PODCAST

Víðförul is a ‘series within a series’, a set of episodes about the women pioneers of the Vinland sagas within the podcast Myth, Legend & Lore. In this series, we explore The Saga of Eric the Red and The Saga of the Greenlanders, both written in Iceland in the thirteenth century but set in the Viking Age, focusing on the many fascinating female characters we encounter in these sagas. We delve deeper into the historical background, analyse some of the characters and main scenes, and contextualise them with other Old Norse texts, whether sagas, poetry or later folklore.

Each episode will be accompanied by Siobhán’s narration of the part of the saga discussed. The saga texts and the folktale discussed in episode 1 are available here.

As a ‘bonus’, please find below two online talks given by Jóhanna about valkyries and Viking women. The first talk touches on our heroines Gudrid and Freydis.

EPISODE 1: Saga of Eric the Red, chapter 1

This episode focusses on Aud ‘the Deep-Minded’ Ketilsdóttir, the protagonist of the first section of Eiríks saga. It delves into Aud’s background, making use of other sagas and The Book of Settlements to flesh out her life in more detail. Finally, we discuss a little-known Icelandic folktale about Aud and her dealings with a mysterious young woman named Gullbrá.

The Tháttr of Nornagest – adaption of Nora Kershaw's 1921 translation The Myth Legend & Lore Podcast

Today we have The Tháttr of Nornagest, which can be found in the longer version of the Saga of Olaf Tryggvason, contained in the Flateyjarbók, a medieval Icelandic manuscript. Our adaption is from Nora Kershaw’s 1921 translation, based on Valdimar Asmundarson’s 1891 version. This tale has a host of legendary figures, as well as mythical, and it reveals an interesting portrayal of life in a northern court.  Those of us who have enjoyed the Saga of the Volsungs will be delighted with Guests account of his time with the hero Sigurth, and there is a wonderful section dedicated to Brynhild and her ride to Hel. But what will undoubtedly stand out is the tale of Guest himself and his connection to the Norns.  There is also something a little special, the music you will hear is my sister-in-law playing a section of the Faroese Ballad Nornagest’s Rima, also provided by Nora Kershaw. It’s a beautiful piece and I very much hope you enjoy it as much as we have! Thank you, Karen, you helped to bring this story to life… Nora Kershaw – Stories and Ballads of the Far Past http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/33471
  1. The Tháttr of Nornagest – adaption of Nora Kershaw's 1921 translation
  2. All Men Must Die, Power and Passion in Game Of Thrones with Professor Carolyne Larrington
  3. An Bhuatais & the Meaning of Life – by Lorcán MacMathúna
  4. News for 2021 & a wee bit more!
  5. The Saga of Frithiof the Bold – Complete Version

EPISODE 2: Saga of Eric the Red, chapters 2-6

In episode two, we discuss Guðríður Þorbjarnardóttir and Þorbjörg lítilvölva (whose nickname means ‘little prophetess’); this captivating encounter is a highlight of the saga. We will also look at the realities of marriage for young women, challenges faced by Eirik the Red’s colony in Greenland, medicine, magic/runes, famine, pandemics and much more!

The Tháttr of Nornagest – adaption of Nora Kershaw's 1921 translation The Myth Legend & Lore Podcast

Today we have The Tháttr of Nornagest, which can be found in the longer version of the Saga of Olaf Tryggvason, contained in the Flateyjarbók, a medieval Icelandic manuscript. Our adaption is from Nora Kershaw’s 1921 translation, based on Valdimar Asmundarson’s 1891 version. This tale has a host of legendary figures, as well as mythical, and it reveals an interesting portrayal of life in a northern court.  Those of us who have enjoyed the Saga of the Volsungs will be delighted with Guests account of his time with the hero Sigurth, and there is a wonderful section dedicated to Brynhild and her ride to Hel. But what will undoubtedly stand out is the tale of Guest himself and his connection to the Norns.  There is also something a little special, the music you will hear is my sister-in-law playing a section of the Faroese Ballad Nornagest’s Rima, also provided by Nora Kershaw. It’s a beautiful piece and I very much hope you enjoy it as much as we have! Thank you, Karen, you helped to bring this story to life… Nora Kershaw – Stories and Ballads of the Far Past http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/33471
  1. The Tháttr of Nornagest – adaption of Nora Kershaw's 1921 translation
  2. All Men Must Die, Power and Passion in Game Of Thrones with Professor Carolyne Larrington
  3. An Bhuatais & the Meaning of Life – by Lorcán MacMathúna
  4. News for 2021 & a wee bit more!
  5. The Saga of Frithiof the Bold – Complete Version

EPISODE 3: Saga of Eric the Red, chapters 7-11

Summary

Media

EPISODE 4: Saga of the Greenlanders

Summary

Media

Further watching

Valkyrie: The Women of the Viking World

The Rise of the Valkyrie – The Women of the Viking World