2014 SMUHA Guizer Jarl - Keith Lobban
Einar Eindridesson Thambarskelfir
Guizer Jarl Keith Lobban from Gulberwick represented one of the most feared archers of the Viking age, Einar Eindridesson Thambarskelfir.

Born in 980 AD, Einar was the son of a rich and influential farmer at the political centre of Melhus. Most of his childhood was spent on his father's farms where he practiced archery, hunting bears and wolves and becoming a master of the long bow. He was soon known as the most skilled archer in Norway and was given the cognomen "Thambarskelfir", meaning "wobbly bowstring". Einar became Jarl at Husaby and commanded an army of his own.
King Olaf Tryggvason persuaded Thambarskelfir to fight alongside him on board the Ormrinn Langi (Long Serpent). At the battle of Svolder it is said that whilst shooting at the enemy, a stray arrow struck Einar's bow as he was drawing an arrow. The bow broke with a loud crack and King Olaf, standing nearby, shouted "what is that that broke with such a noise?"
Einar replied, "
Norway, King, from thine hands" Olaf gave Einar his own bow to shoot but Einar drew it too easily and said "Thy bow is too weak for that of a great King". Throwing the bow aside, Einar drew his sword and fought valiantly.

King Olaf was defeated, but Einar survived and was given quarter by Earl Eirik. He travelled extensively as an archer and military commander. He was well versed in Law becoming a powerful political figure, with influence in royal circles, including that of King Cnut in England.

While travelling, Einar found King Olaf Haraldsson's illegitimate 11 year old son. Magnus had a paternal claim to the throne of Norway. Einar brought him back to Norway where he brokered a deal with Harthacnut, the son of King Cnut, and Einar became the de facto leader in Norway in the name of Magnus. When Magnus "The Good" grew older he continued to seek advice from Einar who remained influential in the reign of the young King.
Magnus, against Einar's advice, allowed Harald Sigurdsson (Olaf Haraldsson's half brother) to share the throne. King Magnus died within a year and although never proven, many believed Harald to be the cause. Einar was an outspoken critic of Harald. He was however, loyal to his country and refused to be involved in foreign plots against the King.

Despite this, Harald regarded Einar as being too powerful and dangerous, even in his old age. When Thambarskelfir was nearly 80 the King arranged to meet him at Husaby to negotiate a truce. Einar and his sons waited for the King but the King brought his army intent on killing Einar and his kin. Although surrounded, Einar and his sons fought valiantly, first with their bows and when they ran out of arrows they took up sword and shield. They charged the King's men knowing their fate had already been written by the Norn and they would soon meet Ullr, the God of Winter and Archery, in Valhalla. Einar and his sons died in the battle ending the blood line of the Lade Jarls.
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