Hardrada dynasty

Hardrada dynasty
Country Kingdom of Norway, Kingdom of the Isles, Earldom of Orkney, Kingdom of Dublin
Parent house Fairhair dynasty
Founded 1047
Founder Harald Hardrada
Current head extinct, last monarch of this dynasty was Magnus Erlingsson
Cadet branches none

The Hardrada dynasty (Norwegian: Hardrådeætta)[1] was a powerful royal "house" or "dynasty" which ruled, at various times in history, Kingdom of Norway, Kingdom of Mann and the Isles, Earldom of Orkney.

The royal house was founded, albeit unknowingly, by Harald Sigurdsson when he was made king of Norway. His descendants would expand the influence, wealth and power of the dynasty after his death at Stamford Bridge September 25, 1066. It is very unlikely that the rulers ever referred to their dynasty as the "House of Hardrada", this is a term made up for the dynasty at the time by modern historians. The younger saga writers (not the kings themselves) claimed that Harald Hardrada descended from Norway's first king Harald Fairhair, but this is not accepted as historically correct by most modern historians.

It replaced the Saint Olaf dynasty, and was again replaced by the Gille branch, whose founder Harald Gille claimed to be a descendant of the Hardrada line. Sometimes this line is considered a part of the House of Hardrada. The line was briefly restored under Magnus Erlingsson, a cognatic descendant of the dynasty, but was replaced again by the House of Sverre in 1184.[2]

List of kings and rival kings

The rulers within the royal house or dynasty would often have a "rival king" to oppose the "legitimate" king's right to rule the realm and dominions (rival kings noted in bold). Here is a list of the rulers when the house held the power in Norway:


  1. Krag, Claus (1995). Vikingtid og rikssamling: 800-1130. p. 168. ISBN 8203220150.
  2. Enstad, Nils-Petter (2004-10-23). "De norske kongeslektene". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2013-09-24.
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