The Viking at Stamford Bridge
"But there was one of the Norwegians who withstood the English folk,
so that they could not pass over the bridge, nor complete the victory."
25 September 1066. The Saxons really had the Vikings by the balls now.
It had all started earlier that year, when King Edward the Confessor kicked the bucket without first having the good sense to nail some babe and leave England with a living heir. Anglo-Saxon bigwig Harold Godwinson was already in the neighborhood of the throne room so he went ahead and grabbed the crown for himself, but this kind of pissed off the Norwegian King, a massive badass Viking known as Harald Hardrada. There was also a third dude who staked a claim on the recently-vacated throne, some French bastard named William, but he was currently dicking around in Normandy doing God-knows-what and doesn’t really figure into this tale at all.
Pissing off a Viking chieftain can generally only lead to one thing - hurt feelings and a copious amount of bloodshed. Within weeks of Harold Godwinson anointing himself King, a swarming horde of badass Viking warriors sailed into England on a river of blood and immediately began fucking up everything they came across like a rampaging plague of biblical locusts eating the first-born of Egypt during the Great Flood. The armies of Mercia and Northumbria marched forth in a feeble attempt to stem the tide, but both forces were quickly crushed in a frenzy of ball-crunching warhammers and whirling blood-stained longaxes. The town of Scarborough was sacked, pillaged, knocked over, burned to the ground and eaten by wolves, and it seemed as though there was little that the new King could do to slow down this marauding army of insane Viking madmen.
But all of a sudden the entire Saxon army had hopped on their sweet four-wheel-drive ATVs and covered 180 miles in four days, catching the Viking army camping at Stamford Bridge with their fucking loin cloths down. The Norse leaders had not expected the Saxons to mobilize nearly as quickly as they did, and when the horizon suddenly became alive with the fluttering banners and gleaming steel of five thousand enemy soldiers, the Northmen knew they were beyond totally fucked. Most of their armor and weapons, along with one-third of their army, was still waiting back at the ships - nearly a day's march away and about as much use to these disorganized troops as a last season's J. Crew catalog.
The charging Saxon army crashed into the small Viking camp on the West side of the River Derwent, cutting the unprepared Norsemen to shreds like a convicted felon shoving his buddy sack-first into a woodchipper on a cold Minnesota evening. Those who weren't immediately reduced to steaming piles of severed limbs and melted flesh attempted to flee across Stamford Bridge and join up with the rest of their allies on the East bank in order to regroup, gear up, pop a fresh clip into their Glocks and mount some sort of significant resistance. With all of the Viking warriors on the West bank either slaughtered or running for their lives, the Saxon forces prepared to charge over the river, jam their spears into the eyes of anyone wearing animal fur and complete the destruction of these Norse invaders once and for all. However, even with the Northman Army reeling and in complete disarray, victory would not come so easily for the Saxon Army.
Standing astride the bridge was one man. A giant Norse berserker silently surveyed the Saxon army, firmly clutching a massive double-bladed Greataxe in his weathered, calloused hands. A lone Viking hero granted permission by his King to die honorably in combat, tasked with defending the narrow bridge and buying time for his brethren to reorganize. His face was concealed by an imposing horned helm - metal plates reinforcing a mask constructed from the bleached bone remains of a fearsome animal skull, his wild eyes peering through the darkness like searing orbs of white-hot flame. A living demon, sent forth from the darkest recesses of Hell itself to exact brutal vengeance on any mortal brave or foolish enough to cross him, defying anyone with more balls than sense to test his wrath.
The full might of the Anglo-Saxon army charged the bridge, determined to extricate this colossal beast from his post through the sheer weight of their numbers, but the narrow walkway above the raging waters of the River Derwent was only wide enough for four men to stand abreast, and its guardian was unwavering in his resolve. The first rank of fighting men crashed full-speed into the Norseman like a school bus full of insolent teenagers being hurled face-first into a wall of unflinching spikes.
The war chants of ancient heroes sung in the fearless Viking's ears, as though an invisible primitive iPod were blasting the song "Freya" by The Sword at maximum volume as he wrought terrible havoc upon the apprehensive and overmatched Saxon footmen. His savage strikes felled even the bravest warriors in a single blow, cutting down mighty champions with the same effortless ease as Martha Stewart carving up slices of a warm pumpkin pie, while any attacks that penetrated his agile defenses failed to significantly wound him or even penetrate his battle-hardened hide. Swords shattered on impact with his chain mail, terrible blows rained upon his chest and arms failed to elicit even the slightest wince of pain, and this ferocious barbarian cut a swath of destruction in his wake, wading through these experienced, professional warriors like a Japanese movie monster plowing through a swimming pool full of strawberry Jell-O. Dismembered appendages and decapitated corpses littered the battlefield, the river itself ran red with the blood of fallen men, and the bridge soon appeared as though a schlocky Halloween prop store had just exploded upon it. His features were alive with the blood-lusted determination of a true Viking berserker, his clenched teeth were bared like the fangs of a rabid wolf, his Advanced Battle Rage boosting his STR and CON scores to inhuman levels... one man fearlessly battling five thousand, holding the bridge until death.
For almost an hour this resolute 20th Level Fighter single-handedly tore through the English like a chainsaw-wielding space marine with the God Mode cheat activated, shaking off even the most horrific wounds as if they were gunshot wounds from a laser tag weapon and slaughtering more soldiers than a bad Sci-Fi Channel Original movie. After watching this man unleash mayhem so brutal that it would make even the most hardcore MMA enthusiasts nauseous, one clever Saxon warrior wised up and decided not to try and test this barbarian's might. He floated a barrel in the river, hopped in, drifted underneath the bridge, and jammed his spear up through the planks, striking the Viking in his only weak point - the ball sack.
The Swift-Footed Achilles had his infamous heel, Smaug the Magnificent had a weak point covering his heart, and the Giant Enemy Crab could be exposed for massive damage - but for this invincible Viking warrior, a spear wound in the junk was the one thing that could slow him down. As he fell to his knees, lamenting his unfortunate situation, the Saxons poured over the bridge and into the now-organized Norse camp. The berserker was dealt one final death blow and began his spiritual journey across the Rainbow Bridge to Valhalla, where he would spend the afterlife chilling out drinking forties of malt liquor with Odin and waiting around for his opportunity to carve his enemies to pieces once again at Ragnarok. With their champion finally slain, the Viking lines eventually collapsed as the vengeful Saxons fell on them like a face-melting Hydrochloric acid rain made out of pointy spears and broadswords. During the battle, King Harald Hardrada of Norway was shot in the damn throat with an arrow, and the influence of the Vikings over the British crown was forever broken.
History never recorded the name of the insane, balls-out warrior who fought so ferociously on this day, but the songs of Viking skalds and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles do remember his deeds. When he finally succumbed to his numerous wounds and crashed to the earth, over forty Saxon soldiers lay dead at his feet, and dozens of wounded men were left helplessly crawling through the thick grass on the river bank, crippled by the savage onslaught of this crazy axe-swinging motherfucker. The full might of the English army had been completely halted by the strength of one man - the nameless Viking at Stamford Bridge.
The Battle of Stamford Bridge
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