Alternate History

Haakon V of Hordaland (The Kalmar Union)

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Haakon V Haraldsson
Sverre Sigurdsson (Nidaros Cathedral).jpg
Haakon V Haraldsson
King of Hordaland
Reign 30th May, 1162 - 4th January, 1210
Predecessor Haakon IV Sigurdsson
Successor Olaf IV
Spouse Ragnhild Bårdsdotter
Issue Olaf IV


Full name
Haakon Haraldsson
House Maddad
Father Harald Maddadsson
Mother Kristin Sigurdsdatter
Born 16th? June, 1145
Died 4th January, 1210
Haugesund, Hordaland

Ruling over Hordaland for almost fifty years Haakon V Haraldsson returned the country to peace and relative prosperity after the damaging civil war period. His seizure of the throne from the weak Haakon IV would lead to a hundred-year rule for the Maddad dynasty.

Son of the powerful and ambitious earl of Orkney Harald Maddadsson and Kristin Sigurdsdatter, daughter of Sigurd I the Crusader, Haakon was brought up in his father's all-but independent earldom. Harald had already involved himself in the civil war but his invasion had been thwarted. Haakon was armed with a legitimate claim to Hordaland (not the slightly dubious lineage of Inge and Haakon IV) and was eager to chance his hand in the Hordalandic civil war and carry on where his father has left off. Crucially he had support from Hordaland's neighbours who were growing tired of the conflict and, with a considerable army made up of Scots and Manx mercenaries, he slipped into Hordaland from Lade in late 1161.

Haakon IV's support quickly crumbled as his lords flocked to the charismatic grandson of the crusader. At Bergen in May 1162 Haakon and his remaining support fought their last battle against the challenger and the young king was killed in action. Haakon Haraldsson would be crowned (the first Hordalandic king to have a proper coronation) in Bergen by the Archbishop of Nidaros on midsummer. The war did not end there however, for another three months he would pursue the lords who had remained loyal to his predecessor. Several long-standing families were ruined or utterly destroyed in the process. After this however Hordaland remained peaceful for the rest of his reign, though this perhaps relied on Haakon's iron grip rather than true trust or loyalty.

Even so when in 1179 Niels II of Viken accused Haakon of fermenting trouble amongst the markamenn of the borderlands the whole country rose to defend itself. Under Haakon's leadership the Hordalandic army utterly outclassed the Vikenes on the battlefield and subjected Oslo to a long siege. Niels eventually agreed to a humiliating peace, taking Haakon's daughter Margaret as his wife and serving him in a campaign in Scotland. If Haakon hoped he would gain some kind of familial control over Viken he would be disappointed: Margaret died before any heirs were born.

Much of Haakon's real foreign policy was directed at Scotland; largely to ensure Orkney's continued viability as a state. This would culminate in defeat as in 1201 Scotland invaded Caithness and defeated the Orcadian/Hordalandic army arrayed to meet them. Harald Maddadsson would be forced to pay tribute to the Scottish kings as a price of peace.

In 1206 his long-lived father finally died and Haakon, as sole heir, was able to incorporate the earldom back into the Hordalandic realm, renouncing any fealty to Scotland in the process. This would spur Hordaland's westward expansion under his successors. In 1210 Haakon himself died, and the kingdom passed to his eldest son Olaf.

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