Saga Notes
Reference Notes on some of the Icelandic Sagas


These notes have been compiled by Nicole J. Wallace for reference use only. They are by no means a substitute for the actual sagas. These notes are most useful when trying to locate a particular passage or character in part of the saga. I have included brief chapter descriptions for this kind of reference which is most useful when consulting texts for a paper. It is much easier than flipping through the saga to find the battle or character you are looking for.

Please note that all the versions of these sagas have been translated into English.

Hrafnkel's Saga (translated by Herman Palsson: Penguin Books, 1971)
Njal's Saga (translated by Magnus Magnusson and Herman Palsson: Penguin Books, 1960)
The Vinland Sagas (translated by Magnus Magnusson and Herman Palsson: Penguin Books, 1965)
Grettir's Saga (translated by Denton Fox and Herman Palsson: University of Toronto Press, 1974 reprinted: 1998)
The Saga of Gisli (translated by George Johnston: University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1963: reprinted: 1995)
The Saga of the Volsungs (translated by Jesse Byock: Penguin Books, 1990)

The Prose Edda: A Reference Guide to the Giants in Norse Mythology

Online Resources

Bibliography of Sagas and Related Materials

Hrafnkel's Saga

Notes compiled by Nicole J. Wallace Copyrighted 2000


I. The Immigrants

Hallfred comes to Iceland with his 15yr. old son Hrafnkel. A dream tells him to move so he does and then a landslide destroys his old farm.

II. The Young Chieftain

Hrafnkel claims an uninhabited valley, which he called Adalbol. He worshipped Frey and became Priest-chieftain known as Frey's Priest. Hrafnkel was merciless.

III. Freyfaxi

Bjarni has two sons, Sam, the lawyer, and Eyvind. Freyfaxi is Hrafnkel's prize horse.

IV. The Shepherd

Bjarni's brother Thorbjorn had meager means and a large family. He sends his eldest son, Einar, to find work. Einar becomes Hrafnkel's shepherd under the condition that he would not ride Freyfaxi.

V. Temptation

Einar sets out to find the missing sheep. He uses Freyfaxi as his transportation but Freyfaxi rides down to Hrafnkel and he sees him in such a dirty ridden state and decides to avenge it.

VI. The Shepherd's Death

Hrafnkel kills Einar.

VII. The Shepherd's Father

Thorbjorn asks compensation for his son. His best offer was a household supplied with milk in summer and meat in autumn, but he did not accept it. Bjarni and Hrafnkel get in an argument regarding this. Thorbjorn then asks Sam to take up the case.

VIII. The Lawyer

Sam goes to the AllThing (meeting of chieftains). None of them offered support.

IX. The Benefactor

They don't give up. They then meet Thorkel whose brother Thorgeir was a chieftain. (3rd brother - Thormod) Thorgeir had a boil on his foot and they were instructed to stumblingly grab his toe.

X. The Brothers

Thorkel implores Thorgeir to take this upon himself.

XI. Hrafnkel's Humiliation

Sam presents the case and Hrafnkel is summoned but can not get close enough because of the mound of people. He then rode home.

XII. The Next Move

They wait for the court of confiscation.

XIII. Torture

Sam and his men invade Adalbol and seize Hrafnkel and his men. They hung the men by their heels on a beam to dry clothing. Hrafnkel is then given a choice: to die or leave Adalbol and his entire household and move far away.

XIV. New Life

Hrafnkel builds Hrafnkelsstead.

XV. Freyfaxi's Death

Thorgeir kills the stallion to avoid future problems.

XVI. Hrafnkel's New Chieftaincy

Hrafnkel stops sacrificing to the gods. He also got really rich by the tenants living off his land. He gained authority over all the districts east of Lagarwater, which consisted of more land, and men then he had at Adalbol. On the outside, he appeared civil with Sam at meetings of the AllThing.

XVII. The Traveler

Eyvind, Sam's brother comes to visit. Hrafnkel's servant saw them riding in. She informed Hrafnkel of this and the status of Eyvind and suggested that this was the man he should seek revenge upon.

XVIII. The Traveler's Death

Eyvind's servant notices 18-20 men riding behind them but Eyvind does not fell that the situation is threatening. The travel was hard due to some bogs and swamps. Eyvind stops to let them pass but he and all of his men are slaughtered. The servant informs Sam who comes with his men. But due to the bogs they can't catch up to Hrafnkel and his men.

XIX. Sam's Humiliation

Hrafnkel and his men catch Sam in bed and he is offered the same choice so he moves out with meager possessions.

XX. Appeal for Help

Hrafnkel returns to Adalbol and takes power. Sam meets up with Thorkel again. Thorgeir said they lived too far from Sam to help and he should have killed Hrafnkel. GO BACK TO TOP


Notes compiled by Nicole J. Wallace Copyrighted 2000


1. Intro to Mord. Description and intro to Hrut pg. 39. Hrut insult's Hoskuld re: his daughter.

2. Hoskuld suggests Hrut find a wife - Unn - daughter of Mord Fiddle. They discuss a marriage arrangement and dowry. Hrut discovers he has claim to an inheritance in Norway and leaves.

3. Harald Grey cloak is the king of Norway. His mother is Queen Gunhild. She falls for Hrut and he sleeps in her bed for some time.

4. He gets two long ships to recover his inheritance. Ulf the Unwashed commands them.

5. There is a skirmish with Atli Arnvidarson. Soti is killed because of his interference with the inheritance.

6. Hrut lies to the queen about Unn because he wants to go back to Iceland. She puts a curse on him. He therefore could not have sex with his wife. Mord asks Unn why she is upset and then asks Hrut. In the end, he gets no answer.

7. At the next AllThing, Unn tells Mord she wishes to divorce Hrut. Mord creates a plan and at the next AllThing the divorce is declared.

8. Mord asks for the dowry back and Hrut refuses and then challenges him to a duel. Two boys mock Hrut who gets mad at them but compensates for Hoskuld' behavior. Hoskuld hits a boy and Hrut gives the boy a ring.

9. Thorvald wishes to ask for Hallgerd, Hoskuld's daughter to marry him despite her temper. She is quickly married off.

10. Hallgerd is upset that she was never asked her opinion about the marriage ordeal. Everyone felt it had been a bad match. Svan, Hallgerd's uncle, who is skilled in witchcrafy, comes to the wedding.

11. Hallgerd orders Thorvald to get more flour and supplies. Thorvald hits her in the face. She tells her foster father Thjostolf who avenges it and kills Thorvald.

12. Hallgerd sends Thjolstolf to Svan. When Osvif goes to avenge it, Svan creates a great fog that finally turns them away. Osvif then goes to Hoskuld. Via Hrut they come to an agreement.

13. Glum wants Hallgerd's hand in marriage. The marriage contract is devised insisting that Thjostolf can never go south with Hallgerd or stay more than three days and Glum can kill him. He must also propose to Hallgerd. She accepts.

14. Thorarin hands Varmabrook to Glum and Hallgerd. They have a daughter - Thorgerd. Svan dies.

15. Thjostolf goes to Varmabrook. Hallgerd begs Glum to let Thjostolf stay and he is allowed to as long as he causes no trouble.

16. Tension arises between Thjostolf and Glum regarding chasing sheep in the mountains. He ordered him to leave. Then he told Hallgerd who argued. He slapped her and she cried. Thjostolf offers to avenge it but she forbids it.

17. While herding the sheep, Thjostolf kills Glum. Hallgerd sends him to her uncle Hrut. Hrut kills him. Thorarin tries to get compensation for the death of Glum but finds his claim weak.

18. Mord dies. Unn inherits everything and blows it all.

19. Gunnar (kinsman of Unn) description pg. 73. Excellent at sports and handsome

20. Njal Description pg. 74 wealthy and handsome but has no beard. Njal's wife is called Bergthora.

21. Unn, who is out of money goes to see Gunnar. She wants to recover her money from Hrut. He goes to Njal for advice.

22. Njal devises a plan for Gunnar to dress up as Hawker-Hedin the Mighty who is a bad tempered merchant. Once he is dealing with Hrut, he can get info and get Hrut to give a summons.

23. Gunnar follows the plan. Hoskuld had a dream and they realize Gunnar would be coming and they then discover it was he who was Hawker Hedin.

24. Gunnar challenges Hrut to combat at the AllThing. However, it is an unfair duel so they just give him the money.

25. Valgard marries Unn and they have a son called Mord. Description pg. 83. Description of Njal's sons pg. 83-84.

26. Njal consults his son Helgi about marrying Thorhalla.

27. It was arranged. Njal offers to foster-father Thorhall who later becomes the greatest lawyer in Iceland.

28. Gunnar arranges to go abroad.

29. Gunnar meets Olvir.

30. Gunnar and Vandil's ships have a skirmish. More battles with ships. Tofi who warns Gunnar's men requests to be returned to Denmark.

31. The king offers Gunnar both wife and wealth if he would stay there but he decides to return to Iceland.

32. He returns to see Njal. Kolskegg urges Gunnar to show up at the AllThing.

33. Gunnar meets Hallherd. They talk and then Gunnar sees Hoskuld for an arrangement. It is agreed. Gunnar tells Njal who foresees trouble.

34. Intro to the Sigfussons. Thrain goes to the wedding feast and can not keep his eyes of Thorgerd, Hallgerd's daughter. His wife Thorhild notices, gets furious, and declares a divorce. Thrain then asks for Throgerd's hand in marriage and it was arranged.

35. Tension arises between Hallgerd and Bergthora. Gunnar gets angry and leaves.

36. Svart, Njal's servant is cutting wood. Hallgerd sends Kol to kill him. When Njal asks for compensation, Gunnar gives him 12oz. of silver. Atli comes to seek work at Njal's farm and Bergthora employs him.

37. Bergthora sends Atli to kill Kol. Njal pays Gunnar 12oz. of silver as compensation.

38. Njal advises Atli to leave but he stays on as a freeman. Hallgerd sends Brynjolf to kill Atli. Njal asks for 100 oz. of silver as compensation.

39. A free man named Thord lived with Njal and impregnated Gudfinna, the housekeeper there whom he liked. Bergthora employed Thord to kill Brynjolf. He kills him.

40. Njal offers Gunnar compensation - 100 oz. of silver.

41. Intro to Sigmund Lambason - description pg. 108. Hallgerd gets close to Sigmund. Njal sees a goat "drenched in blood" in a daydream. Hallgerd asks Thrain to avenge Thord.

42. Insults are exchanged and then Thord is killed.

43. Gunnar goes to Njal to assess compensation, which he assesses as 200 oz. Njal insists that his sons do not break this settlement.

44. A beggar woman visits Hallgerd who informs her of the happenings at Njal's house. Hallgerd calls Njal "Old Beardless" and his sons "Little Dung-Beards". Gunnar then enters the room and hears them mocking Njal.

45. Njalssons go fight Sigmund and Skjold and kill them. Hallgerd asks Gunnar to avenge Sigmund or get compensation but he doesn't care. At the AllThing Njal pays 200 oz. of compensation.

46. Intro to Gizur the White and Geir the Priest. Intro to Mord Valgardsson.

47. Otkel is a kinsman of Gizur the White. Hallbjorn sells and Irish slave Melkolf to Otkel but Melkolf's service gets worse. He was lazy. Gunnar goes to Otkel to ask for hay and food but Otkel refuses. Gunnar buys Melkolf instead. Njal offers to share his hay and food.

48. Hallgerd prompts Melkolf to steal food at Kirkby. He does. Gunnar finds out about it and slaps Hallgerd.

49. Skamkel, kinsman of Otkel, finds Melkolf's knife and belt and traces of him to the crime. They consult Mord about it. Mord sends women to sell small goods. Hallgerd pays them with cheese that fits in Otkel's mold thus incriminating herself. Gunnar goes to assess compensation but Otkel denies self-judgement. Otkel goes to see Gizur the White and Geir but Skamkel takes his place due to his poor eyesight.

50. Skamkel returns and suggests a summons Gunnar and Hallgerd. They do so.

51. Gunnar consults Hoskuld and Hrut who informs him to challenge Gizur. If no self-judgement is arranged, then Kolskegg must challenge Geir. Gizur discovers what Skamkel told Otkel re: Gunnar. They go insult Skamkel and then offer Gunnar self-judgement. Gizur and Geir swear and oath. The disgrace of the summons equals the cost of the house on fire therefore nothing was paid.

52. Intro to Runolf who receives a black ox from Otkel. Otkel has the best riding horses in the district.

53. Otkel's horses ride into Gunnar's field. Otkel spurs Gunnar's ear. Skamkel and Gunnar exchange harsh words.

54. A shepherd informs Gunnar of Skamkel's slander. Gunnar's halberd rings loudly. He vaults on his horse and rides after them. Kolskegg follows. They kill all 8 men in Skamkel's riding party.

55. Njal predicts that this will start Gunnar's career in killing. Njal's advice: "Never kill more than once in the same family; and never break any settlement which good men make between you and others - particularly if you disregarded the first of these warnings." Gizur is drawn to bring the case of Otkel's death to court.

56. The case is brought to the AllThing. Gunnar says Otkel was an outlaw due to the spur in his ear and the case was nullified because Audolf was being judged in the wrong jurisdiction. The case to outlaw Geir is pending. Finally a settlement was arranged.

57. Intro to Starkad.

58. Intro to Egil Kolsson: Kol, Ottar, and Haul. Starkad owns a red stallion. Hildigunn the Healer says Gunnar's black stallion could dare not match Starkard's. Gunnar is challenged to a horse fight. Njal feels Gunnar will win but it will cause many deaths.

59. Gunnar learns his father-in-law Hoskuld died. [Gunnar's sons Hogni and Grani] Gunnar kills his horse because he doesn't want it to live mutilated. Thorgeir refuses to accept compensation.

60. Gunnar helps Asgrim prosecute a case against Ulf and gains his friendship.

61. They visit Asgrim. Sigurd plans an ambush.

62. Gunnar stops to sleep. He dreams of the ambush. Pg. 147 They continue and run into the ambush.

63. The skirmish occurs. Gunnar wins.

64. Steinvor offers her daughter Gudrun to Thorgrim if he would keep alive the memory of his slain kinsman. Njal gives advice and counter cases to aid Gunnar.

65. Gunnar's enemies were outraged at this tactic. They go to gain support. Gunner follows Njal's instructions.

66. The plan and law is executed AllThing.

67. Thorgeir sees Mord, Gunnar's worse enemy. Mord informs him to wait until Kolskegg and Gunnar carry out their plan for land.

68. Thorgeir sees his kinsman Thorgeir and plans an attack on Gunnar.

69. Gunnar is alone. Njal has prophesizing dreams. A shepherd discovers 24 men in the woods. Njal scares them away.

70. Njal arbitrates and reaches a settlement. Mord Valgardsson criticizes them for reaching settlement. Thorgeirs felt Mord deceived them. Olaf gives Gunnar an Irish dog named Sam for protection.

71. Mord suggests that Thorgeir to seduce Ormhild, Gunnar's kinsman. Thorgeir plans ambush on Gunnar at Rang River.

72. Blood on halberd signifies the "death rain." They meet an ambush. Gunnar prevails.

73. Njal warns Gunnar not to kill twice in the same family. The case goes to court.

74. Njal arranges the settlement. Gunnar is outlawed for 3 years.

75. Thrain, Helgi and Grim go abroad. Njal suggests danger ahead. Gunnar decides not to leave. Pg. 166 Kolskegg decides to leave forever. Gizur declares Gunnar a full outlaw for not leaving and plots to kill him. Njal warns Gunnar and gives him his sons as protection.

76. Mad informs his "army" that Gunnar is alone. Sam bites Thorkel in the groin. They kill the dog.

77. They go to attack Gunnar in his home. Gunnar attacks them with arrows. Thord suggests burning them in their house but Gizur suggests taking the roof. Gunnar asks Hallgerd to give him some of her hair to repair his bow but she refuses to get back at him for slapping him. Gunnar dies.

78. Njal suggests his sons seek revenge. A shepherd and a housemaid saw Gunnar's zombie happy and singing. Skarp-Hedin and Hogni saw him happy and chanting also.

79. Skarp-Hedin suggests they go seek revenge. The halberd rings. They killed many. Mord begged for mercy.

80. Mord pays compensation. Hogni is out of the saga.

81. Kolskegg in Norway has a dream that is interpreted as becoming God's knight. He was baptized in Denmark.

82. Thrain visits Earl Hakon who stays in his court because he's a kinsman of Gunnar. Thrain offers to kill Kol- a Viking outlaw that is terrorizing Hakon's kingdom. Thrain prevails and receives a ship as a gift.

83. Bard and the Njalssons find themselves surrounded by natives of a foreign land. They choose to defend themselves.

84. They meet up with some other ships (intro to Kari) that are against the Vikings. They prevail.

85. Helgi meets the Earl who informs that his steward was killed and thus his lands in Scotland are threatened. Sigurd gathers forces.

86. They regain their Scottish territories and became retainers of Sigurd's court and then they set sail for Norway.

87. Intro to Hrapp. Kolbein takes him to Norway but discovers Hrapp cheated him. Hrapp visits Gudbrand and then tries to seduce Gudrun, his daughter. This continued until he was forced to leave because he killed Asvard, the overseer. He then flees. A farmer named Tofi takes him in. He continued to see Gudrun. Gudbrand tells Earl Hakon who declares him an outlaw.

88. While Earl Hakon was staying at Gudbrand, Hrapp broke into his temple and stripped the statues and burnt the temple. He flees to the shores and asks Helgi for passage but is refused. Thrain then lets him on board. He hides him and fools the Earl numerous times.

89. The Earl then pursues the Njalssons and tortures them until they realize it is wrong to accuse the innocent. Compensation is then paid.

90. Kari and the Njalssons prepare to sail to Iceland. Kari stayed with Njal and married his daughter Helga.

91. Thrain and Hrapp get on well together. Njal suggests to create a provoked killing to seek revenge. Hallgerd -> Hrapp incident. Insults are exchanged between them and the Njalssons. "Little Dung bears" and Njal as "Old Beardless".

92. Runolf convinces Thrain and his men that they are no match for the Njalssons. They helped a beggar woman across the Markar River. She tells Bergthora what Thrain and his companions were saying. They Njalssons go to seek revenge. "Look for sheep." They kill Thrain, Hrapp, and their men. Skarp-Hedin lets Gunnar Lambason and Grani Gunnarson go.

93. Ketil of Mork=Thrain's brother but he was married to Thorgerd, Njal's daughter. He rode to seek settlement with Njal. Njal offers to foster Hoskuld.

94. Intro to Hoskuld

95. Intro to Flosi and Starkard

96. Intro to Hall of Sida

97. Njal sets Hoskuld up with Hiligun. Her father, Flosi, will only marry her to a chieftain. Njal thus creates the fifth court. The wedding was arranged.

98. Intro to Lyting (brother in law of Thrain) Women provokes Lyting. He asks Hoskuld Thrainsson to kill Hoskuld Njalsson. It didn't' work. He then tried to provoke Grani Gunnarson to avenge Thrain. They finally kill Hoskuld. Hrodny does not believe he is dead and drags him to Njal. His sons then went out to avenge it.

99. They attack Lyting who escaped. Hoskuld asks Njal for settlement.

100-105 Conversion to Christianity.

106. Amundi the Blind goes to seek compensation from Lyting who refuses. God reference pg. 227 He sees, kills Lyting, and then is blind for the rest of his life.

107. Valgerd complains to Mord about the 5th court and the allegiance to Hoskuld Hvitaness-Priest. He suggests dividing Njal's family by slander.

108. Mord visists the Njalsson to build confidence with them and set the stage for slander.

109. At the Hoskuld/Njalsson feast gifts are exchanged and Mord tries to make the gifts appear unequal. Eventually Thord's slander was believed by the Njalssons.

110. Njal becomes suspicious when he is not included in Mord and the Njalssons' plans.

111. Skarp-Hedin gives Hoskuld his deathblow. Mord decides to prosecute the case. Njal predicts that this deed shall lead to all their deaths.

112. Hildigunn has a dream and then sends a search for Hoskuld. Ketil is married to Njal's daughter and thus can not prosecute the case. He suggests Mord will do more harm then good. Mord arbitrates the case and gives notice of the killings.

113. Intro to Gudmunf the Powerful, friend of Asgrim

114. Intro to Snorri-Priest, friend of Asgrim

115. Flosi gathers forces to go to the AllThing and consults Runolf re: Mord.

116. Hildigunn tries seducing Flosi who is only after blood revenge. She gives him the bloody cloak. Flosi is agitated at her promptings. He sees Ingjald to seek support but is met with uncertainty.

117. Flosi consults his kinsmen, Ketil, Grani, Gunnar etc. on what they want out of this case. Ketil wanted settlement. The others wanted blood revenge and outlawry.

118. Njalssons decide to go to the AllThing. Njal seeks support - Hjalti, Asgrim.

119. Njal continues to get support. Skarp-Hedin keeps insulting the people whom Njal was asking for support.

120. They ask Thorkel Braggart for help but he refused because his kinsman Gudmund had already refused.

121. Asgrim exposes Mord as having taken part in the killings.

122. Arrangement of arbitration and settlement.

123. Settlement was a compensation of 600 oz. of silver - the most for any dead man in Iceland. Flosi goes to accept it until he sees a cloak. He asks whose it is and no one admits it. He then rejects it. Skarp-Hedin insults him on top of it.

124. They plot blood revenge. Hrodony is appalled that her brother Ingjald is in on it after all Njal had done for him. A woman predicts that chickweed will be used in the burning but she is ignored.

125. Hildiglum sees a witch-ride.

126. Flosi prepares his household for his absence.

127. A beggar woman saw the avengers and informs Helgi. Bergthora foresees their deaths. Njal foresees their deaths also.

128. Flosi and his men arrive but can't attack while Njal and his family is outside. Njal insists that his sons and family go inside almost t knowing it would mean their deaths. Fighting breaks out and they are faced with abandoning their mission or to burn the Njalssons in their house.

129. They start the fire and kindle it with chickweed. Njal, Bergthora, and their grandson hide under a hide in their bed. Flosi offers the slaves and non-family members to leave. He extends the offer to Njal and Bergthora. They refuse. Kari manages to escape but the beam collapses before Skarp-Hedin can.

130. Flosi discovers Kari had escaped. Flosi tries to assess who is dead. He chose not to linger. Ingjald and Flosi challenge each other.

131. Kari gathers forces. Mord expects them to be visiting their women folk so Flosi tells them not to go back.

132. They search for bones. Njal, Bergthora and their grandson are almost perfectly intact. Description pg. 275-276. Skarp-Hedin had burnt legs and strange burn crosses on his body. Thorhall's reaction pg. 277 Kari continues to gather support.

133. Flosi has dream that proclaim those dead in the future.

134. Flosi gathers forces to go to the AllThing.

135. Kari visits Gizur the White for advice. Mord arbitrates the case.

136. Flosi pays an unwelcomed visit to Asgrim. Asgrim tries to attack him.

137. Flosi rides to the AllThing. A battle appears inevitable.

138. Flosi gets Eyjolf, one of the three best lawyers in Iceland, to arbitrate his case for a huge sum of money. Snorri informs Eyjolf that he shall pay heavily for taking this bribe.

139. Asgrim and Gizur go to gain more support. Skapi refuses but Snorri accepts.

140. Gudmund the Powerful gives his support.

141. Mord names witnesses and proclaims the case. Thorgeir Skorar-Geir names witnesses and refutes the case. More actions are caused. Eyjolf treis to get the pro-Njals to cause a fatal error in court.

142. Mord names witnesses and proclaims his case in the East Quarter Court. He gives an elaborating case but Eyjolf tries to disqualify Mord. It goes back and forth.

143. Eyjolf disqualifies them for pleading in the East Quarter Court instead of the North Quarter Court.

144. Thorhall feels the case wouldn't have taken this turn if he had not been so far away. The case is referred to the 5th court. Mord again proclaims his case. Eyjolf tries to get them with the number of judges. They fall for it.

145. Thorhall comes to the AllThing and kills someone. A battle breaks out. Finally treble compensation was paid for Njal, double for Bergthora, nothing for Skarp-Hedin, double for Grim and Helgi and single for all the others who died. All the burners had to leave the country. They had three years to leave.

146. Kari and Thorgeir ride after Sigfussons. They wake them up and attack. Kari refuses to kill Ketil of Mork. Reconciliation is suggested to occur ASAP.

147. Hall tries a settlement with Thorgeir. Kari threatens him to accept.

148. Kari stays with Bjorn secretly.

149. Flosi and his companions leave. Bjorn sets them in a different direction.

150. Kari and Bjorn get attacked. Enemies flee.

151. They have another skirmish.

152. Bjorn asks Kari to recount a brave story to his wife.

153. Flosi and his crew leaves and lands. They meet the Earl.

154. Flosi and his crew fight. King Brian's Saga.

155. Kari cuts off Gunnar Lambasson's neck in front of the Earl. Note of his affairs abroad.

156. Brodir and Ospak and their ship, where it rains blood.

157. Flosi needs to go to Rome and goes. More affairs abroad.

158. Flosi goes away to travel.

159. Conclusion. All is reconciled between Kari and Flosi. GO BACK TO TOP

The Vinland Sagas: Norse Discovery of America

Notes compiled by Nicole J. Wallace Copyrighted 2000



I. Eirik explores Greenland

Eirik, son of Thorvald, father of Leif, left Norway because of some killings and went to Iceland. Eirik was banished from Haukdale after killing two men and so he moved. He lent his bench boards to Thorgest who did not return them thus causing a dispute. Eirik was sentenced to outlawry. He then sails west and explores Greenland. He returns to Iceland to start a settlement campaign. Twenty-five ships set sail for Greenland but only fourteen arrived.

II. Bjarni sights land to the West

Bjarni was a promising young merchant who spent his winters with his father in Iceland. He sailed from Norway to Iceland only to discover that his father had moved to Greenland. He then sails towards Greenland - unknown waters to himself. They sighted a well-wooded land with low hills then another, flat and wooded. Finally he lands in Greenland where he gave up trading and stayed on farming until after his father's death.

III. Leif explores Vinland

Leif decides to land where Bjarni saw land. He asks Eirik to go but he is old. By falling off his horse, he decides to stay behind but Leif sails out with 35 men. The first land was all glaciers and rock. He named it Helluland. The second land was flat and wooded with white sandy beaches. He named it Markland. The third land was an island with sweet dew. They then sailed on given the tides to a land where a river flowed out of a lake. There they set up booths to pass the winter. Grass, salmon, mild winter, 9am-3pm days were all part of what they discovered there. They then split into exploring groups.

IV. Leif returns to Greenland

Tyrkir discovers grapes. They name the new land Vinland, gather grapes and timber as cargo and set sail for Greenland. They find Thorir and his crew shipwrecked on a reef and saves them - hence the name Leif the Lucky. Thorvald (Leif's brother) feels the exploration was lacking and sets out to explore Vinland himself.

V. Thorvald explores Vinland

Thorvald and his men explore, only finding woods, beaches, animals and a stack-cover. He discovers three men under 3 skin boats. They kill 8 and one escapes. Then a swarm of these boats come to attack. Thorvald is hit with an arrow in the armpit and dies.

VI. Thorstein Eiriksson dies

Thorstein marries Gudrid. Thorstein sets out to bring back the body of Thorvald but lands in the Western Settlement of Greenland for winter. Thorstein the Black takes them in but illness kills his wife Grimhild and finally Thorsetin (they have peculiar dramatic deaths) [pg. 63] Dead Thorstein instructs Gudrid to marry an Icelander and follow him and Christianity.

pg. 65.. "What is a rorquel?"

VII. Karlsefni in Vinland

Karlsefni marries Gudrid. They go to Vinland to settle there. They arrived safely but had several skirmishes with the natives (skrælings). First they traded milk for pelts. Then they did the same but one of the natives was killed thus causing a battle that ended with an ax thrown in the water. Snorri, Karlsefni's son is born. A Mystery woman appears to Gudrid and is her namesake.

VIII. Freydis in Vinland

Freydis goes to Vinland with Helgi and Finnbogi. They end up in a dispute and set up in different camps. She asks her brothers to trade ships then tells her husband they abused her. He takes revenge and they kill all the men and return to Greenland. She covered it up by saying the others stayed behind.

IX. Karlsefni's descendants

Leif discovered the horrors the Freydis did. He prophesizes that her descendants would never prosper. Karlsefni sells the carved gable head of his ship. List of his descendants.



I. Gudrid's Ancestry

A series of genealogy lines, their marriages and skirmishes. Aud the Deep Minded freed many Viking slaves in the British Isles.

II. Eirik explores Greenland

The same EXCEPT the landslide caused by Eirik's slaves caused him to be banished from Haukdale AND the final battle with Thorgest where he was defeated and reconciliation was arranged is also different.

III. Gudrid goes to Greenland

Thorbjorn has a daughter, Gudrid. Intro to Orm and Einar is not in the other saga. Einar proposes to Gudrid through Orm which infuriates Thorbjorn. Thorbjorn proposes to go to Greenland since he was having financial troubles. Orm accompanies him to Greenland. Bad weather and disease thwarts their progress.

IV. Gudrid is told her Future

There was a severe famine in Greenland. Little Sybli (aka Thorbjorg), a prophetess, was invited by Thorkel (chief farmer of the district) to a reception. She came dressed pecularly (pgs81-82) She searches for an assistant for her witchcraft. Gudrid offeres due to knowledge but refuses because she is a Christian. Thorkel makes her concede. She (Thorbjorg) predicts that the famine will not last much longer and the epidemic will abate soon. Gudrid's prophecy: similar to that of her 1st husband in the other saga. Thorbjorn and Eirik go to Iceland.

V. Leif discovers Vinland

Leif falls in love with Thorgunna who is pregnant with his child - Thorgils, a very strange boy [note footnotes pg. 85]. King Olaf sends Leif on a mission to spread Christianity. He ends up in the lands with "wild wheat growing and vines and maple tress" (shipwrecked men- same story but fewer details) Eirik's wife converts to Christianity, builds a Church, and leaves Eirik. An exploration team goes to Vinland. Eirik takes a chest of gold and silver and hides it but then falls off his horse (oh the dramatics!) and asks his wife to recover the treasure.

VI. Thornstein Eiriksson dies

Thornstein marries Gudrid. Sigrid does not equal Grimhild. Sigrid sees the dead lined up at the door. Thornstein complains that Sigurds' corpse was trying to rise up and get in bed with him. Thorstein dies and tells Gudrdi to bury him in consecrated ground and warned her about marrying a Greenlander.

VII. Karlsefni in Greenland

The translation of Karlsefni's ancestors was slightly modified. Christmas Feast at Eirik's. Karlsefni asks Gudrid for her hand in marriage.

VIII. Karlsefni goes to Vinland

One hundred and sixty people are on the expedition. They have a similar island experience then they sail into a bay. King Olaf had given them a Scottish couple, Haki and Hekja who could run faster than deer. The Scots were told to run southward to explore he country and return it in 3 days. They returned - one returned carrying wild grapes and the other, wild wheat. Straum Island is completely covered with birds' nests. They then spend a winter there but due to lack of preparation it was hard. They pray to God. Thorhall the Hunter prays to Thor and a whale washes up on the beach. The Christians reject it and wait to go fishing.

IX. Thorhall breaks away

He sails north. They go south.

X. Karlsefni goes South

-Exploration of the river

-Peaceful encounter with the natives

XI. The Skrælings Attack

Trade begins with the natives who primarily wanted red cloth. Bull scares natives. Attack comes. Karlsefni hoisted red shields in defense. Natives were using catapults. Spear scares the Greenlanders. Freydis criticizes them. She is pregnant and (insert dramatics) scares natives away with a sword. Due to fear of the natives, they declared the land uninhabitable and prepared to leave.

XII. Thorvald Eiriksson dies

Uniped shoots area into Thorvald and he dies. Karlsefni captures two boy natives, baptizes them and taught them their language.

XIII. Bjarni Grimolsson's death

Maggots eat the boat. There is only one lifeboat and they must draw lots. Bjarni changes with a friend.

IX. Karlsefni's descendants

List of descendants.


Notes compiled by Nicole J. Wallace Copyrighted 2000

Chapter One

Onund was a notable Viking. He met up with other ships and a battle occurred. King Kjarval fled with a single ship.

Chapter Two

Harald Thick-Hair was fighting his way to the Norwegian throne. It was the greatest fight in Norway. Onund loses his leg in battle and is known as Onund Tree-Foot for the rest of his life.

Chapter Three

Onund sees Geirmund Hell-Skin, the most famous Viking in the west. They discuss what to do about King Harald's power. They then discuss arranging a marriage with Aesa.

Chapter Four

They run into conflict with the Vikings, Vigbjod and Vestmar. Their tactic was to throw stones on the Vikings from the cliffs above.

Chapter Five

Thrand and Onund go to Ireland and visit Eyvind.

Chapter Six

Bjorn dies. Chieftain Grim lays claims to Bjorn's possessions but did not get his claim. Thrand took his possessions and left.

Chapter Seven

Onund hears that Harek confiscated his property. He surprises him and kills him. Grim kills Onutt. Onund goes to avenge it. Onund attacks Earl Audun. They prevail.

Chapter Eight

Onund and Asmund go to sea.

Chapter Nine

Returning to Onund: He goes to Iceland, meets Eirik the Snare and acquires some land.

Chapter Ten

A feud between Ofeig Grettir and Thorbjorn Earl's-Man requires Onund's counsel. He visits Aud the Good Minded who wishes to get a wife for her grandson Olaf. Onund takes on the assignment and they set out.

Chapter Eleven

Thordis m. Onund m. Aesa

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Thorgrim Thorgeir and Ofeig Grettir

Thorgeir and Flosi feud. Thorfinn axes Thorgeir but it only broke his flask.

Chapter Twelve

There is a great famine in Iceland. A whale washes ashore. Thorgrim and his brothers set out but Flosi and his men arrive first. They dispute over the driftage rights. At the AllThing, Thorkel Moon, the law speaker divides the land and the driftage rights.

Chapter Thirteen

Thorgrim and Thorgeir split. Thorgrim becomes a great farmer but his son Asmund doesn't want to work. Asmund marries Rannveig. They have a son Thorstein. Rannveif dies. Asmund then marries Asdis.

Chapter Fourteen

Asmund m. Asdis


Atli, Grettir and Thordis

Asmund tells Grettir to look after the geese and he broke the geese's wings and killed the goslings. Asmund then assigns Grettir to rub his back. He uses wool combs and hurts Asmund. Asmund then asks Grettir to look after his horse Kengala - a special horse because she can predict the weather. He cuts her hide off her back. Asmund is furious.

Chapter Fifteen

Grettir and Audun play a ball game. Grettir throws the ball at Audun's head. They fight and are separated.

Chapter Sixteen

Grettir rides to the AllThing with Thorkel. Skeggi and Grettir lose their food bags. Skeggi finds one. Grettir kills him for it and then lies saying an ogress killed him. Grettir is sentenced to 3-year outlawry.

Chapter Seventeen

Grettir goes on Haflidi's ship. His mother gives him a sword. Grettir did no work. The crew began to get infuriated with him. Haflidi tries to keep the peace. He finally helps them bail ship.

Chapter Eighteen

Thorfinn saves them. Grettir stays on with him. He becomes a good friend with Audun, a local farmer. Grettir opens the mound of Kari the Old and claims the treasure and weapons after stopping the haunting.

Chapter Nineteen

Earli Eirik outlaws all berserks. Thorin Paunch and Ogmund the Evil wanted revenge on Thorfinn for agreeing with the Earl. When Thorfinn is out, they arrive and Grettir welcomes them. He "befriends" them and then gets them drunk. He locks them in the storehouse and kills them.

Chapter Twenty

Thorfinn thanks Grettir and gives him the sword he wanted. He then leaves.

Chapter Twenty-One

He stays with Thorkel but does not get along with Bjorn. Bjorn taunts him. Grettir kills the savage bear.

Chapter Twenty-Two

Grettir meets up with Bjorn and kills him. Bjorn's brother refuses to accept money compensation.

Chapter Twenty-Three

Bjorn's brother seeks revenge but Grettir kills him and his companions. This infuriates the Earl.

Chapter Twenty-Four

Gunnar, Bjorn's other brother seeks revenge but Grettir kills him also. The earl is furious. He is banished from Norway.

Chapter Twenty-Five

Thorgils is killed because he would not let Thorgeir and Thormod have his whale.

Chapter Twenty-Six

Asmund and Thorstein gather support to avenge Thorgil's death.

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Thorgeir is sentenced to outlawry for killing Thorgils.

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Grettir challenges Audun for the humiliations he caused him at a ball game years beforehand. Bardi breaks up the fight. Grettir offers to accompany Bardi.

Chapter Twenty-Nine

There is a horse fight. Grettir offers to help Atli but loses control and injures the opposing horse and rider.

Chapter Thirty

There is a skirmish between the Kormak men and Grettir.

Chapter Thirty-One

Bardi travels without Grettir. Grettir catches them and challenges them.

Chapter Thirty-Two

Thorhall's farm is haunted. He needs a shepherd. Skapti suggests Glaum who is then employed. On Christmas Eve, he doesn't observe the holiday. They find him dead and bloated and blue a few days later. Glaum then starts to haunt the place.

Chapter Thirty-Three

Thorhall employs Thorgaut as shepherd. On Christmas Eve, he fails to return. They find him crushed to death a few days later. Glaum's hauntings increase and Thorhall has to abandon his farm. He returns in the spring. The hauntings continue. His daughter dies of stress.

Chapter Thirty-Four

Jokul tells Grettir about Glaum.

Chapter Thirty-Five

Grettir spends the night with Thorhall and Glaum does not bother them. The second night, Glaum killed Grettir's horse. The third night, Glaum returns to the house. Grettir prevails and Glaum lays a curse on Grettir. Glaum's eyes scare Grettir. Grettir becomes afraid of the dark.

Chapter Thirty-Six

Thorbjorn insults Grettir's courage.

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Thorbjorn insults the death of Asmund, Grettir's ill father. Grettir cuts off Thorbjorn's arm and then beheads him.

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Grettir gets merchants fire but the house he got it from burns down. He was thrown out of the merchant's company. Grettir goes to seek pardon from the king.

Chapter Thirty-Nine

The King offers Grettir an ordeal but a little boy taunts Grettir who then hits him. The ordeal is then cancelled.

Chapter Forty

Grettir saves Einar's daughter from the berserk Snae Knoll.

Chapter Forty-One

Thorstein and Grettir discuss their arm strength.

Chapter Forty-Two

Asmund dies and Atli inherits the farm.

Chapter Forty-Three

Gunnar attacks Atli, who kills many.

Chapter Forty-Four

Thorbjorn holds proceedings against Atli. Compensation is the end result.

Chapter Forty-Five

Thorbjorn kicks Ali out of his service. Ali then seeks shelter at Atli's. Thorbjorn kills Atli for "stealing" his servant.

Chapter Forty-Six

Thorir tries to outlaw Grettir at the AllThing because of the house burning. Skapti the Lawspeaker, postponed outlawry but Thorir made Grettir an outlaw and put a price on his head that was higher than other outlaws.

Chapter Forty-Seven

Grettir learns of his father and his brother's death as well as his outlawry. Grettir steals Svein's horse but Svein catches him. Luckily they become friends. Grettir visits his mother.

Chapter Forty-Eight

Grettir attacks and kills Thorbjorn and his son.

Chapter Forty-Nine

Thorbjorn's kinsmen gather forces against Grettir.

Chapter Fifty

Grettir can stay with Thorgils on the condition that he won't harass Thorgeir and Thormod, his sworn brothers. The brothers get an ox. They attack each other but Thorgils breaks it up.

Chapter Fifty-One

Skapti asks Thorgils how he managed all three outlaws. The case of Thorbjorn is unresolved. Skapti claims there is no cause because Grettir was outlawed before Atli's death. Thorir does not allow Grettir to be acquitted from outlawry and raises the price on Grettir's head instead.

Chapter Fifty-Two

Grettir steals for Thorkel. Grettir hides in the woods. Servants capture Grettir. They wanted to keep him tied up until the next AllThing but none of the local farmers wanted to be responsible for Grettir until then. Thus the servants tried to kill Grettir but Thorbjorn saves him. She then takes him home, much to Vermund, her husband's dismay.

Chapter Fifty-Three

Grettir stays with Thorstein but had to leave because a force was mobilizing against him and he was to lazy to stay on.

Chapter Fifty-Four

Grettir challenges Lopt for his horse and belongings. But loses. Skapti encourages Grettir to stay where he doesn't have to steal.

Chapter Fifty-Five

Grettir settles down in a fishing hut. An outlaw, Grim, goes to stay with Grettir. He is promised his freedom if he kills Grettir. Grettir kills Grim.

Chapter Fifty-Six

Thorir of Gard sends outlaw Thorir Red-Beard to kill Grettir. He stays two years with Grettir. During a storm, he smashes the boat and calls to Grettir to swim out and get the nets. When Grettir tries to get out, he attacks. Grettir swims away and up a river and crawls out to attack Thorir Red-Beard from behind. Grettir kills him.

Chapter Fifty-Seven

Thorir and his men attack Grettir. Hallmund (Lopt?) protects him from behind. He offers his home to Grettir.

Chapter Fifty-Eight

Grettir goes to Bjorn who tells him of a secret hiding hole in the mountains.

Chapter Fifty-Nine

Gisli boasts he can kill Grettir. Two farmers attack Grettir and lose 2 wethers. Grettir meets Gisli; kills his two companions and then chased Gisli while Gisli undressed. Finally he was only in his undergarments.

Chapter Sixty

Grettir steals oxen, wethers, and sheep. Farmers attack. Grettir prevails.

Chapter Sixty-One

Bjorn advises Grettir to leave. Grettir sets up a hut elsewhere and lives on fat sheep. Grettir fasts for Lent. Grettir is under the protection of the 1/2 troll/giant Thorir.

Chapter Sixty-Two

Grim took over Grettir's secret hideout. Hallmund steals his dish so he'd leave. Grim kills Hallmund.

Chapter Sixty-Three

Thorir's men are in pursuit of Grettir. Grettir evades him.

Chapter Sixty-Four

Stein and Steinvor's farm was said to be haunted by trolls. Each time someone stayed and didn't go to Christmand mass, he vanished. Grettir conceals himself under the name of Gest amd stays at the house. Grettir helps Steinvor and her daughter to cross the river to Church.

Chapter Sixty-Five

She-troll attacks Grettir. He throws her off into a gorge. The priest wanted proof of the ogress' death.

Chapter Sixty-Six

Grettir swims under the waterfall into a cave where he meets a giant. He kills the giant and saves the men's bones.

Chapter Sixty-Seven

It is suggested to Grettir to go and stay on Drang Isle.

Chapter Sixty-Eight

Snorri the Priest throws Thorrodd out until he can kill some outlaw. He goes to kill an outlawed shepherd until the housewife turns him onto Grettir. Thorrodd tries and Grettir lets him go. Snorri the Priest is grateful.

Chapter Sixty-Nine

Grettir sees his mother and Illugi - who accompanies him to Drang Isle. They let a vagrant Thorbjorn come along also. His nickname is Glaum. They settle on Drang Isle.

Chapter Seventy

Intro to men who own share in Drang Isle.

Chapter Seventy-One

The farmers go to collect their sheep but Grettir pulls the ladders up.

Chapter Seventy-Two

Grettir goes to an Assembly and tricks the men to give him protection.

Chapter Seventy-Three

Thorbjorn, who acquired most of the island at this point, challenges Grettir.

Chapter Seventy-Four

Glaum starts to get lazy. He let the night fire go out. Grettir must swim ashore to get the fire.

Chapter Seventy-Five

Grettir falls alseep in the hall. The maid laughs at his penis size. Grettir rapes her.

Chapter Seventy-Six

Haering, who can scale cliffs, urges Thorbjorn to let him onto Drang Isle to kill Grettir. He manages to climb up and surprise them but Illugi chases him until Haering jumps off the cliff.

Chapter Seventy-Seven

At the AllThing, it is declared that the outlawry sentence is revoked after twenty years.

Chapter Seventy-Eight

Thorbjorn's foster mother knew sorcery. They row towards Drang Isle. Grettir throws a stone and breaks her hip.

Chapter Seventy-Nine

The sorceress curses a tree trunk and sets it out to sea. Grettir suspects it is evil and does not take it. Glaum takes it home instead. Grettir tries to cut it but it cuts his leg.

Chapter Eighty

Grettir gets gang-green.(is that how you spell it?)

Chapter Eighty-One

The sorceress and Thorbjorn plan an attack on Drang Isle.

Chapter Eighty-Two

Glaum forgets to run the ladder up and Thorbjorn attacks. They stab Grettir in the back and then Illugi watches his back more carefully. They finally kill Grettir.

Chapter Eighty-Three

They show Grettir's head to his mother, Asdis.

Chapter Eighty-Four

At the Assembly, the killers sought the money but were nearly outlawed themselves. All sorcery was outlawed.

Chapter Eighty-Five

Thorstein the Galleon hears of Grettir's death. He follows Ongul to Constantinople.

Chapter Eighty-Six

Thorstein kills Ongul and is put in prison. He meets a prisoner and sings to entertain him.

Chapter Eighty-Seven

Spes hears Thorstein's singing and pays for the two prisoners to get out of jail.

Chapter Eighty-Eight

Spes' husband suspects Spes is cheating on him but can never find Thorstein or prove it. She goes to the bishop to get a divorce.

Chapter Eighty-Nine

The day she swears her oath, Thorstein, disguised as a beggar, soils her dress. It is the evidence that sets her free.

Chapter Ninety

Thorstein proposes to Spes.

Chapter Ninety-One

Thorstein and Spes go away. They are very old by this time.

Chapter Ninety-Two

They confess their sins and kill themselves together.

Chapter Ninety-three

Sturla the Lawman's opinion of Grettir the Strong.

The Saga of Gisli

Notes compiled by Nicole J. Wallace Copyrighted 2000


Bjorn a berserk came to Thorkell's place and gave Ari two choices - fight or give over his wife. Ari dies. Gisli then fights Bjorn for Ari with Greyflank - a special sword and wins. However, Gisli dies in a squabble with the bondservant over the sword. Both men die and the sword breaks.


Thorbjorn gets all the property. He has kids: Thordis, Thorkell, Gisli and Ari. Bard and Thordis have relationship together. Thorkell and Bard were friends but Bard and his relations with Thordis angered Gisli and his father. Gisli kills Bard. Skeggi asks for Thordis but Kolbjorn was courting her. Skeggi asks a woodcutter to make gay cutting of Gisli and Kolbjorn. Gisli cuts off Skeggi's leg.


Einar and Arni, brothers of Skeggi, ask Kolbjorn to come with them to burn Thorbjorn and his sons in their house or die. He goes. However, everyone escapes the burning house by the use of goatskin and whey. They then burn Kolbjorn and his men in their house. Gisli kills Skeggi's brothers and cuts off Skeggi's head.


They go to Iceland. Explains genealogy of Vestein and Aud.


Thorkell marries Asgerd. Gisli marries Aud. Thorgrim marries Thordis. He is a goði.


Party at AllThing instead of paying attention to their business. Prophecy that the brothers would not make it through three summers. Blood brother ceremony but they are unable to finish it before they withdraw their hands.


Thorgrim's son is killed by two Norwegians re: wood. Thorgrim kills them. They possess the Norwegian's ship. Thorgrim and Throkell set sail. Vestein and Gisli set sail. Vestein and Gisli get shipwrecked.


They buy a ½ share in Bjalfi's ship. Vestein separates from the group to close a business deal. He must promise to never go to Iceland unless Gisli gives permission. They make a special coin.


Thorgrim and Thorkell meet back up with Gisli. Thorkell who is lazy stayed on the farm and overheard the wives talking. Aud HAD an affair with Thorgrim but Asgerd is STILL having an affair with Vestein. Thorkell tells Asgerd he doesn't want her sleeping in his bed. She threatens divorce. She then gets into the bed. Aud tells Gisli.


Thorkell asks to split the property and move in with Thorgrim. Thorkell hot the cash and Gisli got the land. Gisli has a feast. Aud mentions she misses Vestein and Gisli admits he'd pay money to have Vestein NOT to come back.


Thorgrim Neb was a wizard/sorcerer. He makes a spear out of the broken pieces of Greyflank with a short 8-inch handle. Onund tells Gisli that Vestein is back in Iceland. Gisli sends men to tell Vestein to not come yet and gives them the coin. They miss each other by taking two different roads.


They finally catch up with Vestein who insists on coming anyway. He is warned several times. Thorgrim sends a girl servant to Gisli's home to get info. She doesn't find out much. Vestein offers Gisli, Aud and Thorkell his gifts. Thorkell refuses.


Gisli has nightmares. Rain came and the men went to save the hay. Aud and Vestein move their beds in the middle as to not get wet. Vestein is murdered and Aud wakes up to see him die. Gisli takes the weapon out and is thus bound to avenge Vestein's death. The servant girl goes to Thorgrim and Thorkell, who will come to pay their respects.


Thorgrim suggests tying on Hel shoes so Vestein could go to Valhalla. Thorkell asks how Aud is taking the death.


They begin the games. Thorgrim gets hurt. It causes coldness between Thorgrim and Gisli. They both have separate feasts. Thorgrim asks Thorkell to get the tapestries that Vestein offered. Thorgrim sends his servants. Gisli gives the servant the tapestries.


Gisli kills Thorgrim in his sleep.


They bury Thorgrim well but Gisli doesn't know if he can make a boat that will survive the weather. Then it was mentioned that it sounds like what Thorgrim said about Hel's shoes when Vestein died. Gisli suggests staying friendly with Thorkell.


Bork pays Thorgrim Neb to put a spell on Thorgrim's killer so that no man could help him. Snow never stayed on the southwest side of Thorgrim;s grave as if he had been favored by Frey. Bork marries Thordis who is pregnant. She gives birth to a son - first named Thorgrim - later changed to Snorri. At the games, Gisli mentioned a verse that Thordis then translates. Berg and Thorstein fight. Avalanche gets Berg's farm.


Thorstein goes to live with Gisli. Bork seizes Audbjorg and stones her to death. Gisli catches Thorgrim Neb and stones him to death. Bork decides to move south to Thorness. Thorkell goes with him. Thordis tells Bork what Gisli had said at the games re: Thorgrim. Thorkell said they couldn't believe Thordis and should continue on. Thorkell, claiming to visit his friend Onund, swings back and tells Gisli. Gisli claims he only killed Thorgrim to avenge Vestein. Thorkell then claims to collect debt on a farm but sneaks off to meet Gisli to inform him that Bork is coming.


Gisli takes his valuables into the woods and then switches cloaks with Thord, his servant. Bork kills Thord mistaking him for Gisli. They then chase after the real Gilsi. Gisli hides and when they leave, he goes back to the house and prepares to move.


Gisli asks Aud's kinsmen to go to the AllThing and get it settles so he would not be outlawed but he was outlawed anyway. He seeks help from the chieftains but receives none because of the spell put on him by Thorgrim Neb. He spends time hiding.


Bork sees Eyjolf to ask to hurt and kill Gisli. A woman comes into Gisli's dreams and tells him to give up his old faith.


Eyjolf sights Gisli. Eyjolf offers Aud money to tell them where Gisli is but she refuses. Gisli goes to Thorkell who isn't much "help" but offers material support. Gisli then goes to Gest Oddleiffsson's mother who had a special underground room to hide outlaws. He stays the winter.


Gisli returns to be with Aud. He has more bad dreams and returns to Thorgerd (Gest's mother) for the winter. He then sees Thorkell and takes a boat and supplies. Gisli gives Thorkell a bad prophecy. He shipwrecks the boat to fake his own death and stays with Ingjald his cousin.


Gisli made stuff for Ingjlad which made people suspicious. Helgi tries to follow Thorgerd to see what she is up to. When Helgi leaves, he says Gisli is staying with Ingjald but they all row away so they are not discovered.


Ingjlad suggests they fight but Gisli plans to change his clothes with the thrall instead. He then plans to act the fool. They threaten to kill Ingjald (he could help Gisli despite Thorgrim Neb's spell because he didn't live on the mainland.)


They spare his life and go to search his house where they see the real fool grazing. Gisli gets away to the mainland and gives Bothild some gifts and gold rings. Bork spears Gisli in the leg. He loses his sword. He limps away to a farmer named Ref who had a shrewd violent wife. Gisli agrees to do anything and not to interfere. He hides Gisli is Alfdis's bed with her on top. Bork asks to search the house. He does. Alfdis is really bitchy which deters their search. Gisli spends the night and then leaves giving Ref a knife and a belt. Gisli then goes back to Aud.


Two boys go to the AllThing with Gest. They stay with Hallbjorn, a tramp. Thorkell arrives prominently. One boy asks to see his sword but then draws it, killing Thorkell.


The boys may have been the sons of Vestein. Gest gets dragged into the case since he gave them a ride to the AllThing. They boys go to Aud. She hears the news, gives them food, and sends them on their way.


Aud tells Gisli about Thorkell's death. He has many bad dreams and then a good one (pg. 48)


Helgi and Havard go to "cut timber" but are really spying for Gisli. They see a dire in the cliffs. They take turns sleeping. Havard throws stones everywhere and tells Helgi it must be Gisli. Eyjolf goes back the next day with men but they find nothing. They then go to Aud, proposing silver and an arranged marriage. Gudrid cries.


Gudrid finds Gisli and warns him. Aud takes the silver, puts it in a bag and swings it at Eyjolf's nose, causing it to bleed. Eyjolf orders Aud to be killed but Havard deters him. Aud gives Havard a gold ring for his help.


Gisli has bad dreams that overruled all prophecies from his good dream. He then dreamt men were attacking him. The bad dreams kept coming.


Gisli, Aud, and Gudrid can't sleep. They go to the hiding place to see if they can sleep there. Gisli has a bad dream. They then hear Eyjolf and his men. Gisli dares Eyjolf to go first but he sends Helgi. Gisli cuts Helgi in two. Eyjolf tries to come up another way but Aud sticks him with a club. Gisli expresses his appreciation of his wife.


One of Eyjolf's men threatens Gisli for his weapons and wife. Eyjolf eggs on his men but Gisli prepares for self-defense.


Svein tries but Gisli wins. Thorir, Thord, and Eyjolf wound Gisli, who continues to fight. In his last moment, he jumps from the cliff with his sword, and splits Thord in two and then he dies. Such a fight dishonored all of Eyjolf's men.


Eyjolf tells Bork. He tells Thordis, who grieves. Thordis attempts to stab Eyjolf with Gisli's sword. She wounds him but Bork stops her. She divorces Bork.


The sons of Vestein go to Norwary. Berg introduces himself and is killed by Ari, the younger of Gisli's brothers.

The Saga of the Volsungs

Notes compiled by Nicole J. Wallace Copyrighted 2000


I. Odin guides Sigi from the Other World

Sigi kills his thrall Bredi. His dead body is found in a snow bank. Odin sends Sigi away. Sigis's son Rerir avenges his father - who was killed by Rerir's maternal uncles. Frigg gives Rerir and his wife a magic apple and she conceives.

II. The Birth of Volsung

Rerir dies. Baby is cut out of his wife after she is pregnant for six years. Her son, Volsung, age six at birth, kisses his mother before she dies.

Volsung and Hljod

10 sons and one daughter; Sigmund and Signy twins

III. Sigmund draws the Sword from Barnstock

King Siggeir asks for Signy's hand in marriage. At the feast, Odin, in disguise, puts a sword in the tree Barnstock. Sigmund pulls it out. Siggeir offers to pay for it but Sigmund refuses. Siggeir plots revenge.

IV. Siggeir Plots Revenge

Signy foresees the trouble her marriage will cause. Siggeir invites Volsung to stay with him.

V. The Fall of Volsung

Signy warns them that it is a trap. Volsung is killed and his tens sons were put in stocks. A she-wolf would come at night and eat them one at a time. Signy puts honey on Sigmund's face. When the wolf comes, he bites her tongue and breaks free.

VI. Signy Plots Revenge

Signy sends her sons to Sigmund. He kills them because they're cowards.

VII. Signy Gives Birth to Sinfjotli

Signy changes shapes with a sorceress and sleeps with Sigmund. She gets pregnant. When the son is older, she sends him to Sigmund and Sinfjotli proves to be brave.

VIII. Sigmund and Sinfjotli Don the Skins

Magic wolf skins that can be shed every tenth day lay in this house. They put them on and go on a rampage, howling if they needed help. Sinfjotli attacks eleven men. Sigmund bites him for not calling for help but then uses a magic lead to cure him. They attempt to attack the King who then buries them alive. Sigmund uses his sword to cut himself out of the mound. They burn the castle down and Signy goes with it because she felt herself a disgrace to the Volsung race.

IX. Helgi marries Sigrun

Helgi kills many men and sees Sigrun, follows her home, challenges her suitor, and wins the kingdom.

X. Concerning the Volsungs

Sinfjotli kills his uncle because he wants to girl he was engaged to. The queen poisons Sinfjotli to death because he killed her brother. Sigmund drives the queen out.

XI. Sigmund marries Hjordis

And then dies in battle against her other suitor.

XII. Hjordis Remarries

The dying Sigmund informs her she is pregnant. She marries King Alf.

XIII. The Birth of Sigurd

Regin, his foster-father, teachers him many things and manipulates him to kill Fafnir.

XIV. The Otter's Ransom

See the Prose Edda

XV. Regin fashions Gram

The first time it breaks. Sigurd then brings the broken sword Gram to Regin who makes it into a sword again.

XVI. Gripir Foretells Sigurd's Future

XVII. Sigurd Kills Lyngvi and Hjorvard and all the Others

Sigurd seeks revenge on the Hundings.

XVIII. Regin and Sigurd Go Riding

Sigurd digs a series of ditches (at the discretion of an old man, Odin) and hides. He ends up killing Fafnir who informs him that Regin will kill Sigurd also and whomever possesses the gold shall die.

XIX. Regin drinks Fafnir's Blood

Sigurd gets a little on his thumb and sucks it. He could then understand the speech of birds.

XX. Sigurd Eats Fafnir's Heart

The birds inform him that Regin wishes to betray him. He kills Regin. He then goes to claim the gold.

XXI. Concerning Sigurd

He finds a solider lying there. He removes the mail coat to discover she is a woman. She is called Brynhild. They fall in love. (or rather he falls in love with her wisdom)

XXII. Brynhild's Wise Counsel

She gives him advice.

XXIII. Concerning Sigurd's Appearance

Sigurd now dressed with a shield of gold with a dragon emblem and always at his finest.

XXIV. Sigurd comes to Heimir

Heimir is the brother in law and foster father of Brynhild.

XXV. The Conversation between Sigurd and Brynhild

Brynhild and Sigurd fall in love but she predicts that he will marry Gudrun. They vowed only to love each other.

XXVI. Concerning King Gjuki and His Sons

King Gjuki



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Gunnar Hogni Guttorm Gudrun

Gudrun has dreams and visits Brynhild. She is informed that Sigurd is the greatest.

XXVII. Brynhild Interpret's Gudrun's Dream

Brynhild informs Gudrun she will marry Sigurd, Brynhild's love.

XXVIII. The Ale of Forgetfulness is blended for Sigurd

Grimhild creates an Ale of Forgetfulness so Sigurd would forget Brynhild and marry Gudrun.

XXIX. Sigurd Rides Through the Wavering Flames of Brynhild, Daughter of Budli

Gunnar wants Brynhild as his wife but she'll only take whoever can ride through her flames. Sigurd changes forms with Gunnar and rides through the flames. She then marries Gunnar.

XXX. Dispute of the Queens, Brynhild and Gudrun

The two queens dispute over whose husband is better. They then insult each other.

XXXI. Brynhild's Grief only Increases

Brynhild takes to her bed in isolation. Finally Sigurd visits her and offers to make amends but she refuses. She then sets it up so Gunnar would seek revenge on Sigurd.

XXXII. The Betrayal of Sigurd

Since most of the brothers were bound by blood, they encouraged Guttorm to kill Sigurd. Guttorm finally succeeds and Brynhild rejoices in Gudrun's suffering. Brynjild tries to kill herself to punish Gunnar and tells him the future.

XXXIII. Brynhild's Request

She requests to be burnt with Sigurd.

XXXIV. The Disappearance of Gudrun

Gudrun journeys off. Grimhild gives her the ale of forgetfulness and foresees a marriage to King Atli. She marries Atli.

XXXV. Gudrun carves Runes

Atli dreams Gudrun stabs him. Gudrun carves runes to protect her brothers but the runes are rewritten. Her brothers then come to visit Atli.

XXXVI. Hogni Interprets his Wife's Dream

He always interprets the dream better than it really is.

XXXVII. The Brother's Journey from Home

Gunnar's wife shares her dreams also. The men leave and when they arrive at Atli's, they realize their mistake.

XXXVIII. The Battle in the Fortress and the Victory

The battle breaks out and Gudrun tries to fight on behalf of her brothers.

XXXIX. Hogni is Captured

Gunnar and Hogni are the only two left standing. Gunnar is captured and fettered. They offer to kill a cowardly thrall instead but Hogni capitulates and saves the thrall's life. Hogni is then put in fetters. Atli's men torture and kill them.

XXXX. The Conversation between Atli and Gudrun

Gudrun prepares a funeral feast for her brothers. She kills her two sons and Atli unaware, eat them. Hogni's sons kill Atli. Gudrun then burns the castle down.

XXXXI. Concerning Gudrun

She marries King Jonakr.

XXXXII. Svanhild is married and Trampled to Death under Hooves of Horses.

XXXXIII. Gudrun urges her sons to avenge Svanhild

She sends her sons and laments on her life.

XXXXIV. Concerning the sons of Gudrun. The Final Chapter

They avenge their sister but then are all killed.

Giants in Norse Mythology

some examples

YMIR - giant from which the world was created. He lived off the milk of a cow Audhumla [beer/mead cow]. The cow lived by licking salty ice blocks. One day a human, Buri appeared from the iceblocks. Buri had a son Bor who had a son, Odin, who became the chief of all the gods. People also came out of Ymir's armpits and legs while he sweated while sleeping. Bor's sons kill the giant Ymir and his blood flooded all the area killing all the frost ogres except one, Bergelmir. The world was then created from Ymir. The sea is his blood. His skull is the sky with four sides to it. Under each corner they put a dwarf and called then East, West, North and South. The rest of his body was divided up to make other parts of the world and creation.

BERGELMIR - only one who escaped the flood of Ymir's blood.

MIMIR- was given to the Vanir as part of a treaty but then was killed and sent back to the AEsir. Mimir was worth more dead than alive because after death he possessed great knowledge and power.

GERD - the giantess whom the god Freyr falls in love with and loses his horse and sword in order to obtain her as his wife.

ANGRBODA - mated with Loki and bore three children: the worlf Fenrir, the Midgard Serpant, and Hel.

THIASSI -disguised as an eagle, he swoops down and takes Loki. To ensure his release, he promises Idunn and her magic apples which ensures the youth of the gods. The gods then made Loki fly as a falcon back to Thiassi's hall to retrieve the apples. Thiassi chases him but once he got over Asgard, his wings were set on fire and he died.

SKADI - the daughter of Thiassi. She goes to seek compensation for the death of her father. Odin takes Thiassi's eyes and throws them into the sky as stars. She also gets to pick a husband by his feet. She wanted Baldr but ended up with Njord.

HYRROKKIN - a fire goddess, helps push Baldr's funeral boat out to sea.

The Nameless Giant - tried to build a wall around Asgard in three days but failed because he lost the help of his horse when Loki turned into a female horse and lured the horse away.

UTGARDA-LOKI - really clever most accompolished magicain in all of Scandinavian Mythology. He is a shape changer and takes on many other forms and names.

THANKS - after Baldr's death, Hel said Baldr could come back to Asgard if everyone throughout would weep for his death. Thanks did not weep so Baldr had to stay in Hel. It is said that Thanks was Loki is disguise.

SUTTUNG - giant who possessed the poetic mead.

GUNNLOD - the daughter of Suttung who guarded the mead. She gave it to Odin after he slept with her for three nights.

BESTLA - mother of the gods

FARBAUTI - the father of Loki

HYMIR - goes fishing with Thor when Thor catches the Midgard serpant. Arguements arise afterwards and Thor kills him.

HRUNGNIR - bets Odin that he has the faster horse. He gets drunk and threatens to tear Asgard away along with Freyja and Sif. He is then challeneged by Thor who kills him but gets a wetstone to the head and gets trapped under the fallen giant's leg.

ELLI - "old age" - old woman in Utgarda-Loki's hall who wrestles Thor to the ground. She is one of the greatest destructive forces of all time.

BAUGI - helps Odin get the mead from Suttung

SURT - the fire giant who comes and burns to bridge of Bifrost at Ragnarok

Online Resources
Saganet: The Online Manuscript Project - view the actual pages of the manuscripts scanned into the computer.
Icelandic Sagas Online - not all are translated