the annals of ulster

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Spring and Winter - CeridwenofWales - Vikings (TV) [Archive of Our Own]
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

This piece was meant to be an innocent one shot requested by my sweetie @babyjane11, but I’ll include this in the main fic later on. Based on this confession of @viking-whispers. I didn’t work alone, @daizydoe provided the fun and help. I couldn’t have asked for a better sister. ^^

Tagging: @mizzvengenz6661, @heathensisterwives, @heathen-army, @thenorns-themoirai and @jevoislavieenrouge, @whenimaunicorn, @ivartheheathen, @ivartheboneme, @captainpoopweinersoldier, @carlya65, @ivarsvalkyrie, @ivars-heathen, @tiyetiye, @raekenimages, @imaginesparadise, @anniemar, @cherrytrinkets, @brightlycoloredteacups, @premiere-gaou, @princess-sweatpants, @synnersaint, @redheadedtrollop, @belle-scarre, @wanderingsorceress27, @sereniti9, @underthenorthstar, @pokeasleepingsmaug, @wanderingsorceress27, @wastelandsheep and @pagan-raider


“When you’re not here by my side, I end up imagining that the breeze ruffling my hair is your hand. And when I close my eyes, I can hear your voice - full of a passionate love that I have not ever discovered in another before, nor will I ever again. Your absence drives me mad, and I can only hope to return to you soon.”


Defeated once more. It was like she was feeling. Pain all over her body, as if she had fought in a battle. At least it was like Emer imagined the warrior’s muscles would feel like. A dull pressure on her lower back, and, of course, the blood that was soaking the cloth she placed between her legs.


If at least she was passing through pain to bring a new life to the world, she would gladly endure. But another cycle of moon had passed and another opportunity to do her duty was wasted. Emer didn’t understand why Ivar had never touched her. Sometimes she caught him staring at her, but he never said a thing.


“What is on his mind?”, a constant and silent question she didn’t know if one day would be answered.


If he was not satisfied with her, it would be expected to take a concubine or a slave. But he never did, and for this she was grateful, Emer knew it was his right to do so, but it would feel like a knife being twisted in her heart if Ivar touched another woman. Not only because people would whisper she was a useless wife, after all those months not showing any sign of pregnancy. But because she wanted all of him. His blue eyes swallowing her to the darkness that she knew lived within. Emer wouldn’t mind being dragged to the shadows if it meant she would not be alone. She would be with him. Truly with him.



=============================



Ivar was worried, when he woke up, she was still sleeping and hadn’t come to the hall yet. He couldn’t eat.


“Where is my wife? Is she awake?”, Ivar inquired one of the servants, who shook her head.


Ivar sighed and was going to see by himself.



============================



Lying on her stomach she was trying to muffle her crying and the pain. She heard some priests saying that women deserved the pain because of Eve’s original sin. Emer doubted it.


She knew that while men spilled blood in the world in hunting and war, women gave blood. Through the healing crimson wave of the moon’s birth the body was cleansed from the last month’s death, preparing her womb to receive the gift of life, restoring the death men inflict upon the world. The knowledge that men wanted to keep for themselves that life comes from between women’s legs, and that life costs blood. Some men might think women are afraid of blood in a battlefield. If they knew that women more than any other living being, were aware of the high price of life and death. For they suffered to bring life to the world and grieved the loss and waste of blood.

Emer felt a hand on her back, “Are you ill?”, Ivar asked.


Emer raised her head slowly, “No, it’s only… my…”, she felt embarrassed to tell him.


Ivar was looking at her with curiosity, she mentioned she was not sick. But why she didn’t say what she was feeling, “Tell me.”, he asked softly, caressing her hair.


Emer closed her eyes, savoring the gentleness, “I’ll be fine. Have you eaten yet?”


“Yes, I have. But you should. I’ll ask Sorcha to bring you something.”, Ivar whispered lying, removing his hand from her hair.


Emer immediately missed the warmth of his touch, but nodded.

3

Ornate Brooch excavated at Hunterston in Scotland from the Mid 8th Century CE on display at the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh

It is thought to have been made at a Royal Site such as Dunadd, the Hillfort metioned in the Annals of Ulster and supposedly the capital of the Kingdom of the Dál Riata. The skill of the jeweller can be seen in the familiarity of the use of Anglo-Saxon, Irish and Irish-Scottish techniques in decorating the metalwork of silver and gold with amber and other precious metals.

It was most likely a gift from one ruler to another either as a sign of friendship or of peace perhaps. It is a sign of not only material culture being used to symbolise status and rank but also the importance of trained and skilled manufacturers in society.

archiveofourown.org
The Fox and The Maiden Fair: The Healer Archive of Our Own
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

Tag: @heathen-army.

His legs were no longer aching. From where he was lying, it was possible to touch her. She was disheveled. The fact that he would be the only man to see her this way was a revelation. Something about the way the sunshine was capable to make her hair looks like if it was on fire made Ivar move his hand. He tried to put her locks away from her face without waking her.


He started caressing the delicate skin of her face. Emer’s lips were partially open. Trembling fingertips traced the outline of her lips, trailing to her jaw. Ivar started moving downward. He looked down to where her chest was rising and falling with her breathing. She was still wearing her nightgown. Emer had forgotten to change her clothes. Ivar thought it was too revealing. He wondered if his men have seen her this way. Ivar felt his blood boil just to think about them gazing at her body.


He remembered their wedding night. Like in that night he felt himself hardening, but he knew it wouldn’t last. At the time, he smelled her neck. Now he was fighting not to do the same. Without success. He felt atracted to her neck like the fox who must kill its prey quick to feed. It was stronger than him. He wanted to know if she was still smelling like in that night. Ivar wanted to place kisses down her jaw, neck, breasts and feel Emer melting because of his actions. He wanted to do what he know normal couple do at night.


Emer was feeling something tickling her. Was she dreaming? She could say it was morning. The sound of the servants was obvious. Normally, she wakes up early. But, after the emotions of the last night she was too tired to open her eyes at the usual hour.


The tickling sensation didn’t stop, so Emer realized it was not a dream. To her surprise, it was her husband.  It seemed that she had fallen asleep in his chambers. It was comprehensible. She was worried his pain would come back, this way she decided she should stay there a little longer to keep an eye on him. Emer supposed she was too tired to watch his sleep all night. The only thing she didn’t know was why Ivar was so close to her.


As soon as he noticed she was awake, he drew his body away from her.

archiveofourown.org
The Fox and The Maiden Fair: Jealousy Archive of Our Own
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

In the morning, Emer was feeling guilty because of their discussion. “How could he know what could have been?”. They shouldn’t be trapped in the past, only walking to what is ahead.


Emer saw fruits from distant places, berries, silks and furs. She couldn’t help remembering her first morning as Ivar’s wife. She felt like every time they walked two steps ahead, something pushed them three steps back. She was tired and news of Maél’s intention to attack didn’t help either. She wanted to hate Ivar, to help her father to kill him taking their ancestral lands back. But the thought of Ivar lying cold on the ground always made her heart skip a beat. As when he killed Erik, defending her. The vision of blood didn’t scare her, but imagining it could be her husband’s blood was unbearable.


Emer realized she loved Ivar. It was not only admiration, respect or fear. It happened little by little, in every gentle gesture towards her, or his people. Seeing he was generous with his men and their families. She was not naive to deny the violence that was part of him, the constant anger and pain. His darkness would consume him, if the gentleness of his heart with the ones that accepted him was not present. She would reveal her feelings.



———————————



When they entered the hall, Rhona was nowhere to be seen. Emer and the other servants helped Sorcha to organize the items they brought from the market.


Emer walked to their room. Her hands were sweating with apprehension. What would Ivar do after being aware of her love for him? Would he reject her? Would he reciprocate her feelings? She couldn’t wait to see him.


When she was almost there, Emer saw Rhona leaving, followed by Ivar. Her hair was a mess, marks of fingers on her neck. Rhona smirked when she saw Emer, who was frozen looking from Ivar to the slave.


She was pressing her lips not to cry in front of them. She was Maèl’s and Land’s daughter, she would never cry in front of them. When Rhona walked away, Emer found the strength to say, “You must be starving. Sorcha is preparing the food.”


This said, Emer passed by him. Entering the room to search for her bow. Ivar was still at the door watching her.


“Emer?”, his tone was almost pleading – or at least as close to pleading as she imagined this man ever got.


Her heart twisting painfully in her chest, wishing she could tell him why she was acting this way. She didn’t look at him, to avoid a breakdown.


“Don’t wait for me! I’ll do some practice, I’ll be back by the evening. Maybe.”, Emer stated.


“Let’s eat, then I can go with you. I would love seeing you with your bow for the first time. Bragi even composed a song praising your skills”, Ivar tried.


Emer remembered their wedding, when Bragi had sung about their adventure, praising her talent with the bow and Ivar’s fame.


Her jaw started trembling, a tear running down her cheek, when she thought about how they made no advance. With a crack voice, Emer replied, “I don’t think you want to see me with a bow in hands right now.”, she walked to the kitchen, cleaning her tears.

archiveofourown.org
The Fox and The Maiden Fair. Chapter 16: The Moon and The Sun Archive of Our Own
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

Tagging: @ivarsvalkyrie, @ivars-heathen and @jevoislavieenrouge.


A tall man was showing a few maidens with a look of hunger in his eyes. The same look Erik gave her that night. As if they were only a piece of meat to be ravaged. It revolved her stomach. One of the girls was standing taller than the others. A look of pure hatred flashed across her face, her left eye had a purple mark. She had been beaten. The woman didn’t look like someone who would accept her fate. She would suffer by the hands of a less patient owner. She decided. Touching Ivar’s arm, she pointed to the girl with her chin. Ivar smiled at her, aware of the reason for her choice.


After the negotiations, Emer approached the girl, speaking Gaelic, “My name is Emer, I’ll take you with me. What’s your name?”


She looked away, not answering. Emer noticed she was looking at another captive, a younger blonde girl. She saw some similarities in their features. “The girl must be her sister.”, Emer thought.


Emer could only imagine what she was feeling. Being dragged from her home and family, maybe even being raped or watching her people being slaughtered. She had all reasons to wish the death of her captors. Little by little Emer would show her that she would be respected and treated well.


When Horik noticed the girl was not answering Emer’s questions, he slapped her, making her fall on her knees, “The Queen is talking to you. Show some respect and be aware of your place.”


Emer was furious, but she saw it as a chance to help more. Breathing deeply, “I appreciate your attempt to teach the girl to respect me. But, tell me, what happens to a man that harm the slave from others? This slave is already mine, you can’t slap her anymore!”


Horik swallowed in terror. Ivar would make him pay. Maybe even forbid him to negotiate there. He looked at Ivar, who was smirking in amusement.


“I’m sorry, my queen. I only wanted to show the girl her place.”


Emer was helping the girl to rise to her feet, “My husband and I are her owners from now on. We decide her place, not you.”


Ivar was quiet, only nodding in agreement with Emer’s words, who was watching the line of slaves in display.


“I’ll make amends. Would like some jewelry? We have some new brooches, rings…”


“I appreciate your offer. But I want this girl as well.”, Emer interrupted him, pointing to the frightened blonde girl.


“But, she is too valuable…”


“Don’t you think King Ivar deserves a valuable slave, to forgive your mistake?”, Emer inquired, one of her eyebrows raising.


“Sure, my queen. I’m sorry for my offense.”, Horik agreed.

Next in The Fox and The Maiden Fair

Summary: Ivar and Emer going on a journey.



After receiving her morning gift, Emer walked to the hall to eat. The dagmál was composed of a porridge made of wheat flour, crushed hazelnuts and barley kernels. Emer could notice that they used honey as well. She couldn’t eat thinking about Ivar’s threat. She was not sure if her uncle was released and was afraid to imagine what Ivar could do to her father, once he put his hands on him.

She was so lost in her worries that she didn’t notice Ivar looking at her the whole time. His warm and calloused hand touching hers were enough to wake her.

“I think it’s better if you eat. We will ride today. You will need your strength.”

Emer replied. “I’m not hungry.”

Ivar grunted in disapproval. “If you fall from your horse during the journey, I will let you on the ground.”

Emer thought that she should eat to avoid angering him even more. She started eating the porridge, she didn’t regret it. It was heavenly and sweet. She sighed in satisfaction. From her peripheral vision, she saw Ivar’s cocky smile. After she finished her porridge, Ivar offered her some strawberries and raspberries. They were inviting and their smell was rich. Before she could pick up one of the berries, Ivar took the bowl away from her reach. Emer opened her mouth to protest, but he held a strawberry to her mouth. She was taken by surprise, his intense gaze was commanding, she closed her mouth around the fruit, tasting the sweetness of the strawberry. Its juice started flowing to her lips, Ivar used his thumb to clean her lips, she swallowed hard. He was so concentrated. Emer imagined if he acted this way while in battle, absorbed by the destruction he was inflicting upon others.

His fingers toying with her lower lip, she didn’t know what to do, afraid that even the slightest movement could make him stop. She let out a heavy breath, an odd warmth running through her. The noise made Ivar look deep into her green eyes, he raised his hand, liking the juice from his thumb, with his glaring eyes still fixed upon her. Those indigo darts using her as a target. She was helpless. Looking into her husband’s eyes, Emer could hear the waves crashing against the shore, see the foam flying into the air. His eyes were blue like the sky right before the sun disappears.

He kept doing his ministrations with a thoughtful expression. She wondered if one day she would decipher the man in front of her.

The noise of Sigvard’s arrival interrupted Ivar’s actions.

“It’s time for us to leave, or we will have to spend the night there.”

Ivar’s lips were forming a straight, disapproving look on his features. A clenched fist.

Ivar looked from Sigvard to Emer. “I hope you can ride faster than you eat, since we are late.”

She signed in frustration. They were late because of him.

archiveofourown.org
The Fox and The Maiden Fair: A Shared Journey - Part One Archive of Our Own
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

Emer let out a frustrated sigh. It seems he was not going to tell her were they were going to. After eating a bread and a dried and salted fish, they started mounting the horses to go. She looked at Ivar out of the corner of her eye. He was drawing his chariot alongside her pony.


“Whoa”


His command made Emer rolls her eyes, she was still trying not to look directly at him. It was hard when he was holding the reins in a hypnotizing way, it was like a caress, loosening the reins just a little, so the horse should think it was free, when in truth the control was with Ivar. She was still angry that he didn’t reveal their destination. Ivar’s arm outstretched, with some fruits in his hand. Emer didn’t want to look at him.


“I noticed that you liked these fruits. So, I brought some with me.”


She didn’t want to stand her hand to pick one of the fruits, fearing he would repeat the same actions from the morning. Ivar noticed her hesitation.


Ivar teased her with a self-assured smile, “I think you prefer the fruits when they are served in your mouth.”


If looks could kill, Ivar would be a dead man at that moment. Emer was glaring at him, a clenched jaw. Ivar’s smile never fading only helped to increase her fury. He took of the berries into his mouth, eyes never leaving her. For Emer, it was like no one else was there, just her and the object of her fury, her husband. When he finished eating the fruit, he licked his lips.


“You don’t want the berries? Your lost. They are delicious.”


Emer sighed in frustration, his fingers were coming closer to her face. She thought he would mirror his early ministrations during the dagmál. She was mistaken.


“Don’t be so angry! We are almost arriving.”, he told her, bopping her nose with his finger and giving Emer a quick smile that crinkled his face in all the right places.

archiveofourown.org
The Fox and The Maiden Fair - A Shared Journey - Part Two Archive of Our Own
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works


It’s finally here. For my birthday girl @underthenorthstar.




Emer started wandering, completely absorbed by the beauty and wilderness of the place.


She could hear Ivar’s chariot behind her. Emer didn’t want to look at him. She was still angry. All she desired was to walk away from all the problems, melting into the ocean. The endless blue waves that didn’t care about humanity’s problems, it was like an immortal deity. She wondered how many stories it had witnessed. Lovers whose hearts were broken, mothers that lost their children by the terrible hand of war. Maybe the sea was made from their tears. What would be an explanation for why humans were so fascinated by the deep waters. It was like they were searching for the sorrow. Attracted by the suffering. Or maybe, they were all selkies, trying to get back to their origins in the bottom of the ocean.


They said if a woman shed seven tears into the sea, a male selkie would contact her. Emer had cried more than enough tears, but she didn’t want any other man in her life. It seemed to her they were the cause of her pain. Maybe she was not an unhappy woman in search of love from a being from another world. She might be a creature from the sea herself. She might have forgotten. Who stole my skin in this case? Forcing me to live among humans. Who stole me from myself? These questions didn’t leave her mind.


She longed to be one with the ocean she had never known. Her legs seemed to move of their own accord, they were leading her to the edge. Only this way she could be free.


Emer was in the edge, watching the waves crashing onto the shore, a lonely tear running down her cheek.


Ivar’s voice taking her away from her thoughts, “Come here, Emer. Let’s see the rest of the farm.”


She didn’t want to face him. He would know she was weak. A stupid and crying woman. Emer raised her hand to her face, cleaning her tears.


She looked back at him. He was offering his hand as an invitation. An almost kind smile playing on his lips. She thought he seemed even more gorgeous when he was relaxed.


She asked herself, “Why couldn’t it be always this way?”


“There is no space for me!”, she replied referring to his chariot. But, her question had a hidden meaning.

Next in The Fox and The Maiden Fair

The wedding feast goes into the night. There is much laughter and fun. Bragi appears to recite a poem he created for the newly married couple, much of it is about the danger they faced on the road and Ivar’s conquests. The poem makes the story sounds like a great saga, where the brave princess helps the warriors to defeat those evil men that tried to steal the fair maiden from her destined warrior husband. It’s a lovely work, even though it’s a little exaggerated.


“What is a warrior without his dreams about Valkyries? 
I thought that I would see a Valkyrie and feast with the Gods on the same day.
I would reach Valhalla to be reunited with the fiercest of warriors;
I would wake up as an Einherjar;
Drink mead from carved horns;
Rising again when the time of Ragnarök comes.


To my sorrow, I saw a Valkyrie;
Sorrow because instead of taking me to Valhalla, she saved my life;
She was a strange Valkyrie, my friends.”


Everyone is laughing, Ivar is watching Emer. She is blushing because she knows she is the female warrior the man is talking about.


Bragi keeps reciting the poem.


“Lords from my kin are to be jealous;
high-born and hardy, which my heart gladdens;
because the fair maiden won’t give mead to another;
than the mightiest of warriors;
Such a fierce lady deserves a famous warrior by husband.“

10

The Fox and The Maiden Fair: The Morning Gift

archiveofourown.org
Show Chapter: Archive of Our Own | When the Winter meets the Spring
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

Cerball smiled back. “We should forget the reasons that brought you here, then you would live in my lands, among my family, your family.”

Emer replied sarcastic reply. “I see. All you ask is for me to betray my father. I wonder how they, I mean your allies, can trust you. You’re betraying your blood. What could stop you from killing them as soon as they are not helpful?”

Ivar liked her way of thinking. He could see her answer has made her uncle nervous. He didn’t trust the man.

“I’m curious to know the answer to your niece’s question.” Ivar asked Cerball.

Cerball started blushing and said. “She is just a child. Her father sent her because he doesn’t take you seriously.”

Ivar looked at her face with an expression Emer couldn’t name. “She doesn’t look like a child for me.”

Friday Heathen prompt games

I love Do I Wanna Know from Artic Monkeys. Even though, the song is hot as hell, I choose to write a fluffy oneshot. The story takes place after almost a year of Ivar and Emer’s marriage. I hope my sister wives will like it. I love you all.

Tag: @heathen-army

Crawling Back To You



He fought with all his strength not to get back. His efforts proved useless. Ivar knew he was wrong as soon as the words left his mouth. He had hurt her. The pain in her eyes was unbearable. But to lose her would be worst. He could deal with Emer hating him, but to live without her was unthinkable. He would be hollow, no purpose beyond bring pain to others.

“I don’t want this child!”, he said those words with a certainty in his voice. But he knew that deep inside it was everything he had ever wanted. A boy with her eyes, those eyes that always made Ivar vulnerable. A girl whose hair was kissed by the fire as his beloved.

She didn’t cry, at least not in front of him. But she fought. As brave as Frigga to protect the little one inside her.

“I’ll not get rid of a blessing! Can’t you see how blessed we are? It’s a gift from God, from your Gods too. You’re selfish. And you’re offending me. This is our child, you should be proud of the life growing inside me.”

Ivar groaned in response, “Selfish? Am I selfish? You’re selfish. Can’t you see. What will I do if I lose you? This child might be as twisted as I am. It’s decided, you won’t have this baby. What makes you think your God would bless me?”

Emer replied, “If you don’t want our child, I’m leaving.”

This said, Emer prepared her departure. She was going to the farm he had given her as a morning gift.  It’s been a week since then. He waited for her to come back. But she could be as tenacious as him. It was painful not to have her warm and soft body against his chest in their bed. The sweet fragrance of her hair acting like balm against the aching in his bones during those nights in which his pain was excruciating. Her little hands holding his, while he embraced her by the waist.

The first gleam of morning rays flooding over her auburn hair, lighting every blade of grass, shining from each leaf in the fields. But the only green he cared about was the color of her sleepy eyes, looking at him every morning. She would open her eyes lazily, smiling in the process. Her hand going to his face, caressing his beard.

She could die giving birth, by a disease, of old age. They were fated to die. But they would live the days the norns have woven into their rope of destiny first. These thoughts in mind, he called Sigvard. Ivar would bring her back.

  ===================================

 

Emer felt so abandoned. When she noticed that she was not bleeding, the woman was overwhelmed with joy. They were going to be parents. Their love made in flesh. A girl or a boy with his dark hair, maybe even with those indigo blue eyes. Emer feared the baby would suffer from the same pain as Ivar. She would not lie she was terrified of bringing a life to this world only to suffer. She did not know how to bring the subject to Ivar. How was he going to react? Would he be delighted?

He only noticed the change in her appetite. Berries and apples were never enough. Ivar was always laughing while watching her eating so eagerly. Emer would raise her eyebrows in annoyance, struggling to words out of her full mouth. What only added to Ivar’s amusement. Her hunger for him increased too.

As soon as they were alone, she would push him onto the bed. Ivar would laugh with her impatience. Sometimes she would not even remove all their clothing. He never complained, loving watching her in charge. Their lovemaking has changed too. She was much more sensitive to his caresses than before, squirming with the slightest touch and becoming undone faster than usual, stiffening and moaning his name until her throat was dry. Then in the last weeks she was quieter than usual, avoiding his touch, going to bed before him. He could see she was worried about something. But whenever he inquired her, she would always give vague answers. He felt helpless, trying to help her without the knowledge of what was troubling her.

His answer came when in one night he held her by the waist, feeling a bulge that was uncommon. She tried to remove his hand in vain. It was how he discovered he was going to be a father.  

 ===============

Her head was resting against the wooden tub, Astrid was caressing her already clean scalp. Emer felt so relaxed that was almost sleeping, her hand resting protectively on her growing belly. Astrid was not there anymore. Maybe little Ragnild needed her. She would finish her bath by herself.

When she felt a big hand against her stomach, she almost jumped from the water opening her eyes to find Ivar looking at her with devotion and regret. They said nothing, just kept staring deep into each other’s eyes. Ivar’s hands started caressing her belly that was hiding the life they were going to bring to the world. His eyes only leaving her face when Ivar felt a move against his fingers. He looked at Emer in confusion. She smiled at him, tears running down her cheeks. He could say they were not tears of sadness. Her hand covered his fingers and, this time together, they felt the life sparkling from inside her.

 

Trying her best to get control over her wobbly voice, Emer questioned him. “What are you doing here?”

Ivar lowered his head until their foreheads were touching and their eyes locked on one another, “I’ll always crawl back to you.”

no-destiny  asked:

Hey! I just found your blog and now I'm in love with it. So, I felt free to make some questions! First I wanna ask about a post, tagged in the "Celtic History" link, where you said that Ireland was mentioned in the Viking Sagas and that the Vikings where also said in the Ireland History. Can you say more about it and give some examples? Cause I really like both cultures. And can you suggest me some good folk bands and musics about Viking and Celtic? Congratulations for your amazing blog!

Hello!

I am so very glad to hear that! The hard work pays off when I receive such warm words. I would be more than happy to give more detail about Ireland being mentioned in Icelandic sagas (and vice versa). It is one of my favorite aspects of Viking History, since I also love both cultures. (I will discuss this with Njal’s saga below). As for folk bands and music, I may not be so helpful (at the moment). I know one good group (that I myself recently learned of) for the Scandinavian side. I would suggest you check out Wardruna if you haven’t already. I believe they are a Norwegian group and their music is phenomenal.


I do not know enough Irish literature yet to name good sources where Vikings show up. I know that they are referred to quite a bit in the Annals of Ulster, but that work merely provides a few sentences about each major event that happened in a given year. However, I do know that there is an Irish version of an event that appears in Njal’s Saga: The Battle of Clontarf (1014 CE). This was a very important battle in Ireland’s medieval history, for it was the battle for Ireland’s High King (the only High King Ireland has ever had) to maintain his control over Ireland. What is most interesting about this, though, is that the Vikings were right at the center of this. In fact, Ireland may have never had a High King if it were not for the Viking settlement of Dublin.

Chapters 154 to 157 of Njal’s saga actually take place during this event in Ireland. A few characters from Iceland go abroad and end up serving as mercenaries in the battle. These chapters also give some level of insight into historical figures such as Earl Sigtrygg of Dublin and Brain Boru (the High King of Ireland). Here is a quote from the saga about Brain Boru:

“King Brain pardoned outlaws three time for the same crime, but if they did it again he let them be dest with according to law, and from this is can be seen what sort of king he was.”

This quote ties in with the themes of the saga quite well and shows a bit of respect for Brian Boru from this Icelandic author. Brain Boru actually married Sigtrygg’s mother so that he would have rights to rule over the vikings of Dublin. In other words, he married in with the Vikings so that he could control the settlement without having to get rid of them. Although it may seems contradictory, the Vikings actually brought a lot of wealth to Ireland. The developed towns that had international trading contacts that Ireland never had before. Brain Bori took advantage of these, which can be seen even in the historical memory of the Icelanders writing this saga. If you want more on Brain Boru, feel free to ask. I have written a few essays on him and the battle of Clontarf as well as Viking Age Dublin.

Though those chapters do not have much to do with the story itself, it preserves the historical memory of such a battle. At the very least, the fact that this battle is included in a later medieval saga shows that it was well known and important even to Icelanders.

The Irish source for this event is called Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib (The War of the Irish with the Foreigners). I have not personally read this yet, but apparently you can read an outdated version on achieve.org for free, if you are interested.

I would like to give more detail of Njal’s saga, but I am not quite sure it would be helpful since you have not read the saga (I assume). If you want more detail on that saga specifically, send me another ask and I will focus more on providing you the details needed to sum up those chapters. If you want more on the Battle of Clontarf, check out my post about Viking Age Dublin (assuming that is not the post you already referred to).

I have not gotten around to reading all of the sagas, but there are many, many occasions of Irish people being in Iceland. One notable case is in the Laxdæla saga, in which one of the characters is an Irish princess. Sometimes it is just a simple reference and nothing more, but sometimes you will find chapters dedicated to events like Clontarf. They are really easter eggs for those interested in Ireland as well as Iceland and the Vikings. 


One day, I will try to bring a lot of that together and discuss this in more detail. I hope my answer is somewhere around what you were hoping for. If you want more detail about Njal’s saga (one of the more popular sagas when it comes to references to Ireland and events in Ireland), feel free to let me know. I can happily provide more insight, but it will require some time for me to research, read, and write the response. I did provide a few examples, so if you would like to look into those sources, I will provide links to them below. If you would like more sources on Viking/Irish interactions, let me know and I can provide those as well.

Again, I hope that was helpful. If not, simply send another ask and I will do better or give more detail. Thank you very much for asking!


Sources to explore:

  1. Njal’s Saga (mainly chapters 154-157) <link>
    1. OR, you can get the Viking Age Reader, which has this and more. <link> Though, I would be happy to provide some of that for you in a post if you wanted me to. Just send an ask if you do.
  2. Laxdæla saga <link>
  3. Annals of Ulster (mainly the years 841-1014 CE) <link>
  4. Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib <link>