*Iceland. Northern Atlantic island nation, populated mainly by farmers and ruled by chieftains, that is Grettir’s homeland. Much of the saga’s actions occur in its farmsteads built from turf, timber, and stone or in its icy wastes, sparse woods, rugged mountains, and remote smaller islands. Amid these settings, the saga writer pits the world of community, social interaction, and protection under the law against the harshness of the wilds. Grettir, as an outlaw, must continually navigate the threats and dangers of both. Often enough, these places are under the control of powerful, malevolent, fantastic beings and creatures, as the hero finds himself battling trolls, revenants (people who have returned from the dead), and evil spells.
*Biarg (by-AHRG). Icelandic birthplace of Grettir. It is here that the hero’s stubbornness, strength, and irascible attitude first manifests itself in his interactions with his father, Asmund Longhair. After his father’s death, Grettir’s mother remains there to bear the loss of her husband and the outlawry and deaths of her children. Grettir’s occasional secretive visits are constant reminders of his alienation from his kinsmen.
*Drangey (DRANG-ay). Remote island in a fjord along the northern coast of Iceland. After years, of outlawry, Grettir, his younger brother Illugi, and a servant withdraw here and are able to defend...
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