Torstein Knarresmed

Torstein Knarresmed (c. 981-1030) was a shipwright from Rovde in Sunnmøre in Møre og Romsdal, Norway. He played an important role in the Battle of Stiklestad. His actions probably saved the life of Thorir Hund during the battle leading to a victory over King Olaf II of Norway.[1]

Olav den Helliges fall på Stiklestad
Peter Nicolai Arbo (1859)


Torstein Knarresmed was one of Thorir Hund's most trusted men. Thorir Hund was among the chiefs rallying against the return of King Olaf, who was seeking to reclaim the throne he had previously lost in the Battle of the Helgeå. Torstein had personal reasons for opposing King Olaf, and went first into the battle under his own Sunnmøre banner.[2][3][4]

During the Battle of Stiklestad, King Olaf almost killed Thorir Hund with a war hammer. However, Torstein Knarresmed managed to get between them and gave Olaf a wound right above his left knee. Shortly later Thorir Hund thrust his spear into the king's stomach before Kalv Arnesson struck the king in the throat with his sword. Torstein Knarresmed was subsequently killed by a blow in the back but was revenged later that same day by one of Thorir's men. [5]


Knarresmed, from the old Norse words knarr and smed (smith), means "shipwright". Torstein Knarresmed was in his lifetime known for his highly seaworthy ships built at his boatyard in a bay near Knarrdal in Rovde.[6]

See alsoEdit


  • This article includes a translation of its equivalent from the Norwegian (Norsk bokmål) Wikipedia.Torstein Knarresmed

Primary SourceEdit

The primary source of information regarding Torstein Knarresmed is contained in Olav den helliges saga from Snorre Sturluson: Heimskringla Kongesagaer) [7]


  1. ^ >Slaget på Stiklestad (Tangient LLC)
  2. ^ Claus Krag. "Tore Hund, Høvding". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  3. ^ "History | Stiklestad". Retrieved 2012-09-17.
  4. ^ Peter Lawætz (October 2014). "Kampene ved Helgeåen 1026". Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  5. ^ Snorre Sturluson Heimskringla Kongesagaer Archived 2013-06-15 at the Wayback Machine (Norrøn Mytologi / Norrøn Tid © Idar Lind)
  6. ^ Smed in English (Norwegian-English Dictionary online)
  7. ^ Slaget på Stiklestad (Frå Heimskringla, etter 1230)

Related readingEdit

  • Petersen, Siegwart (1863) Fortællinger af fædrelandets historie: folkelæsning (Kristiania: J.W. Cappelen)
  • Krag, Claus (1995) Aschehougs Norgeshistorie. Vikingtid og riksamling 800-1130 (Oslo: Aschehoug)