Tore Hund

Tore Hund (Modern Norwegian) or Þórir hundr (Old Norse) ("Tore the Dog"), (ca. 990 - ?), one of the leaders of the so-called peasant faction opposing the Norwegian king Olav Haraldsson, also an important character in Snorre Sturlason's saga chronicling the king.

Tore was an influential man in the area of Hålogaland, his home being the island of Bjarkøy. He was an accomplished Viking, leading several expeditions towards Russia and the White Sea. He also served in the forces of Canute the Great on several occasions.

Both strongly independent and a devout pagan, he opposed the king's attempts to unify and Christianize Norway. He also held personal grudges against the king, after the murder of his nephew Asbjørn Selsbane by one of the king's men, and the heavy fine he got for revenging his nephew's death.

When Erling Skjalgsson was killed in 1028, Tore Hund assumed leadership of the anti-Olav faction together with Kalv Arnesson and Einar Tambarskjelve. He joined Canute's forces when they drove out Olav, and was named Canute's representative in Norway along with Hårek from Tjøtta.

As Olav arrived during the summer of 1030, Tore was among those rallying against him. According to Heimskringla, Tore and his men led the line against the king's army at the Battle of Stiklestad. According to saga sources, Tore was among those who gave Olav his lethal wounds, Kalv Arnesson and Torstein Knarresmed being the others.

After the battle, turning political tides soon went against Tore Hund. As Olav's son Magnus, backed by some of Tore's former allies, seized power, Tore became a pursued and marginalized figure. According to Snorre, Tore Hund converted and went to Jerusalem to repent his sin sometime after 1035. Tore did not return from this trip and we do not know how or when he died.

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