Whoever the author was, the author shows an awareness of the Sagas of Icelanders tradition by making references to other sagas and borrowing themes from the larger cultural milieu of the Germanic peoples that appear independently in other texts like the Old English Beowulf. The saga can be split into three major sections: Chapters , Chapters , and Chapters The first and last sections of the saga focus on Grettir's family rather than on Grettir. Chapters primarily focus on the life, condemnation, and death of Grettir.
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Hight from the original Icelandic 'Grettis saga'. His mother came from the Upplands, while his father's relations were mostly in Rogaland and Hordland. He was a great viking and used to harry away in the West over the sea. He was accompanied on these expeditions by one Balki, the son of Blaeing from Sotanes, and by Orm the Wealthy. Another comrade of theirs was named Hallvard.
They had five ships, all well equipped. They plundered the Hebrides, reaching the Barra Isles, where there ruled a king named Kjarval, who also had five ships. These they attacked; there was a fierce battle between them, in which Onund's men fought with the utmost bravery.
After many had fallen on both sides, the battle ended with the king taking to flight with a single ship; the rest were captured by Onund's force, along with much booty. They stayed there for the winter, and spent the succeeding three summers harrying the coasts of Ireland and Scotland, after which they returned to Norway. At that time Norway was very disturbed.
Harald Shockhead, the son of Halfdan the Black, till then king of the Upplands, was aiming at the supreme kingship. He went into the North and fought many battles there, in which he was always victorious.
Then he marched harrying through the territories to the South, bringing them into subjection wherever he came. Geirmund Swarthyskin was then away in the West, beyond the sea, so he was not present at the battle, although Hordland belonged to his dominion. Onund and his party had arrived that autumn from the western seas, and when Thorir and Kjotvi heard of their landing they sent envoys to ask for their aid, promising to treat them with honour. They were very anxious for an opportunity of distinguishing themselves, so they joined Thorir's forces, and declared that they would be in the thickest part of the battle.
They met King Harald in a fjord in Rogaland called Hafrsfjord. The forces on each side were very large, and the battle was one of the greatest ever fought in Norway. There are many accounts of it, for one always hears much about those people of whom the saga is told. Troops had come in from all the country around and from other countries as well, besides a multitude of vikings.
Onund brought his ship alongside of that of Thorir Long-chin in the very middle of the battle. King Harald made for Thorir's ship, knowing him to be a terrible berserk, and very brave.
The fighting was desperate on either side. Then the king ordered his berserks, the men called Wolfskins, forward. No iron could hurt them, and when they charged nothing could withstand them. Thorir defended himself bravely and fell on his ship fighting valiantly. The whole ship from stem to stern was cleared and her fastenings were cut, so that she fell out of the line of battle.
Then they attacked Onund's ship, in the forepart of which he was standing and fighting manfully. The king's men said: "He bears himself well in the forecastle. Let us give him something to remind him of having been in the battle. With him fell the greater number of his men. They carried him to a ship belonging to a man named Thrand, a son of Bjorn and brother of Eyvind the Easterner. He was fighting against King Harald, and his ship was lying on the other side of Onund's.
Then there was a general flight. Thrand and the rest of the vikings escaped any way they could, and sailed away westwards. They took with them Onund and Balki and Hallvard Sugandi. Onund recovered and went about for the rest of his life with a wooden leg, wherefore he was called Onund Treefoot as long as he lived.
There were then in the western parts many distinguished men who had fled from their homes in Norway before King Harald, for he declared all who fought against him outlaws, and seized their property. As soon as Onund had recovered from his wound, Thrand went with his party to Geirmund Swarthyskin, who was the most eminent of the vikings in the West.
They asked him whether he was not going to try and regain his kingdom in Hordland, and offered to join him, hoping by this means to do something for their own properties, for Onund was very wealthy and his kindred very powerful. Geirmund answered that Harald had such a force that there was little hope of gaining any honour by fighting when the whole country had joined against him and been beaten.
He had no mind, he said, to become the king's thrall, and to beg for that which he had once possessed in his own right. Seeing that he was no longer in the vigour of his youth he preferred to find some other occupation. So Onund and his party returned to the Southern Islands, where they met many of their friends.
There was a man named Ofeig, nicknamed Grettir. He was the son of Einar, the son of Olvir the Babyman. He was a brother of Oleif the Broad, the father of Thormod Shaft. Konal's son was named Steimnod; he was the father of Halldora, whom Eilif, the son of Ketil the One-handed, married. Ofeig Grettir married Asny, the daughter of Vestar, the son of Haeing.
Ofeig had fled from the wrath of King Harald into the West over the sea, along with his kinsman Thormod Shaft and all their families. They ravaged far and wide in the western seas. He had had to leave Gautland because he had burnt in his house Sigfast the father-in-law of King Solvi.
Then he went to Norway and spent the winter with Grim the Hersir, a son of Kolbjorn the Sneak, who wanted to murder him for his money. There he was well received, stayed the winter, and went campaigning with Ondott in the summer until his wife Hlif died.
Eventually Ondott gave Bjorn his daughter Helga, and Bjorn then no longer went out to fight. Eyvind had taken over his father's ships and become a great chief in the western parts. He married Rafarta, the daughter of the Irish king Kjarval. Their sons were Helgi the Lean and Snaebjorn. When Thrand and Onund came to the Southern Islands they found there Ofeig Grettir and Thormod Shaft, with whom they became very friendly, for each thought the others had risen from the dead, their last meeting having been in Norway when the war was at its worst.
Onund was very silent, and Thrand, when he noticed it, asked what was on his mind. Onund answered with a verse:. Many the sorrows that o'er me lower. Men hold me for nought; this thought is the worst of all that oppresses my sorrowing heart. Thrand said: "Why, you still seem as full of vigour as ever you were.
You may yet settle down and marry. You shall have my good word and my interest if you will only tell me whom you fancy. Onund said he behaved nobly; but said there had once been a time when his chances of making a profitable marriage had been better. Onund said he would like it, and soon afterwards Ofeig was approached on the subject. He received the proposal favourably, saying he knew the man to be of good lineage and to have some wealth in movable property, though his lands were not worth much.
Why, my daughter is quite a child. So with the aid of Thrand the terms were settled. Ofeig was to give his daughter a portion in cash, for neither would reckon anything for his lands in Norway. Soon afterwards Thrand was betrothed to the daughter of Thormod Shaft. Both the maids were to remain plighted for three years. Then they went on fighting expeditions in the summer, remaining in the Barra Isles during the winter. There were two Vikings from the Southern Isles, named Vigbjod and Vestmar; they were abroad both summer and winter.
They had eight ships, and harried mostly round the coast of Ireland, where they did many an evil deed until Eyvind undertook the defence of the coast, when they retired to the Hebrides to harry there, and right in to the Scotch firths. Thrand and Onund went out against them and learned that they had sailed to an island called Bot.
Onund and Thrand followed them thither with five ships, and when the vikings sighted them and saw how many there were, they thought their own force was sufficient, so they took to their arms and advanced to the attack. Onund ordered his ships to take up a position between two rocks where there was a deep but narrow channel, open to attack from one side only, and by not more than five ships at once.
Onund was a very wily man. He sent his five ships forward into the channel so that, as there was plenty of sea room behind them, they could easily retire by merely backing their oars. One ship he brought under an island lying on their beam, and carried a great stone to a place on the front of the rock where it could not be seen from the enemy's ships. The Vikings came boldly on, thinking they had caught them in a trap.
Vigbjod asked who they were that he had hemmed in. Thrand answered that he was a brother of Eyvind the Easterner, and the man with him was his comrade, Onund Treefoot.
The vikings laughed and said:. Never yet did I see men go to battle who could not carry themselves. Onund said that could not be known until it was tried. Then the ships came together. There was a great battle in which both sides fought bravely. When the battle was thick Onund ordered his ships to back their oars. The vikings seeing it thought they were taking to flight, and pushed on with all their might, coming under the rock just at the moment when the party which had been dispatched for that purpose arrived.
They launched upon the vikings stones so huge that nothing could hold against them. A number of the vikings were killed, and others were so injured that they could fight no more. Then the vikings tried to escape, but could not, as their ships were in the narrowest part of the channel and were impeded both by the current and by the enemy's ships. Onund's men vigorously attacked the wing commanded by Vigbjod while Thrand engaged Vestmar, but effected little. When the men on Vigbjod's ship had been somewhat reduced, Onund's men, he himself with them, prepared to board her.
Tag: Grettis saga
Onund was an Uplander by the kin of his mother; but the kin of his father dwelt chiefly about Rogaland and Hordaland. He was a great viking, and went harrying west over the Sea. Balk of Sotanes, the son of Blaeng, was with him herein, and Orm the Wealthy withal, and Hallvard was the name of the third of them. They had five ships, all well manned, and therewith they harried in the South-isles; and when they came to Barra, they found there a king, called Kiarval, and he, too, had five ships.
Hight from the original Icelandic 'Grettis saga'. His mother came from the Upplands, while his father's relations were mostly in Rogaland and Hordland. He was a great viking and used to harry away in the West over the sea. He was accompanied on these expeditions by one Balki, the son of Blaeing from Sotanes, and by Orm the Wealthy. Another comrade of theirs was named Hallvard. They had five ships, all well equipped.
Grettis saga , c. Its distinction rests on the complex, problematic character of its outlaw hero, Grettir, and on its skillful incorporation into the narrative of numerous motifs from folklore. Wellborn, brave, and generous but headstrong and trouble-prone, Grettir, at age 14, kills a man in a quarrel and is outlawed for three years. He spends these years in Norway performing many brave deeds. On his return to Iceland he saves the people from the malicious ghost of Glam the shepherd, who is ravaging the countryside. The dying fiend imposes a curse on Grettir, predicting he will grow afraid of the dark. During his long outlawry , Grettir is pursued by kinsmen of men he has wronged, by other outlaws for the price on his head, and by trolls and other magic beings.