Hrómundar saga Gripssonar
Hrómundar saga Gripssonar or The Saga of Hromund Gripsson is a legendary saga from Iceland. The original version has been lost, but its content has been preserved in the rímur of Hrómundr Gripsson published in Fernir forníslenzkar rímnaflokkar (1896). These rímur were the basis for the not very appreciated Hrómunds saga which is found in the MS of the Arnamagnæan Codex, nr 587, 4°, and which is preserved in the Fornaldarsögur.
The saga is about Hrómundr serving king Óláf Warrior-King (Óláfr konungr liði) and Hrómund's battles with the berserker Hröngvið and as well as the undead witch-king Þráinn, a draugr (he was a former king of Gaul, Valland). Þráinn had killed 420 men including the Swedish king Semingr with his enchanted sword Mistletoe (Mistilteinn.) Hrómund grapples with Þráinn and wins, burns his body and takes Mistletoe. Later he fights the two kings of Sweden named Haldingr, and their champion Helgi Haddingjaskati (Hröngvið's brother) who is aided in battle by his lover Kára's magic. During the battle, she is in the shape of a swan, and she is probably based on the Valkyrie Kára. By mistake Helgi hurts the swan with his sword and is no longer protected by Kára's magic, and is killed by Hrómund. After some adventures, Hrómund slays the last Swedish king Haldingr.
The saga reflects parts of the lost Káruljóð which is mentioned in the prose section of Helgakviða Hundingsbana II. This section says that Helgi Hundingsbane and his lover, the Valkyrie Sigrún are reborn as Helgi Haddingjaskati and Kára.
It is probably not a historic account of real events since it was remarked by king Sverre of Norway, who heard it, that it was an amusing lying tale.
Hrómundr has been connected to Swedish legends of Ramunder hin Onde (Hrómundr the Evil). In these traditions he was a wild and evil Viking who founded the estate of Ramundeboda in the forest of Tiveden, Sweden. His daughter Skaga constructed the Skaga stave church.
- The original text in Old Norse
- A translation in English by Gavin Chappell with Facing Old Norse Text