Bryan—Icelandic Fylgjur Tales and a Possible Old Norse Context

Abstract:  Icelandic folktales of the Fylgjur group have long been dissociated from the fylgjur, or attendant spirits, of Old Norse literature and pagan belief, a view supported by both Jón Árnason and the eminent folklorist Einar Ólafur Sveinsson. Despite their obvious differences, significant similarities persist between the earlier and later fylgjur figures. The later fylgjur represent a much changed version of their medieval ancestors. Understanding how fylgjur from the earlier and the later era relate to one another facilitates a better understanding of how belief evolved throughout religious development in Iceland, starting in the pre-Christian era, and moving through Christianization and beyond. Many of these later folktales have not yet been translated into English, and thus remain outside the purview of the general scholar. I have therefore included translations of three representative tales from this group.

2 days ago with 23 notes

brynja-storm: Hello, I just have a quick question, because I've been seeing conflicting information. Is Sessrumnir or Folkvangr Freyja's hall? I've seen both.


Folkvangr is a field, Sessrumnir is the hall. Folkvangr translates as “field of folk” hence the folk in its name. Sessrumnir means “many-seated” as in benches in a hall.

I think the issue is that some assume that “field of folk” is a kenning for a hall, but in this case I believe it’s literal, and Sessrumnir is the actual hall within Folkvangr.

2 days ago with 14 notes


Todays outfit for the viking market

A Timeline for Viking Art Styles
Viking art, in common with almost all Germanic art of this period is zoomorphic, but it does not attempt a naturalistic representation of animals. Instead the animals are contorted, often intertwined, or gripping or biting each other, and often with flowing tendrils. As can be seen from the above table, these art styles overlapped, with two and sometimes three styles remaining in fashion at the same time.

Medieval Norse weapons.
(source:, via Shellaine Dizzle)

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The Ringerike Style (c. AD 980 – 1070)
The Ringerike style grew out of the Mammen style during the first half of the 11th century. The style emerged at a time when the custom of erecting stone monuments was becoming more common and the style is named after a series of richly carved stones in the Ringerike district of Norway.
One can see that the Ringerike style has developed from the Mammen style, although there are a number of significant differences: the animals are thinner and more curvaceous; their bodies are no longer decorated inside; the eyes are almond-shaped instead of round; and the tendrils get thinner and longer. A fine grave-slab decorated in the Ringerike style was found in the churchyard of St Paul’s Cathedral, London.
Viking ship Weather Vane with Eagle motif, Ringerike style, 11th Century CE. Heggen, Norway

viking jewellery 
© Iórunnr Solvisdóttir

Loki Shears the Lady Sif’s Hair in the Garden, by ~Alexiel-VIII