Saga Thing

A medieval history and literature podcast reviewing all the Sagas of the Icelanders by two professors with beards.

March 16th, 2018    

Episode 25a - The Saga of Ref the Sly (Summary)



Saga Thing returns with the wild adventures of Ref the Sly. Follow us as we track this wily character from as he travels all throughout medieval Scandinavia leaving piles of wood shavings and bodies in his wake. 

Picture: Taken from Grayson del Faro's recap of Ref the Sly on the Reykjavik Grapevine

Music Credits:

Intro Music "Prelude and Action" by Kevin MacLeod (

Summary Music - "Industrial Cinematic" by Kevin MacLeod (

Outro Music - "Stormfront" by Kevin MacLeod (

Selections from music by Kevin MacLeod licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

March 9th, 2018    

Saga Brief 12 - Catching Up with Saga Thing (Now With a Listener Contest!)



John and Andy return from a short break to update listeners on all the stuff that's been happening, what we've got planned for the immediate future, and to kick off the Saga Thing listener promotion contest. Yes, that's right, we're asking our loyal listeners to help us promote the podcast by spreading the word through creative expression. Evan Quinlan got the ball rolling without even realizing we were planning this. You can see his handywork in the image above. He's the first entry into the contest and the current leader. Do you have what it takes to unseat him?

Winners of the contest will receive fabulous prizes! How exciting. Listen to the episode for more details.

January 16th, 2018    

Saga Brief 11 - The Lesser Ragnarssons



Before we get back to the sagas of the Icelanders, we're pausing once again to provide you with some of the more interesting history and stories behind the History Channel's Vikings. We've got two lengthy Saga Briefs for you chock full of Vikings goodness ripped straight from the medieval sources that inform the show. We've already covered The Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok, his death poem, Rollo and the Vikings in Paris, and the mythology surrounding the blood-eagle. This time around we've got our eyes on the Ragnarssons. As you'll learn, there are a lot of them. So many, in fact, that we don't even get to your favorites in this episode. That's right, you'll have to wait until next time to hear all about Ivar the Boneless, Ubbe, Bjorn, and Hvitserk. But never fear, there's plenty here to keep you entertained. Learn all about the origins of Sigurd's Snake-in-the-Eye. Discover the daring deed of Rognvald Ragnarsson. Ooh and aah over Ulvi's brief moment in the sun. Hear all about Hastein Ragnarsson, one of Ragnar's greatest and most trusted sons. And then there's Eirik and Agnar, Fridleif, Radbard, Dunwat, and even a few daughters to consider. There's also a good bit in here about Lagertha. We hope you enjoy!


Intro - VioDance cover of "If I Had A Heart" by Fever Ray with Hardanger Violin 

Closing Music - Logan Kendell's folk cover of "If I Had A Heart" by Fever Ray. To purchase a copy of the song, visit Logan Kendell's bandcamp page. Be sure to check out his other music while you're there. I highly recommend his cover of Cruzados' "La Flor de Mal."  

December 1st, 2017    

Saga Brief 10 - “Female Viking Warrior” Interview with Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson



Dr. Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson is a researcher in the department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University in Sweden. You might recognize her name as the lead author of the recent article, "A Female Viking Warrior Confirmed by Genomics," which identified the famous Birka warrior of grave Bj 581 as a woman. It's no surprise that this revelation attracted a lot of attention from both scholars and fans of the Viking Age. In this special Saga Brief, Andy sits down to talk with Dr. Hedenstierna-Jonson about medieval Birka, grave Bj 581, and the exciting implications of this revelation.  

Music Credits:

Opening song - “Rúnatal” by An Danzza

Introduction - from Icelandic Folk Music: Tröllaslagur



November 17th, 2017    

Saga Brief 9 - Thor: The Intersection of Viking Mythology and Popular Culture (Live)



 In this Saga Brief, John and Andy visit Seminole State College to talk about Thor in all his incarnations, from the Proto-Germanic god of thunder to the hammer throwing stud of the Marvel Comic Universe.  You can access the PowerPoint slides here: Thor Presentation.

Special thanks to Michael Mendoza for inviting us and organizing this event. We are also grateful to Aaron Hanlin and the Grindle Honors Insitute at Seminole State College for generously funding our travel. And thank you to the students of Seminole State for your kind attention and enthusiasm. 

If you're interested in having Saga Thing come to your university, contact us at

Intro to Saga Brief - from Icelandic Folk Music: Tröllaslagur

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