A Viking King Chose to be Buried Alive Instead of Surrendering

Stories about Viking kings are always interesting to hear and read. While every tale might be different from each other, there’s no denying that we’d like to learn more about these tales no matter if the outcome was positive or negative. In today’s article, we’ll share with you a tale about a Viking King who chose to be buried alive instead of surrendering.                            

The Act of Surrender       

Around 871 AD, a strong willed king named Herlaug from the Namdalen district in Central Norway chose to be buried alive. Instead of surrendering and bowing down to King Herald Fairhair, this brave king decided to be buried alive on Leka island. 

At that time he knew that he only had two options (either to give up his power or flee) and he chose the latter because deep down he knew that they wouldn’t win the battle against the warriors of King Herald Fairhair. 

After choosing his fate, his 11 warriors were said to be the ones who accompanied and walked with him into the burial mound. Some believed that his warriors were also buried at that time. 

But even though King Herlaug chose to die, his other brother King Rollaug didn’t. Instead, he chose to live and serve King Herald Fairhair who later became Norway’s ruler from 872 to 930 AD. And since King Rollaug surrendered, he only became an Earl of the Namdalen district. However, despite having a lower position, this particular position was still considered high and noble back in the day.     

There you have it. Even though they were brothers, King Herlaug and King Rollaug had different mindset and characteristics. While one of them chose to be buried alive instead of surrendering his power, the other one chose to give up his power and decided that he’d rather serve King Herald Farhair than die. 

Now the question is.. If you were in their shoes, would you choose to die as a King or choose to give up your position and settle for a lower position in society?         



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