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Category: History

This Hall primarily serves as a book-club-style podcast about medieval literature and lore, whether it is Norse, Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, or Arthurian.

Landvættir: The Land-Spirits of the Medieval North

October 20, 2018

Winter Nights is nearly upon us! And what better time is there to chat about spirits? In this gathering, we explore the roles and importance of the land-spirits in Norse culture and society through 16 different primary sources from the medieval period. Along the way, we discuss the heathen holiday known as Winter Nights, some of Iceland’s earliest pagan laws, the reasons why Vikings put dragon-prows on their ships, Iceland’s settlement, dirty poetic slander, whale-wizards, expressions of power, and so much more! If you like elves, spirits, and norse mythology, then you definitely don’t want to miss this episode.

Social Media Links:


Name Drops:

Saga Thing (John and Andy)

Primary Sources Used/Mentioned:

  1. Gisli’s Saga
  2. Killer-Glum’s Saga
  3. The Book of Icelanders
  4. The Tale of Thorstein Bull’s Leg
  5. The Book of Settlements
  6. Heimskringla
    1. The Saga of Olaf Tryggvason
    2. The Saga of Hakon the Good
    3. The Saga of the Ynglings
  7. Njal’s Saga
  8. The Saga of the People of Vopnafjord
  9. The Saga of the People of Reykjadal and of Killer-Skuta
  10. The Saga of the People of Eyri
  11. Hen-Thorir’s Saga
  12. The Saga of the People of Floi
  13. Egil’s Saga 
  14. Gulathing Law Code (quoted here from Mundal, see below)
  15. Hauksbók Sermon (quoted here from Mundal, see below)
  16. The Tale of Thorvald the Far-Travelled

Secondary Sources Used/Mentioned:

  1. Else Mundal, “Remnants of Old Norse Heathendom in Popular Religion in Christian Times.” (From Medieval Christianity in the North: New Studies)
  2. Margaret Clunies Ross, “Land-Taking and Text-Making in Medieval Iceland.” (From Text and Territory: Geographical Imagination in the European Middle Ages.)
  3. Jesse Byock, Viking Age Iceland.

Music Credits:

♪ Intro/Outro: “Celtic Impulse” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
♪ Interludes: “Firesong” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
♪ All Music Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License


My sincerest thanks go to Fjörn’s Fellowship (on Patreon) for their gracious support. Without your companionship, this Hall would be nothing. Here are the names (taken from Patreon) of those who supported me while I wrote this post: Anasasia Haysler, Froggy, Jonas Lau Markussen, Kathleen Phillips, Patch, and Sarah Dunn. Þakka ykkur kærlega fyrir!