Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Grettir the strong is descended from Onund, a Viking famed for enemies killed in war and the taking of booty from towns plundered on far sea raids. In a battle at Hafrsfjord, Onund loses a leg and is thereafter known as Onund Treefoot. His wife is Aesa, the daughter of Ofeig. Thrand, a great hero, is his companion in arms. During a time of great trouble in Norway, the two heroes sail to Iceland to be free of injustice in their homeland, where the unscrupulous can rob without fear of redress. Onund lives in quiet and plenty in the new land, and his name becomes renowned, for he is valiant. At last he dies. His sons fight after his death, and his lands are divided.
Grettir of the line of Onund is born at Biarg. As a child he shows strange intelligence. He quarrels constantly with Asmund Longhair, his father, and he is very lazy, never doing anything cheerfully or without urging. When he is fourteen years old, grown big in body, he kills Skeggi in a quarrel over a provision bag that falls from his horse, and for that deed his father pays blood money to the kinsmen of Skeggi. Then the Lawman declares that he must leave Iceland for three years. In that way the long outlawry of Grettir begins.
Grettir sets sail for Norway. The ship is wrecked on rocks off the Norwegian coast, but all get safely ashore on land that belongs to Thorfinn, a wealthy landsman of the district. Grettir makes his home with him for a time. At Yuletide, Thorfinn, with most of...
(The entire section is 1699 words.)
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