Episode 9b – The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue (Judgments)

In this episode, Andy and John wonder about Gunnlaug and Hrafn’s motivations, the quality of their poetry, and evaluate their swordsmanship.  We also take a closer look at their love of Helga the Fair.  As always, we count up the bodies and offer praise to the wittiest saga lines before getting down to the more difficult choices.  With no clear villain in the story, who will be outlawed?  Would either Gunnlaug or Hrafn make a good thingman?  There’s one clear gem of thingman in this saga, but John’s choosing first.  What happens when Andy doesn’t get his way? Find out in the Judgment section for The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue.

Gunnlaug and Helga - Charles Fairfax Murray

Gunnlaug and Helga by Charles Fairfax Murray

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Episode 9a – The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue

Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue is a talented warrior-poet torn between his love for Helga the Fair and his quest for fame and fortune in the courts of Northern Europe.  Helga’s father, Thorstein, gives him 3 years to travel and make a name for himself before his claim on Helga is forfeit.  Things get complicated when a rival for Helga’s hand emerges in Hrafn the Skald, a court poet eager to get the best of Gunnlaug.  Will Gunnlaug win the hand of his fair maiden, or will hearts be broken?  Join us as we discuss one of saga literature’s most successful romances, The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue.  Along the way, you’ll learn about this fascinating sub-genre of the Sagas of the Icelanders, the harsh reality behind exposing newborns to the elements, and why a King of Norway would hide in a pigsty.

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Sagas of Warrior-Poets