Laxdaela Saga Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe the period in Scandinavian history at the time the Laxdaela Saga was written.

At the time the Laxdaela Saga was written in the late 9th century, the Scandinavian nations have experienced a high-tide of heroic tales, and this period of time is largely regarded as a period of pagan heroism, pre-dating Christianization. The current king of Norway is King Harald Fine-Hair. Before King Harald consolidates power and unifies Norway, the country side is divided into principalities ruled by chieftains.

2. What is the problem King Harald faces with chieftains?

Some of the chieftains who rule principalities do not want to submit to King Harald. They decide to leave Norway, and go settle in the new Iceland territory.

3. Describe Ketil Flat-Nose.

Ketil Flat-Nose is a chieftain who initially desires to live in Scotland, believing himself able to claim good land there. He perceives Iceland to be mainly a wild land of plentiful resources. However, his family decides to go to Iceland, including soon-to-be patriarch and Ketil's daughter, Unn the Deep-Minded

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