In Vikings there are a number of interesting and often obscured details about the brash and ambitious King of Norway, King Harald Hálfdansson (Peter Franzén) that are probably unknown to most viewers.
Both the historical and fictional Harald are prominent figures in Norwegian history. In the TV show, the warlord-turned-king appears to be outnumbered in power and influence only by Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) himself, and perhaps some of his sons.
He also sought the marriage of Gyda, the daughter of a central Norwegian king named Eirik of Hordaland. Not only this, but at least two of Harald’s sons, Eric Bloodaxe and Haakon the Good, are said to have continued his reign. Both the man and various members of the family are important in the history of the country.
Harald is shown singing his battle cry on various occasions throughout the Vikings series. His proclamation, “Complete to battle, complete from battle, coming complete from there and from there,” actually goes back to a collection of Old Norse poems from the Viking age, Hávamál.
Not only this, but Harald and his brother Halfdan sing a tune when they see rare downtime in battle. This also has historical roots, specifically in a song written by the Icelandic Viking and poet Egill Skallagrimsson.
However, as a note, this man lived at the same time as Harald’s son Eirik, so the song would not have existed in the show’s timeline yet.
On the TV show, the relationship of the equally ambitious Ragnar, another character with lots of details and hidden facts, and Harald doesn’t really extend beyond a rivalry.
However, some documents describe him as the grandson of Ragnar’s son, and even Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye’s great-great-grandson. This is in line with the Vikings show’s ability to merge or adjust timelines, bloodlines, and characters.