Gunthar Jonsson

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Gunthar Crown Medfaire 2009.jpg
HRM Gunthar II at Namron Medieval Faire, 2009.
Photo by Zubeydah
Registered Name: Gunthar Jonsson
Resides: Elfsea
Status: 98% Inactive
Joined SCA: 1984
Order of Precedence
Gunthar Jonsson
OP: Kingdom of Atenveldt
Ansteorra Chivalry Page
Gunthar Jonsson Device - V4.png
Purpure, a Maltese cross, in chief two escallops argent.

His Grace, Duke Gunthar Jonsson, OL

Previously Known As:
Nickname(s): Poppa Gunthar, The Rain King, Battle Bot - the story behind that: I had been in Atenveldt for about a year. I decided to fight in their Crown. I'd just broken up that week with the lady I'd been fighting for. I wanted people to know who I was. I made it to the quarter finals. I was fighting a guy who is now a Duke. Everyone was watching. A new knight fighting this unknown Count. I realized he was really, really aggressive, so I started baiting him. I'd throw a tiny shot and then step out of range. He'd growl, step forward, and I'd step out of range. I saw smoke practically coming out of his helmet. Oh! He's ready! I twitched, and immediately spun. He immediate attacked. I hit him in the face plate. You heard the CLANG!! All through town. He was going for my leg, lunging right into the shot. Apparently I knocked him out, but hitting the ground woke him up. (He did take my leg, though!) The lower level fighters started calling me battle bot.
Pronouns: He/Him.

Additional Registered Heraldry:


Mantling 1: Or semy of mullets of five greater and five lesser points sable
Mantling 2: Purpure
Helm: Or helm
Crest: Brown bull's head with sable bloodied Horns
Coronet: Ducal coronet
Dexter Supporter: Ferret ermine
Sinister Supporter: Boar - brown proper with wings Or
Motto: Ibo ibi (Translation: I will go there)
Notes: Surrounded by half a white belt and chain and half a laurel wreath


  • Regional Offices Held
    • Prior Earl Marshal, Central Region at the first Gulf War: There was a big problem with folks' fighter authorization cards - they were all expired. I spent hours of that day with a long line of fighters, filling out authorization cards. I probably did 100 of them that day.

  • Kingdom Offices Held
    • 40th Crown of Ansteorra: Entering Crown was what everyone did. There wasn't the population at the time; I was a fighter. Fighters enter Crown. That was the path. For no reason other than, it was what everyone did. For a while, there were so few tournaments, you did every one that you could. When I won my first Crown, I had won a lot of tournaments. I was a Knight, I was doing pretty well. But I'd found a bit of a slump. Part of it was, I was trying so hard. I'd placed second in the four to five previous Crown Tournaments. Everyone just KNEW I was going to win -- except me. This isn't like throwing a shot put, where you just need another inch or two. I could go into the tournament and get one shotted in the first round and be out. So I was going into it in a bit of a slump. The week before, I had kind of had a bad discussion with a couple knights. My attitude was just crap and I wasn't even going to go. I was upset about everything, and Sara said, "No. You said If I got you this bit of armor, you'd fight in Crown. I am holding you to that promise." It was a long, long drive. Crown was by Stargate. Sara had the work that day. Baroness Alice and I drove down and the whole way there, I ranted to her about fighting. I was sick of placing second, was in a bad head space. At one point, I finally went, "Fine. I'm going to go fight in this. If I get knocked out in the second round, fine, I suck. If I get knocked out in the middle, then great, I'm not as bad as I think I am. If I make it all the way, then, well, yay. New part of my life." I got there, put on my armor. It was an absolutely gorgeous, perfect day. I went out, and in my first bout, I said, "I feel good. I feel happy." I was in the groove. I said, "None of this matters. It's just fun." The finals were me and Jean-Richard. We had some history there. We walked off and had a talk. We both agreed it was going to be a good fight. We went to the field and called in all the Chivalry. "One of the two of us is going to be your Prince and then King. Consider this a pre-order. This fight will be CLEAN. If you see something we miss, you stop it, and you tell us." We went and fought three of the most beautiful fights. I hit him quickly in the first round. The second one, he faked me out of my shorts and clocked me. The third, I legged him, and I just knew he was going to slip something in, but somehow, he was on the ground. The great part of the day was, midway through the Crown list, Sara called and said, "Hi! I got off work early, and I'm on my way down!" Alice told her I was doing well. Sara headed towards site and at that point, had no idea what had happened. Remember, there weren't cell phones in these days. I told everyone, "NO ONE tell Sara when she gets here." I was in a Pelican's meeting. Every time a car came to gate, everyone would stop and check to see who it was. Finally, she got there. I met her and said, "Oh. Hi. We're just breaking up the pelican circle. Court's in a bit." We changed into our Court garb. I'd just been granted a Court Barony perhaps six months prior. So I put on my Court Barony coronet. I went up to the front of Court, as I was the King's Champion. She was sitting there in the crowd. As the first order of business, they called her into court. She was like, "Oh, ok, whatever, what's happening?" Barn and Kat said, "We have something to give you, for all you service." They called me forward. I took off my Baronial cornet and put on the Prince's coronet. The first thing Sara did, was looked at me, then turned and looked at the audience, and said "YA'LL LIED TO ME!"
Crown Prince of Ansteorra
Photo by Zubeydah
    • 60th Crown of Ansteorra: The second Crown I won was sort of a similar deal, in that I'd kept losing in the finals, time after time after time. It was really frustrating. And this was another Crown where I wasn't in a good space. I thought I was just tired and might take a break for a while. This one wasn't as fun as the first one. It was a horribly hot day. They'd said it was going to be indoors, but it had to be outdoors. It was 106, 112, something crazy like that. I was tired. Exhausted. I would get up, fight, collapse. I'd fought some really hard fighters and gotten through them. The finals was me and Rhodri, I believe. I celebrated being prince by going to a friend's house and going swimming. It's one of the only Crown Tournaments I've seen that the loser yielded in the final fight. Rhodri did a nice speech. The funny thing is, one week after that, we were at Pennsic. We were out in the field battle. It was about 85 degrees. It was getting a little warm. The sun was a little hot. There was a guy nearby, grumbling that the heat was just killing him. I guess it was hot to a guy from Canada, but to me, it was a nice breeze.

Persona History:

Borderlord for King Richard II in Wales.
Started in Sweden as the fourth son of a knight. Our family business was mostly in farming pigs.

I was of (barely) noble birth but was a good fighter, especially in tournaments and gained wealth and title thusly. Eventually King Richard II (who doesn't really like me, and vice versa) sent me to keep control of the Welsh. Oddly enough, the Welsh and I get along very well.


  • Cooking. I was known more as a cook, when I was a royal peer and not yet a Laurel. I'm far more famous as a cook than as a fighter. My first feast was Namron's Protectorate X. I've done 12th Night feasts. Queen's Breakfast at Gulf Wars. I do really good feasts. I do sideboards and a million Vigil buffets. That's what I do. People started saying, "That's the guy who makes food we can eat!" I wanted to share with folks that period cooking is a cuisine. It's not "weird food" or "bad tasting" - it's just a different cuisine, like Persian or Greek. I've practically no other skill. I can kill it, and I can cook it, and that's about it. I'm a terrible armorer, terrible with pretty much everything else. I am not one of these Laurels who can do everything. I'm a cook. I go with my strengths.
  • Fighting
  • Rapier (I'm part of a fencing household (House Porto))
  • Talking fighting technique
  • Norse culture

Timeline of Activity:

I was interested, but was in the Air Force at the time. (Although I did go a few minor events in Namron, such as MedFaire and local Revels before going overseas. I was the newbie in an oversized t-shirt and sweatpants in the corner. Bjorn and Gwenneth were Baron and Baroness.) I got shipped overseas, and spent that time reading EVERYTHING. I came back to the States in 1984, and really started participating there in Namron.

Steppes was my next home around 1987 or thereabouts. Robin of Gilwell and Adelicia Tagliaferro were Baron and Baroness.

I moved to Atenveldt for about three years in or around 1993 (Not the military, this time; I was chasing a girl).

Thoughts and Stories:

  • It's like Lloyd said: The biggest, fanciest title you can have is your name. Awards are nice. But every award I ever got, I had to bleed for. By the time I got them, I was dry and they had lost their meaning. But what people think of you, that's what is important.
  • Whenever I got wounded, when someone would take my arm or leg - I would rarely yield, but would insist that my opponent never give up their advantage. I wanted to see if I could best them, even with their advantage. One time, I got armed fighting glaive, and still managed to win. I like to see if I can pull something out, and win. But if I was fighting, I would give up my advantage. That's just something Ansteorrans do. Other Kingdoms don't - they think it strange.
  • I was one of the rare Knights to receive a Sable Falcon. Knights were supposed to be impressive, but apparently did something that was impressive enough that I received a Falcon.
  • One thing I am proud of, is that I have grant level awards for every pillar of the peerage.
  • Why I Resigned from the Chivalry. My oath is a bond. It's not play. My oath is real. I am not one who can put it away when it's not the weekend. I have only sworn one oath - when I knelt and put the chain around my neck. All the others were reminders of that one. I resigned because I was tired. I didn't want to play any more. The SCA had become a burden and wasn't fun. As a Knight, my Oath is binding. A King could call me up and say, "I need you go go and do this. I need you at this event to do this." I took Knighthood very seriously. At the time, the Prince & Princess had hurt us personally very much. The Crown I had zero respect for. I didn't want to be in service to people like that, who I have to be in service to, because they won a stick fight. I didn't want to be bound by that oath, I didn't want to be a knight. I didn't want to receive a Mastership from either. As Duke Lloyd said, "I'm a Duke. Let them figure it out." I am who I am.


  • The first award I gave (Other than a Duchy to Ebegaris) was a King's Gauntlet to Lloyd. He had served so many Crowns and not been acknowledged that it was important to do that, first.
  • The outfit I wore at my Laureling ceremony was a gift from a friend of mine in An Tir. I refer to it as my wedding dress.

Prior Groups:

Populace Provided Information:


Notable Contributions or Accomplishments:

Glorious embroidered tunic by Magge MacPherson.
  • I created an email group long before Facebook called the SCA Cooks List. It started off as a few folks from Ansteorra sharing critiques and post mortems, on how to improve feasts. Then we got people from all over the SCA joining. We had folks like Selene Fox and Master Adamantius - who I consider the Duke Inman of cooking. These were some of the people who got me into cooking. It was one of the largest email lists around. There were over 700 members, or something insane. So I got a little famous for creating that. I got the term Poppa Gunther from that. It's sort of like an affectionate reference like the village priest. There was a lady who met me, who had always heard me called that, and imagined some fat, old, greying guy, and not a younger man of 38.
  • I've been the featured speaker at the Midrealm SCA Cooking Symposium. I've been flown out to various cooking symposiums.
  • Innumerable times being Feast Steward: Steppes 12th Night, Queen's Breakfasts at Gulf Wars, Sideboards, etc.
  • Signed the White Scarf Treaty with the Midrealm in his first Reign
  • Was the King That Had to Cancel Gulf War halfway through the event (First reign: The rain was always a thing with me and Sara. Four or five events got cancelled due to rain - there was an El Nina. Gulf Wars was beautiful, until about Wednesday... when it rained and rained and rained, and the temperature dropped. All the Crowns except Trimaris met at the condos, and reviewed the weather reports. There were lines of storms. Meridies' Crown said, "Since we're the host, we don't want to be involved in the decision." Everyone looked at me. I said, "I would rather disappoint 4,000 people, than have one person die from this." (As it turned out, the people who deliver firewood to the site were in a car wreck and one of them died.) I don't regret that decision (to close the war). We held one final court in a GP Medium tent and threw one hell of a party. It was freezing cold temperatures and was miserable. After that, we closed down the event. I figure New Orleans should have sent us a thank you note for all the tourists that went there after Gulf closed.
  • 11th Guardian of Mooneschadowe (1991)
  • Prior Warlord of the Steppes (1992)
  • Prior Namron Protector
  • Prior Wiesenfeur Champion
  • 3 time Elfsea Defender
  • Chosen as one of the first 9 Worthies of Stargate
  • Premier Champion of Black Oak Keep
  • Aldersruhe Champion
  • Champion of Champions of Aldersruhe
  • 2 times Warden of the Woods
  • Champion of Tyr Cath
  • King's Champion to Barn Silveraxe, Sutan Bloodaxe, and Jonathan von Troitha

Non-Armigerous Awards and Recognitions:

  • Acorn of the Steppes



Mundane Information:

I'm your typical IT geek. I was a martial artist for a time - I fought Chuck Norris and lived. He was a partner of my old Karate teacher. He would come and spar with us black belts.

Special Needs:

Healthy as an aged fat horse.

In Case of Court:

If commanded by my Crown, I will attend court, but otherwise am not generally at events.