Seven Viking Romances (Penguin Classics)
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Combining traditional myth, oral history and re-worked European legend to depict an ancient realm of heroism and wonder, the seven tales collected here are among the most fantastical of all the Norse romances. Powerfully inspired works of Icelandic imagination, they relate intriguing, often comical tales of famous kings, difficult gods and women of great beauty, goodness or cunning. The tales plunder a wide range of earlier literature from Homer to the French romances—as in the tale of the wandering hero Arrow-Odd, which combines several older legends, or Egil and Asmund, where the story of Odysseus and the Cyclops is skilfully adapted into a traditional Norse legend. These are among the most outrageous, delightful and exhilarating tales in all Icelandic literature.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
HARALD VIKARSSON, ruler of Telemark in Norway, Gautr 5, 9 HARALD WARTOOTH, king of Denmark, BH 1, 9. HAREK, king of Permia, AO 19; HE 15–16, 19–20, 22, 24, 26; BH 7–8, 10, 14. HAREK, one of King Herraud’s retainers, AO 27–9, 39. HAUK, Sigmund’s forecastleman, HE 26. HEID, a witch, AO 2. HEIDREK WOLF-SKIN, son of King Godmund, Thorst 12. HEIMIR, brother of Earl Skuli, HE 2. HELGA, daughter of King Gautrek and wife of Ref, Gautr 8, 11. HELGI THORISSON, one of King Olaf Tryggvason’s men,
with a crew of forty aboard each, and went sailing along the coast. It so happened that they ran into rough weather and looked for shelter at an island called Samso. There are creeks there known as Munar Creeks, where they found anchorage for their ships and put up the awnings. During the day it happened that the gable head on Odd’s ship had broken, and in the morning Hjalmar and Odd went ashore to cut down a tree to replace it. It was Hjalmar’s custom to have on all the armour he wore in battle.
Sigmund said that as long as the girl was in favour, it was all very much to his liking, and Edny said that she wasn’t expecting a better offer – ‘so it suits me very well’. Halfdan announced that he was returning to his own kingdom in Norway – ‘People’, he said, ‘are happiest with what they’re born to.’ So that’s how it went; the weddings were celebrated in style and afterwards the chieftains set out each to his own home. Halfdan spent the winter there with Ingigerd, both very much in love.
drew his short-sword and sliced off Aran’s head, then he got some fire and burnt Aran to ashes. Asmund went to the rope and was hauled out of the mound, which was then covered up again. Asmund took all the treasures from the mound with him. 8. The Berserks A little later Asmund called the people to a meeting and asked them whether they intended to honour the agreement he had made with Aran. Not many were in favour of the proposal and only the men Aran had given to Asmund were ready to
put their clothes back on. 8. More Drinking After this the king and his guests sat down at table. Earl Agdi and the others said they must have been tricked in some way. ‘I always feel hot under the collar whenever I’m in their company.’ ‘Leave it be,’ said the king; ‘someone will turn up to make us wiser.’ Then the drinking began, and two horns were carried into the hall. They belonged to Earl Agdi and were very precious. The horns, called the Whitings, were two yards long and all inlaid