Alternate History

Niels II of Viken (The Kalmar Union)

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Niels II
Niels II Viken (The Kalmar Union).png
Niels II
King of Viken
Reign 12th January, 1174 - 25th May, 1185
Predecessor Cnut III
Successor Hildegard
Spouse Margaret Haraldsdatter
Full name
Niels Knudsen
House Estridsson
Father Cnut III
Mother Helena of Gothenland
Born September, 1149
Oslo, Viken
Died 25th May, 1185
Moss, Viken

Niels II ruled Viken between 1174 and 1185, a period of sometimes intense strife.

He appears not to have much tact and shortly after gaining the throne promoted several men with no noble-origin at the expense of older established families. Two factions appeared; the Heklung and the Møyla, dividing the Vikene assembly and they were soon picking fights with each other. The level of violence escalated until the Heklung faction were in open rebellion against Niels. Battles at Bore and Gressholmen proved disastrous for Niels and his Møyla supporters and at one point he was forced to leave for Gothenland, returning with allies who quickly defeated the Heklung.

In 1179 having only just survived the revolt he picked a fight with the king of Hordaland, Harald V, whom he accused of fermenting trouble amongst the markamenn of the borderlands. Harald had a iron grip on his nobility and the support of the church however, and Niels quickly found himself outclassed on the battlefield as his earls pursed their own political aims. After a long siege of Oslo in 1181 he was forced into a humiliating offer of service to Harald. He would indeed campaign with Harald in Scotland for a season and would marry Harald's daughter Margaret, though would return home to find his wife on her deathbed. They had no children in the short time they were married.

Niels died in 1185 seemingly of natural causes apparently on the verge of invading Svealand to intervene in the still rumbling civil war there. Unwilling to enter into another period of strife the Vikene nobles quickly elected Niels' half-sister, Hildegard of Rugia as queen. It also appears that the future Harald III of Anglia was also considered for the throne.

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