These medieval Viking romances, including Arrow-Odd and King Gautrek, inhabit some of the most enjoyable and exotic regions of the Icelandic imagination.
They tell of famous kings, difficult gods and women of great beauty, goodness or cunning; but although they paint the traditional colourful picture of the Viking warrior making raids in his dragon-headed longboat, these stories are not concerned, like Hrafnkel’s Saga or Njal’s Saga, for example, to point a moral or to set down the glories of Icelandic history or geography. Instead the narrators, witty and well-read, plundered sources from Homer to French romance, and incorporated local myths, legends and heroic tales in a bid to entertain us, capture our imagination and make us laugh.
Translated by Hermann Pálsson and Paul Edwards
Maps: Europe of the Viking Romances
Note on the Texts and Translations
Seven Viking Romances
Bosi and Herraud
Egil and Asmund
Appendix: Sources and parallels of Arrow-Odd
List of Proper Names