Legendary Swords: Gramr, Sköfnungr, and Grásíða
In this gathering by the hearthside, we’re sharing the stories of three legendary swords from the sagas of the medieval North: Gramr, Sköfnungr, and Grásíða! And while we do, we’re going to find them plunged into trees by a strange old man, stolen from burial mounds by Icelandic Vikings, and manhandled by a headstrong poet. But if that’s not interesting enough, we’re also going to slay a dragon, cut off someone’s back end, introduce ourselves to a sword-dwelling snake, and fix a broken blade with some sorcery. By the end, we’ll not only have cool stories to tell our friends, but also learn a thing or two about what these swords meant for the people telling their tales. Honestly, what’s not to like? It’s a great deal! So tune in to Fjörn’s Hall, if you’d like to hear more!
And here’s that map I promised about where Kormáks saga and Laxdæla saga take place:
The Sagas (In Order of Discussion)
Academic Works Mentioned (In Order of Mention)
- Gisli Sigurðsson, The Medieval Icelandic Saga and Oral Tradition (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004).
- Theodore M. Andersson, The Growth of the Medieval Icelandic Saga (1180-1280) (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006).
- Vésteinn Ólason, “Introduction,” in Gisli Sursson’s Saga and The Saga of the People of Eyri (London: Penguin Books, 2003).
- H.R. Ellis Davidsson, “The Sword at the Wedding,” Folklore 71, no.1 (Mar., 1960): 1-18.
- William Sayers, “Extraordinary Weapons, Heroic Ethics, and Royal Justice in Early Irish Literature,” Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies on the Preternatural 2, no.1 (2013): 1-18.
- Heather O’Donogue, The Genesis of Saga Narrative: Verse and Prose in Kormak’s Saga (repr., 1991; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).
Music/Sound Credits (In Order of Occurrence)
- “Fjörn’s Melody,” by Fjörn the Skald (Intro/Outro Theme)
- “Epic Heroic Orchestral Music” by SoundFlakes
- “Medieval Combat” by Yap_Audio_Production
- “Bodhran Irish Drum” by pogmothoin (website)
- “Celtic Tin Whistle” by luis_audp
- “Macedonian Tambura” by Tomlija
All music/sounds are licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
Media Links (Click the Images)
I would like to offer my most sincere thanks and gratitude to Fjörn’s Fellowship. Without their support, this post would not be possible. In fact, this entire Hall would be nothing if not for their support and companionship. Here are the names (taken from Patreon) of the members of this Fellowship who supported me during the time I wrote this post:
Anastasia Haysler, Cataclysmit, Froggy, and Kathleen Phillips.