The Norman Invasion of England
Okay, so let me get this straight.
You have Anglo-Saxon England. It’s pretty cool and chill and then the Danes start being dicks and invading and raiding and such. It’s so profitable that the actual Danish kings get in on the action. Because the English king at the time, Aeth-something was a pansy, he just kept paying the Danes money (a Danegeld) to stop attacking. But because he was paying them, they kept attacking.
Eventually the English king summoned up some bravery and decided one day to just slaughter a whole bunch of Danish folk. Not the brightest move but okay. Of course the Danish get all pissed off and invade. (The guy leading the invasion was named Sven Forkbeard, awesome.)
Then the Danes basically won because the English suck at this point. Sven died but his son Cnut (oh dear lord) won against Edmund (as the Aeth-something guy died). They divided England into two to rule but that didn’t last long as Edmund mysteriously died. (Probably killed by Cnut.)
Cnut become King and had a couple of sons. Then he took Edmund’s wife Emma as his own and had another son, Harthacnut (Oh you poor fellow). Then the King of Denmark died so Cnut left to claim that too.
After a bit Cnut died and the throne was disputed by his various sons. Harthacnut and Harald Harefoot fought for the throne and Harald became king. He died however (probably mysteriously) and Harthacnut became King and became a huge dick and imposed high taxes. Because of this, Emma’s son from her past marriage (to the Aeth-something guy) Edward, came back to England to become Harthacnut’s heir. After Harthacnut mysteriously died (I’m sensing a trend), Edward the Confessor became King.
It was at this time Edward and one of his supporters Godwin (he’ll become important) had a tiff and Godwin fled England. (Mainly because Godwin was implicated in the murder of Edward’s brother Alfred.) It was at this time that Edward said he wanted William of Normandy (this is also important) to become King after he died. (The Normans come into play because Emma, was a Norman and Edward the Confessor hid out in Normandy for awhile).
After Edward’s death, he had no heir so the next person in line was Harold Godwinson (whose family had became powerful after the King and Godwin reconciled). However, he had two disputes: King Harald III of Norway and William of Normandy. More fighting happened as Harold’s brother Tostig joined forces with the Norwegians. (They had a claim due to a previous agreement between two English and Norwegian kings who said that if either king died without an heir, the other one would rule both countries). Harald and Tostig invaded England and Harold managed to drive them back at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066. Harald and Tostig died and the Norwegian army was decimated. However, Harold lost most of his forces as well.
This led to William of Normandy (soon to be known as William the Conqueror) invading from Normandy and defeating Harold’s army at the Battle of Hastings. He then marched on the capital and was crowned King on December 25th, 1066.
The Normans would then take over England, removing almost every single Anglo-Saxon person in positions of authority, changing the language and even replacing their buildings.
Man, I’m glad I typed this out. Medieval History is convoluted.