Haakon Adelsteinsfostre was the son of Harald Fairhair by Tora Mosterstong. Ten years old Haakon was sent to Winchester to be fostered by king Athelstan. He was taught statesmanship, military leadership and political strategy. Part of his education took place at the great Benedictine monastery at Glastonbury.
Haakon returned to Norway at the time the then king, his brother Eirik Bloodaxe, was forced to flee the country. Haakon became the new king, about 20 years old. He had brought with him a bishop and intended to make Norway take Christianity.
The greatest reforms he made though, was organizing “leidang” and “lagting”. Leidang was a system where the farmes could be called upon to mobilize an army on short notice if need be. Earlier kings had had a great number of men under weapon permanently, and this cost the farmers much more. By cooperating with the farmers Haakon got results and earned his nick-name “the Good”. Lagting is an assembly of representatives from a certain area. The system was not new, but Haakon made each “ting” cover a much greater area.