The Chronicle of The Kings of Norway

by Snorri Sturlson | c.1179-1241 | 320,198 words

The "Heimskringla" of Snorri Sturlason is a collection of sagas concerning the various rulers of Norway, from about A.D. 850 to the year A.D. 1177....

Part 13 - Of The Murder Of Harek Of Thjotta

Harek of Thjotta sat at home on his farm, till King Magnus Olafson came to the country and was made king. Then Harek went south to Throndhjem to King Magnus. At that time Asmund Grankelson was in the king's house.

When Harek came to Nidaros, and landed out of the ship, Asmund was standing with the king in the gallery outside the loft, and both the king and Asmund knew Harek when they saw him.


says Asmund to the king,

"I will pay Harek for my father's murder."

He had in his hand a little thin hatchet.

The king looked at him, and said,

"Rather take this axe of mine."

It was thick, and made like a club.

"Thou must know, Asmund,"

added he,

"that there are hard bones in the old fellow."

Asmund took the axe, went down, and through the house, and when he came down to the cross-road Harek and his men coming up met him. Asmund struck Harek on the head, so that the axe penetrated to the brains; and that was Harek's death-wound. Asmund turned back directly to the king's house, and the whole edge of the axe was turned with the blow.

Then said the king,

"What would thy axe have done, for even this one, I think, is spoilt?"

King Magnus afterwards gave him a fief and office in Halogaland, and many are the tales about the strife between Asmund and Harek's sons.

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