Episode 36b – Laxdæla Saga (chapters 7-13)

With the death of Aud the Deep-Minded and the marriage of her son Olaf Feilan at the end of last episode, you’d expect that we’d be following up on the trajectory of Olaf’s life in this one. Instead, we stick to the saga’s structure and dive into the life of Olaf’s nephew, Hoskuld, the son of Dala-Koll and Olaf’s sister, Thorgerd. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of drama to delight you, even if the saga is still holding back on the bloodshed.

In this episode, the widow Thorgerd finds true love, and a new baby, in the arms of a Norwegian. Will this complicate things for her first-born son Hoskuld? You bet it will. And speaking of Hoskuld. How will he handle the responsibilities of running his late father’s farm and acting as a leading man in the district? If you guessed that he would sail off to Norway on a shopping trip to make some home improvements, you were right!

But the real drama of this episode starts when Hoskuld brings home a bit more than lumber. What could he have brought back to Iceland that sends his wife Jorunn into a sock-flailing rage? Listen and find out!

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If you’re looking to keep track of the growing genealogical tree of Aud’s family, look no further. Andy’s put together a family tree for chapters 1-13 for you. Now you can figure out how exactly everyone is related. And yes, they’re all related.

For those of you who stuck around to the end of the episode, here’s a link to The Travels of Reverend Olafur Egilsson: The Story of the Barbary Corsair Raid on Iceland in 1627.

And for those of you who love a bit of bibliography, here are some of the sources mentioned and used during this episode:

Brady, Lindy. “An Irish Sovereignty Motif in Laxdaela saga.” Scandinavian Studies 88 (2016), 60-76.

Sayers, William. “Kjartan’s Choice: The Irish Disconnection in the Sagas of the Icelanders.” Scandinavian-Canadian Studies 3 (1988), 89-114.

Sayers, William. “An Irish Descriptive Topos in Laxdaela saga.” Scripta Islandica 41 (1990), 18-34.

Torfi H. Tulinius, “The Matter of the North: Fiction and Uncertain Identities in thirteenth-century Iceland.” Old Norse Literature and Society. Edited by Margaret Clunies-Ross. Cambridge University Press, 2000. 242-265.

Thanks as always to Jacob Foust, otherwise known as @skarphedin_illustrator on Instagram, for his continued efforts to illustrate the sagas along with us. If you’re looking to get one of his illustrations on a shirt or in a print, visit his Etsy page.

Music Credits

Intro Music – “Prelude and Action” by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4236-prelude-and-action
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Review Music “The Royal Vagabond Medley” by Jocker’s Dance Orchestra

Outro Music – “Stormfront” by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4421-stormfront
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

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