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Harald Klak

Harald Klak (780-852) was King of the Danes from 812 to 813 and from 819 to 827, succeeding Sigfrid and Anulo and preceding Horik I.


Harald Klak was born in 780, the son of Halfdan Haraldrsson and the brother of Anulo, Reginfrid, and Hemming Halfdansson. In 812, his brother Anulo died in a victorious battle against the pretender Sigfred (who was also slain), leading to Anulo's men proclaiming Reginfrid and Harald co-kings of Denmark. They were ousted by Gudfred's sons in 813, and Reginfrid was killed a year later in a failed attempt to reclaim the throne. Harald allied with the Frankish ruler Louis the Pious and succeeded in regaining power in 819. He converted to Christianity in 826, and he and 400 of his followers were baptized. In 827, he was once again expelled by Gudfred's sons, led by Horik I.  Harald was forced to go into exile among the Franks, while his other brother Hemming was killed in battle with rival Vikings in Frisia. Harald died in 852, having left behind six children: Halfdan, Thyra, Guthfrith, Sigfrid, Hrolfr, and another Halfdan.