Valhalla by Ms. Streeter. Ink, coffee and watercolor on paper with digital elements. 2012.
Today is a day of remembrance for Ragnar Lodbrok. Ragnar earned fame by leading many successful raids to France and England, and in battles during the civil wars of Denmark in the 9th century. He was captured by King Aella of Northumbria and condemned to die in a pit of venomous snakes.
The legend of the Krákumál, which was probably written in Iceland during the twelfth century, records Ragnar’s death song:
“It gladdens me to know that Baldr’s father (Odin) makes ready the benches for a banquet. Soon we shall be drinking ale from the curved horns. The champion who comes into Odin’s dwelling (Valhalla) does not lament his death. I shall not enter his hall with words of fear upon my lips. The Æsir will welcome me. Death comes without lamenting. Eager am I to depart. The Dísir summon me home, those whom Odin sends for me (Valkyries) from the halls of the Lord of Hosts. Gladly shall I drink ale in the high-seat with the Æsir. The days of my life are ended. I laugh as I die.”
His death was avenged by his sons.
Hail, Ragnar! Fame never fades for those who win it.