Happy Holidays to all you amazing Saga Thing listeners out there! Over the past couple years we’ve put out a Holiday Special on or around Christmas Eve. It started with The Saga of Gudmund the Grunch. And then last year we gave you the little known origins of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in “A Visit From Glam.”
This year we managed to find a fun short story to share with you about a man called Frosti Jónsson, known affectionately to all in medieval Iceland as Frosti snjókarlinn. If you’re familiar with the Rankin/Bass Frosty the Snowman special, you’ll probably recognize some of the names and events of this long forgotten origin of the Frosti legend.
This episode is all about Kjartan coming to terms with Bolli’s betrayal. As he comes to realize his relationship with Gudrun came to an abrupt and unexpected end while he was overseas, Kjartan finds solace in his family and in the arms of a new (and much better) woman. But just when everything seems to be moving in the right direction, feast season begins and some rather important gifts from Norwegian royalty go missing. Now who would want to steal from Kjartan and his lovely new bride? Find out as Saga Thing takes on chapters 43-46 of Laxdaela Saga!
Thanks, as always, to Jacob Foust (aka @skarphedin_illustrator) for providing us with another original illustration for this episode of Laxdaela Saga. Here we see Kjartan bidding a fond farewell to his beloved Hrefna as he prepares to do some sort of manly business. You know these saga boys are always riding off, waving goodbye to their wives and mothers. Hopefully Kjartan makes it back in time for the next episode of our saga. He won’t want to miss it. Then again, he just might want to skip that one if he knows what’s good for him.
And I know that John promised some sort of bibliography would come with this episode. Email him and ask where it is, because he never sent it to me. Typical John.
In this episode, Kjartan and Bolli say goodbye to Gudrun and to the safety of Iceland as they travel overseas to make a name for themselves in Norway. Unfortunately for them, Norway is in the midst of a political and religious transition as the country and all who enter it find themselves under the influence of King Olaf Tryggvason. The new king is eager to convert all and sundry to Christianity, often by any means necessary. Along with all the other Icelanders in Nidaros, including our old friend Hallfred the Trouble-some Poet, Kjartan and Bolli are not allowed to leave the port until they turn their backs on the old faith and embrace Christ. Will Kjartan and Bolli resist the pressure to abandon Odin and Thor? Or will King Olaf charm them into accepting the new faith? And how does Gudrun feel about her new beau heading off to Norway for 3 years? There’s only one way to find out!
Thanks, as always, to Jacob Foust (aka @skarphedin_illustrator) for providing us with an original illustration for this episode of Laxdaela Saga.
In this episode we go back to chapter 35 to pick up on the story of the Hebridean sorcerers. I don’t think you’ll be surprised to find out that they’re not exactly welcomed with open arms by the Icelanders. To be fair, this family of sorcerers are particularly bad.
As these illustrations by @skarphedin_illustrator suggest, it doesn’t turn out too well for them.
We also get a chance to check in with some old friends in Laxardal and put an end to a longstanding rivalry.