Viking Legends – Gunnar the Hero

Gunnar Hámundarson was a 10th century Icelandic chieftain. Gunnar, also known as Gunnar of Hlíðarendi (Old Norse: Gunnarr á Hlíðarenda), lived in Hlíðarendi in Fljótshlíð, a southern region in Iceland, and is featured prominently in the first half of Njáls Saga, an Icelandic sagas which tells of many blood feuds and the chain of events ultimately leading to his death in battle. Gunnar was the son of Hámundr Gunnarsson and Rannveig Sigfúsdóttur (according to Njáls Saga) or Rannveig Sigmundardóttur (according to Landnáma). He had two brothers, Kolskeggr and Hjörtr, and one sister named…

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Less Commonly Known Viking Weapons – The Atgeir

The Atgeir was a ‘spear-like spear’ that was used before and through the Viking Age. One reference to the atgeir comes from Icelandic Sagas about the Viking hero Gunnar Hámundarson whom used an atgeir in Njál’s Saga that would “sing” by making a ringing sound when it anticipated ‘bloodshed’ when it was used in battle. Gunnar was a great warrior.  He is described as being nearly invincible in combat. According to Njál’s Saga, he was a powerful, athletic man “capable of jumping his own height in full body armor, both back and…

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