By the age of twelve Eric already owned five longships. The favourite son of King Harald Finehair of Norway, he rapidly demonstrated his skill as a great warrior. He became king of Western Norway following his father. Seeking territories west, he raided Scotland and around the Irish Sea, and by 947 had established himself as ruler of the Viking Kingdom of Northumberland. His heroic entrance into Valhalla on his death in 954 is described in the skaldic poem Eriksmàl.