One of the things that we know about Vikings: Valhalla is that there are a lot of different characters that are involved in the storyline of the main cast. In season 2, we met a lot of new characters that ended up having roles in the new journey of the trio of main characters. Freydis, for instance, ended up following her own path, which led her to a man named Harekr. So, who is Harekr in Vikings: Valhalla?
Harekr is the leader of the Jomsvikings and the lord of Jomsborg. He is the husband of Gudrid, who is the mother of Jorundr. While Harekr was initially introduced as a kindhearted man, he was anything but such because he actually brought people to Jomsborg so that they could work as slaves.
While we know that there are a lot of bad people among the Christian Vikings in Vikings: Valhalla, we also know that the traditional Vikings aren’t always that nice as well. Harekr is one of those characters as he ended up revealing himself to be a tyrant that was no different from the Christian Viking zealots that were hunting down Freydis and the others. Now, let’s look at who Harekr is in Vikings: Valhalla.
Who Is Harekr In Vikings: Valhalla?
Back in season 1 of Vikings: Valhalla, we saw the trio of Leif, Freydis, and Harald facing problems in Kattegat due to the invasion of Olaf and the other Christian zealots that wanted to convert the entirety of Denmark to Christianity. This led Freydis and Harald to flee Kattegat, while Leif was killing Christian Vikings that were responsible for the death of his beloved.
Olaf, even after he was captured by King Sweyn’s forces, decided to forgive Olaf and allow him to act as the new king of Norway’s mentor. In that regard, Olaf decided to convince the people of Kattegat that Harald and Freydis were threats to them. That was the reason why Olaf was given the freedom to chase after Harald and Freydis, as the duo was trying to escape the Christian Viking’s clutches.
Meanwhile, although Leif thought that he was going to witness the execution of Olaf, he met a mysterious man that was somehow familiar with him and his sister. This man followed him and the duo of Freydis and Harald while they were trying to get to safety. And he introduced himself as Jorundr.
Jorundr was a Jomsviking that offered to help the trio because of how important Freydis was to the old ways, as she was the Last Daughter of Uppsala. Considering that Freydis was vital to the faith of the traditional Vikings that still worshipped the old Norse gods, the Jomsvikings decided to help her as these Vikings are more devout to the old ways than other Vikings.
The Jomsviking helped the trio escape Olaf’s forces. However, Freydis decided to stay with the Jomsvikings due to how they regarded her as an important part of their faith. On the other hand, the duo of Harald and Leif tagged along to try to find an army that could help them take back Kattegat and Norway. That was when Freydis met the leader of the Jomsvikings.
It was Harekr that led the Jomsvikings to a hidden settlement called Jomsborg, which they thought was going to be the second coming of Uppsala. Harekr and the other Jomsvikings often went out on the sea to go to the mainland so that they could take pagans that wanted to escape forced conversion and practice their faith in safety. As such, Jomsborg seemed to be a safe haven for those who still believed in the old ways.
What Happened To Harekr?
Harekr had to leave Jomsborg for a while so that he could take more people back. That was when a pregnant Freydis, the priestess of Jomsborg, start to take a more active role as a leader by allowing the Jomsvikings and the regular Vikings to commune with one another despite the fact that they were previously segregated in Jomsborg.
When Harekr got back from his journey, he was surprised to see that Jomsborg is now different from how he left it. That was when he branded Jorundr as a traitor for allowing Freydis to do as she willed. Originally, Harekr wanted the other Vikings to get segregated due to the fact that he saw them as impure compared to the Jomsvikings. As such, after Freydis gave birth, Harekr took the child and treated him as his heir in Jomsborg while ordering Jorundr to kill Freydis.
Jorundr, however, allowed Freydis and her child to escape despite the fact that he got captured. Harekr convinced the people that Jorundr killed Freydis. But instead of executing Jorundr, the elders decided to exile him after cutting off his hand.
Freydis returned to seek her vengeance on Harekr, as the duo dueled. However, Freydis was tired and weak because she was yet to recover from childbirth. As such, she was losing her fight with Harekr until the people decided to intervene. Freydis and the people defeated Harekr as the Last Daughter of Uppsala and took her place as the new leader of Jomsborg.
Was Harekr A Real Person?
According to what we know about the history of the Viking people, the Jomsvikings were actually semi-legendary and mythical because there are no clear accounts regarding their existence. Jomsborg, of course, is considered a legendary place as well. That means that the Harekr that Vikings: Valhalla introduced is not a real person because of how the Jomsvikings and Jomsborg aren’t even real.
Nevertheless, Harekr was actually based on a real person that had a different story compared to the Harekr that we met in Vikings: Valhalla. It is believed that this character was inspired or was based on Harek of Tjotta, who was a Norwegian farmer and local chieftain that was born the son of the poet named Eyvindr.
Harek participated in the Battle of Stiklestand, which was the battle that involved Olaf’s attempt to take Norway back. However, Harek and the other peasants defeated Olaf. In that regard, it is possible that Harekr was inspired by Harek’s story. But we do know that Harekr’s story is different from what history suggests happened centuries ago.