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Quotes / The Icelandic Sagas

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Quotes on the sagas:

[The Icelanders] spend their time improving knowledge of others' deeds, making up for their poverty by their intelligence. They take great pleasure in discovering and commemorating the achievements of all nations; in their view it is as enlightening to discourse on the prowess of others as to display their own.
Saxo Grammaticus, Preface to Gesta Danorum, c. 1200 A.D.

"Erik Njorl, son of Hrothgar, leaves his home to seek Hangnor the Elder at the house of Thorvald Hlodvisson, the son of Gudleif, half-brother of Thorgeir, the priest of Ljosavatn. Who took to wife Thorunn, the mother of Thorkel Braggart, the slayer of Gudmund the Powerful, who knew Harold, son of Geirnund, son of Erik from Goddales, son of Arvald Bristlebeard, son of Hakon, who killed Grjotgard in Sognedal in Norway over Gudrid, daughter of Thorkel Long, the son of Ketil Trout, the half-son of Hallbjorn Halftroll, father of Ingvar the Brave, who wed Isenbert of Gottenberg the daughter of Hangbard the Fierce ..."
—Narration from Monty Python's Flying Circus, "Njorl's Saga" Invest in Malden

Quotes from the sagas:

There was a man called Ketil Flat-Nose, who was the son of Bjorn Buna. Ketil was a powerful and well-born chief in Norway; he lived in Romsdalen in the province of Romsdal, which lies between Sunnmøre and Nordmøre.
Ketil Flat-Nose was married to Yngvild, the daughter of Ketil Wether, a man of great distinction. They had five children. Their sons were Bjorn the Easterner and Helgi Bjolan. One daughter was called Thorunn Hyrna; she was the wife of Helgi the Lean, who was the son of Eyvind the Easterner and of Rafarta, the daughter of King Kjarval of Ireland. The second daughter was called Unn the Deep-Minded; she was the wife of Olaf the White, the son of Ingjald, the son of King Frodi the Valiant, who was killed by Earl Sverting and his sons. The third daughter was called Jorunn Wisdom-Slope. She was the mother of Ketil the Fisher, who was the first settler at Kirkby. He was the father of Asbjorn, the father of Thorstein, the father of Surt, the father of Sighvat the Lawspeaker.
Laxdæla saga, beginning

Thorgrím the Norwegian climbed up on the roof. Gunnar saw a red coat appear at the window and lunged at Thorgrím with his halberd and struck him in the middle. Thorgrím’s feet slipped from under him, he dropped his shield and tumbled from the roof. He then walked over to Gizur and the rest of the group who were sitting on the ground. Gizur looked at him and asked: „Well, is Gunnar home?“
Thorgrím answered: “Find that out for yourselves! All I know is that his halberd is!” With that he fell dead to the ground.
Njál's Saga

"These broad spears are becoming a fashion."
Last words of Atli Ásmundarson, Saga of Grettir the Strong

"I don't care for a monotonous life."
Grettir the Strong

"There's more in a human heart than money can buy."
Grettir the Strong