The Barding Saga

Chapter Four

So the family of Bard made their way to the Þing. As they walked, Nereid took Ingrid aside and expressed concern about her son, Eyvind. She made her mother promise that, if the family got their goðorð back from Snorrisson, Ingrid would train Eyvind to be a goði, so he might have a sense of purpose to keep him out of trouble. Ingrid agreed to this. Nereid then encouraged Eyvind to ask Ingrid many questions about the law.

Once they had arrived at the Þing, Bard shared with Valberg his suspicions about Njáll Snorrisson and his father’s goðorð. He told Valberg that Snorrisson wanted him to testify that Valberg hated Snorrisson, so he would not be a partial judge of the case. Bard also told him of his suspicion that Snorrisson put his son up to killing Þorsteinn Ingólfsson’s nephew, sacrificing his son to sabotage his enemies. Valberg thanked Bard for his loyalty with a few bits of silver.

Cunning Nereid had a plan of her own. She cooked a special dish for Þorsteinn, and told him that Snorrisson is sneaky and steals from people. Þorsteinn vowed to make sure Snorrisson died at the Þing. As he was making his vow, Snorrisson entered the hall with his two sons. Þorsteinn attacked Snorrisson at once, but Brauggi protected his father. Bard snatched Snorrisson, dragged him before Þorsteinn, and publicly accused him of cursing his father’s land in order to steal his goðorð. Þorsteinn impaled Snorrisson on his spear. Brauggi raised his axe to kill Þorsteinn, but Bard stepped in to protect him. He and Brauggi did battle, and both died at each other’s hands that day.

Snorrisson’s living son, Bolli, fled the hall with great speed. However, Nereid convinced Valberg that Bolli must too die, for if any of Snorrisson’s family remained alive, they would attack the family of Bard in retaliation. So Valberg sent his men to kill Bolli as well. He then spoke privately to Ingrid, and offered her back her late husband’s goðorð. He asked who in her family would carry the title. Having made the promise to Nereid, she gave it to Einar Lambisson — who would wed Nereid — so it would be passed down to Eyvind when he was ready. Einar and Nereid married immediately thereafter.

When Björn heard of this, it made him quite angry, as he had hoped to be goði. Nereid asked Björn to hate her or Ingrid, but not Eyvind; Björn stood to inherit his father’s farm, but Eyvind had nothing to inherit. Björn told Ingrid, “I will remember this.”

Þorsteinn told Valberg and Ingrid that he planned to organize a Þing of Þings that autumn, wherein all the local goði would meet at his farm at Reykjavík. Ingrid promised that Einar would go, and she would go as well to advise him.

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Jason

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