Twenty of the absolute best stories from
Denmark's Ancient Times
Illustrated by Sune Elskær and Lorenz Frølich
People's Press, 2017
Viking Sagas contains
sagas and tales that have in common that they tell of people, events and places
in Denmark and the surrounding areas in and around the Viking Age.
These are stories that
have been transmitted orally for many, many years. Some of them were written
down around 1000; others were first recorded in the 12th and 13th centuries.
Scandinavians have known for
many generations who Rolf Krake was, and about Ragnar Lodbrog and the
Lejre Kings. Now the stories are available once more to new generations.
across the island. She took her direction from the glow of the fire and reached
the mounds where Angantyr and his brothers were buried. She paid no heed to the
ring of fire that surrounded the burial grounds, but walked straight through
When she was standing
in front of the mounds, she said, "Wake up, Angantyr! This is your
daughter, Hervør, speaking. I want Tyrfing, the sword you stole and that has
been forged by dwarfs."
When no one answered
her, she continued, "Have the weapons and shields of the sons of Arngrim
rusted away? Are your helmets stuck in the roots of the trees? Have you been
eaten by the worms? Give me the sword now, Angantyr. What use is a good weapon
to a spectre?"
Still no one answered and
Hervør became angry.
"Then let that be the story that is told: that
Angantyr and his brothers are powerless. That you are nothing but mull and
dust; that all that strength you once had has gone. No one needs to fear you or
your descendants any more."
As if in reaction to her scorn, the
mound opened up like a big blazing fire, and through the fire she heard Angantyr
say, "Hervør, my daughter, why have you come here with your cruel words?
Have you gone wild and lost your mind? What brings you to wake the dead from
their sleep? And the sword isn't here. Those who won the battle kept the
"You're lying. I
know you have Tyrfing with you in the mound. I am your child. I have to succeed
"The sword will
be a curse on your family."
But Hervør just
laughed. "You don't scare me. I long to feel the stock in my hand."
"No woman has the
strength to swing the sword, Hervør," shouted Angantyr's spirit.
"Listen to what I'm saying."
But Hervør wanted the
sword. "I'm your daughter. Give it to me! "
I have always loved
the old Viking sagas, and as a child I read Axel Olrik's new versions so many
times that the book finally hung in shreds.
To me, the old stories
are part of our historical DNA and I was really happy when People's Press
suggested that I rewrite them so that a new generation of children could have
access to these exciting stories.