Episode 20e – Njal’s Saga (Part 5)

Death of Gunnar and Hallgerd's Shame

This episode of Saga Thing is all about revenge. We conclude the Gunnar section of Njal’s Saga with a look into the aftermath of our hero’s death, the vengeance he demands, and the fate of his brother, Kolskeggi.  If Njal wants to avenge his friend and secure his position in the region, he’ll have to act fast.  Fortunately, he’s got his son, Skarphedin, and Gunnar’s son, Hogni, as willing swords.  Gunnar’s ghost helps get things moving.  While we don’t cover a lot of ground in the saga this time around, we do explore some important issues that inform our reading of the first half of the saga and give us something to look for as we embark on the saga’s dark second half.  We discuss Gunnar’s pride, the ethics of Njal’s behavior, and we finally tackle the “halberd” controversy.  Hallgerð gets her fair share of our attention as well.

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Image taken from the beautiful Njal Tapestry.  Visit http://www.njalurefill.is/ for more information.

Music Credits:

Intro MusicPrelude and Action by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Previous Episode Review “The Mooche” by Duke Ellington

Episode Summary“Enchanted Journey” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Gunnar’s PoemRitual by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Outro Music – Stormfront by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Selections from music by Kevin MacLeod licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Episode 16b – Grettir’s Saga (Part 2)

Grettir and Kar the Old

In this episode we follow Grettir through three of his most famous battles against an undead Kar the Old, a giant Norwegian bear, and Iceland’s most famous draugr, Glam.  We also catch Grettir stumbling in a clumsy fight for fire that will eventually seal his fate as an outlaw forever.  This one runs a little longer than the average episode of Saga Thing, but with so much excellent material to cover, we just couldn’t resist.

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Pick up a copy of Grettir’s Saga and discover all that we left out!

Grettir's Saga

Episode 16 – Grettir’s Saga (Part 1)

OnundTree-foot.jpg
In this epic multi-part episode, we tell the story of Iceland’s most famous and longest surviving outlaw, Grettir Asmundarson.  Join us as we trace his life, from its tempestuous beginning to its tragic end.  Before we delve into his amazing exploits as an adult, we must look back to his origins. In traditional saga fashion, we begin with his great grandfather, Onund Treefoot.  We follow Onund’s efforts to resist the increasing power of King Harald Fairhair and his struggles to come to terms with the loss of his property and his leg.  Forced to redefine his own identity and to make a new life in foreign lands, he emerges as the truest hero in the saga, renowned as “the bravest and most agile of all the one-legged men in Iceland.”  From Onund, we wend our way through battles over whale corpses, murder, and legal cases in the genealogy until we arrive at Grettir himself.  We’ll look briefly at Grettir’s inglorious youth, his troubled relationship with his father, Asmund, and the events leading up to his first outlawry.  Will Grettir learn to control his temper and put his strength to good use? Or will he flout the norms of society and continue to make his own way more difficult?  Find out as Saga Thing takes on Grettir’s Saga (chapters 1-20).

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 This handy genealogy will help you keep some of the names straight in your minds
GrettirsFamilyTree.jpg

Pick up a copy of Grettir’s Saga and discover all the stuff we left out!

Grettir's Saga

Episode 10a – The Saga of Hallfred Troublesome-Poet

Flateyjarbok_Haraldr_Halfdan
In this episode, we continue our journey through the Sagas of Warrior-Poets in The Saga of Hallfred Troublesome-Poet. Though you’ve never heard of him, this court poet for 3 of Scandinavia’s greatest rulers is actually quite famous. As his nickname suggests, Hallfred’s poetry often lands him in hot water. He’s a suave lover, a witty poet, and a capable warrior. We’ll sample some of the poetry that made him famous, examine his difficult conversion to Christianity, and cheer as he gouges out the eyes of his enemies. There’s plenty of action and adventure here, with a fair amount of hot lovin’ too. But it’s Hallfred’s relationship with King Olaf Tryggvason that really makes this one special. We hope you enjoy.

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Episode 3b: Eyrbyggja Saga (Judgments)

In this second go at Eyrbyggja saga, we answer the burning questions left unasked by our first episode:

Will Thrand Stigandi’s ostentatious attack at Ospak’s farm be enough to win Best Bloodshed?

How many bodies hit the floor, and why is it so difficult to come up with a consistent count?

In a saga with names like Thorstein Cod-Biter, Thorolf Bladder-bald, and Sigurð Snake-in-the-Eye, who can possibly win Best Nickname?

Who will be banished from Iceland forever?

Will Andy get to honor his hero Snorri by choosing him as thingman?

What do we really think of Eyrbyggja Saga?

Find out in the latest installment of Saga Thing!
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Get in on the action and let us know who you would choose for your thingman: