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Saga Thing

History Podcasts

Discover what Vikings did when they were at home in this fun medieval history and literature podcast about the Icelandic sagas. Hosted by two medieval literature professors with beards.

Discover what Vikings did when they were at home in this fun medieval history and literature podcast about the Icelandic sagas. Hosted by two medieval literature professors with beards.

Location:

United States

Description:

Discover what Vikings did when they were at home in this fun medieval history and literature podcast about the Icelandic sagas. Hosted by two medieval literature professors with beards.

Language:

English


Episodes

1 Million Downloads (A Celebratory Chat with John and Andy)

9/13/2020
In this short episode, John and Andy got together for a drink and a chat to celebrate after Saga Thing reached the 1 million downloads milestone. Sure it took 7 years to get there. But we're still surprised that anybody's listening. Thanks for joining us on this journey. Music Credits Intro Music - "Prelude and Action" by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4236-prelude-and-action License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Outro Music - "Stormfront" by...

Duration:01:20:33

Episode 31a - The Saga of Bard the God of Snowfell (chapters 1-11)

9/7/2020
In this episode, we begin our summary and discussion of the fantastical Bárðar saga Snæfellsáss, The Saga of Bard the Snowfell God. This saga is set in the rugged and fantastic landscape of Snaefellsnes in West Iceland. Here you'll discover how trolls and giants migrated to Iceland alongside the humans. One of them, Bard Dumbsson, becomes a guardian spirit who wanders the land "in a grey cloak and hood with a belt of walrus-hide, carrying a two-pronged staff in his hand with a long spike for...

Duration:04:59:50

Episode 31a - The Saga of Bard the God of Snowfell (chaptes 1-11)

9/6/2020
In this episode, we begin our summary and discussion of the fantastical Bárðar saga Snæfellsáss, The Saga of Bard the Snowfell God. This saga is set in the rugged and fantastic landscape of Snaefellsnes in West Iceland. Here you'll discover how trolls and giants migrated to Iceland alongside the humans. One of them, Bard Dumbsson, becomes a guardian spirit who wanders the land "in a grey cloak and hood with a belt of walrus-hide, carrying a two-pronged staff in his hand with a long spike for...

Duration:01:50:46

Saga Brief 19 - Sailing in the Viking Age Interview with Dana Dalicsak

8/16/2020
In this episode, John and Andy sit down (virtually) with Dana Dalicsek to talk about sailing in the Viking Age, life onboard a ship, and the methodologies of modern maritime archaeologists who dive deep beneath the ocean's surface to excavate and study the shipwrecks the Vikings left behind. We hope you enjoy this conversation as much as we did. Music Credits Opening song – Icelandic Folk Music: Tröllaslagur Outro – Ólafur Liljurós

Duration:01:48:47

Episode 30d - The Saga of Hord and the Holm-Dwellers (Judgments)

8/2/2020
It's time to put the Saga of Hord and the Holm-Dwellers on trial. As usual, we'll select winners in the following categories: Best Bloodshed, Nicknames, and Notable Witticisms. We'll also offer a Body Count for this surprisingly bloody saga. Plus there's Outlawry, Thingmen, and Final Ratings! Does Hord have what it takes to make it into our group of Thingmen? Or has he pushed things too far and earned himself an official Saga Thing sentence of outlawry? There's only one way to find...

Duration:04:19:10

Episode 30c - The Saga of Hord and the Holm-Dwellers (chapters 29-41)

7/19/2020
It's time for the thrilling conclusion to The Saga of Hord and the Holm-Dwellers. In this episode, Hord and his followers continue to raid the farms of Hvalfjord like a bunch of unruly Vikings. Things don't go as planned when they target the livestock of Indridi, husband of Hord's sister Thorbjorg. Things get heated as Hord attempts to set fire to his kinsman's home. And while those flames are soon extinguished, the embers of hostility soon flare up into a wildfire that threaten to consume...

Duration:01:41:26

Episode 30b - The Saga of Hord and the Holm-Dwellers (chapters 16-28)

7/5/2020
In this exciting and action packed episode, Hord returns to Iceland with a rich wife and an enhanced reputation. After he inherits land from his father, Grimkel, things seem to be looking good for Hord and his young family. But things take a turn for the worse when the gods turn their backs on him and Hord's luck quickly begins to run out. An incident with some horses and a very sharp sword send him into outlawry. But Hord won't be going into the wilderness alone. Find out who goes with...

Duration:03:52:44

Saga Brief 18 - Women of the Viking World Interview with Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir

6/21/2020
Join us for a chat with Dr. Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir, author of Valkyrie: Women of the Viking World. We speak about Valkyries, shield-maidens, and famous women of Icelandic saga and legend. We also talk about the important contributions of Viking Age women to the success of medieval Scandinavian households, raiding parties, and armies. And since we're all medievalists, we inevitably get around to discussing the thrills and frustrations of working with medieval sources and the importance...

Duration:01:18:35

Episode 30a - The Saga of Hord and the Island-Dwellers (Chapters 1-15)

5/24/2020
It's time to start another saga! This time, we've decided to finish off the last of the "outlaw sagas." We're headed to south-western Iceland for the thrilling post-classical Saga of Hord and the Island-Dwellers, also known as Harðar saga og Hólmverja. In this episode, we meet all the principle characters (there are a lot) and get to know our protagonist a bit before he dives headlong into the life of a medieval Icelandic outlaw. This section of the saga features a troubled marriage,...

Duration:01:33:37

Saga Short 7 - The Tale of the Volsi

4/26/2020
Warning: This episode may not be suitable for young children It’s winter in Norway, a time when most people huddle together with family and friends to share warmth, tell stories, and await the coming of spring. But the Christian king Olaf the Stout has heard word about strange goings-on at a farm in the north, where the lady of the house has found a new way to pass the time—she’s starting her own religious cult. So the king and his friends must travel through the winter weather in disguise...

Duration:00:53:00

Saga Short 6 - The Tale of Thidrandi and Thorhall

4/19/2020
Knock knock. You'd better not say "Who's there?" Strange things are afoot during the Winter Nights feast at Hall of Siða's homestead. Thorhall the Prophet warns everyone to stay inside. But some do-gooders simply can't help themselves when they hear a knock at the door. Find out who's there in this chilling episode of Saga Shorts. Music Credits: Intro: From “Death Awaits” by Billy Malmstrom Outro: From “Óðinn” by Krauka

Duration:00:49:07

Saga Short 5 - The Tale of Thorarin Nefjolsson

4/12/2020
What happens when Thorarin Nefjolsson and his friend Thorstein Ragnhildarson leave the court of King Cnut to visit his rival King Olaf? One of them will have to prove his loyalty by submitting to a trial by ordeal. What is a trial by ordeal, you ask? How does it work? Listen and find out! Click here if you're interested in reading Peter T. Leeson's "Why the Trial by Ordeal Was Actually an Effective Test of Guilt" Music Credits: Intro: From “Death Awaits” by Billy Malmstrom Outro: From...

Duration:00:52:44

Saga Short 4 - The Tale of Thorstein Shiver

4/5/2020
What happens when a stubborn Icelander enters an outhouse alone at night against the orders of King Olaf Tryggvason? Find out as Saga Thing takes on The Tale of Thorstein Shiver! If you haven't read this one yet, you can find it in the back of your Penguin edition of Sagas of Icelanders or Icelandic Histories and Romances Also, check out Vikings in 30 Seconds (mentioned by John in the conclusion). Music Credits: Intro: From “Death Awaits” by Billy Malmstrom Outro: From “Óðinn” by...

Duration:00:48:15

Saga Brief 17 - Vinland and the Vikings in the New World (Live at the Scandinavian Cultural Center in West Newton, MA)

3/22/2020
What happens when a few 19th century scholars, a baking powder magnate, a transcendental poet, and a pair of Norwegian archaeologist explorers start looking for the real site of Vinland? John and Andy spoke at Bridgewater State University and the Scandinavian Cultural Center in West Newton, MA to answer that question. In this live episode, we review the Vinland sagas and then explore the efforts of prominent 19th century gentlemen to locate Vinland in the Boston area. If you've never visited...

Duration:01:44:24

Episode 29p - Egil's Saga (Judgments)

3/9/2020
After a full year of summary and discussion, the time has come to put Egil's Saga on trial. If you don't remember how judgments work, we totally understand. In this episode we review candidates for the following categories: Best Bloodshed, Nicknames, Notable Witticisms, Outlawry, and Thingmen. We also provide a tally of the saga's untimely deaths and offer a final rating of the saga. Will your favorite moment of saga violence make the cut? Will John keep his Nicknames section under 20...

Duration:01:34:29

Episode 29o - Egil's Saga (Part 15)

2/16/2020
In this episode, we finally put Egil Skallagrimsson to rest. But before he goes, Egil still has a few tricks up his gold-embroidered sleeve. He's got plans for those two chests of silver given to him by King Athelstan of England. Then, after shuffling off this mortal coil, Egil's bones leave a lasting legacy that has people of the 12th century and modern archaeologists, physicians, and medievalists talking. We discuss those bones and the now popular theory that Egil may have suffered from...

Duration:03:42:32

Episode 29n - Egil's Saga (Part 14)

1/20/2020
In this episode of Saga Thing, John and Andy celebrate the penultimate summary episode…again. Things got out of hand when Andy took over preparations and he made a whole episode out of the story of Egil’s son, Thorstein. Never fear, it’s a great episode all the same. This one will feel more like a family saga than what we’ve had so far in Egil’s Saga. We’ve got property disputes, arguments over who can graze their cattle where, slaves doing bad things in the name of their master, bloodshed,...

Duration:01:36:25

Episode 29m - Egil's Saga (Part 13)

12/20/2019
In this episode, we turn from Egil's exciting adventures abroad to more serious matters back home. After the tragic deaths of his sons Bodvar and Gunnar, Egil descends into a pit of despair. Cutting himself off from society and family, Egil locks himself in his room to await death. After a clever trick by his daughter foils his plans to end it all, Egil finds solace in poetry once again. In an effort to eulogize his sons and come to terms with his grief, Egil composes what might be his very...

Duration:04:29:35

Episode 29l - Egil's Saga (Part 12)

11/8/2019
Put down the curds and loosen your belt. There's fancier fair on the menu today, friends. This episode provides a hearty feast of adventure and in-your-face surprises as Egil accepts an impossible mission to collect some long overdue tribute from Earl Arnvid in Varmland. After the king's men abandon him in hostile territory, Egil is forced to make his own way through the harshest of winter conditions toward the court of Earl Arnvid. Along the way, he'll make a few new friends and plenty of...

Duration:01:48:52

Episode 29k - Egil's Saga (Part 11)

9/29/2019
This is our action packed dueling episode! Egil suits up for battle against a pale-skinned Swedish berserker hell bent on destroying the family of Arinbjorn’s sister. Then he tackles Atli the Short, whose magical invulnerability to weapons forces Egil to get creative in battle. And if the duels weren't enough, Egil and Arinbjorn go on a series of Viking raids in Saxony and Frisia. Want to know more about the holmgang? Listen to our Saga Brief "Holmgang, Or the Icelandic Art of Dueling"...

Duration:04:17:29