Saga Short 4: The Tale of Thorstein Shiver

What happens when a stubborn Icelander enters an outhouse alone at night against the orders of King Olaf Tryggvason? Find out as Saga Thing takes on The Tale of Thorstein Shiver!

If you haven’t read this one yet, you can find it in the back of your Penguin edition of Sagas of Icelanders or Icelandic Histories and Romances

Also, check out Vikings in 30 Seconds (mentioned by John in the conclusion).

Music Credits:

Intro: From “Death Awaits” by Billy Malmstrom

Outro: From “Óðinn” by Krauka

3 thoughts on “Saga Short 4: The Tale of Thorstein Shiver

  1. Dear Andy and John

    There is an interesting aside to these tales of Icelanders and kings, be it in the þættir, sagas or many other Icelandic medieval writings.

    It’s about the accessibility to the royal heads of Northern Europe, which was never a problem for the Icelanders, whether in Norway, Denmark, England or Ireland. Icelanders were for the most part uniformly and unequivocally welcome, quite often receiving gifts or other honors. Even ne’er-do-wells like Grettir Ásmundason or mentally challenged individuals like Hreiðar Þorgrímsson got to meet kings.
    This was probably the medieval writers’ way of underscoring the superiority and nobility of Icelanders; they were the descendants of kings, at least by their own account.
    (The infamous) Snorri Sturluson goes even further and traces the Icelandic lineages all the way back to ancient Troy.

    Juxtapose this with what was probably the reality, as shown in Konungs skuggsjá (Speculum regale) and we see that gaining access to a king, even a Viking king, was anything but easy with an array of protocols and rules governing everything from wealth, to speech to clothing to hair to length of fingernails.

    That is to say, excluding Icelanders. They were always accepted, and we still are.

    We’re simply the best.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m going to guess that John did edited this episode, even though I haven’t yet heard the remaining April episodes. There was a horrible ground hum behind the fanfare at the end of the story. A technical shortcoming that I have not heard before on this show. Your content is still excellent 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Heri. Sadly, John can’t claim this fail. It is mine to own. Blame it on the poor quality of the “Masterpiece Theater” clip I used. It was very old. – Andy

      Liked by 2 people

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