Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)


Frithiof, the Viking hero of this nineteenth century reshaping of a tale of ancient Scandinavia. After the death of his father and of the king his father served, Frithiof is humiliated by the new brother-kings, who refuse him their sister’s hand in marriage. Frithiof is at last outlawed but acquires riches and glory as a sea fighter. He goes in disguise to the kingdom of the man now married to the woman he has consistently loved. He saves the lives of both king and queen, and the good king gives up his queen to Frithiof and makes him war-guardian of the kingdom. Frithiof succeeds to the throne after the king dies and later defeats his old enemies, the brother-kings, in battle.


Helge, one of the brother-kings. When Frithiof returns from a difficult journey to collect tribute money, he finds Helge’s wife wearing the ring of gold he once gave to Ingeborg. In the resultant struggle, the temple is burned and Frithiof is outlawed. After Frithiof himself becomes king, the brother-kings wage war on him and Helge is slain.


Halfdan, the brother of Helge and co-ruler of the kingdom. At last, he is made to swear fealty to Frithiof.


Ingeborg, the sister of Helge and Halfdan, loved by Frithiof. Although she and Frithiof exchange vows and gold rings, she is forced to marry King Hring. She remains in love with Frithiof and, as a result of Hring’s generosity, is at last united with him.


Hring, a Scandinavian king. Victorious in battle against the brothers, he extracts their promise to give him Ingeborg as a wife. Much later, when Frithiof appears disguised in the kingdom, Hring recognizes him but pretends not to until Frithiof has proved himself.

King Bele

King Bele, the father of Helge and Halfdan. Dying, he warns them against losing Frithiof’s friendship.

Thorsten Vikingsson

Thorsten Vikingsson, Frithiof’s father, who has helped King Bele in the past. Dying, he requests his son to help the brother-kings.

Yarl Angantyr

Yarl Angantyr, the ruler of the Faroe Islands. The brother-kings send Frithiof to collect tribute money from him.