Vagn Åkesson: 12-Year-Old Boy Admitted to Jomsviking Army
Jomsvikings was a Viking military unit of heroes who worshipped Odin and Thor. They would fight until death to join Odin in the Hall of Valhalla. Anyone wanting to join Jomsvikings must endure highly selective tests including duels or Viking holmgang with a Jomsviking warrior.
The only exception of the army was a boy named Vagn Akesson who was admitted to the army when he reached 12.
Either Viking boys or girls reaching 12 years old would be considered an adult. Because when they reached 12, they started working like an adult of their time. Generally, 12-year-old Vikings would no longer be considered to be children.
However, only the Viking men between 18 - 50 years old could be admitted to the order. This made Vagn Akesson an exception in this Jomsvikings military unit.
The Jomsvikings military unit only accepted the men between 18 - 50 years old to join the order
Vagn Akeson lived during the 10th century when the Vikings started to get exposed to the new religions.
As his name indicated, he was the son of Ake, a son of the Viking chieftain of Jomsvikings Palnatoke. In some sources, King Harald Bluetooth of the Danes established the Jomsvikings and pointed Palnatoke to become the leader of the army. Some sources mentioned it was Palnatoke that established Jomsvikings himself. So, the warrior blood already ran in the vein of the 12-year-old Vagn.
Prior to 12, Vagn wanted to prove himself. He attempted many times, yet no one recognized his potential. Possibly, it was his early age that no one really paid attention to the boy.
When he finally reached 12 years old, he impressed his grandfather Palnatoke. After attempts to dissuade Vagn, Palnatoke finally allowed Vagn Akesson to fight a duel with Sigvaldi Strut-Haraldsson who was a semi-legendary chieftain.
As your guess, Vagn defeated Sigvaldi in the duel. This earned him a lot of respect from the warriors as well as his grandfather.
As a result, he was admitted to the Jomsvikings military unit when he was just 12 years old. Despite the rules which admitted only men between 18 - 50 years old, Vagn got a seat in the feasting table along with the Jomsvikings warrior when he just turned 12.
When he was admitted to Jomsvikings, Vagn became a man of honour and respect in the unit. He became a man of courage and determination while Sigvaldi was a man of pragmatism.
Sigvaldi then became the chieftain of the Jomsvikings after Palnatoke's death.
Vagn Akesson threw his spear toward Sigvaldi to express his anger toward the ruler of the army for ordering a retreat in battle.
At one battle, when in the fact of the enemies, Sigvaldi ordered a retreat which was adamantly refused by Vagn. According to a source, Vagn threw a spear toward Sigvaldi to express his anger but missed. Vagn then managed to survive the battle and got honored by other folks while Sigvaldi became a figure of ridicule.