Sunday, 6 December 2015

The perfect Yuletide read

I mentioned before that I have added at my Christmas reading list The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki. Norse mythology is simply perfect for Christmas, because a lot of the imagery and symbolism we have about the holiday truly originate from there. Christmas really is another name for Yule. Reading this saga is even more fitting as some of its stories are set during Yuletide, where supernatural encounters happen. I knew particularly of one story, which I read in Gods & Heroes from Viking Mythology, where the hero Bodvar Bjarki fights a dragon on Yule night. So I am reading The Saga among other seasonal books, but I am nevertheless reading it too fast: I am already half way through it. All the same, it is such a pleasure to fully (re)discover characters I already know and love and see their whole story. And when I am finished with the original saga, I will still have the Yuletide adventure in Gods & Heroes to enjoy when Christmas is finally here, with the beautiful narrative of Brian Branston (you can read some of it here) and the gorgeous illustrations of Giovanni Caselli. 'Tis the season to be reading. And troll the ancient Yuletide stories. Oh yes, and they are also inspirations for our Dungeons & Dragons campaign, but this is another... story. Which I will probably blog about before long. For now, let's just say that The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki is the perfect Yuletide read.

3 comments:

Deborah ShireGardener said...

I think I'm going to have to find me a copy. I've read several of the Icelandic Sagas from the few translated into English, so would relish others in the Norse traditions. Takk Fyrir!

Mantan Calaveras said...

I need to slow down and read more classic texts.

The Gill-Man said...

Totally agree that these tales are perfect for the Season. So much of what I've been reading lately cements the concept of Odin and St Nicholas being two very similar characters who were eventually folded into one with "Santa Claus", so Norse Mythology is already a huge part of Christmas, whether folks are aware of it or not!