Viking Love Triangle: How Love Affair Ended Up with Cycle of Killing
Gudrun (Guðrún) was a beautiful and intelligent girl. But this beautiful lady had to suffer a lot when it came to love affair. She married fourth times and not a single time had a happy ending.
Gudrun married her first husband when she was 15 years old. This soon marriage came to an end as Gudrun could not tolerate her husband. She made her husband a shirt but on discovering him wearing women's clothes, she divorced on the spot.
The second marriage of the beautiful lady was happy but short.
The Love triangle: Gudrun, Kjartan, and Bolli
Other important men in Gudrun's life were Kjartan and Bolli. Kjartan was the son of Olaf while Bolli was the foster-brother of Kjartan. The two were so close that they felt an empty hole in the absence of the other. Then Gudrun and Kjartan quickly became a good couple.
One day, Kjartan and Bolli wanted to travel abroad. Gudrun asked Kjartan to bring her with him but he refused saying that she had to run their house when he was absent. Gudrun decided to part with Kjartan after he asked her to wait for him for 3 years.
When the two brothers arrived in Norway, they discovered that there was a shift in the ruler. The new king was trying to make the people follow his religion. Failing to do this, the new king captured Kjartan and other Icelandic sons as hostages. Meanwhile, Bolli could return home.
On his arrival, Bolli told Gudrun what had happened and Kjartan would not come home for a long time. He also said Kjartan became close to a beautiful woman in Norway, who was the sister of the king. Bolli asked Gudrun her hand and married her days following.
Years after, Kjartan was released to come home. When he discovered the truth, he was determined to break up his close relationship with his foster-brother. No matter how hard Bolli tried to compensate, Kjartan remained his opinion. Kjartan then married another woman.
For the hatred and the insult exchanged, Kjartan decided to call up for his men to attack the farm of Bolli. At first, Bolli stood outside the battle and didn't want to hurt his brother. Among the ones who fought with Kjartan was the brother of Gudrun. Being persuaded by the brother-in-law, Bolli drew his sword to attack Kjartan.
Seeing this, Kjartan threw his weapon away and Bolli thrust him shutting down Kjartan's life. The moment Kjartan fell on the spot, a feeling of regret raised up within Bolli. He held his brother in the arms.
Kjartan died in the arms of Bolli who was full of regret after attacking his brother
The other siblings of Kjartan set out to revenge for Kjartan under the force of their mother. And Bolli could not win the fate, ending his life before he could see his baby son.
The revenge carried on until Bolli Jr and the sons of Helgi, who killed Bolli years ago, called out a truce.
It is not merely a love triangle story
The story of Laxdæla saga was written down in the 13th century. The context of the story happened around the 9th century. But we can see that the story depicted some Viking culture that was ahead of their time.
For example, the woman in that time could easily divorce or re-marry after the husband's death. This was among the basic right the community granted their women.
We can also see that the forced conversion of religion happened in this time. The new king in Norway tried to make his people follow his religion.