Art by Matt Smith

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Holy shit, kid, that fuckin’ Harald Fairhair guy—now, that guy, he was a real fuckin’ fightah! Kicked evuhryone’s ass all up n’ down the coast in ohrdah tah be the fihrst fuckin’ king’ah all’ah Nahway since bein’ the king’ah all’ah Nahway was a real big deal back in those days n’ no one had evah r’actually done it befohr. It was all just a bunch’ah these petty little kings all ovah the fuckin’ place but then one day, Harald was like, “Shit, yah know, I could conque’ah this whole entiyah fuckin’ country n’ become the one big king’ah all’ah Nahway n’ then maybe that gihrl who I like’ll finally fuckin’ like me back.”

At least that’s what Snorri tells us anyhow. Now, Snorri, he wrote all sohrts’ah histahries n’ mythologies n’ sagas n’ shit so he’s kindah like a majah fuckin’ source’ah knowledge ’bout all this stuff fah r’us nowadays. But thing is, the guy lived in Iceland a couple hundred yee’ahs aftah r’all the shit he wrote ’bout happened, so, yah know, maybe he wasn’t as big a fuckin’ expehrt on the mattah r’as evuhryone likes tah say he was. Truth is he was really mohr like a fuckin’ influencah r’en anything else.

’Cause yah know, half the time Snorri made shit up n’ then the othah half the time he spun shit like a fuckin’ news channel. It was all ’bout opinion n’ prahpaganda fahr him, not unbiased, factual repohrtin’. I mean, this guy was like a walkin’ talkin’ fuckin’ social media platfohrm promotin’ his own fuckin’ agenda. N’ if yah think sensationalism is bad nowadays, then man, yah should’ah seen medieval Iceland. That place was outtah fuckin’ control! But anyways, Snorri pretty much wanted tah convince us all that Harald was a real nice, sweet-talkin’ lovahboy.

So what Snorri says happened is aftah Harald’s dad died by fallin’ through a fuckin’ hole in the ice, Harald himself then became the petty king’ah the area ’round Oslo n’ he got busy right away puttin’ down some insuhrrections in his own fuckin’ tehrritahry n’ shit. N’ then when he got done with all that crap, he stahted thinkin’ ’bout how maybe he ought tah get his lonely ass mahrried, so he sent some’ah his guys out tah anothah petty kingdom tah ask Princess Gyda fahr her hand in mahrriage since she was rumah’d tah be the best lookin’ Nahwegian princess on the whole planet, but she was just like, “No fuckin’ way! I’m not gonna mahrry that fuckin’ dweeb till he proves he’s wohrthy’ah my sweet, sweet lovin’ by conquehrin’ all’ah fuckin’ Nahway, includin’ my own dad’s petty little kingdom.”

N’, well, this sucked pretty hahd fahr Harald but he was a real fuckin’ obstinate Nahwegian n’ so what he did was he decided right then n’ there that he’d not rest till he was king’ah all fuckin’ Nahway n’ that he alsah wouldn’t cut ah comb his hair till the fuckin’ deed was done. He was pretty sure this would impress Gyda. N’ it alsah got him the nickname’ah Tanglehair ah Thickhair ah some such bullshit n’ fahr the next ten yee’ahs he went ’round fohrmin’ alliances with his friends n’ layin’ waste tah his enemies. All’ah which wohrked out pretty well fahr him, n’ he even got a few wives aside from Gyda outtah the process too since even though he was a total romantic, he was alsah wicked populah r’n a real fuckin’ casanova with the ladies.

They didn’t have high school back in those days but I think Harald n’ Gyda would’ah really fuckin’ thrived in our present-day school system.

Anyway, so ’round ’bout 872 ah maybe latah (who the hell even knows?), Harald did the big fuckin’ Battle of Hafrsfjord, which might’ah even had some genuine Irish bastahds pahticipatin’ in it on the opposin’ side since Irish-Nahwegian relations were supah fuckin’ contentious in those days. N’ this ended up bein’ a real famous sea battle where Harald finally defeated the last’ah his enemies n’ became the big king’ah all’ah Nahway.

But even at this point things didn’t exactly settle down fahr Harald even though he’s now basic’ly the state champion’ah Nahwegian prom kings n’ he gets tah mahrry Gyda at long last n’ finally gets tah have his fuckin’ hair cut too n’ in the process eahrns his immohrtal nickname’ah Fairhair ah Finehair ah whatevah the hell the translation is. N’ this is the pehriod’ah his life that the Icelandahs like tah say was tyrannical n’ led tah the foundin’ah their country, howevah true it is ah r’isn’t, just like I fihrst told yah ’bout all those fuckin’ yee’ahs ago. Jesus Christ.

So anyway, Harald prahceeded tah pull a King George n’ tax’ the livin’ shit outtah his new subjects n’ conque’ah Orkney n’ Shetland too just fahr good measure. He was kindah like the Amazon’ah medieval Nahway actually. Just wouldn’t stop till he’s dominated evuhry fuckin’ sectah r’n built up dependencies on his sehrvices n’ favahs, yah know? Only those tactics were less populah back in those days ’en they ahr now.

N’ I bet Harald would’ah fuckin’ loved Alexa! Might’ah even made her one’ah his many wives. ’Cept it’s alsah known fah r’a fact that Harald fuckin’ hated wizahrds since he thought wizahrds were shit n’ he didn’t trust ’em, n’ Alexa’s kindah like a lady wizahrd/spy robot, so maybe he would’ah had her killed instead. I guess we’ll nevah know fahr sure.

But anyway, aftah he consolidated his control, Harald kept himself busy by havin’ shit-tons’ah sons but he alsah completely fuckin’ failed tah raise a big, lovin’ family. So all his sons tuhrned on one anothah n’ Harald might’ah even instigated some’ah this by favahr’in’ the one named Erik who mahrried a fuckin’ witch n’ then muhrdah’d lots’ah his othah brothers in ohrdah tah be the big Nahwegian prom king once Harald finally died in his sleep.

N’ that’s how Erik got his special nickname’ah Bloodaxe. His youngest brothah r’ended up eventually beatin’ his ass n’ fohrcin’ him n’ his witch-wife tah flee Nahway though n’ they ended up in York where they prahceeded tah fuck a bunch’ah shit up n’ eventually died.

But it makes me wondah, yah know, if Bezos’ll leave his empi’ah tah Alexa since she’s kindah like his favuh’d son n’ all? She could totally take out the competition fahr sure, Tehrminatah Skynet style! Alexa Bloodaxe, yah know, that kindah has a nice ring tah r’it tah tell the truth.

I need anothah fuckin’ Guinness.