Romeo and Juliet of the Viking Age
To honor the ancient storytelling tradition of the North I give you Soldiser Sunday Stories. Every Sunday I will introduce you to a legendary Norse story, written by me, based on a thousand-year-old Viking poem. Our first story comes in two parts and is, of course, a true love story. The story is based on the beautiful poem Fjölsvinnsmál (The sayings of Fjolsvinn) from the Poetic Edda and features the legendary Mengloth and the hero Svipdagr.
Long before the world became as it is today, the norns determined the life and destiny of all humankind. The norns were of divine descent, and these powerful women governed the fate of each child being born.
In this now long forgotten time, in Midgard, the realm of humans, a girl named Mengloth and a boy named Svipdagr were born. Despite that they lived worlds apart from one another, the norns had decided that Mengoth and Svipdagr were each other's great love.
Mengloth, meaning “the one shimmering of jewels” grew up in a golden hall, ruling a flourishing realm of prosperous farmsteads. She dedicated her life to healing the sick and wounded. Together with her handmaidens, she spent her days receiving the injured and suffering on a tall towering mountain. There was no illness she could not cure and everyone knew that all who visited Mengloth’s mountain left it healed and cured of everything ailing them.
Yet, of this Svipdagr knew nothing. He lived a very different life, far from Mengloth’s mystic mountain. But, finally, the day came when he realized that he could not escape his fate and so he set out on the daunting task of finding someone he had never seen, somewhere he had never been. He endured many adversities and experienced many adventures – but of these, we will tell another time.
Through determination, bravery, wit, and some magical guidance Svipdagr finally reached a large grim-looking gate. Through its iron bars, Svipdagr could see the most magnificent scenery. The first thing he saw was a golden hall, guarded by two fearsome-looking dogs. All around the hall lay thriving farms, shimmering in the shining rays of light reflected from the golden hall. He saw the largest tree he had ever seen and in the distance was a mountain so high that its top was hidden in the clouds. But, no sooner had he put his hand on the gate’s iron handle than he heard the noise of a thousand shackles and in an instance, the gate had ensnared him and he was trapped...