Sunday, 23 December 2012


In Poul Anderson's The Road Of The Sea Horse (New York, 1980), Chapter XIII, How Gunnar Geiroddsson Fared to Nidharos, is a separate story starting in the saga style. Since the central character is to be Gunnar, we must first be given an objective account of Geirrodd, starting not with Geirrodd's point of view but simply with a reported fact:

"The man was called Geirrod." (p. 221)

Gunnar, not wanting to fish like his father, sets off on foot to offer his military service to the great King Harald Hardrada and is lucky enough, en route, to save the life of the King's leman's brother. Thus, he becomes one of the brother's men and thus, indirectly, serves the King.

Gunnar has not had much religious education. He speaks of " '...St Thor...' " and "...the wizards of Romaborg..." (pp. 228-229)

That new town that Harald had proposed a few Chapters back was built on the Oslofjord and came to be called Oslo.

After the different points of view of Chapters XII and XIII, the concluding Chapter XIV returns to the main narrative and describes Harald's Northern expedition which, because this novel is historical fiction, does not find Jotunheim, although that realm of the giants is visited in the same author's heroic fantasy, The Broken Sword.

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