We leave Arnuad and Arnaud behind for a moment to turn to the world of 11th-ish century Iceland and the medieval ghost story of Thorgunna and Thurida. Normally I’d recap what happened in the previous post before continuing on, but this digression is entirely separate from the main story. So, enjoy Part I, but you don’t need it to understand what follows: except for the blue ghost elephant who’s narrating this particular ghost story. This story comes from the Icelandic Eyrbyggja Saga.
We begin at sea, off the shores of Iceland. A boat awaits the wind to carry them farther on their journey from Dublin to Dogvertharness. On board, one woman is thoroughly done with sailing.
On shore, some soldiers gossip about the passengers now that the boat has docked in the harbor.
Thurida, quite interested in the latest fashions, goes on board to meet this Thorgunna.
Thorgunna, an older woman and quite tall, is very protective of her possessions.
Thorgunna accepts Thurida’s offer of hospitality and sets herself up in the guest room in the village of Froda.
I do wonder why it took so long for them to recognize it is as blood. But maybe that’s just me.
Thorgunna went to change and lay down in bed. She did not emerge again that day.
Skálholt would, in 1056, become one of two episcopal sees in Iceland.
After her death, Thorodd dutifully carried out the dictates of Thorgunna’s will.
And I am getting there too. As you can tell, this ghost story is a long one. Next time, what happens when Thorgunna’s will is ignored.