Rímur: Reciting Part I of Gisli Sursson’s Epic

Behold! a modern Viking’s poem! Hear a skald recite the first part of an epic poem inspired by Gisli Sursson’s Saga, a work of medieval Icelandic literature written during the 13th century. This part of the poem recounts the first chapter of that saga, which takes place in Norway just a few generations before Gisli’s time. Quick to get bloody, it involves two duels and two men who struggle to the death over a precious sword. And did I mention a berserk named Bjorn? Who will prevail? How will these bloody duels end? Find out in this performance of Gisli Sursson’s Epic! … More Rímur: Reciting Part I of Gisli Sursson’s Epic

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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! … More A Viking Gift: A Beautiful Polar Bear for Feuding Kings

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. … More Unn or Aud? The Saga(s) of a Remarkable Woman

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! … More Legendary Swords: Gramr, Sköfnungr, and Grásíða