Njála, 025

From WikiSaga
Jump to: navigation, search


Contents

Chapter 25

There was a man named Valgard, he kept house at Hof by Rangriver, he was the son of Jorund the Priest, and his brother was Wolf Aurpriest. Those brothers, Wolf Aurpriest, and Valgard the Guileful, set off to woo Unna, and she gave herself away to Valgard without the advice of any of her kinsfolk. But Gunnar and Njal, and many others thought ill of that, for he was a cross-grained man[1] and had few friends. They begot between them a son, whose name was Mord, and he is long in this story. When he was grown to man's estate, he worked ill to his kinsfolk but worst of all to Gunnar. He was a crafty man in his temper, but spiteful in his counsels.

Now we will name Njal's sons. Skarphedinn was the eldest of them. He was a tall man in growth, and strong withal;[2] a good swordsman; he could swim like a seal, the swiftest-looted of men, and bold and dauntless; he had a great flow of words and quick utterance; a good skald too; but still for the most part he kept himself well in hand; his hair was dark brown, with crisp curly locks; he had good eyes; his features were sharp, and his face ashen pale, his nose turned up and his front teeth stuck out, and his mouth was very ugly. Still he was the most soldierlike of men.

Grim was the name of Njal's second son. He was fair of face and wore his hair long. His hair was dark, and he was comelier to look on than Skarphedinn. A tall strong man.

Helgi was the name of Njal's third son. He too was fair of face and had fine hair. He was a strong man and well-skilled in arms. He was a man of sense and knew well how to behave. They were all unwedded at that time, Njal's sons.

Hauskuld was the fourth of Njal's sons. He was baseborn. His mother was Rodny, and she was Hauskuld's daughter, the sister of Ingialld of the Springs.

Njal asked Skarphedinn one day if he would take to himself a wife. He bade his father settle the matter. Then Njal asked for his hand Thorhilda, the daughter of Ranvir of Thorolfsfell, and that was why they had another homestead there after that. Skarphedinn got Thorhilda, but he stayed still with his father to the end. Grim wooed Astrid of Deepback; she was a widow and very wealthy. Grim got her to wife, and yet lived on with Njal.

References

  1. he was a cross-grained man: „The description of Valgarðr shows that the composer of Njáls saga used him as the ultimate antagonist. His refusal of the Christian faith and his attempt to convince his son to revoke his new-found belief portray Valgarðr not only as a mean and hostile man looking for revenge, but as a devil - like figure using his son as a tool in his evil plans.” Arthur, Susanne M. The Devil in Disguise? (p. 6).
  2. He was a tall man in growth, and strong withal: “Three dimensions are without exception always represented: (a) appearance; (b) actions or relations; and (c) inner/psychological qualities (related to cognition, emotions and values). … the author of Njáls Saga distinguishes and points out these three dimensions as a way to emphasize the individuality of each one of the three sons of Njál, with characteristics which none of the others have. Thus for one of them (Grim) his appearance is pointed out (’handsome, with beautiful dark hair’), for the other (Skarphedin) his actions (’courageous but impetuous’), for the third (Helgi) his psychological traits (’intelligent and even-tempered’)” Høyersten, Jon Geir. The Icelandic Sagas and the Idea of Personality and Deviant Personalities in the Middle Ages (p. 204).

Kafli 25

Valgarður hét maður. Hann bjó að Hofi við Rangá. Hann var sonur Jörundar goða, Rannvíssonar heimska, Valgarðssonar, Ævarssonar, Vémundarsonar orðlokars, Þórólfssonar vogunefs, Þrándarsonar hins gamla, Haraldssonar hilditannar, Hrærekssonar slönganbauga. Móðir Haralds hilditannar var Auður, dóttir Ívars víðfaðma, Hálfdanarsonar hins snjalla. Bróðir Valgarðs hins grá var Úlfur aurgoði er Oddaverjar eru frá komnir. Úlfur aurgoði var faðir Svarts, föður Loðmundar, föður Sigfúss, föður Sæmundar fróða, en frá Valgarði er kominn Kolbeinn ungi.

Þeir bræður, Úlfur aurgoði og Valgarður hinn grái, fóru að biðja Unnar og giftist hún Valgarði án ráði allra frænda sinna en það þótti Gunnari illa og Njáli og mörgum öðrum því að hann var maður grályndur og óvinsæll.[1]

Þau gátu sér son er Mörður hét og er sá lengi við þessa sögu. Þá er hann var fullkominn að aldri var hann illa til frænda sinna og þó einna verst til Gunnars. Hann var slægur maður í skaplyndi en illgjarn í ráðum.

Nú skal nefna sonu Njáls. Skarphéðinn hét hinn elsti. Hann var mikill maður vexti og styrkur,[2] vel vígur, syndur sem selur, manna fóthvatastur og skjótur og öruggur, gagnorður og skjótorður og skáld gott en þó löngum vel stilltur. Hann var jarpur á hár og sveipur í hárinu, eygður vel, fölleitur og skarpleitur, liður á nefi og lá hátt tanngarðurinn, munnljótur mjög og þó manna hermannlegastur.

Grímur hét annar sonur Njáls. Hann var fríður sýnum og hærður vel, dökkur á hár og fríðari sýnum en Skarphéðinn, mikill og sterkur.

Helgi hét hinn þriðji sonur Njáls. Hann var fríður sýnum og hærður vel. Hann var styrkur maður og vígur vel. Hann var vitur maður og stilltur vel. Allir voru þeir ókvongaðir synir Njáls.

Höskuldur hét hinn fjórði sonur Njáls. Hann var laungetinn. Móðir hans var Hróðný og var Höskuldsdóttir, systir Ingjalds frá Keldum.

Njáll spurði Skarphéðin ef hann vildi kvongast. Hann bað föður sinn ráða. Bað hann þá til handa honum Þórhildar, dóttur Rannvíss úr Þórólfsfelli, og átti hann því þar annað bú síðan. Skarphéðinn fékk Þórhildar og var þó vistum með föður sínum til enda. Grímur bað Ástríðar af Djúpárbakka og var hún honum ekkja og auðig mjög. Grímur fékk hennar og var þó með Njáli.

Tilvísanir

  1. maður grályndur og óvinsæll: „The description of Valgarðr shows that the composer of Njáls saga used him as the ultimate antagonist. His refusal of the Christian faith and his attempt to convince his son to revoke his new-found belief portray Valgarðr not only as a mean and hostile man looking for revenge, but as a devil - like figure using his son as a tool in his evil plans.” Arthur, Susanne M. The Devil in Disguise? (s. 6).
  2. Hann var mikill maður vexti og styrkur: “Three dimensions are without exception always represented: (a) appearance; (b) actions or relations; and (c) inner/psychological qualities (related to cognition, emotions and values). … the author of Njáls Saga distinguishes and points out these three dimensions as a way to emphasize the individuality of each one of the three sons of Njál, with characteristics which none of the others have. Thus for one of them (Grim) his appearance is pointed out (’handsome, with beautiful dark hair’), for the other (Skarphedin) his actions (’courageous but impetuous’), for the third (Helgi) his psychological traits (’intelligent and even-tempered’)” Høyersten, Jon Geir. The Icelandic Sagas and the Idea of Personality and Deviant Personalities in the Middle Ages (s. 204).

Links

Personal tools