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Earl Rognvald’s Sons: Einar of the Orkneys and Rolf, Conqueror of Normandy

According to the thirteenth-century Icelandic Heimskringla, before the Viking Rollo became the first ruler of Normandy and of the Normans – the people who later conquered much of England, Ireland, and Sicily – he was known as Hrolf Ganger, or Rolf the Walker. Why the son of Earl Rognvald (Eysteinsson) – the legendary Norwegian nobleman and friend of King Harald Fairhair – ended up creating a powerful ducal dynasty in the early tenth century on the coast of modern-day France is less known because it may have involved his older brother Einar – who at the behest of their father sailed to the Orkneys from their home in Møre (western Norway) and established his own dynastic earldom enduring centuries.

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