Was Cnut the Great Descendant of Ragnar Lothbrok?

Posted by Ms Elly on

Was Cnut the Great Descendant of Ragnar Lothbrok?

Sources about Viking legends and Viking heroes vary. Some of them survive the test of time, some couldn't. With the surviving legends from The Tales of Raganrsson, we have access to many Viking stories. And if we follow the flow in Ragnarsson's Tales, Cnut the Great was the Descendant of Ragnar Lothbrok. 

Note that this blog post is based on the personal viewpoint of the writer and The Tales of Ragnar's sons. 

Ragnar Lothbrok 

If you are a Viking fan, you might hear the legends of Ragnar Lothbrok who allegedly ignited the attack in Lindisfarne the Holy Land of Northumbria. Lindisfarne's attack is now known as the start of Viking age and at that time, this attack sent off a wave of shock towards not only Anglo-Saxon kingdoms but Europe in general.

Ragnar was also known as among the earliest Viking kings who turned the Viking small hit and run attacks into well-organized territorial invasions.

Ragnar had many sons who later became great Viking kings and heroes. 

Cnut the Great 

Cnut the Great was the son of Sweyn Forkbeard. Although Cnut was considered one of the wisest and most powerful kings at that time. 

Cnut's reign as a Viking king and an English king lasted for 20 years which was also the longest-reigning time by a Viking king in England. While Cnut was a great king, his father, Sweyn Forkbeard was surrounded by controversies. Because Sweyn allegedly killed his father to take the throne. Father of Sweyn (also the grandfather of Cnut) was King Harald Bluetooth who united Denmark under a single banner. But Sweyn and Harald did not share a similar religious belief which finally ended them up in civil war. 

Sweyn was brought up in the spirit of a Viking warrior while Harald converted himself to Christianity with a view to protecting his kingdom. This climaxed when Sweyn dethroned his own father and declared himself as a Viking King. At this point, Sweyn might receive a lot of approval for being the voice of the Vikings who hated Christianity. 

How could Ragnar and Cnut have a connection though?

In the lens of the Tales of Ragnar's sons, Ragnar and Kraka had many sons, one of whom was Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye. Sigurd Ragnarsson was born with a mark of ouroboros in his eye and that's why he was known as Sigurd Snake-Eye.

And Sigurd Snake-Eye had a son whose name was Harthacnute who later became the father of Gorm the Old. Simply saying, Sigurd Snake-Eye was the grand-father of Gorm the Old. 

Gorm the Old was one of the Danish kings. Not the whole of Denmark we know actually. He only ruled a small part of Denmark and it was Gorm's son, Harald Gormsson who united most of the Danish petty kingdoms under a single banner.  

And yes, this Harald Gormsson was the Harald Bluetooth we mentioned above. For getting a baptism, Harald was finally dethroned by his own son, Sweyn Forkbeard. 

Sweyn declared his power in England as a king but his reign didn't last long. His successor was Cnut the Great. 

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