The Northern Way

Of Fjornjot and His Kinsmen - Translation by George L. Hardman

1: Of Fjornjot's Ancestors

Now we shall speak of how Norway was founded in the beginning, how the line of kings began there or in other lands, and why they are called Skjoldungs, Budlungs, Bragnings, Odlings, Volsungs or Niflungs, from which the lines of kings come.

There was a man named Fjornot. He had three sons; one was named Hler, the second Logi, and the third Kari. He ruled the winds, but Logi ruled fire, and Hler ruled the sea. Kari was the father of Jokul, the Glacier, father of King Snae, Snow. The sons of King Snae were Thorri, Fonn, Drifa and Mjoll. Thorri was a wonderful king. He ruled Gotland, Kaenland, and Finland. He celebrated Kaens so that snow was made and travel on skis was good. That is their beginning. The celebration is held in the middle of winter, and from that time on was called the month of Thorri.

King Thorri had three children. His sons were called Norr and Gorr, and his daughter Goi. Goi vanished, and Thorri made a sacrifice a month later than he was accustomed to celebrate, and since then the month that begins then was called Goi. Norr and Gorr searched for their sister. Norr had a great battle west of Kjolu, and the kings fell before him, who were named: Vei and Vei, Hunding, and Heming, and Norr took control of that land all the way to the sea. The brothers met in that fjord, which is called Norafjord. Norr then went up to Kjolu and came to a place called Ulfamoa, then went past the Estri-Dal and then to Vermaland, and along the Vaenir River, and thus to the sea. Norr took control of all of that land, all to the west of this boundary. This land is now called Norway.

In the middle of winter they came to Heidmork. There was a king who was called Hrolf in Bergi. He was the son of the giant Svada north of Dofra and Ashilda, daughter of King Eystein, who had ruled for a long time over Heidmork. Hrolf in Bergi had taken Goi and married her. When she learned of Norr, her brother, she went to meet him and Hrolf, and he gave himself up in the power of Norr and was made his man. After that Norr went to a feast with his in-laws, and Norr married Hodda, the daughter of Svada and sister of Hrolf.

After that, King Norr went west to the sea, and met his brother Gorr. He had come north from Dumbshaf, and had taken all the islands on the way, both inhabited and uninhabited. The brothers divided the realm, so that Norr would have all the land in between, north from Jotunheim and south to Alfheim, which is now called Norway. Gorr would have all the islands that lay on the port side of his ship, where he traveled north from land to land. The sons of the sea-king Gorr were: Beiti and Heiti, Meitir and Geitir. The sea-king Beiti traveled by ship in to Trondheim and in to the Beit-sea. He had a ship sled under the ship, where the snow was deep and there was good travel by sled. There Beiti sat on the raised deck and set course and had the sails hoisted up and had his men take the ship north around Ellidae to Naumadal and took possession of all the land that lay on the port side.

The sea-king Beiti was father of the sea-king Heiti, father of Svada, and Geitir was father of Glamma and Gylfa. The sea-king Meitir was father of Maefil and Myndil. Myndil was the father of Ekkil and Skekkil. Norr was the father of these men, and Hodda, daughter of Svada, mother of Thrand and Gard, who are called Agdi.

When they divided the inheritance, Thrand got Thrandheim by lot, and called it so. Gard Agdi was the father of those who are called thus: Hord, Rugalf, Thrym, Vegard, Freygard, Thorgard, and Grjotgard. Hord got Hordaland from the division. His son was Jofurr or Josurr, father of King Hjorr, father of Hjorleif the Amorous. Rugalf claimed Rogaland. His son was Rognvald, father of King Ogvald. Thrym claimed Agdir. His sons were Agdi and Agnarr, father of Ketil Thrym who lived in Thrum. Vegard laid claim to Sygnafylki. He was the father of Vedrorm, father of Vemund the Old, who is called Sygnatrausti. Freygard claimed Fjord and Fjal. His sons were Freysteinn the Old, who lived at Gaula, and Freybjorn, father of Audbjorn, father of Arinbjarn Fridajarl. Thorgard claimed Sunnmaeri. His sons were Thorvid, father of Arnvid Treserkjabana, father of Slaevid and Bravid. Grjotgard claimed Nordmaeri. His son was Salgard, father of Grjotgard, father of Solva, father of Hogna in Njar dey, father of Solva the Viking and Hilda Mjovu, who was married to Hjorleif the Amorous. Their son was Half the Berserkr. The other son of Grjotgard was Sigarr, father of Signy, who was married to Harald, Earl of Naumdal, the father of Herlaug, father of Grjotgard, father of Earl Hakon, father of Earl Sigurd, father of Hakon Hladearl.

Raum, son of King Norr, took over his father's realm. He had Alfheim and a realm so wide as from where rivers fall, and where they spring up. From there Logri falls east along the valley in Mjor, and from there to Verma in Raumelfi, and on to the sea. From Verma the River Raum flows along the Raum Valley. From the River Verma, the Estri-Elfi falls along the Estri-Valley and into Vaeni, from there, the Gautelfr to the sea.

King Raum had a drinking party at yuletime with Bergfinn, son of the giant Thrym from Verma, and they went to the bed of Bergdisa, his sister. And after that she had three sons, Bjorn, Brand and Alf. He fostered Bergfinn, and was called Finnalf. Bjorn was with his mother and was called Jotunbjorn. She sent Brand to Raum, his father, and he gave him the gods, and he was called Gudbrand. King Raum gave him the valleys, which are called Gudbrandsdal. He gave Raumsdal to Jotunbjorn and to Alf, Estri-Dali and all to the north, and from Gautelf north to Raumelf. All of this was called Alfheim.

Gudbrand, the valley king, was the father of Audleif, father of King Gudmund. His son was Gudbrand, who did not want to allow himself to be called king, and took on the title of earl because he wanted to be the richest earl in the northern lands. His son was Earl Geirmund, father of Earl Hrodgeir, father of Gudbrand, who did not want to be either king or earl, and took on the name of chieftain, and ruled the lands as if he was a king, and there was no one less powerful. All of his descendants were afterward chieftains.

Jotunbjorn the Old was the father of King Raum, father of Hrossbjarn, father of Orm Skeljamola, father of Knatt, father of Thorolf Straw, and Ketil the Ugly. The sons of Thorolf were Helgi, father of Bersa, father of Thormod, father of Thorlaug, mother of Tungu-Odd. Finnalf the Old married Svanhild, who was called Golden Spear-blade. She was the daughter of Dag Dellingson, and Sola, daughter of Mundilfara. Their son was Svan the Red, father of Saefara, father of Ulf, father of Alf, father of Ingimund and Eystein. Raum the Old then married Hilda, daughter of Gudrod the Old, son of King Solva, who first ruled there which is now called Soleyjar. His sons were Gudrod, Hauk, Hadding, and Hring.

Gudrod was king after his father, and all of his relatives were kings. Eysteinn the Wicked was his son. He set Inn-Thraendu, his dog, against the king, who was called Saurr, because they had killed Onund, his son, who had kept watch over the land.

2: The Lineage of Hod

Hod had a realm that was called Hadaland. His son was Hoddbroddr, father of Hrolf, father of Hromund the Berserkr, father of Hamund, Haki, and Gunnlada, mother of Utstein and Insteinn. Hamund was earl of Horda. He was the father of Hrok the Black and Hrok the White. Haki was the father of Hrodgeir, father of Hrodmar, father of Haki the Berserk. Gunnlod was the daughter of Hrok the Black, and mother of Hromund Gripsson. Hadding, the son of Raumr, owned Haddingjadal and Telemark. His son was Hadding, father of Hadding, father of Hogni the Red. After him, three Haddings took the realm, one after the other. Helgi Haddingjaskati was with one of them.

King Hring, son of Raum, had Hringriki and Valdres. He married the daughter of Vifil the Sea-king. Their son was Halfdan the Old. And when he took the kingdom, he set up a celebration in the middle of winter, and sacrificed, so that he should live to be three hundred winters in his kingdom, as Snae the Old was said to have lived. But a prophesy said that he would live no longer than a man's age. But that would be three hundred years, and no man or woman would be dishonored in his lineage. He was a great warrior and plundered widely in the East. There he killed the king, who was named Sigtrygg, in one-to-one combat. He married Alfny, daughter of King Eymund from Holmgard. They had nine sons. One was named Thengill, who was called Mannathengill, Raesi, Gram, Gylfi, Hilmir, Jofurr, Tiggi, Skyli, and Harri. These nine, it is said, were all of equal age, and were so exceptional, that in all accounts their names are held as honorable names, and king's names. It is said that none of them had children, and later they all fell in battle. But they had another nine sons. They were named Hildr, Naefill, Audi, Skelfi, Dag, Bragi, Budli, Lofdi, and Sigarr. Hildr, Sigarr and Lofdi were all warrior kings. Audi, Budli, and Naefill were sea-kings, and Dagr, Skelfi, and Bragi stayed on land.

Dag married Thor, the mother of valiant men, and they had nine sons. One was named Oli, another Amr, a third Jofurr, and a fourth Arngrim. Oli was the father of Dag, father of Oleif, father of Hring, father of Olaf, father of Helga, father of Sigurd Hjarta, father of Ragnhild, mother of Harald the Fair-haired. The descendants of Harald were called Daglingar. Arngrim married Eyfuru. Their son was Angantyr the Berserk.

Bragi the Old was king in Valdres. He was the father of Agnar, father of Alf, father of Eirek, father of Hilda, mother of Halfdan the Mild, father of Gudrod, father of Halfdan the Black, father of Harald Fiar-haired. These descendants of Harald are called the Bragnings.

Skelfi was the king at Vors. His son was Skjoldr, father of Eirek, father of Alrek, father of Eirek the Wise-spoken, father of Alrek the Valiant, father of Vikar, father of Vatnar, father of Imald and Eirek, father of Gyda, who married Harald Fair-haired. That is the family of the Skilfings or Skjoldings.

Hildi was the fourth son of Halfdan. (Leidr - the fifth son of Dag) He was father of Hildebrand, father of Vigbrand, father of Hildi and Herbrand, father of Harald the Thin, father of Asa the Ambitious, mother of Halfdan the Black, father of Harald Fair-haired.

Sigarr was the father of Siggeir, who married Signy, the daughter of the king of the Volsungs. Sigarr was also the father of Sigmund, who married Hilda, daughter of Grjotgard, King of Maeri. His son was named Sigarr, father of Signy. He had Hagbard hanged. That is the dynasty of the Siklings.

Lofdi was a great king. The troops, which he commanded, are called Lofdar. He plundered in Reidgotaland and became king there. His sons were Skekkill the Sea-king, and Skyli, father of Egdis, father of Hjalmthes, father of Eylima, father of Hjordi, mother of Sigurdar Fafnisbana, father of Aslaug, mother of Sigurd Serpent-Eye, father of Aslaug, mother of Sigurd Hjarta, father of Ragnhild, mother of Harald Fair-haired. These relatives of Harald are called Lofdungs.

Audi and Budi were sea-kings and each traveled with his army. They came with their troops to Saxland and plundered widely there, conquering Valland and Saxland, and settled there on the land. Audi had Valland and was the father of Froda, father of Kjar, father of Olrun. They are called Odlings. Budli had Saxland. He was the father of Attil, father of Vifil, father of Laefa, father of Budla, father of Sorla or Serla, and Atla and Brynhilda, mother of Aslaug, and her lineage of Harald Fair-haired is called Budlingar.

King Nefill was the father of Heimar, father of Eynef, father of Rakna, father of Gjuka, father of Gunnar and Hogna, Gudrun, Gudny, and Gullrand, and that is the Niflung lineage. Now it is spoken of the women, who first came to the family of Halfdan the Old. And when the first woman came into the dynasty, three hundred years had passed from the celebration, which Halfdan celebrated for his age and realm.

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