Bit 2 Background Info

Here’s our story outline, broken down by chapter, along with our Character Breakdown. While the included characters are vital to the historical story, feel free to add new characters…or stay as historically accurate as you like! The community will get to decide which direction to take, so have fun and give this your best shot. The outline and character breakdowns are below.


1.       Erik the Red is labeled a fugitive by the Jarl and chooses banishment as a punishment. He sets off in the night with a crew of loyal men to find a new home, leaving his family—including young Leif—in the trusted care of Tyrker.

2.       Leif lives two years without his father, under the care of Tyrker. His family is treated badly, but Leif is too young to notice much. He learns much about the life of a Viking from Tyrker, whom Leif idolizes. He also learns much about the Norse gods.

3.       Erik the Red returns suddenly. He has lost many men, but once he shares his harrowing tales of adventure in Greenland, a new land he has discovered, Erik has no trouble recruiting settlers to join him in his new home. He clashes with the Jarl, but in the end is able to leave with his family.

4.       At sea, Leif’s mother, Thjodhild, and sister, Freydis, fall ill. Leif, Erik, Tyrker, and Leif’s brothers, Thorsteinn and Thorvald, pray fervently to the gods for their healing. Just as Thjodhild and Freydis begin to recover, Greenland is spotted!

5.       Erik’s sons must work at a backbreaking pace to help the family settle into The Red Longhouse, as Leif’s mother and sister continue to recover. The life of a Viking settler on Greenland is tough, but Leif learns to be useful in fishing, hunting, and many other necessary tasks.

6.       As Leif turns 13, his family has settled into life in Greenland. Erik’s men often journey as far as Norway for trading and adventure. Thorsteinn is allowed to make his first journey by ship as a Viking, and all summer Leif regrets being left behind. His jealousy turns to grief and anger when the Vikings return…without Thorsteinn, who has been killed. Leif is now the oldest Eriksson.


Leif “the Lucky” Eriksson (protagonist)

Erik “the Red” Thorvaldrsson

Tyrker – one of Erik’s thralls entrusted with the care of Erik’s children, considered by Leif as a surrogate father. Discovered grapes on Vineland.

Thjodhild – Leif’s mother and builder of Greenland’s first Christian church

Thorsteinn Eriksson – Leif’s oldest brother

Thorvald Eriksson – Leif’s brother who journeys to Vinland after Leif’s return and begins conflicts with the local Native American population. Thorvald dies in such a skirmish north of the Viking base.

Freydis – Leif’s sister

Thorvaldr Asvaldsson – Leif’s grandfather, father of Erik the Red. Banished from Norway for manslaughter, Thorvaldr went into exile in Iceland, accompanied by young Erik.

[Leif’s crew to Norway]

Thorgunna of the Hebrides – Leif’s first love and the mother of his first son, Thorgils

Thorgils Leifsson – Leif’s oldest son, by Thorgunna of the Hebrides

King Olaf I Tryggvason of Norway – Converts Leif to Christianity around c. 1000

Bjarni Herjulfsson – the first to sight North America but never sets foot on it, inspires Leif.

[Leif’s crew to Vinland, 35 men including Tyrker]

Thorkel Leifsson – Leif’s legitimate son, who becomes chief by 1025 after Leif’s death

[Leif’s wife, Thorkel’s mother]

Bit 1 Bit 3

Comments (4)

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  • Steve Fitch
    Steve Fitch almost 5 years ago

    Thanks Andrew! It is contributions like this that will help this project!

  • AB
    Andrew Boynton almost 5 years ago

    Another thing, in Iceland they had gothar (singular gothi) rather than jarls.

  • AB
    Andrew Boynton almost 5 years ago

    Another thing, in Iceland they had gothar (singular gothi) rather than jarls.

  • AB
    Andrew Boynton almost 5 years ago

    Justa a note, if a man's name ends in an "R" (e.g. Thorvaldr) the letter is dropped in the child's name (e.g. Erik Thorvaldsson), a man's name ends in a vowel (e.g. Floki) the letter is replaced with "A" in the child's name (e.g. Angrboda Flokasdottir). I can help people with any questions with Old Norse they have.