Jelling Stones

I adore history and decided to insert a lot of little treasures into Dolor and Shadow while I researched the project. One of my favorite scenes in Dolor and Shadow—Chapter 53—was the one I wrote around the Jelling (pronounced “Yelling”) Stones (pictured below).

rune stoneIn the 9th Century, the king of Denmark, Harald “Bluetooth” Gormson, erected the first rune stone in Scandinavia to commemorate the deaths of his father (Gorm the Old) and his mother (Thyra). The stones still stand 1,000 years later in their original placement between two Viking ship grave mounds that flank a church (pictured below) in Jelling, Denmark.

Today there stands a church (pictured below), but 1,000 years ago archeologists suspect there was a mead hall in its place. There is evidence that whatever buildings stood in its place, were all burned down. Archeologist believe there were ten buildings altogether, one built on top of the ashes of the last. They believe the buildings were churches and mead halls.

Tjelling_mounds_google_mapshe two mounds are ship burial graves where we think the 10th century king (not confirmed) and his wife (confirmed) are buried. The church stands where the mead hall once stood. If you zoom in, you can see the stones’ placement next to the church wing.

In Dolor and Shadow, Svenn Forkbeard (who is a historical figure and was son of Harald Bluetooth…Blatonn in Dolor and Shadow) stands beside the Jelling Stones looking upon the graves of his late grandparents.

I wrote it in so that the 10th century church that was supposedly burned down, was destroyed by Harald’s son, Forkbeard who was a renowned pagan.

The inscription I use in my book:

“Harald carved this stone after his father Gorm and his mother Thyra. Harald, who won for himself all of Dan’s Reach…”

…is my own translation from the original stone text taken from Jelling, Denmark’s home site.

coinThe small silver disc Forkbeard has in his hand is a coin. Coins in the 10th century were a novelty that made it to Scandinavia. The idea was fresh out of Ireland for the day! Forkbeard was the first Scandinavian to coin his own money! Silver was the prized metal of the day and not gold. The first coins were minted by The High King of Ireland in the 10th century. Around the time that Dolor and Shadow takes place.

And Vagn, son of Akes, was a historical figure who, at age 12, killed a great warrior and went on to be infamous in battle. As I said, little treasures! 🙂 Here is the scene from Dolor and Shadow.

Dolor and Shadow – Chapter 53

“Harald carved this stone after his father Gorm and his mother Thyra. Harald, who won for himself all of Dan’s Reach…”

 Through the darkness, Svenn Forkbeard peered at the runes etched in stone. The fraction of moonlight permitted by the crescent was barely enough to read the lettering. Countless times, he had spent his youth reading the inscription carved there by his father. He had repeated the words until the sounds had burned themselves into his memory. Each time, his hatred grew.

This night, his eye held fixed to one part of the inscription.

“…Harald, who won for himself all of Dan’s Reach…”

The small, silver disc Forkbeard turned over in his hand passed through his fingers as he followed the lines of runes stamped into the coin. His eye lingered, caught on the words and, once more, he debated having the stone torn down altogether. The temple Blatonn had erected was easy enough to burn to the ground, but this…

A twinge of hesitation pulled at his chest as he re-read the names again.

Gorm and Thyra.

His gaze shifted to his left, and the great southern mound of Thyra’s grave. Those names alone were what saved it.

Forkbeard stared at his father’s stone again. Its size dwarfed Gorm’s stone, which was twice the grandeur. From this angle, it completely hid the second stone from view.

Another reason to tear it down, he thought.

“My King?”

Forkbeard looked up from the stone. Along the side of his Mead Hall, looking closer to thirty than he did to twenty, Vagn, son of Akes, stood.

Releasing a sigh, Forkbeard straightened his back as the young captain peered through the dark.

“Speak,” Forkbeard said, annoyed at the disturbance.

“The Alfr is here.”

About the Author: Anna Imagination

Biographical Info... What you seek is my Story. Every Soul is a "Blurb" as one would read on the back of the book. But can people be "unwrapped" so easily? Most importantly, why try? I have long since learned to preserve the Savory that comes with Discovery. Learning of another Soul is a Journey. It is an Exploration. And it does not do the Soul Justice to try and condense a Soul Journey into a Bio.