The Last Viking Returns

Erik the Red


Famous Vikings.   Erik the Red.

Eric the Red named his son Leif (Leaf?) Erikson.  He was obviously some sort of New-Age Viking Hippy, and he and his wives probably called their other children Sky, Moon Unit, Tweezle and Tree.

In reality, Erik and his wives Thorhild and Thorbjarga had three boys and they were really called Leif, Thorvald and Thorstein and a daughter, Freydis. Leif married a woman named Thorgunna, and they had one son, Thorkell Leifsson. And I’m thor in the head just thinking about all that.

Eric the Red was born in Norway around 950AD but grew up in Iceland after his father was declared an outlaw for manslaughter, and had to move away, no doubt in a great big hurry.

Eric the Red also got into a great deal of trouble for killing people, but because the electric chair or gas chamber hadn’t yet been invented, instead, he was banished, or bani-shed as Shakespeare says it, for three years. In 982AD, with his family, he loaded up his longship and sailed west into the unknown, where, no doubt to his immense relief, he eventually discovered Greenland. He settled there and although it was covered in ice and snow, and should have more properly been called Whiteland, he mis-named it that so it would sound more appealing than it actually was, so as to attract investors and settlers. (Nothing much changes, does it, developers of Forest Lakes Estate,where there has never been a forest nor a lake? )

Colonists flocked to Greenland to escape famine in Iceland and eventually the settlement around the fjords grew to about 5000 people and prospered, making Eric very rich and successful. He named the town Brattahlid, probably after his kids.  He also proclaimed himself paramount chieftain and carried on like he imagined Norse Gods did.

However, as with all good tales, karma, or a mother’s curse, eventually got him and he died of disease in 1002AD after one shipload of new colonists arrived carrying an epidemic. You have to watch out for that karma, it can be deadly. If  karma doesn’t get you then the curse of a  grieving Icelandic mother of someone you killed just might.

In spite of the disease ravishing the colony, it survived for another 500 years without Erik until fights with the Inuit, pirates and a mini ice-age made the bleak, isolated settlement  on the very edge of the world even more unpleasant that it must have been. Brrrr.


Author: normanjorgensen

I'm an Australian writer of books for kids and teenagers. I like traveling and seeing the world, especially through the the lens of my camera. I'm addicted to old movies, red wine and books and decent music.

15 thoughts on “Erik the Red

  1. THis is fabulous James, well done, I will send it out to friends. Amazing use of the internet.

  2. I’m feeling for Erik’s folk and that mini ice age about now.

  3. Hi Lynley,
    I thought we were well on our way to another ice age this week. At least you can sleep in on the coldest mornings for another week. xN

  4. I loved reading this Norman, it has your wonderful humour as I know it … and its just
    a delight, compliments .. and thanks for the link, Bev.

  5. Hmmm. I am learning lots from this blog! Vikings seemed more like a boy thing, so never took much notice. Were there any Viqueens? Mr Erikson was interesting. Can’t wait to hear about Mr Sony. That’s all the bad jokes I can muster for now. Keep it up 🙂

  6. Looking forward to seeing the book – until then continue my education 🙂

  7. Of course you know that we celebrate Leif Erikson Day in NJ every year. Now can I win my 10 books?

    • Leif Erikson Day in NJ ? What a great idea. And what great initials for a state.

      We can’t rig the selection of the prize so you definately win until the 30th, but so far you are the most deserving, except for Caz Williams (above) and her Viqueens. That was pretty funny, you must admit.

      How much more frightening would Ned Kelly have looked with horns on his bucket helmet? I can see it now. What a great image. xN

  8. Great blog!
    Love the artwork!!!!
    looking forward to the book.

  9. My last name is espling my family is Swedish were my ancestors vikings? It would explain my personality a lot

  10. Glad you like it, WD in La. Our contact details are in the About section or you can email me at
    Cheers, Norman

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