Fjörn Wanders in Iceland (July-August 2018), Part I

A few weeks ago now (on the evening of August 18th), I returned home from a 3-week long trip in Iceland, where I was studying Icelandic through an intensive language course in a small town called Ísafjörður (which you can learn more about here). But, as you can see, it has taken me a while to tell this tale--although it is always better to share a story late than never at all! And so we have gathered here in the hall to 'hear' it spoken, and I do hope that my tale will bring you some delight! But for today I shall only speak of my first day in Reykjavík, since there is much to tell about that day alone!

03 – A Viking Gift: A Beautiful Polar Bear for Feuding Kings

A bear is a Viking's best friend, so why not make it a fancy one? In this tale, we follow the journey of a humble Icelandic farmer, an attractive polar bear with rosy red cheeks, and two salty Norse kings who are at war with one another. Audun's goal is to deliver this bear as a gift to King Svein of Denmark, but will King Harald Hardradi of Norway allow Audun safe passage to his enemy? Will Audun always be running out of money? Could Audun's humility manage to bring these two kings together? And will our attractive polar bear companion ever be recognized for anything beyond its devastatingly good looks? Find out in this gathering at Fjörn's Hall!

02 – Unn or Aud? The Saga(s) of a Remarkable Woman

In this gathering we talk about the remarkable Aud the Deep-minded, an impressive woman from medieval Iceland who boldly saved her family from destruction and became one of Iceland’s most famous settlers. But there’s a catch: she hasn’t always been remembered in quite the same way. In the sagas recounting her deeds, she has been called both Unn and Aud; and although they each refer to the same person, those names reflect alternative versions of both her story and her identity. And so, the aim of this gathering is not only to enjoy her impressive saga(s), but also to unravel the different ways that she has been remembered by the authors who retold her story throughout the medieval period.

01 – Legendary Swords: Gramr, Skǫfnungr, 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!

The Old Norse-Icelandic Calendar

This blog post will teach you how to tell time like a Viking! Well....not exactly. First of all, not all Scandinavians were Vikings, but that's a conversation for another post (like this one). Secondly, the information that we actually do have about the Norse calendar comes from medieval Icelandic sources, hence why I constantly add …

Continue reading The Old Norse-Icelandic Calendar

The Saga of Iceland’s Independence

Gleðilega þjóðhátíð! Today is June 17th, which means that it is Icelandic National Day! To celebrate, I am sharing the Saga of Iceland's Independence, which explores the history surrounding Iceland's road to independence -- Join me in the Hall to learn more!

Farmsteads and Agriculture

In this gathering by the Hearthside, I share the history of the medieval North's farmsteads and agriculture. While many of us flock to learn about raids, runes, and magic, this blog-post offers a refreshing look into the daily lives of the Norsefolk. Join me by the Hearthside to learn more!