|YMMV • Radar • Quotes • (Funny • Heartwarming • Awesome) • Fridge • Characters • Fanfic Recs • Nightmare Fuel • Shout Out • Plot • Tear Jerker • Headscratchers • Trivia • WMG • Recap • Ho Yay • Image Links • Memes • Haiku • Laconic|
Jómsvíkinga saga – Saga of the Jomsvikings – is a 13th century Old Norse saga, the author being an anonymous Icelander. It is a fanciful historical adventure set in the 10th century, recalling the days of the vikings.
Its first part is dedicated to the rise of the Knytlings, the Danish royal dynasty that was the first to unite Denmark under their rule and built it into the northern European hegemonial power of the late Viking Age.
The focus then shifts to a clan of Danish warlords, the descendants of the chieftain Toki, and their long history of both rivalry and collaboration with the Danish kings. King Harald "Bluetooth" Gormsson’s ruthless pursuit of unrivalled power leads to a long-smouldering enmity with Toki’s clan that only ends when Toki’s grandson Palnatoki stirs up a rebellion that overthrows the king and puts Harald's bastard son Svein Forkbeard on the throne.
But when Svein discovers the truth about his father’s death, he cuts ties with Palnatoki, and the latter is forced to leave Denmark. A successful commander of viking cruises, he eventually establishes a new base of operations in Vindland, realm of the mighty king Burisleif, who cedes the Danish sea-rovers a stretch of coast in the land of Jom, where they build the mighty fortress of Jomsborg.
Having become somewhat snobbish by all their victories, Palnatoki and his lot, henceforward known as the Jomsvikings, decide that only the crème de la crème of warriors can join their club, and establish the law of Jomsborg that makes bravery and recklessness mandatory. Applicants arrive from whom Palnatoki picks the captains of Jomsborg – Sigvaldi, Thorkell the Tall, Bui the Stout, Sigurd Cape, and Palnatoki’s own grandson Vagn Akason with his veteran mentor, Bjorn the Welshman. Together, they form the most prestigious viking host to ever haunt the seas, and heap up fame and fortune in spades.
King Svein is not exactly enthusiastic about the unchecked power of the Jomsvikings and their lack of proper obedience to the Danish king. When Palnatoki dies and Sigvaldi takes over the leadership, things seem to normalize – only for Sigvaldi’s double-dealing with Svein to fire a new grudge. Eventually, the crafty king devises a scheme to put the Jomsvikings back in their place - tricking them into a brazen undertaking that can only result in glory... or total destruction.
Tropes in Jómsvíkinga saga:
- Anvil on Head: Fully literal the death of Aslak Holmskalle. Played serious (or is it?).
- Badass Army: The Jomsvikings.
- Badass Grandpa: Bjorn the Welshman.
- The Berserker: Aslak Holmskalle.
- Better to Die Than Be Killed: When there's no hope left, Bui jumps overboard to his death.
- Blood Knight: Vagn.
- Off with His Head: What awaits the captured Jomsvikings.
- Rain of Arrows: Pours over the Jomsvikings in Hjörunga Bay.
- Half the Man He Used To Be: Bui's sword blow cuts the warrior Thorkel Midlong in two.
- Human Sacrifice: To ensure the victory over the Jomsvikings, Jarl Hakon sacrifices his own seven-year old son Erling.
- I Can Still Fight: Havard the Hewer fights on even with his feet cut off.
- Last-Minute Reprieve: For Sigurd Buason, Vagn and the few remaining captives.
- Weather of War: The magical hailstorm that is the Jomsvikings' undoing.
- What Did I Do Last Night?: After sleeping off his inebriation, Sigvaldi can't remember his vow.
- Where Are They Now: The saga ends with a short summary of what later became of the Jomsviking chiefs that survived Hjorunga Bay.