreed to this challenge, knowing it would be the death of either Ragnar or himself.

 

After the challenge was accepted, the worst fears and doubts were faced by all?

Haraldson prayed to his Gods but found no signs or answers…

 

 

haraldson praying to the gods

haraldson praying to the gods

give me a sign I can not feel your presence

give me a sign I can not feel your presence

Siggy watched on as the man that she had loved for so long gave up the fight before it had even begun.  In those darkest hours, she remembered who he had been and felt his pain. She stayed by him trying to comfort him, give him some peace and some strength to fight this battle for as I said, she feared what his loss would mean for her and Thyri… and she had loved him deeply once. It was those memories she held to as she tried to give him that courage, that warrior self that he was losing now.

siggy watches as he throw the idol down on the alter

siggy watches as he throw the idol down on the alter

It was during those hours that Haraldson admitted his respect, his honor of Ragnar Lothbrok. “He is what I used to be… ambitious, restless and he was right about the west. But, then I knew that in my heart.

He is what I used to be ambitious restless and he was right but I knew that in my heart

He is what I used to be ambitious restless and he was right but I knew that in my heart

He acknowledges, “Tomorrow I must kill a man for whom I have the utmost respect for.”

tomorrow I must kill a man for whom I have the utmost respect

tomorrow I must kill a man for whom I have the utmost respect

Siggy, at a loss for words, hands him back the locks of hair from their sons. in attempt to give him some added support and belief, she whispers, “Believe at least in them if not yourself that the Gods are with us.”

believe at least in them if not yourself that the gods are with us

believe at least in them if not yourself that the gods are with us

They passed the long night together and I do think that they both knew in their hearts that this was their closure, their goodbye to one another?

siggy and haraldson before the coming challenge

Thyri spent the night with her new husband and tried not to think of the future, or of the coming battle between her Father and Ragnar Lothbrok.

thyri and her new husband

thyri and her new husband

Her husband of course wanted to know more of this, of this man Ragnar Lothbrok but Thyri refused saying, “I do not talk of him, he is my Father’s enemy.”

who is this Ragnar everyone talks of  I don't talk about him he's my father's enemy

who is this Ragnar everyone talks of I don’t talk about him he’s my father’s enemy

 

Lagertha spent that night voicing her own fears…

savoring a few private moments before floki returns

savoring a few private moments before floki returns with the answer

Let us leave this place, go away from here. There are other places we can go to and live in peace…

let us go away there are other places we can live in peace

let us go away there are other places we can live in peace

 

Daylight came and everyone made ready for this final battle between two warriors, each for their own honor. For that is what it came down to, two men fighting for their personal honor. Two men, one who could not let go of the past and one who embraced the future. In the end, they honored and respected each other for in each other, they saw themselves.

the battle begins

the battle begins

In battle, they were well evenly matched and both fought honorably knowing that in this their final battle, an honorable death to one of them would be the only outcome.

they throw down their weapons and it's hand to hand combat the battle continues he loses his shield and haraldson throws his down too ragnar strikes from behind ragnar offers some comfort to the dying man Odin is here to take one of us  So I shall dine tonigh at the high table with Odin

At the end, Earl Haraldson lost the battle but Ragnar assured him of his well done fight and his journey to Valhalla.

ragnar helps his leaving come quicker

ragnar helps his leaving come quicker

Siggy’s worst fear had become reality. She kneeled next to her husband and made a last effort to save him

siggy tries to stop the leaving and blood letting but haraldson pushes her hand away he is ready to go

but he pushed her hand away and said, “Do not grieve, Tonight I shall be drinking with our boys”

tonight I shall be drinking with our boys

tonight I shall be drinking with our boys

As her husband died there in front of her, Siggy found her last strength…

his life fades away

She stepped back from her husband and loudly proclaimed her loyalty to Ragnar Lothbrok in a voice which demanded the respect of everyone else standing out there.

 

Hail Earl Ragnar

Do not tell me this did not take great courage on her part, as did her next action… a final action she took to save her daughter’s future. While everyone was standing there in stunned shock, she grabbed a knife and went to Thyri’s husband, Earl Bjarni, stabbing him to death.

before anyone realizes what she is up to Siggy grabs knife and stabs thyri's husband

before anyone realizes what she is up to Siggy grabs knife and stabs thyri’s husband

It was not until that act was completed that she walked away from the crowd in her own dazed shock.

in a daze she walks away from the crowd

in a daze she walks away from the crowd

The Earl’s henchman, who will forever live in my mind by the name of Piggy Henchman- I shall not honor him with his given name, he does not deserve that respect! He tried still to hold on to power after the Ear’s death, commanding the men to kill Ragnar.

piggy henchman attempts still to give orders

piggy henchman attempts still to give orders

pointing to ragnar he gives the order to Kill him

pointing to ragnar he gives the order to Kill him

Rollo calmly picked up an axe and finished the henchman’s miserable life!

rollo picks up an axe

rollo picks up an axe

attack on the henchman

attack on the henchman

At that end, he still thought there might be some chance? The man looked like he was debating on whether to pull the axe out or not?

an axe to his chest

an axe to his chest

 

For everyone in the village, this whole event became a blur of so much shock and change that it was difficult to sort it all out until much later. Suddenly in a matter of moments, Ragnar Lothbrok was now the Earl of Kattegat! All of the men immediately wanted to make their allegiance to him known, and be sure that there was no question or doubt about the event that had given him this honor. He was quickly swept into the Great Hall, in much of a stupor and daze himself.

still in some shock himself he looks dazed as he heads to the Earl's throne

still in some shock himself he looks dazed as he heads to the Earl’s throne

the men immediately swear their allegiance and fielty to him

the men immediately swear their allegiance and fielty to him

 

He tried to dissuade them all, saying there was no need as they were all his friends. They would not be argued with and insisted on this ritual. Then came an old man up to the throne, whom Ragnar did not know so he asked him his name and what his intent was?

the next time you go raiding you take me I am old I want to die in battle and enter valhalla with honor

the next time you go raiding you take me I am old I want to die in battle and enter valhalla with honor

 

give me the chance to die with honor in battle and join my companions

give me the chance to die with honor in battle and join my companions

The old man’s words were sincere and heartfelt, but Rollo was never one for tact or subtly made a less than honorable comment to the man. This was one of those time when many of us wanted to reach over and slap him for his unthinking remarks as Tostig took his oath of allegiance to Ragnar!

tostig steps forward to swear his oath

tostig steps forward to swear his oath

 

Rollo is blunt and has little tact at Tostig's oath of from this day forward he replies well it won't be too long then

Rollo is blunt and has little tact at Tostig’s oath of from this day forward he replies well it won’t be too long then

 

Later, Rollo made his own oath of allegiance and loyalty to his brother. Ragnar insisted there was no need because Rollo had already suffered greatly in showing his loyalty.

there's no need for you to swear you have already suffered and shown your loyalty

there’s no need for you to swear you have already suffered and shown your loyalty

Rollo is adamant about swearing his loyalty

never the less I will swear my oath to you brother

never the less I will swear my oath to you brother

Rollo speaks from his heart. He vows his loyalty, wishes Ragnar good fortune from the Gods and his last words are ones that he believes Ragnar will hold to? “I hope that we will ever be equal now, my brother”

I wish you good fortune always I hope the gods remain with us

I wish you good fortune always I hope the gods remain with us

I hope we will ever be equal now my brother

I hope we will ever be equal now my brother

Rollo speaks from his heart, and he thinks that his brother does as well? But, this was one of those moments when Siggy and many others were right… Rollo puts too much trust and faith in some, he still believed then that his brother would treat him as an equal in their relationship?

 

at rollo's words of equal Ragnar's look changes

at rollo’s words of equal Ragnar’s look changes

Rollo firmly believed that Ragnar would treat him as an equal, as a partner… When he came upon Siggie and Thyrie making plans to flee for their lives, he made a promise, a statement to Siggy that said as much.

Siggy and Thyri prepare to flee for their lives

Siggy and Thyri prepare to flee for their lives

Siggy was in a panic thinking that Rollo had come to do Ragnar’s bidding and put end to them as well.  After all, it was much a common practice… she was expecting such and was in a hurry to escape with Thyri.

have you come to kill us because Ragnar told you to  It is often the way the new Earl does

have you come to kill us because Ragnar told you to It is often the way the new Earl does

“Even if we don’t die, everyone will shun us like a bad smell nor take us in even though we have nowhere else to go”  Siggy had told me of this earlier and bade me go to Lagertha to swear my allegiance and offer my services to her.

even if we don't die everyone will shun us like a bad smell or take us in even though we have nowhere else to go   They won't

even if we don’t die everyone will shun us like a bad smell or take us in even though we have nowhere else to go They won’t

Rollo offered her his own protection and swore none would kill her or Thyri, much less Ragnar.

no one will force you to go anywhere if I vouch for you

no one will force you to go anywhere if I vouch for you

ragnar won't kill you

ragnar won’t kill you

Rollo believed he would hold equal status with Ragnar and offered marriage to Siggy… Thus began their long and complicated relationship!

would you not like to be married to another Earl  What do you mean who

would you not like to be married to another Earl What do you mean who

Of course, it must be said that this offer came after he realized that his wishful thinking of some future with Lagertha was just that… wishful thinking and nothing more. He had witnessed a moment between Ragnar and Lagertha where he knew that there was nothing between them save his unshared feelings for her.  That moment when Lagertha announced that she was carrying another child of Ragnar’s, Rollo’s pain at that was so visible. He could not hold his feeling within and so it was afterwards that he made his offer to Siggy.  If he could not have Lagertha, then he would have an Earl’s wife for his own…. Rollo and Siggy’s relationship began out of hurt and desperation on both their parts but they did come to care deeply for each other.

As they observe the death Lagertha announces her pregnancy rollo watches them walk away rollo looks on at the two of them together I know you're a boy the seer told me By all the Gods you have made me a happy man

Rollo and Siggy have a love that many do not understand… It was not born of fairy tales of childish dreams and fantasies. Their lives have been painful and oft filled with darkness. But, sometimes love is painful and it grows from those darkest and deepest cuts to the heart.

Rollo and siggy

 Siggy’s heart and soul were broken, Rollo gave her a way to go on, to come out of that darkness and reach for life again. Rollo’s heart and spirit were broken as well, and he was filled with doubt. Siggy gave him strength and purpose over the years to keep fighting the doubts, to be a better man. Theirs is a story of two troubled and broken people fighting from the ashes of life to survive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vikings: Past and future

 

 

Don’t forget to fight for your honor Shield Maidens!

girl power go girl two You go girl

Before we speak more of the past, let us take another look at the future?

Lagertha puts it very clearly and straight forward when Ragnar asks, “Is your Earldom really that important to you? Why?”  Lagertha answers simply and boldly, “Because it is mine!”

 

A sneak peek at season 3: conversation and meeting between Ragnar, Lagertha and King Ecbert!

http://player-services.goviral-content.com/video/18944

 

Vikings: Secrets of the Vikings: The Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok

And, from the journals of Athelstan, we find his thoughts on all of the events of the past?

Athelstan's book

Athelstan’s book

He speaks of many things, but for me his words on loyalty and honor have the most meaning and most clearly point out why I have for so long put my faith and my fate with that of Siggy and Rollo despite their many faults and flaws.

Vikings: Athelstan’s Journal: Loyalty

 

Vikings: Athelstan’s Journal: Honor

 

Athelstan spoke of  the importance of loyalty and honor, the many ways both of those attributes shape our personal lives and our destinies.  Our lives may be governed by the fates of Gods and destiny but it is up to us how we choose to follow that fate or destiny. We may end up at the same final place no matter what we do, but will that ending and that memory of our life be recalled with honor and loyalty or disgrace and betrayal? That is for us each to decide and to choose. In the end, it comes down to whether our life- our story is remembered at all and whether we are remembered well and worthy by our future generations.

I previously spoke of  the trial which would affect so many of us in different ways? It was not and end of things, but a beginning of  hard lessons, tests of loyalties and bitter betrayals which would result in a great change for our village.  I could go into great detail and depth on what happened but I shall try to keep to the most important parts of it.

Ragnar walked away from the trial knowing that he was not really a free man, there would be a high price for this acquittal of his honor and of Lagertha’s.  Rollo walked away knowing the same thing… his loyalty to family and his betrayal of Earl Haraldson would not go unpunished.

The Earl made many plans in a short time. His first act was to show Ragnar that he was still Earl, he was still in control.

It was fine day, one good for hunting and so Ragnar left the farmstead unattended to do jus that. It has been quiet and he was not expecting any reprisal or retribution from Haraldson, especially not the kind that would follow?

a day in the woods hunting

hunting to eat

The people of his farmstead were occupied with the daily chores of life and not expecting trouble…

even the family heir must work to eat here

even the family heir must work to eat here

Bjorn as well as the rest of the group were taken by surprise to see the Earl Haraldson calmly sitting upon his horse instructing his men to attack.

Bjorn looks up to see Earl Haraldson and his men arriving and attacking

Bjorn looks up to see Earl Haraldson and his men arriving and attacking

attacked by haraldson and his men

attacked by haraldson and his men

In all truth, no one ever expected the Earl to go to such violent and brutal lengths against those innocent villagers and workers who had no part in the feud between Ragnar and him other than to be a part of Ragnar’s farmstead. I do not think that even Siggy knew how deeply and cruelly her husband’s mind was turning? She would soon have her own fears to contend with on that path his mind was taking.

a surprise attack on peaceful villagers

a surprise attack on peaceful villagers

 

running in fear for their lives from their own leader

running in fear for their lives from their own leader

Ragnar arrived home to find his farm and his family under attack.

 

arriving to find his family and farmstead under attack

He managed somehow to get to the questionable safety of his house and found his family alive. Although he had been seriously wounded getting there, his first thought was of how to get his family out of this attack safely? Bjorn of course argued that he would stay with his Father but Ragnar would hear none of it and pushed the boy down a ladder to escape. They made their way to the boat and were able to watch from a distance as the farmstead was burned and everything they owned destroyed.

watching from the boat watching the house burn

With his family safely escaped to the boat, Ragnar was taken by the Earl.

on his knees before haraldson

on his knees before haraldson

 

What do you say now Ragnar Lodbrok?  I am Earl here and I control everything, even you!

What do you say now Ragnar Lodbrok? I am Earl here and I control everything, even you!

Ragnar accepted his fate and asked for one last moment to pray to his Gods…

I accept my fate let me speak with my gods

He prayed for strength and his Gods listened because as he so oft reminds everyone, the Gods favor him!

The gods are with him he finds his strength manages his own escape

He did escape and did fine until he ran out of space to run? He eventually came to a cliff with certain death on both sides of him. His family looked on in horror from the boat at his choice.

one of those I am going to die any way I will take my chance with the fall

Ragnar faces one of those, I am going to die any way – I will take my chance with the fall, moments!

the leap the shock

The men assume that no one could survive the fall and give him up as dead.

his followers catch up with him and he has one choice left

The family held their breath and prayed for some sign of survival.

can you see him

Athelstan showed his courage and his devotion to this family that day by diving in and saving Ragnar’s life.  It would forever change how he was looked upon in this village!

athelstan dives in after him  Where are they athelstan saves his life  Is he dead

He did survive and was eventually taken to Floki’s home where it would take many weeks for him to recover in hiding from Haraldson.

During this time the Earl was making many other plans which would have dire impact on so many. He of course did not believe that Ragnar was dead, but he could not prove it either way? He also wanted to know where Ragnar’s family had disappeared to… he thought this all too suspicious to let go of? And, he had one more matter of revenge to settle… that was with Rollo. Rollo was continuously followed and harassed by Haraldson’s men for the assumption that he must know something of his brother’s fate and that of his family. He was also being watched by someone else who had her own interests in his survival?

It was during this time too that Haraldson made a decision about his daughter’s future fate, without consulting his wife Siggy. Siggy took this decision as a betrayal from him and even though she professed to understand his later reasons, I do not think she ever did forgive him for the act. It hurt her deeply that this man whom she had once loved, had been ever loyal to would keep such secrets from her. I do think that one of the worst parts of those secrets were the ones which surrounded the death of her sons. He chose to keep this from her for all of those years, and had kept the remaining remnants of their lives, their existence from her as well. As if he were the only one who cared for them, as if he were the only one to hurt so deeply from their loss…

First, he chose a husband for Thyri,  an old, ugly fat Swede for their young daughter… did he care so little for their own daughter as to marry her off to such a man? Was his daughter nothing more to him than bags of silver and land that they did not need? His response to Siggy’s outrage said everything, “I stopped caring about anything when our sons died!”

young thyri's future husband

young thyri’s future husband

why is he here what does he want

why is he here? what does he want?

why would we want to know each other better

why would we want to know each other better

too shocked for words

too shocked for words

siggy too upset to speak

siggy too upset to speak

thyri3

After Haraldson’s announcement of this marriage, Siggy could not keep silent her thoughts!

you told me nothing you've treated me with utter contempt you don't care about any of us

you told me nothing you’ve treated me with utter contempt you don’t care about any of us

I care for her security and her future and ours

I care for her security and her future and ours

 

this marriage will bring us land and important alliances he is cousin to king horik

this marriage will bring us land and important alliances he is cousin to king horik

what do you say thyri  Thank  you

how could you don't you care for her happiness  He will give us 20 pounds of silver for her

how could you? don’t you care for her happiness? He will give us 20 pounds of silver for her…Is that all she is worth to you, all we are worth?

Haraldson admits to Siggy that he stopped caring about such things as happiness when their sons died.

I stopped caring about anything when our boys died

I stopped caring about anything when our boys died

He then shared the secret of how they were killed and buried in such a blatent disrespect to him and how it was a clear message to him that there would always be those who would seek to destroy him. He shared with her too, finally, the locks of their hair which he had kept for long and not allowed her to see.

Haraldson shows siggy the locks of their sons hair

Haraldson shows siggy the locks of their sons hair

they were my sons I bore them I raised them I loved them just as I loved you once

they were my sons I bore them I raised them I loved them just as I loved you once

I think for Siggy, this secret was the most hurtful and deepest of  pain and betrayal which she ever felt? For him to hold on to these few precious memories of their sons for himself cut her heart in the worst possible way. That he assumed his own grief and suffering were more than hers was more than she could take and it did break something within her heart for she had truly cared for and loved this man. And, now she must try to accept that his actions and the feelings of revolt and vengeance on the part of those who hated him would continue to put them all in danger, so much so that she must sacrifice her daughter’s happiness and go along with this marriage just to see Thyri safe away from this place.

You see when you have such knowledge being married to a rich old man isn't so bad

You see when you have such knowledge being married to a rich old man isn’t so bad

 

Believe me when I say that this was one wedding that most of us would have preferred not to attend! All of our hearts went out to poor Thyri even if most did not know the truest of reasons for such a deplorable and disgusting arrangement!

thyri's wedding

thyri’s wedding

Siggy tries to console Thyri

Siggy tries to console Thyri

the happy and excited groom

Nooo I can not pretend I can not smile about this  Neither can I.

Nooo I can not pretend I can not smile about this Neither can I.

just go on and remember to look happy

We all made attempt to pretend happiness for the couple but it was so difficult and took much mead on everyone’s part!

advice from Mother  stay calm pretend to be happy

advice from Mother stay calm pretend to be happy

thyri's wedding night

thyri’s wedding night

Then there came a surprise guest to the feast and we all held breath in fear that blood would be spilled?

a surprise guest at the wedding

a surprise guest at the wedding

 

Siggy looked on in great worry...

Siggy looked on in great worry…

Rollo took it upon himself to attend the wedding feast for Thyri!

rollo shows up at the wedding feast

rollo shows up at the wedding feast

Fortunately, the feast was not marred by bloodshed as well as disgust… Earl Haraldson and Rollo made attempt to be somewhat civil for the time being?

I don't remember inviting you  Oh I assumed you had just forgotten to

I don’t remember inviting you Oh I assumed you had just forgotten to

that could have been you dancing with my daughter.  Well I had to think about it...

that could have been you dancing with my daughter. Well I had to think about it…

I guess was not fated to marry her!

I guess was not fated to marry her!

That attempt at civility would not last long as we will find out soon!

To be continued….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vikings: Rollo needs a bigger boat!

 

As I think back to when I first began my journey to the past, I am reminded of  dear Mrs. Graham… I do hope she is doing well. I have been here in the past for such a long time now and much of the time, I am so caught up in trying to survive in this world that I forget I was sent here originally on a investigative and fact finding mission for Mrs. Graham and her associates at Crag na dun Time Tours.  In the beginning, I tried hard to follow their directives and guidelines- such as remaining a distant and wholly objective observer? That may have been fine and feasible had I been able to stick to our plan of only being here for a short time… Because of the events that took place early on with Earl Haraldson and then so many other events, I felt it my obligation and duty to remain here and follow what ever path this place sets before me.  I found it impossible not be caught up in the lives of these people and could not stand aside and just watch them suffer! I made my choice to remain here and live my life with these people that history may have told the wrong stories about or forgotten entirely. I only hope that I do nothing to change the course of the future too much- I do not foresee that happening as I am but a small part of this time and place… an unknown woman with little power to change or influence anyone’s destiny! I just try to go on with my life as best I can now. I am happy here for the most part, and like many of the other travelers, I find myself more content and at peace here despite all of the difficulties I face on a daily basis.

I am ever thankful to Mrs. Graham and Crag na dun Time Tours for this opportunity and I now believe that it was my destiny to follow this path.  I shall never again mock or ridicule her Tea leaf readings nor her palm readings! I can only hope to repay her by documenting my journey and I pray that someday it will all arrive safely back into her hands to be shared in the future!

craigh_na_dun_time tours

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/crag-na-dun-time-tours-update/

tea leaf reading2

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/mrs-graham-tells-my-fortune/

Mrs graham demonstrates tea leaf reading

As I mentioned, I found it impossible not to become involved with these people and care about what happens to them. I do remember one of her most specific directives for me… It was not so much to follow Ragnar Lodbrok but to find out more about his brother, Rollo?  Of course, in our version of history as we know it- Rollo was a great warrior and ancestor of  King William I or William the Conqueror.  What I was to do was find out more about this Rollo brother of Ragnar Lodbrok and see if there is any correlation or connection between the two?

I took this directive quite seriously, and even if I have not been able to comply with any of their other directives, I am determined to carry through on this particular one as it feels so important to do so? I will write much more about this man, Rollo in the future as he has become such an integral part of my life here. first and foremost, I must caution that Rollo Lodbrok may be a great warrior, but as Lagertha once commented, not so great a man at times?

you're too great a warrior but perhaps not so great a man

you’re too great a warrior but perhaps not so great a man

He has made more than his share of mistakes from the very beginning and often I become so frustrated with him that I should like to kick him senseless and give up on him completely. He is stubborn, short tempered and many times acts before he thinks of the consequences! But, despite these flaws, I am constantly drawn back to him and feel that some where deep within him, there is greatness and worth… my loyalties and my heart will forever be with him and I will follow where ever his path leads. Yes, there are untold times when I question his actions and my sanity for such a fierce loyalty to him?  I often find myself questioning, much as he does himself, whether he is truly worthy? But, then I see how he beats himself up so well that there is no point in the rest of us beating up on him as well? I leave that action to Siggy… she is so good at it, and she seems to able to get through to him when the rest of us can not! 

siggy and rollo

I will share more of the story between Siggy and Rollo later. I do not begrudge her actions, or his involvement with her. After the terrors that we all have faced over the past few years, I understand and accept that we all do what ever we must to survive and live to fight another day. We have all made our share of mistakes and must live with the consequences.

I swore my loyalties and my allegiance to Rollo whether that be right or wrong, it is done and I will abide by it for I made my oath with clear conscience. I asked him only one thing… I will follow him anywhere and I will wait patiently for him to become the man I know he is destined to be, but he must put more thought into his plans for the future and cease to act before thinking? He must think ahead and plan his actions more carefully… an example of this is when he told me that we would sail to France?

Rollo needs a bigger boat

I had to remind him to please think his plans through more thoroughly and not act quite so hastily! Just because he wants to be his own man is no reason to act foolishly… I had to state the fact that it would be far better to take advantage of  a plan that involves Ragnar and much bigger, better equipped ships?

rollo2

Do not act so rashly, think ahead to your future and you will become a man of great worth, Rollo!

rollo5

 

Vikings: The Early days in Kattegat

Previous Vikings post:  https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/viking-saga-the-beginnings/

mrs graham3

To Mrs. Graham of Crag na dun Time Travels,

My dear Mrs. Graham, I am writing this short message for you and sending it along with those travelers returning to your time. I will continue to update you in this way for as long as possible. If anything should happen to me along this journey, I am sure that the group will make every effort to inform you as quickly as they can. I am reasonably settled for now in the household of Earl Haraldson and his wife, Siggy. I am not at all sure whether it is really such a good place to be but for the time being it is relatively safe and I am comfortable. I have met a young woman named Helga, who is helping me to fit in here and make the acquaintances that are necessary for our research. Your associate, Gunnar has been a great help as well, though I sometimes think he doubts my ability to handle this assignment. Young Helga seems doubtful too, about my abilities? She does not think I am quite capable of training to become a shield maiden, or a farm help… or much other help, I fear. She has advised that I remain within the Earl’s household for now and learn what I can there? I do think that she and some others, of whom- I am not sure yet, are using this to their advantage so as to know more about what goes on with the Earl and his wife? It seems there are many here who are not so fond of their overlord and do not trust him. I understand their misgivings, as I do not truly trust him either, nor do I entirely trust his wife, Siggy. But, so far, she has treated me well so I can not fault her for that.

Vikings episode one recap:

I am lucky that  Gunnar was able to provide good reference and status for me to enter this household and be more of maid and some time companion to Siggy and her daughter, Thyri. They are often busy with their own activities and have no need of me so I do have some free time.

Thyri, daughter of Earl Haraldson and Siggy

Thyri, daughter of Earl Haraldson and Siggy

Siggy and daughter

Siggy and daughter

Right now it is quiet here. The men of the village have returned from their summer raids to the east in the Baltic areas. They were successful but do not bring back as much as Earl Haraldson had hoped for. The men complain that this is because those areas are poorer and poorer each year and there is little left to raid for. It will all be discussed at the soon coming Thing.

Thing:

In the pre-Christian clan-culture of Scandinavia the members of a clan were obliged to avenge injuries against their dead and mutilated relatives. A balancing structure was necessary to reduce tribal feuds and avoid social disorder. It is known from North-Germanic cultures that the balancing institution was the thing, although similar assemblies are reported also from other Germanic peoples and others.

The thing was the assembly of the free men of a country, province or a hundred (hundare/härad/herred). There were consequently hierarchies of things, so that the local things were represented at the higher-level thing, for a province or land. At the thing, disputes were solved and political decisions were made. The place for the thing was often also the place for public religious rites and for commerce.

The thing met at regular intervals, legislated, elected chieftains and kings, and judged according to the law, which was memorized and recited by the “law speaker” (the judge). The thing’s negotiations were presided over by the law speaker and the chieftain or the king. In reality the thing was dominated by the most influential members of the community, the heads of clans and wealthy families, but in theory one-man one-vote was the rule.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thing_(assembly)

Everyone is busy planning for this gathering and there is not much for me to do as Siggy is well competent and skilled in her handlings of such gatherings. She gave me leave to spend some time with Helga to visit the area families and farms.  I have had chance now to meet the family which you are so interested in. Ragnar Lodbrok and his brother Rollo have returned from their raiding. Ragnar is a farmer when he is at home. He lives up in the hills with his wife, Lagertha and their two children, Gyda and Bjorn. They seem like a nice enough young family?

young bjorn with mother and sister vikings_gallery8_3-P

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I have made the trip up to their farm a few times now, and I begin to wonder how happy they really are? Ragnar does not seem content or helpful as a farmer… He is most often off wandering through the woods and visiting others, leaving most of the farm work to Lagertha and the children. Lagertha is busy trying to look after the children and the farm, and often she does not seem all that happy either? There is talk that she used to be an honored and fierce fighting shield maiden but now she is tied down to the farm while her husband continues to go off on raids. From some her comments, I gather that Lagertha would much prefer to be raiding and adventuring with the men! I am sure that she loves her children and is willing to give up anything for them but I think that she must feel much frustration and disappointment with the path her life is on right now. To have given up her previous life as a warrior to settle as farm wife is not how I think she envisioned her life’s path…

Shieldmaiden: A shieldmaiden (Old Norse: skjaldmær, Danish: skjoldmø, Norwegian: skjoldmøy, Swedish: sköldmö, German: Schildmaid) was a woman who had chosen to fight as a warrior in Scandinavian folklore and mythology. They are often mentioned in sagas such as Hervarar saga and in Gesta Danorum. Shieldmaidens also appear in stories of other Germanic nations: Goths, Cimbri, and Marcomanni.  The mythical Valkyries may have been based on the shieldmaidens.  The existence of shieldmaidens is heavily debated but scholars like writer Lars Magnar Enoksen and scholar Britt-Mari Näsström  argue evidence for their existence, while scholar Judith Jesch disagrees citing lack of hard evidence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shieldmaiden

Lagertha shieldmaiden

Lagertha:

Lagertha was, according to legend, a Viking shieldmaiden from what is now Norway, and the onetime wife of the famous Viking Ragnar Lodbrok. Her tale, as recorded by the chronicler Saxo in the 12th century, may be a reflection of tales about Þorgerðr Hölgabrúðr, a Norse deity.

Her name as recorded by Saxo, Lathgertha, is likely a Latinization of the Old Norse Hlaðgerðr (Hladgerd).  It is frequently rendered in English-language sources as “Lagertha”, and has also been recorded as Ladgertha, Ladgerda or similar.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagertha

640px-Lathgertha_by_Morris_Meredith_Williams

Lathgertha_by_Morris_Meredith_Williams

 

 

 

Young Bjorn is caught in the middle of his parents frustrations and quarrels, tries to play the peacemaker, and is impatient to be grown! Gyda, the daughter is a quiet girl who wants to please her family in any way possible. She is a sweet girl and loved by all of her family.

As I mentioned, neither Ragnar or Lagertha seem all that happy with their current situation, though they by all rights should be? They have a nice solid farmstead, a piece of land of their own- which many do not have. They have been blessed with two fine children, life should be good for them… they should be happy and content with what they have. They are both stubborn,  fiercely prideful and frustrated with their lives. Their quarrels are as fierce as they are and often young Bjorn is literally stuck in the middle, trying to keep the peace!

Bjorn tries to break up the fight

Bjorn tries to break up the fight

Bjorn in the middle of the fight

Bjorn in the middle of the fight

This family and household does not seem to be quite as happy as it appear on the surface?

There is also something else going on in this home… something that has to do with brother Rollo?  Rollo is as stubborn and fiercely prideful as Ragnar and Lagertha, and it turns out that he also has some not so brother-in-law type of feelings for Lagertha. There is some reference to the past and to Lagertha’s time as mighty shield maiden, as well as a hint that there may have been some sort of relationship or what ever one might want to call it, between Rollo and Lagertha in the past? Rollo still harbors feelings for her and Lagertha makes it clear that there is nothing going to happen again between them.

rollo and lagertha2 rollo's response to lagertha

you're too great a warrior but perhaps not so great a man

you’re too great a warrior but perhaps not so great a man

Lagertha’s last comment to Rollo definitely stung his pride! Yes, there is certainly some sort of turmoil going on in this family!

Lagertha is also upset with Ragnar because he is taking Bjorn to the Thing this year to have his manhood ceremony. She thinks he is too young and can wait another year for it, but Ragnar pays her no mind and takes the boy anyway. She must have been very upset because she did not go down to the village for the event!

Bjorn receives his arm band and becomes a man!

Bjorn's manhood ceremony

Besides the manhood ceremony- which was of course a highlight of the gathering, at least for Bjorn, there was then serious discussion about the raids for the next year. Ragnar got himself into much trouble with suggesting that they try going west instead of east? He went into a lengthy explanation of what he had heard about lands in the west and was scorned, and also warned by Earl Haraldson, who wanted to hear none of such nonsense!

you are a farmer you should be content

you are a farmer you should be content

Earl Haraldson warns Ragnar in very clear terms that he will do as he is told… You are a farmer, you should be content. He suggests that should Ragnar not follow his orders, that piece of land that he owns could easily go to someone who is loyal and obedient to him!

Ragnar, being the stubborn one that he was, was not dissuaded by Earl Haraldson’s threats. He set about a plan to do things his own way and prove Earl Haraldson wrong…

I must confess here that I have concerns about a few things that Ragnar had in his possession? He stated that he received them from a traveling wanderer, and I have to wonder if one our travelers set in motion this whole event? Could he have received these two very important and very curious items from someone in our time traveling group?

Ragnar had two very mysterious and curious objects which he felt would help them easily navigate their way to those lands he had heard of in the west.

A water compass: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/26/viking-compass-medieval-mariners-navigate-sunset_n_5036240.html

all signs point to land

 

And, the second item, a sun stone… which Rollo was even more skeptical about than the water compass!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunstone_(medieval)

sun stone sun stone at work

Lagertha’s initial response to Ragnar’s idea….

Ragnar and the rock3

Ragnar was determined that these items and one other thing would be their key to getting to that new land. The other thing was a new and different type of boat that his friend, Floki was building. Where did Floki get his ideas for this new kind of boat? He said it came from the Gods as visions, but there were times when Floki didn’t seem as sure about his boat idea as he had insisted in the beginning? Could one of our travelers have influenced this strange man as well?

floki and bjorn I joke about many things but never about ship building

floki and bjorn: I joke about many things but never about ship building!

Ragnar took all of his earnings from the year’s raiding and sank it into this boat building scheme… He put his trust in those two odd items from a wanderer and strange visions from a strange man! He planned a secret trip to this new land and convinced some of his friends to go along on the promise that they would split the rewards evenly between them.

Floki built his boat, then was amazed that it actually worked!

sucess with the boat testing the boat

The group eventually set sail for this adventure thinking that no one would find out? Really, Ragnar… this is a very small village, when half the men suddenly go missing for a length of time, of course people are going to know about it! Earl Haraldson is not too concerned however, because he says that will most likely be the last they ever see of those foolish men!

setting sail from kattegat bay

They set sail and Floki is still continuously amazed and shocked that his boat is sailing and not sinking. It’s a long journey into the unknown and everyone has their doubts about the compass and the sun stone working, about whether they will survive the ocean and the storms to see a new land! One thing was certain… Floki loved his boat! Even in the worst of the storms when they thought they might not survive…

floki loves his boat floki flies

All of floki’s previous doubts and panic over the boat’s sea worthiness were forgotten and he insisted that Thor was just celebrating the building of this boat by proving it’s sea worthiness! He even forgot that he could not swim!

Floki sit down remember you can't swim

Floki sit down remember you can’t swim

 

After the storm and the darkness…

ship in the mist first sight of the western land

There was land, a new uncharted land on which a Viking Storm was about to land!

 

storm2 an unseen storm in the mist

I must close this message for now but wanted you to know of my concerns about whether one of our traveler’s may have inadvertently… or worse, purposely influenced and changed the course of history? We may never know but I feel  it is important to share this deep concern with you and I do feel it warrants further investigation on your part. There is little we can do about it now, the course of history has been sent down this path whether by our hands or by the hands of fate. I feel great changes are coming to this small village of Kattegat and I am in the middle of it. I have not time to go into all of the details of what has been taking place but have just given you the most important facts relating to it. I do have one other concern that troubles me greatly with all of this turmoil taking place around me.

This Earl Haraldson who is the overlord and Chieftain  of Kattegat… he is, I believe, a very troubled man who is struggling to hold on to power in the midst of all of these changes to his small world. It is said that he was once a great Warrior, honored and respected but that has changed in recent years due to a horrific event. I am only mentioning this because it is one of those events that is still somewhat of a mystery and I believe it will haunt both the Earl and his wife, Siggy until their deaths. The Earl and Siggy had two other children, two sons who were brutally murdered/ assassinated in a style of direct disrespect toward their Father. Their heads were cut off, place against their backsides and they were left in a shallow grave. The murderers were never found. The Earl buried them humanely, kept locks of their hair as memory, then turned bitter angry and distrustful of everyone. He is now a grim and cruel man who sees enemies behind every corner. Siggy does her best, what ever is necessary to keep his wrath and anger at bay. She speaks little of this tragedy but it is obvious that she holds deep pain over the loss and it will affect her in many ways for the rest of her life. She holds close to her remaining daughter, Thyri. I believe that she will go to any length or level she feels necessary to protect this last child of hers. I worry  in these difficult and dangerous times for women, should anything ever happen to Thyri, how will Siggy cope with such another loss? I find that while I do not necessarily trust Siggy, I do like her. I hope that she will one day find some peace in her life and perhaps some true happiness? I should not like to see her become as bitter and vengeful as her husband has become, but often I can see her mind going down that path…

Siggy with Earl Haroldson

As I have mentioned, this is a very troubling time here in Kattegat and I fear it will only get worse. I believe we are all in some grave danger here as the tides and the times change. I will try to keep you updated as much as possible. Hopefully we will be able to remain here and not have to flee for our lives should things take a turn for the worse. My messenger is well trusted and will deliver this letter to you personally. Due to the serious contents and concerns I am sharing, I am sure that you would agree it best for it not to be sent to the public agency.