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The Sagas of Vopnafjörður

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

Icelandic Roots Volunteer Cathy Josephson guides us on a literary journey through the Sagas of the Icelanders that take place in the Vopnafjörður region. During this webinar, you will hear about the people, their feuds and insights of these first Icelanders.

Vopnafjörður was a main port of Icelandic emigration to America, and many of Western Icelanders can trace their families to East Iceland. These sagas from this region are of special importance to them. The sagas are believed to have been written in the 13th century, about 1225-1250 A.D.

One such story is “The Saga of the People of Vopnafjörður.” This story is the middle segment of a three-part narrative about the area. The first part is “The Saga of Þorstein the White (Hvíti)” and the last is “The Tale of Þorstein Staff-Struck.” These three stories describe real people and undoubtedly, some of the events are also real. However, in general, these and other sagas are a reworking of history to fit a heroic narrative.

There are common elements within what is called “The Family Sagas.” These include a strong sense of fate, and a contrast between reason and violence. As is common in the sagas, the events seem fated to the characters and they each meet them unflinchingly and without fear or regret.

Come learn about some of these early settlers: Helgi "Brodd-Helgi" (IR# I136068), son of Þorgils (IR# I136066) and grandson of Þorsteinn "Hviti" (IR# I136064), Halla Lytingsdóttir (I136071), Geiter Lytingsson (IR# I136086), and more.

The webinar start time is Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023 at:

9am Pacific

10am Mountain

11am Central

12 noon Eastern

5pm Iceland

Please click the link below a few minutes before the start time for your time zone to join the webinar:

Passcode: East


Email us your questions or join the conversation on our Facebook Group.

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