There are some moments in history which display the raw power of the human spirit. The pyramids of Giza. The still-standing Parthenon. Stone Henge. And even, rocks in Sweden called the Jelling Stones. Now, the story of the Jelling Stones was a bit boring from the beginning of time right up until a bunch strapping Viking fellows started whacking at them with hammers and chisels in order to record some stuff. The bigger of the two Jelling stones talks about a fellow named King Haraldr – a.k.a. Harald Bluetooth. Now, when I stumbled across this name in my genealogy, I thought ‘Ha! Like the thingy that pairs my phone with my speaker. Cool. Probably no relation.’ Well, I was wrong about that. Yes. Bluetooth pairs technology. He’s also my great-grandfather (x32 – on four sides). And, rumor has it, the chap had a sweet tooth for blueberries – so much so that it stained his teeth.
See, on one side of Harald’s stone is carved with an inscription related to his rule, announcing that he ‘won for himself all of Denmark and Norway and made the Danes Christian.’ On the second is a depiction of a serpent wrapped around a lion. The other is Christ depicted as standing in the shape of a cross and entangled in what appear to be branches.
Harald was the son of the first significant figure in a new royal line centered at Jelling (North Jutland). He completed what his father began: he conquered Norway – he united the Danes under a new banner. Christianity. The religion was not even a thousand years old yet. He united all the Viking factions for the first time since they went from guys in Scandinavia to guys who didn’t like other guys in Scandinavia.
Granted, Harald’s son had to more or less repeat the feat, but he was the first. Sweyn I, Harald’s son, also subdued England. And Sweyn’s son, Canute I… reeeeeeeconqured Norway. Which had been lost. Apparently, it was a rather pesky thing to hang on to.
Various contenders fought for the English throne until it was settled by one of Rollo’s descendants: William the Conqueror. He was famous for that thing in 1066. Rollo was also my 32x great-grandfather.
Back to Ol’ Bluetooth. He united Denmark, and then a beautiful nerd developing the tech thought:
Harald had united Denmark and Christianized the Danes! It occurred to me that this would make a good codename for the program. At this time I also created a PowerPoint foil with a version of the Runic stone where Harald held a cellphone in one hand and a notebook in the other and with a translation of the runes: