Episode 9: Sacrificing to the Elves

Occasionally, Viking fans and modern-day Norse pagans throw around the term álfablót (elf-sacrifice), but what does that actually involve? What is an elf-sacrifice, anyway? And what is it for? In this episode of the Fjorn's Hall Podcast, I share a few stories from medieval sources dealing with this topic: sacrifices made to the elves. Although … Continue reading Episode 9: Sacrificing to the Elves

ヴィンランド・サガ: Vikings in Manga & Anime

Although the Vikings never quite made it to Japan (as far as we know), their culture still managed to find its way there hundreds of years after the Viking Age. But the impact has been...minimal, to say the least. After all, whenever a curious wanderer searches for バイキング (that's 'Viking' in Japanese) on Google, they … Continue reading ヴィンランド・サガ: Vikings in Manga & Anime

Álfablót: Sacrificing to the Elves

It was around the year 1019 when we traveled eastwards into Sweden with our cloaks tightly bound in search for warmth, Sigvat the Poet and I. Winter's icy grip was strengthening over the land as summer faded with the leaves, but King Olaf II of Norway (now known as St. Olaf) had sent Sigvat there … Continue reading Álfablót: Sacrificing to the Elves

“All Waters Flow to Dyrafjord”

This quote comes at a pivotal movement of Gisli's Saga, when a man named Vestein decides to face his fate despite warnings from his friends. At this point, those friends (who were sent by Gisli himself) had ridden tirelessly to catch up to Vestein, and they implored him to turn around before riding into the … Continue reading “All Waters Flow to Dyrafjord”

Spring Arrives with Baldr

Today is the first day of spring, which, for me, is a day to admire the constant renewal of life in the world around us. More specifically, though, I always find myself thinking of Baldr, who (as many of us know) returns from Hel to restore life to the post-Ragnarok world. As stanza 59 of Völuspá recounts:  … Continue reading Spring Arrives with Baldr

The Poetic Edda: Studying a Source for Norse Mythology

In recent years, the popularity of the Norse myths has grown exponentially. With bestselling books such as Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology and History Channel’s award-winning television series Vikings, the stories of the Norse gods and their human heroes have become a part of our modern cultural life. The thousand-year-old deities that encompassed a rich oral … Continue reading The Poetic Edda: Studying a Source for Norse Mythology

The Gatewatch: A Troll Hunting Saga

Long ago the northern realm of Noros was wild and full of wicked trolls. Torin Ten-Tree’s great grandfather defeated [...]

‘Viking’ Love Stories [♪]

Download When it comes to love in the medieval North, these are some of the most essential stories to know. We start things off with a fairly detailed discussion of Freyja, the free-spirited goddess of love and war, which includes some coverage of her ferocious cats and her experience with magic (seiðr). But after that, … Continue reading ‘Viking’ Love Stories [♪]

Njal’s Saga: A Medieval Best-Seller Most People Haven’t Heard of [♪]

Meet Njal's Saga, a medieval best-seller that most people haven't heard of. But despite its relative obscurity today, it stands out as an epic story fused with both archetypal heroes and the tragic social realities of the 'Viking' world, which have become a cage trapping them and plunging them into a endless tide of human violence beyond … Continue reading Njal’s Saga: A Medieval Best-Seller Most People Haven’t Heard of [♪]

Resources for Njal’s Saga

Never heard of Njal's Saga? Don't worry, you're not alone---it's actually a medieval best-seller most people haven't heard of. But luckily, all you have to do is read this post to get yourself acclimated, and then you're all set to enjoy one of medieval Iceland's finest sagas (as so many saga-enthusiasts proudly proclaim)! That introductory … Continue reading Resources for Njal’s Saga