The Legend of Ivar Gunnarsson
The Legend of Ivar Gunnarsson begins 1000 years ago on the Isle of Man, and ends there when William Ivarsson and his wife, Bergit stand up to the old Norse Gods, Loki and Thor, in a cataclysmic battle. Will thought and reason defeat superstition? A tale of love and romance, strange happenings, and commitment to age old concepts. Tender, thoughtful, and reverential. More
There is no known, written record of Ivar Gunnarsson anywhere in the British Isles, not even on the Isle of Man, nor anywhere else. There is, however, a very rich tradition of centuries, where the name Ivar Gunnarsson, of St. Patrick’s Isle, Mann, passed by word of mouth from generation to generation. And there is no known record of Vilnar Ivarsson either. No one knows exactly, when Vilnar Ivarsson, son of Ivar Gunnarsson and Solveig Hakonarsdóttir, was born, but oral tradition tells us it was on the night of the fiercest storm the Isle of Man has ever seen, a storm which became known as the Storm of Legend. It arose out of the Irish Sea on that night and many times over the succeeding centuries. This is our tale.
And soon, Solveig became pregnant with her first child. When the time came for the child to be born, Ivar and Solveig were alone in their hut. During the day and on into the night, a great storm came from the Irish Sea and worsened as the time for the birth grew near. No man before ever saw the likes of such a storm, which came to be known as the Storm of Legend. This was no ordinary storm. And it seemed to Ivar and Solveig that the storm came to claim the newborn, and they feared for the babe.
And on that night, the wind screamed and howled. It shrieked, it wailed and roared around the hut, over and through the trees, flinging shards of icy rain, like claws, tearing at the meager building, trying to dislodge it from its place on the Isle. The wind ripped trees from the ground and threw them in the air, and others it snapped in two. The howling wind threw heavy branches and forest floor debris, stones, and rocks and leaves, and sand at the hut. The sea pounded the rocky shore, wave after wave, trying to batter the shore cliffs into collapse.
In the hut, on that night, Ivar thought in terror, “What have I done? Why has Loki gathered his henchman to vent rage on me? What have I done?” Ivar believed no other God but Loki could vent such anger. Clouds, charcoal black, roiling in fury, hid the sky. Time and again, thunder shook the ground, deafening him. Lightning bolts struck at him, trying to blind him with searing light. The air smelled of fire and of lightning. Ivar and Solveig shivered with cold and fear. All of Loki’s henchmen of the storm were at work, their forces arrayed against the two.
Ivar, cringing on the floor of the hut, screamed at Loki, “What have I done?”
Of a sudden, there was quiet, no wind, no rain, no thunder, no lightning, and no sound of battering waves, as Loki roared his answer. “It's not what you have done, it is who you are. You are thought and reason. Your children and your children’s children for forty generations shall be thought and reason. I cannot control you. That is who you are. That is what you represent, and I will destroy you. I have you cringing in fear. You are huddled before me and I will finish you.”
Ivar, overcoming his fear, but trembling nonetheless, rose slowly, first to his knees, then to his feet. He raised his hands upward. He looked up to the voice of Loki and he said, “No, you cannot destroy me, it is not so. If I am thought and reason, as you say, then I am ideas. I am progress. I will survive. You are chaos, noise, and confusion. You are superstition. I will not allow you to have power over me. I will not. Scream, and howl and shriek, tear at me, try what you will, but you cannot destroy me, for I will not allow it. I stand here. Do what you will. I will be here long after the wind has failed and the rain has stopped. I will be here when the clouds are gone, when the thunder has died, when the lightning is no more. I am thought and reason. I am ideas and progress. My power is greater than yours, and it shall be so.” This then is where our tale begins.