At long last, it is time to put Grettir’s Saga on trial. Does the fight atop a whale carcass have enough appeal to win Best Bloodshed? Will Grettir’s Saga break the Body Count record currently held by Eyrbyggja Saga? Will Andy and John outlaw Grettir or take him on as thingman? Does Andy finally decide whether Grettir’s Saga is better or worse than Gisli’s Saga? And will John ever stop talking about Nicknames? This saga is full of memorable moments, witticisms, and wonders, which is why this judgment section ended up being so long. But don’t worry, there’s plenty to laugh about and plenty to learn here.
We hope you enjoy this conclusion to Grettir’s Saga as much as we enjoyed making it. The journey’s been long, but well worth the time spent. We’ll get to the Saga Brief about Grettir and Beowulf sometime soon. For now, we need a break from this saga. It’s on to the Saga of the Greenlanders next and then Finnbogi the Mighty. Until then!
In the thrilling conclusion to Grettir’s Saga, we follow the slender armed Thorstein Dromund on his quest to avenge his brother. Thorstein’s adventures carry him from the shores of Norway to the bustling city of Constantinople, where the exiled King Harald Hardrada leads a rag tag bunch of Scandinavians called the Varangian Guard. And if you thought the Grettir’s Saga author would pass up the chance to throw in another giant of saga literature, you were sorely mistaken. Sadly, Harald is only featured in a cameo. The real story of the Grettir’s Saga epilogue is the love affair of Thorstein and Spes. Often referred to as the Spésar þáttr (The Tale of Spes “Hope”), the epilogue contrasts the epic ethos of the saga world with the more playful spirit of the continental romances. If you have ever encountered the famous story of Tristan and Isolde, where the two lovers consistently outwit Isolde’s bumbling husband, King Mark, you’ll feel right at home in the Spésar þáttr. Join us as we review this deceptively simple epilogue and discuss its potential value for understanding the rest of Grettir’s Saga.
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Along the way, we make reference to a few items of interest. First among these are the blog sites featuring Drangey Island. There are some pretty impressive pictures on these blogs and stories about Drangey: