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157Episodes
Category: History

Discover what Vikings did when they were at home in this fun medieval history and literature podcast about the Icelandic sagas. Hosted by two medieval literature professors with beards.

November 6, 2022

Episode 36h - Laxdaela Saga (chapters 40-43)

In this episode, Kjartan and Bolli say goodbye to Gudrun and to the safety of Iceland as they travel overseas to make a name for themselves in Norway. Unfortunately for them, Norway is in the midst of a political and religious transition as the country and all who enter it find themselves under the influence of King Olaf Tryggvason. The new king is eager to convert all and sundry to Christianity, often by any means necessary. Along with all the other Icelanders in Nidaros, including our old friend Hallfred the Trouble-some Poet, Kjartan and Bolli are not allowed to leave the port until they turn their backs on the old faith and embrace Christ. Will Kjartan and Bolli resist the pressure to abandon Odin and Thor? Or will King Olaf charm them into accepting the new faith? And how does Gudrun feel about her new beau heading off to Norway for 3 years? There's only one way to find out!

Foust_-_Laxdaela_Saga_-_Kjartan_and_Bolli_Hea...

Thanks, as always, to Jacob Foust (aka @skarphedin_illustrator) for providing us with an original illustration for this episode of Laxdaela Saga.

Music Credits

Intro Music - "Prelude and Action" by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4236-prelude-and-action
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Review Music - "The Royal Vagabond Medley" by Jocker's Dance Orchestra

Outro Music - "Stormfront" by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4421-stormfront
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

October 8, 2022

Episode 36g - Laxdaela Saga (chapters 35-40, but actually only to 38)

In this episode we go back to chapter 35 to pick up on the story of the Hebridean sorcerers. I don’t think you’ll be surprised to find out that they’re not exactly welcomed with open arms by the Icelanders. To be fair, this family of sorcerers are particularly bad.

As these illustrations by @skarphedin_illustrator suggest, it doesn't turn out too well for them.

Foust_-_Laxdaela_Saga_-_Otkel_and_Grima_9-25-...

Foust_-_Laxdaela_Saga_-_Otkel_and_Grima_the_S...

We also get a chance to check in with some old friends in Laxardal and put an end to a longstanding rivalry.

Music Credits

Intro Music - "Prelude and Action" by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4236-prelude-and-action
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Review Music - "The Royal Vagabond Medley" by Jocker's Dance Orchestra

Outro Music - "Stormfront" by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4421-stormfront
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

September 6, 2022

Episode 36f - Laxdaela Saga (chapters 31-36)

Foust_-_Laxdaela_Saga_-_Gudrun_s_Dream_9-4-22...It's time to dive back into Laxdaela Saga! This time we're going to wander away from Olaf Peacock and his family for just a little while. Why? Because it's time to introduce Guðrún Ósvífsdóttir, one of the central figures of the saga! In this episode, we discuss Guðrún's dreams, her troubled marriage, and some interesting scholarship on gender identity in the saga age.

Music Credits

Intro Music - "Prelude and Action" by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4236-prelude-and-action
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Review Music - "The Royal Vagabond Medley" by Jocker's Dance Orchestra

Outro Music - "Stormfront" by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4421-stormfront
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

August 15, 2022

Saga Brief 25: Saga Manuscripts and the Árni Magnússon Institute: An Interview with Svanhildur Óskarsdóttir

While Andy's away, John will play...a recording of his interview with Svanhildur Óskarsdóttir of the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies in Reykjavik. Join us for a discussion of Árni Magnússon's status as the savior of saga literature and the work of the Institute still carrying on in his name. How important is Árni to Iceland? Well, we found this picture of him:

Arni_on_the_100_Kronur_bill8suyu.jpg

If that's not enough, learn how a fire in Copenhagen nearly wiped out the sagas, how vellum pages "wander" from one library to another, who upset a sixteenth-century reader so much that they wrote "damn him!" in a manuscript's margin, and why missing white gloves causes call-in complaints to Icelandic television.

Our thanks to Svanhildur for her time, expertise, and good humor. Enjoy the conversation, and we'll be back to Laxdæla saga as soon as John can convince Andy to come home...

 

Check out the Árni Magnússon Institute's website here.

 

Episode intro: Kent, “Då som nu för alltid”

Intro: Icelandic Folk Music: Tröllaslagur

OutroÓlafur Liljurós

July 25, 2022

Episode 36e - Laxdaela Saga (chapters 24-31)

In this episode, Olaf Peacock takes center stage as Hoskuld's life comes to a peaceful close. But don't think Hoskuld shuffles off this mortal coil before getting one last jab in at his estranged brother Hrut. This episode features an impressive parade, a somewhat lackluster haunting, a trip to Norway, and funeral and wedding feasts. If that's not enough for you, then you'll want to stay tuned to hear how Egil Skallagrimsson's daughter handles a disagreement with her husband.

Foust_-_Laxdaela_Saga_-_Olaf_Peacock_and_Hrap...

Thanks again to Jacob Foust (aka @skarphedin_illustrator) for providing us with an original illustration of Olaf's encounter with Hrapp. You can find more of his work here on Instagram.

Music Credits

Intro Music - "Prelude and Action" by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4236-prelude-and-action
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Review Music - "The Royal Vagabond Medley" by Jocker's Dance Orchestra

Outro Music - "Stormfront" by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4421-stormfront
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license