Why Palnatoke Hated Harald Bluetooth That Much?

Posted by Ms Elly on

Why Palnatoke Hated Harald Bluetooth That Much?

Harald Bluetooth was considered to be among the greatest Danish Viking Kings. During his reign, he contributed numerous things for his people. Harald Bluetooth Gormson was the one who unified the Danes under one banner and he was the one who introduced Christianity into Denmark. Moreover, the life of Harald Bluetooth was surrounded with building up many defensive military forts for his kingdom. Many trelleborgs (Viking ring-shaped forts) were erected during his reign in Denmark.

Although Sweyn Forkbeard (one of Harald's sons) was the one who waged war against Harald Bluetooth, the one who stood behind was Palnatoke chieftain warrior during the time of Harald Bluetooth. There were two major reasons why Palnatoke hated Harald Bluetooth that much: Harald's religious belief and Harald challenging Panaltoke to shoot the apple on Panaltoke's son's head. 

Religious conflict was the common reason for war back to those times. Palnatoke was a pagan in his blood and not a second in his life he wanted to abandon his Norse pantheon. Meanwhile, Harald Bluetooth was baptized very soon and he even converted many of the Danes into Christians which made Palnatoke angry. 

The baptism of King Harald Bluetooth

The baptism of King Harald Bluetooth. As King Harald Bluetooth submitted himself to the cross, many pagans didn't approve the decision

But of course, this chieftain would never clearly expose his feelings to the king. Sweyn Forkbeard was a son of Harald Bluetooth and when he came up age, Harald brought him to Palnatoke who would teach Sweyn about the power of arms and archery. What King Harald didn't ever think of was Palnatoke's pagan belief. Palnatoke somehow persuaded Sweyn to follow him and never to abandon the pantheon. 

Discovering the "bad" influence of Palnatoke on his son, Harald Bluetooth wanted to bring his son back but everything was too late. The King had allowed Palnatoke enough time to make Sweyn follow Palnatoke. 

On one day, Harald Bluetooth and some chieftains including Palnatoke were wandering inside a wood, Palnatoke kept telling other people about his archery talent. This annoyed Harald so much that the King challenged Palnatoke to shoot the apple just above the head of Palnatoke's son. 

As a Viking warrior, Palnatoke would never refuse any challenge or else people would call him a coward. He did obey and the apple did fall off from the head of his son. But this challenge somehow increased the hatred of Palnatoke toward Harald Bluetooth. 

When the time finally came, Palnatoke and Sweyn Forkbeard grabbed the opportunity and declared war against Harald Bluetooth. Sweyn finally overthrew his father and became the king. Some sources told, later on, Sweyn and Palnatoke became enemies. Yet, this detail remains to be seen. 

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