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The Laxdaela Saga addresses the eternal triangle of love between Kjartan Ólafsson, Bolli Thorleiksson and Gudrún Ósvífursdóttir. Kjartan and his foster brother. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. The Laxdaela Saga, a story of the men and women of the Salmon River valley, is an Icelandic family saga believed to have been composed in the middle of the.

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This study guide contains the following sections: The work is an early piece of romantic writing, with a passionate lovers’ quarrel lying deep at its center, something unusual for the literature preceding it.

The Laxdale Saga

The saga ranges laxsaela a two-hundred year period, between about and A. It follows two family lineages throughout this time, both descending from an early Norwegian chieftain named Ketil Flat-Nose, who emigrates from Norway in A.

Through his daughter, Unn the Deep-Minded and his son Bjorn the Easterner, nearly all of the major characters are sired. Around eighty years into the saga, the three main characters are born, Kjartan Olafsson, Bolli Thorleiksson, and Gudrun Osvifur’s-daughter.

Kjartan is the brilliant and talented illegitimate son of Olaf the Peacock and his concubine Melkorka, the daughter of a Irish King. Bolli Thorleiksson is Kjartan’s cousin, also brilliant strong and talented; his father, Olaf the Peacock’s half-brother, allows Olaf to raise him, so Bolli and Kjartan grows up with Olaf the Peacock, and are the best of friends.


In their youth, Kjartan and Gudrun meet and fall in love, but Kjartan is a rising star and leaves to go on a grand voyage to Norway and Ireland in order to claim prestige, riches laxdwela honor for himself. He asks Gudrun to marry him and tells her that he will be gone for three years; Bolli goes with him. However, due to King Olaf Tryggvason, then King of Norway’s attempts to convince the Icelandic chieftains to convert to Christianity, Kjartan is held captive in Norway, while Bolli is allowed to return to Iceland.

While there, Laxdaelaa and Gudrun laxdaeka in love and marry. When Kjartan is finally allowed to return after Iceland converts to Christianityhe finds his best friend and betrothed married and shows little anger. He then soon marries Hrefna Asgeir’s-daughter, and a feud quickly erupts between the two families, leading Gudrun, in a jealous rage, to pressure Bolli into leading an ambush on Kjartan; Bolli kills him in cold blood.

Kjartan’s brothers laxdxela two other men take revenge on Bolli, killing him, and then Bolli’s two sons and another troop of men kill Bolli’s killer, Helgi Hardbeinsson.

Laxdæla saga

After this series of deaths and blood feud, the feud is ended by Gudrun’s mentor, Snorri the priest and the book ends by tracing the development of the remaining lineages of the Thorleiksson and Olafsson families. The book is divided into three parts. The first part of the saga, Chapterslays out all the necessary history, genealogical and cultural background needed for an intricate understanding of the setting, times and place of the characters.


Chapters takes the reader through the rise and fall of Kjartan and Bolli, covering the main plot line of the book. The last part of the saga, Chapterswraps the story up by following the remaining conflicts in the Olafsson-Thorleiksson blood-feud, ending the blood-feud and playing out the stories of the descendants and relations of these families.

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Laxdaela Saga Summary & Study Guide

View the Lesson Plans. Order our Laxdaela Saga Study Guide. Chapters 11 – Chapters 41 – Chapters 51 – Chapters 61 – Chapters 71 – This section contains words approx. View a FREE sample. More summaries lacdaela resources for teaching or studying Laxdaela Saga. Laxdaela Saga from Gale. Follow Us on Facebook.