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This node is a merge of the three nodes I had, covering the Norwegian monarchs. If any of these kings are already noded, please /msg me, so I can hardlink them properly.

Although many people claimed to be "king" before the first person on this list, Harald Hårfagre is the person credited for having brought Norway together as one nation. Before this, historians think of the title "king" as meaning "chieftain" or "leader".

Note: The observant reader may see that these dates (especially the early ones) don't match the ones in aneurin's writeup. The trouble is that these early dates have a lot of uncertainty associated with them, so different sources may not agree.

"Old" Norwegian Kings
                                    	                             Nickname
Name                                    Period                   in English
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Harald I Hårfagre                        865- 932                "Fair hair"
Eirik I Blodøks                          932- 935                "Bloodaxe"
Håkon I den Gode                         935- 961                "The Good"
Harald II Gråfell                        961- 976                "Gray hide"
Håkon Sigurdsson Ladejarl                976- 995
Harald Gudrødsson Grenske                976- 987
Olav I Tryggvason                        995-1000
Eirik Håkonsson Ladejarl                1000-1012
Håkon Eiriksson jarl                    1012-1015 and 1028-1029
Olav II den Hellige                     1015-1028                "The Holy"
Knut den Mektige                        1028-1035                "The Powerful"
Svein Alfivuson                         1030-1035
Magnus I den Gode                       1035-1047                "The Good"
Harald III Hardråde                     1046-1066                "Firm Rule"
Magnus Haraldsson                       1066-1069
Olav III Kyrre                          1067-1093                "The Peaceful"
Magnus II Barfot                        1093-1103                "Barefoot"
Olav Magnusson                          1103-1115
Øystein I                               1103-1123
Sigurd I Jorsalfar                      1103-1130                "Travelling to Jerusalem"
Magnus III den Blinde                   1130-1139                "The Blind"
Harald IV Gille                         1130-1136                ?
Inge I Krokrygg                         1136-1161                "Crooked Back"
Sigurd II Munn                          1136-1155                "Mouth"
Øystein II                              1142-1157
Magnus Haraldsson                       1142-1145
Håkon II Herdebrei                      1157-1162                ?
Magnus IV                               1161-1184
Sverre I Sigurdsson                     1184-1202
Håkon III Sverresson                    1202-1204
Inge II Bårdsson                        1204-1217
Filippus Simonsson                      1207-1217
Skule Bårdsson                          1217-1240
Håkon IV Håkonsson                      1223-1263
Magnus V Lagabøte                       1263-1280                "Making Laws"
Erik II Magnusson                       1280-1299
Håkon V Magnusson                       1299-1319
Magnus VI Eriksson Smek                 1319-1355
Håkon VI Magnusson                      1355-1380
Olav IV Håkonson                        1380-1387

Håkon was given the hand of Danish princess Margreta when he was 25. Their son, Olav, became king of Denmark. With Håkon's death in 1380, followed by the death of Olav in 1387, Margreta became the ruler of both Denmark and Norway. See Kalmar Union for more details on the events around this period.

Monarchs of Denmark-Norway1

Name	                               Period
---------------------------------------------------
Margreta                                1388-1412
Erik av Pommern                         1389-1442
Kristoffer av Bayern                    1442-1448
Karl Knutsson                           1449-1450
Kristian I                              1449-1481
Hans                                    1483-1513
Kristian II                             1513-1523
Fredrik I                               1524-1533
Kristian III                            1537-1559
Fredrik II                              1559-1588
Kristian IV                             1588-1648
Fredrik III                             1648-1670
Kristian V                              1670-1699
Fredrik IV                              1699-1730
Kristian VI                             1730-1746
Fredrik V                               1746-1766
Kristian VII                            1766-1808
Fredrik VI (regent 1784)                1808-1814
Kristian Fredrik                        1814
In 1814, the Napoleonic wars had just ended, and Denmark-Norway was on the losing end. Norwegians wrote their constitution, and hoped to be independent, but it was not to be. We were handed over to Sweden, who was on the winning side in the war. The following is a list of the kings we shared.

Kings shared with Sweden1

Name	                               Period
---------------------------------------------------
Karl II                                 1814-1818
Karl III Johan                          1818-1844
Oscar I                                 1844-1859
Karl IV                                 1859-1872
Oscar II                                1872-1905

With growing national romanticism, Norwegians became more autonomous in 1884, when parlamentarism was introduced. The king in Sweden became more of a figurehead, and in 1905 a referendum chose to dissolve the union. This happened without bloodshed, and a Danish prince was chosen as the next Norwegian king, the first "real" King of Norway in about 500 years.

Here is a complete list of all Norwegian Kings since the end of the union with Sweden in 1905, ending of course in our current king.

Modern Norwegian Kings

Name	                               Period
---------------------------------------------------
Haakon VII                              1905-1957
Olav V                                  1957-1991
Harald V                                1991-

1. This list is seen from the Norwegian perspective, hence I have used Norwegian spelling. A similar list also exists under Monarchs of Denmark.
2. Ditto, see Monarchs of Sweden.

The first true historical king of Norway is generally accepted to be Harald Hårfagre, Harald the Fairheaded. The Norse Sagas credit him with the achievement of uniting all of Norway under his rule as a result of his victory at the battle of Hafrsfjord; although most likely he only ruled in the west of the country and exercised some kind of overlordship over the rest of the country.

There were kings before Harald but the extent to which they were kings of Norway as opposed to being merely kings in Norway is not really known, and even their very existence is somewhat questionable.

Norway, it should be remembered was one of the sources of those troublesome Vikings whose activities plagued the various kingdoms of the British Isles throughout the ninth and tenth centuries right up until the time of the Norman Conquest. The territories of the kingdom of Norway also included, at various times, the Orkneys, the Hebrides and even the Isle of Man and many of these kings of Norway entertained territorial ambitions on the British mainland; most notable of those being Harald Hardrada, Harald the Ruthless, who was defeated and killed at the Battle of Stamford Bridge making his bid for the crown of England.

Håkon den Gode or 'the Good' and Olav Trygvasson are generally given credit for the business of introducing Christianity to Norway. Håkon also known as Håkon Adelstensfostre, that is fostered by Athelstan, was brought up in England as was Olav, so that Norway was effectively evangelised by English priests.

But Norwegian kings were generally married off to fellow Scandinavian royals, a process that to increasingly close relationships with both Sweden and Denmark. Eventually Håkon VI married Margrete, the daughter of Valdemar Atterdag the king of Denmark; their son Olav succeeded to the throne of Denmark in 1375 on the death of Valdemar Atterdag followed by Norway in 1380 on the death of his father. The two kingdoms were therefore united under one crown; Norway initially had some measure of autonomy with a separate Council of the Realm but this was abolished in 1536 when Norway ceased to be an independent kingdom, and came to be treated as just another Danish possession.

Danish rule continued until 1814 when Denmark, who had backed the defeated Napoleon was forced by the Treaty of Kiel to hand over Norway to Sweden. The Norwegians were not that happy with this state of affairs, briefly revolted and chose their own king. Sweden managed to buy off the revolt by agreeing to accept a separate constitution for Norway. This state of affairs continued for another ninety years with the Norwegians increasingly becoming fed up with the Swedes until the referendum of August of 1905 when Norway voted 368,392 to 184 in favour of independence. A Danish prince by the name of Carl was invited to take the throne of Norway. Carl accepted and chose the name of Håkon. His grandson, Harald V is the current king of Norway.


Early rulers of Norway

Historical rulers of Norway

  • Harald I Hårfagre Harald the Fairhaired c872-c930
  • Eirik I Blodoks Eirikr Bloodaxe c930-c936
  • Håkon I den Gode Håkon the Good (Håkon Adelstensfostre) c936-960
  • Harald II Grafell Harald Greycloak 960-970
  • Håkon Ladejarl (Håkon Sigurdsson) 970-995
  • Olav I (Olav Tryggvason) 995-1000
  • Eirik Ladejarl (Eirik Håkonsson) 1000-1015 joint ruler
  • Svein Ladejarl (Svein Håkonsson) 1000-1015 joint ruler
  • Olav II den Hellige Olav the Saint (Olav Haraldsson) 1015-1035
  • Magnus I den Gode Magnus the Good (Magnus Olavsson) 1035-1047
  • Harald III Hardrada Harald the Ruthless (Harald Sigurdsson) 1046-1066
  • Magnus II (Magnus Haraldsson) 1066-1069
  • Olav III Kyrre Olav the Religous (Olav Haraldsson) 1067-1093
  • Magnus III Berfott Magnus Bareleg (Magnus Olavsson) 1093-1103
  • Joint rule with his two brothers

  • Olav IV (Olav Magnusson) 1103-1115
  • Oystein I (Oystein Magnusson) 1103-1122
  • Sigurd I Jorsalfare Sigurd the Jerusalemfarer or Crusader (Sigurd Magnusson) 1103-1130

In 1130 Norway entered a period of intermittent civil war where the kingship was disputed right up until the year 1227.

  • Magnus IV (Magnus Sigurdsson) the Blind 1130-1135
  • Harald IV (Harald Magnusson) 1130-1136
  • Sigurd II (Sigurd Munn) 1136-1155
  • Inge I Krokryggv Inge the Hunchback (Inge Haraldsson) 1136-1161
  • Oystein II Oystein Haraldsson 1142-1157
  • Håkon II Herdebrei Håkon the Widebreast (Håkon Sigurdsson) 1157-1162
  • Magnus V (Magnus Erlingsson) 1161-1184
  • Sverre (Sverre Sigurdsson) 1177-1203
  • Håkon III (Håkon Sverresson 1202-1204
  • Inge II (Inge Bardsson) 1204-1217
  • Håkon IV (Håkon Håkonsson) 1217-1263
  • Magnus VI Lagabote Magnus the Law-maker (Magnus Håkonsson) 1263-1280
  • Eirik II Prestahatare Eirik the Priest-Hater (Eirik Magnusson) 1280-1299
  • Håkon V (Håkon Magnusson) 1299-1319
  • Magnus VII (Magnus Eiriksson) 1319-1343
  • Håkon VI (Håkon Magnusson) 1343-1380
  • Olav IV (Olav Håkonsson) 1380-1387

Ruled by Denmark until 1814, and the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars; Sweden picked the right side and got Norway as its reward.

Ruled by Sweden between the years 1815 to 1905.

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