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* TheyCallHimSword: Brand's name means sword in Norse. His favored weapon is the axe, though.

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* TheyCallHimSword: Brand's name means sword in Norse. His favored weapon is the axe, though.though.
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* PublicDomainArtifact: TheLanceOfLonginus is a driving MacGuffin for the second book, and the HolyGrail[[note]]here ''graduale'' or ladder, which was used to take Jesus down from the cross, and as a stretcher to carry him away.[[/note]]

to:

* PublicDomainArtifact: PublicDomainArtifact:
**
TheLanceOfLonginus is a driving MacGuffin for the second book, as is Gungnir, the spear of Odin. [[spoiler: They're actually the same spear, or "a good spear that conquers." Bruno ends up with it, though, and uses the legitimacy it gives him to become Holy Roman Emperor.]]
** The
HolyGrail[[note]]here ''graduale'' or ladder, which was used to take Jesus down from the cross, and as a stretcher to carry him away.[[/note]][[/note]] is used in the third book [[spoiler: to carry away Shef]].


Shef was born in a noble household, son of the thane's wife and a Viking raider. He was raised in the thane's household alongside his stepfather's Wulfgar's legitimate son Alfgar and Godive, Wulfgar's daughter by a concubine. Shef is treated like a slave, and lacks only the iron collar about his neck to make it official. Despite this, he is technically a freeman and has a sword that he made himself, hiding in the forge from his stepfather's rages. Thus he is with the thane's levy when the great Viking [[HistoricalDomainCharacter Ragnar Lothbrok]][[note]]Hairy-breeches[[/note]] is captured, and witnesses his execution in the SnakePit of king Ella of Northumbria.

to:

Shef was born in a noble household, son of the thane's wife and a Viking raider. He was raised in the thane's household alongside his stepfather's Wulfgar's legitimate son Alfgar and Godive, Wulfgar's daughter by a concubine. Shef is treated like a slave, and lacks only the iron collar about his neck to make it official. Despite this, he is technically a freeman and has a sword that he made himself, hiding in the forge from his stepfather's rages. Thus he is with the thane's levy when the great Viking [[HistoricalDomainCharacter Ragnar Lothbrok]][[note]]Hairy-breeches[[/note]] Ragnar]] [[Literature/RagnarLodbrokAndHisSons Lothbrok]] is captured, and witnesses his execution in the SnakePit of king Ella of Northumbria.



* TheyCallHimSword: Brand's name means sword in Norse. His favored weapon is the axe, though.

to:

* TheyCallHimSword: Brand's name means sword in Norse. His favored weapon is the axe, though.

Added DiffLines:

* RedHerring: In ''The Hammer and the Cross'', the Norse priests are certain that Shef has one of the gods as his patron. He's got one eye. He's got an instinctive grasp of military strategy and tactics, and the ruthlessness to carry them out. He quests after knowledge, at one point hanging from Yggdrasil in a vision. Clearly, it's [[Myth/NorseMythology Odin]], right? [[spoiler: Nope. It's [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heimdallr Heimdall]] in his guise of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rígsþula Rig]].]]


* AllohistoricalAllusion: There are many of them, both subtle and large, from the English shouldering 'bows and bills' to the King of all England questing for the Holy Grail.

to:

* AllohistoricalAllusion: There are many of them, both subtle and large, from the English shouldering 'bows and bills' to the King of all England questing for the Holy Grail.Grail, to the French fighting the Vikings at Hastings (about 200 years earlier, though).


* PublicDomainArtifact: The Lance of Longinus is a driving MacGuffin for the second book, and the Holy Grail[[note]]here ''graduale'' or ladder, which was used to take Jesus down from the cross, and as a stretcher to carry him away.[[/note]]

to:

* PublicDomainArtifact: The Lance of Longinus TheLanceOfLonginus is a driving MacGuffin for the second book, and the Holy Grail[[note]]here HolyGrail[[note]]here ''graduale'' or ladder, which was used to take Jesus down from the cross, and as a stretcher to carry him away.[[/note]]


''The Hammer and the Cross'' is an AlternateHistory trilogy by HarryHarrison and Creator/JRRTolkien scholar Tom Shippey (as "John Holm"). It consists of ''The Hammer and the Cross'', ''One King's Way'', and ''King and Emperor''.

to:

''The Hammer and the Cross'' is an AlternateHistory trilogy by HarryHarrison Creator/HarryHarrison and Creator/JRRTolkien scholar Tom Shippey (as "John Holm"). It consists of ''The Hammer and the Cross'', ''One King's Way'', and ''King and Emperor''.

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* BadassBoast: Ragnar Lothbrok replies to an offer of mercy if he turns Christian and repents his Viking ways to live as a slave. Doubles as DefiantToTheEnd:
-->I fought in the front for thirty winters, Always I struck with the sword.
-->Four hundred men I killed, a thousand women I ravished, many minsters I burned, many men's bairns I sold.
-->Many have wept for me, I never wept for them. Now I come to the orm-garth, like Gunnar the god-born.
-->Do your worst, let the shining worm sting me to the heart. I shall not ask for mercy.
-->Always I struck with the sword!


* PublicDomainArtifacts: The Lance of Longinus is a driving MacGuffin for the second book, and the Holy Grail[[note]]here ''graduale'' or ladder, which was used to take Jesus down from the cross, and as a stretcher to carry him away.[[/note]]

to:

* PublicDomainArtifacts: PublicDomainArtifact: The Lance of Longinus is a driving MacGuffin for the second book, and the Holy Grail[[note]]here ''graduale'' or ladder, which was used to take Jesus down from the cross, and as a stretcher to carry him away.[[/note]]


* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: TruthInTelevision to a great extent. The Ragnarssons and their father are all famous champions with a history of victorious battles behind them, and this fame allows them to attract followers. In ''One King's Way'', Shef duels the King of Sweden to the death for the right to the throne.



* TheRedBaron: Many significant characters: Viga[[note]]killer[[/note]]-Brand[[note]]Sword; doubles as a NameToRunAwayFromReallyFast[[/note]], Ragnar Lothbrok[[note]]Hairy-breeches[[/note]], Sigurd Snakeeye, Ivar the Boneless

to:

* TheRedBaron: Many significant characters: Viga[[note]]killer[[/note]]-Brand[[note]]Sword; doubles as a NameToRunAwayFromReallyFast[[/note]], Ragnar Lothbrok[[note]]Hairy-breeches[[/note]], Sigurd Snakeeye, Ivar the BonelessBoneless. Shef eventually earns the title "The Victorious", while King Alfred is called "The Gracious".

Added DiffLines:

* NamedWeapons: Brand's axe Battle-Troll, Shef's halberd Thrall's-Wreak, Cwicca and Osmod's ballista Dead Level, Erkenbert's trebuchet War-Wolf, and others.

Added DiffLines:

* TheyCallHimSword: Brand's name means sword in Norse. His favored weapon is the axe, though.


* AllohistoricalAllusion: There are many of them, both subtle and large.

to:

* AllohistoricalAllusion: There are many of them, both subtle and large. large, from the English shouldering 'bows and bills' to the King of all England questing for the Holy Grail.



* TheBerserker: The series features a realistic Nordic berserkr (although he's actually Saxon by birth) as a major supporting character. When not fighting, he's brooding and melancholy, prone to fits of heavy drinking. When fighting, he's a DeathSeeker. One of the main characters notes that all "true" berserkrs are inherently {{Death Seeker}}s.



* TheBerserker: The series features a realistic Nordic berserkr (although he's actually Saxon by birth) as a major supporting character. When not fighting, he's brooding and melancholy, prone to fits of heavy drinking. When fighting, he's a DeathSeeker. One of the main characters notes that all "true" berserkrs are inherently {{Death Seeker}}s.
* TheRedBaron: Many significant characters: Viga[[note]]killer[[/note]]-Brand[[note]]Sword; doubles as a NameToRunAwayFromReallyFast[[/note]], Ragnar Lothbrok[[note]]Hairy-breeches[[/note]], Sigurd Snakeeye, Ivar the Boneless

to:

* TheBerserker: The series features a realistic Nordic berserkr (although he's actually Saxon by birth) as a major supporting character. When not fighting, he's brooding and melancholy, prone to fits OneManIndustrialRevolution: Shef has shades of heavy drinking. When fighting, he's a DeathSeeker. One this; while many of the main characters notes inventions aren't his, he is the driving force behind the wave of new mechanisms and devices that all "true" berserkrs are inherently {{Death Seeker}}s.
sweep the world.
* PublicDomainArtifacts: The Lance of Longinus is a driving MacGuffin for the second book, and the Holy Grail[[note]]here ''graduale'' or ladder, which was used to take Jesus down from the cross, and as a stretcher to carry him away.[[/note]]
* TheRedBaron: Many significant characters: Viga[[note]]killer[[/note]]-Brand[[note]]Sword; doubles as a NameToRunAwayFromReallyFast[[/note]], Ragnar Lothbrok[[note]]Hairy-breeches[[/note]], Sigurd Snakeeye, Ivar the Boneless

Added DiffLines:

* AllohistoricalAllusion: There are many of them, both subtle and large.

Added DiffLines:

''The Hammer and the Cross'' is an AlternateHistory trilogy by HarryHarrison and Creator/JRRTolkien scholar Tom Shippey (as "John Holm"). It consists of ''The Hammer and the Cross'', ''One King's Way'', and ''King and Emperor''.

Shef was born in a noble household, son of the thane's wife and a Viking raider. He was raised in the thane's household alongside his stepfather's Wulfgar's legitimate son Alfgar and Godive, Wulfgar's daughter by a concubine. Shef is treated like a slave, and lacks only the iron collar about his neck to make it official. Despite this, he is technically a freeman and has a sword that he made himself, hiding in the forge from his stepfather's rages. Thus he is with the thane's levy when the great Viking [[HistoricalDomainCharacter Ragnar Lothbrok]][[note]]Hairy-breeches[[/note]] is captured, and witnesses his execution in the SnakePit of king Ella of Northumbria.

When the four Ragnarssons hear of their father's death, they come for vengeance with their mighty army flying the Raven Banner. One of the outriders is Sigvarth Jarl, who raided Shef's home once before and left his mother pregnant. This time he crowns his atrocities by maiming thane Wulfgar and taking Shef's childhood sweetheart as a slave to give to the dreaded Ivar the Boneless. Shef schemes his way into the Viking camp to rescue her, and finds himself caught up in the fates of kingdoms and armies.

An ill-fated rescue attempt leaves Godive in a worse slavery yet, married against her will to her brother Alfgar, while Shef has an eye put out for his betrayal of the army. By his actions, he splits the army, with the followers of the Way, a new version of the Norse faith built as a direct rival to Christianity, following Shef, while the pirates and berserkers who value blood and force above all else stay beneath the banner of the Ragnarssons.

!! Contains examples of:
* AllTrollsAreDifferent: In ''One King's Way'' a troll or "marbendill" is a large intelligent humanoid that sometimes feeds on human flesh, lurks in the water to pull unwary boaters under, but otherwise is rather likable, actually. Distinguished from humans by, among other things, a much lower sex drive; human behavior in that regard rather amuses them.
* AlternateHistory: The protagonist helps start a more organized and benevolent form of the Norse religion which comes into conflict both with the more traditional Norse religion and Christianity.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: The trilogy is set in 9th century Europe, and the values of the historical peoples of the time are accurately represented; including their attitude toward rape, enslavement, trial-by-combat, and the social status of women and conquered peoples.
* EyeScream: Ragnar Lothbrok is described as interrogating people by tearing out one eye before asking any questions, then threatening the other. Shef has one of his eyes burned out with a red-hot needle.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Ragnar and the Ragnarssons, assorted kings.
* MagicRealism: Occasionally characters will have visions of the gods or the Other World, and sometimes see each other in those visions. Otherwise everything is grim, gritty realism. Also trolls.
* TheBerserker: The series features a realistic Nordic berserkr (although he's actually Saxon by birth) as a major supporting character. When not fighting, he's brooding and melancholy, prone to fits of heavy drinking. When fighting, he's a DeathSeeker. One of the main characters notes that all "true" berserkrs are inherently {{Death Seeker}}s.
* TheRedBaron: Many significant characters: Viga[[note]]killer[[/note]]-Brand[[note]]Sword; doubles as a NameToRunAwayFromReallyFast[[/note]], Ragnar Lothbrok[[note]]Hairy-breeches[[/note]], Sigurd Snakeeye, Ivar the Boneless

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