Sunday, 19 June 2016

Adhils And Yrsa

"'I am feared, Yrsa,' he said, shakingly unshaken." (Hrolf Kraki's Saga, p. 85)

Is "shakingly unshaken" contradictory? No. Adhils is not both shaking and unshaken but his unshakenness shakes Yrsa.

"He did not speak merrily, as Helgi would have done; rather it was like something he had put together and learned beforehand." (ibid.)

I have heard this criticism made of some men including myself.

"'The mightiest lord of the lot comes wooing you, yes, gives you a gift which could be the Brisingamen itself...'" (p. 86)

When Yrsa has become the Swedish Queen, Olof gloats, then:

"She lived only a few years further. A growth killed her." (p. 87)

Is the growth a karmic consequence of her malice? Or do the gods end her life because it has fulfilled its purpose?


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Yes, the "shakingly unshaken" line by Poul Anderson was a skillful way for him to stress that King Adhils was a very formidable and dangerous person in his own right. That it would be foolish to underestimate him. Even Queen Olof felt compelled to greet him with a deference she showed to no others.

    I think we are meant to think of many meanings to be inferred from the sentence about Queen Olof. If I had to guess, by then Olof was probably about 50 years old, which was ancient by the standards of those days. That is, an ordinary enough passing of a human being. OR, indeed the pagan gods had no further use for Olof, and discarded her. OR, the growth was indeed karmic retribution for her malice.


  2. Sean,
    360 page views yesterday. 690 so far today.

  3. 714 by the end of the day. (The computer is counting 24 hours from 1.00 AM to 1.00 AM.)

    1. Kaor, Paul!

      Good! I hope that means people are becoming more and more aware of your blog, that it is one of the more interesting science fiction and literature related web sites.

      And I ardently hope some of those visitors will leave their own comments here, and start reading the works of Poul Anderson, S.M. Stirling, Jerry Pournelle, H.G. Welles, Jules Verne, and the pre STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND books of Robert Heinlein.