A while ago, Janni posted about the afterword to Hrolf Gautreksson
, wherein the author basically says, keep your trap shut unless you can do better.
I don't think I ever read that saga . . . but I've taken said author up on his challenge.
I first encountered the poem "The Waking of Angantyr" (for which you can blame my weird fixation on Hervarar saga
) in Patricia Terry's Poems of the Elder Edda
. Not that "Waking" is from the Elder Edda, but it is
composed in an eddic style, which is why she included it. The poem stuck in my head, and then I encountered it again in my Old Norse class; we didn't translate it, but E.V. Gordon includes it in An Introduction to Old Norse
. And, as it happens, gets his facts wrong: he says Hervor wants the sword from Angantyr so she can go get revenge. Which isn't what happens; if memory serves, Hjalmar died of his wounds after fighting Angantyr et al, and Arrow-Odd goes off to have his own saga before dying of a snakebite. I didn't know that at the time, though, so between the two of them, Terry and Gordon planted a certain image in my head, of the context around this poem.
Then I read the saga.( Read more...Collapse )
Which brings me to my question: what's the biggest fault in the sagas you've read? What's the plot hole or failure to be interesting that you most want to improve upon? (janni
, you're not allowed to say "Hallgerd." We already know about her. Pick another one. <g>)