This chapter focuses on Heimskringla’s elaborate story of Guthorm, Harald Fairhair’s “kinsman” (frændi) and matrilineal uncle who demonstrated undying support and affection for the Norwegian king. One version of Fagrskinna describes Guthorm as the son of Dag the Wise, a “powerful chief ”in Haðaland. This chapter looks at Guthorm’s extreme loyalty that served to characterize the ideal relation between military and political authority, together with his participation in all of the king’s military campaigns. It also considers the authorship of Egil’s Saga and Heimskringla, both believed to have been written by Snorri Sturluson (1178–1241).
Keywords: military, Heimskringla, Guthorm, Harald Fairhair, Fagrskinna, political authority, military campaigns, authorship, Egil’s Saga, Snorri Sturluson