Thursday, April 2, 2015

B is for Bosi and Herraud (Epics from A to Z)

Warning: The original text of this saga includes graphic sexual content.
(Try not to trip over yourself)

Origins
The Saga of Bosi and Herraud is a Norse legendary saga that mainly takes place in Götaland (modern day southern Sweden) and was written sometime before 1350 AD. It ties into other sagas as well - for example, the story of Ragnar Lothbrok, recently known as this guy from the History Channel:

The Heroes
The central bromance to the story is between Herraud, the heir to the throne with minor daddy issues (since his bastard brother gets all of the affections of King Hring); and Bosi, the daredevil love child of a former Viking raider and a crippled shield-maiden (yup). These two hit it off like a house on fire, and when Bosi kills and maims a couple of people in a friendly ball game (happens between friends) and gets himself exiled, Herraud decides to go with him.
After five years of leisurely plunder the foster-brothers return home, and Bosi does his buddy a favor by killing the (agreeably annoying) bastard brother. At first the king wants to have both of them executed, but he can't bring himself to give the death order of his own heir, so he takes a page from fairy tales and decides to give them an impossible task instead, sending them off to bring him a vulture's egg inscribed with golden letters.
Adventures ensue.

The Highlights
The saga features two epic battles:
1. Bosi and Herraud versus Giant Vulture Monster and Troll Priestess (In which there is a generous amount of stabbing, slipping on blood, losing body parts and rolling around on the floor)
2. Bosi and Herraud versus People Whose Daughter/Sister They Had Kidnapped Along The Way (In which there is a sea battle where people transform at random into dragons, boars, and wolfhounds, and jump from ship to ship. Also, Herraud gets his nipples torn off. Ick.)

The Absolute Undisputed Best Moment of the Saga,
however, is the afterword: Once every battle is won and the adventures are over, Herraud and Bosi both become kings and start their own families. Herraud has a little daughter, Thora (who will later become the first wife of Ragnar, sadly not mentioned in the TV show). The magical vulture egg decides to hatch and produces a small, gold-colored baby dragon. The king gives the baby dragon to Thora as a teething toy.
Think about it.
A princess. Teething. On a dragon.
Viking metal.

42 comments:

  1. And people today freak out if their baby picks up a little fluff!
    Wendy at Wendy of The Rock

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  2. It is amazing to read about stories I have never heard about before! Lovely read!

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  3. I recently read The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue and really enjoyed it. I love hearing about old sagas and epics but until recently I've not really read any.

    Very interesting post. :-)

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  4. Have you told this epic lately? How did you first learn about it.

    Until we tell again,

    Rachel Hedman
    http://storycrossroads.com/blog/

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  5. Holy cow, that epilogue is awesome. Worth picking up the whole book for! What is the name of the show? And which translation do you suggest?

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  6. Lol - I love the ending. Eventhough it is a Norse saga from Sweden I have never heard it before. Thank you for enlightning me!

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  7. Thora is going to be one tough little viking when she grows up! :)
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
    FB3X
    Wittegen Press

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  8. Sounds like an awesome epic - what more could a story want - battles, murders, monsters, a teething toy baby dragon? :)
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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  9. I have never heard of it before. Sounds like a great epic.

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  10. Wow, that afterword moment is incredible! What a great, hilarious, awesome moment that would be.

    2015 A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    Matthew MacNish from The QQQE

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  11. hmmm.... a storytellers ideal haunt :) will come by tomorrow again.

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  12. that is a cool story, not watched yet.. though i have the scores.

    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

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  13. I'm HUGELY into Vikings right now. This was a super interesting post! Lots of stuff I didn't know.

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  14. Wonderful! Is that photo from 'Vikings', the TV program? I haven't seen it yet.

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  15. Bosi, the daredevil love child of a former Viking raider and a crippled shield-maiden? Really? And they became an item? I'm intrigued.

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  16. Cool teething toy!

    Both A and B posts fantastic. Will be back for more.

    Best,
    Nilanjana.
    Madly-in-Verse

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  17. You know, the more I learn about Norsemen/Vikings, the more I like them. They don't mess around. Dragon teething toy? I feel like that was probably a given back in the day. ;)

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  18. Gotta love the "five years of leisurely plunder." Sounds like a good time!

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  19. This is a new one. Nipples ripped off? What led up to that?

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  20. Loved this post thank you! Legends and myths say so much!

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  21. My hypothesis about the baby-dragon thing: Herraud really, really wanted a boy.

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  22. Awesome post! I've never heard about these guys, but I think my daughter would be jealous of Thora.

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  23. You're having it easy with me, I've laways been fascinated with Vikings and Norse sagas, I don't knew why... you know, me being a Mediterranean woman and all.

    Loved the epilogue :-)

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  24. Wow! I am amused by this one. The nipple thing made me grin a bit. this sounds like it was highly entertaining.

    have not watched vikings so i have no clue as to what it is about.

    adding to my tbr list.

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  25. Awesome to hear about something I never have before. And I love the end of your tale, so epic. :) Melissa @ My Creatively Random Life

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  26. So - a fire-breathing dragon as a teething ring? Not such a sweet little princess after all. The Norse certainly like their heroes and heroines tough!

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  27. I'd love any story with a dragon in it, though my favorite dragon will always be Mr. Dragon from the classic Mac game The Manhole. I haven't read that much Norse literature to date.

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  28. Cool! Norse legends produce the best epics. I really don't think anything can top a Viking princess teething on a golden dragon.

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  29. "(Try not to trip over yourself)"

    Hehe. This statement does not at all describe my reaction, not one bit... >.>

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  30. That is just epic. I love everything about this.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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  31. Wonderful, a really fantastic saga, love the appearance of dragons !!!

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  32. A pet baby dragon! I can only imagine. And nipples getting torn off is truly cringeworthy. Sounds very viking to me, though. Thanks for sharing the story!

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  33. I am loving your blog theme - it is my spark notes for epics. I really get and appreciate all that you put into this. Thanks. Plus the dragon teething toy moment...wow.

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  34. Oh my, I love Vikings and I'm in love with Ragnar. Now, thanks to you, I have to explore the story little more.
    Evalina, This and that...

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  35. Cool... I really have to learn more about all these northern epics. The bromance has a Gilgamesh & Enkidu vibe to it, and the exile theme reminds me of one modern novel (well, if 1983 is modern) that did well at capturing the feel of these things: J. C. Batchelor's "Birth of the People's Republic of Antarctica."

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  36. That is epic! You're making me want to read all of these stories now, lol.

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  37. Yeah, totally epic. And with a name like Thora, I'm not surprised.

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  38. He looks a bit like Heath Ledger, doesn't he?

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