Medieval Icelandic Sagas

The Saga of Hromund Gripsson

13th century, Old Norse.

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But the viking warrior Hromund is wearing women's clothes and grinding some corn at a wheel.

During a battle, Hromund Gripsson is wounded badly in the stomach. The sword slides in to the hilt, the reader is told. But Hromund is wearing a magic garter and from what we know of other circular adornments that have confered invulnerabilty to death in Mediaval storytelling, such as a girdle that Sir Gawain was given by the wife of Sir Bertilak de Hautdesert, a ring that Sir Perceval of Galles wore and a ring that Sir Eglamour of Artois was given, we are probably not surprised to see him recovering afterwards at a farmstead.

A man arrives with some others at the farm looking to seize Hromund and the head woman there denies all knowledge of him. A thorough search by these men of the buildings fails to find him. They leave, but then: 'There was a cauldron there we didn’t look in,' one of them says, and they turn back.

The head woman is waiting for them: 'Look in the cauldron if you want to,' she invites them, calmly; for Hromund is now wearing women's clothes and grinding some corn at a wheel.

Story fragment recounted from: the medieval Icelandic saga of Hromund Gripsson, translated by Gavin Chappell, chapter 8.

See for yourself

Icelandic saga – Wikipedia

Legendary sagas – Wikipedia

Hrómundar saga Gripssonar – Wikipedia

The Saga of Hromund Gripsson – translated by Gavin Chappell: New Northvegr Center

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