My New Saga Is Totally Like Yngvar's Saga Meets Gautek's SagaCommentary • Opinion • ISSUE 45•29 • Jul 16, 2009 By Gylfy Halfdane Hearken! Fair was the morning and bright the day when I first noticed that the saga of Gylfy Halfdane—that's me, Gylfy, "The Gylf" to my friends—was in horn, hoof, and hide much alike to Yngvar's saga, with a good bit of Gautek's saga thrown in. This the skalds have said and let none gainsay it: that Yngvar was a great traveler, and was main brave, and doughty, and true, and wise, and fair, and lusty, and was a man who liked a horn of ale in winter and mead in summer; and everyone knows that all these things am I, also, though I be in sooth not so much a King's eldest son and more a maker of inexpensive sledge-runners. Also is it kennt from glen to glacier that Gautek was a man both cursed and blessed with a difficult family who, though loving him well, beset him with many trials. Well, let me tell you, brother, that is exactly how it is with the Halfdanes, too, because they seriously are just crazy. I could tell you sagas about my brother-in-law alone that would turn your beard the hue of Solstice frost; but like Gautek, I shall come to Valhalla through them, because though they are full of quirk and often try my patience, they are good people at heart.And is it not sung how Yngvar was a great lover of women, but not of the caretaking of his mead-hall? And that Gautek would lie slothful, not tending to his great red beard until the desire to court would come upon him? And that both would often be caught unawares by the sudden appearance of maidens fair, and then straighten themselves and plait their troths, I think it goes, but look foolish and bumbling in doing so, mighty in deed and heart though they were? That is me all over, for the other day I, Gylfy, and my hall-mate Fafnung were forced to undergo a great cleaning of our log-lodge in but a hundred heartbeats, for lo! the girls were going to be there any minute, and the place waxed sty-like. Certainly these escapades of mine, like theirs, shall one day be sung in the great songs of our folk! For our sagas are very much in the same genre.I guess my saga is like the best parts of Yngvar's with a little Gautek twist.There is also the deed much sung of when Yngvar sought the counsel of the great Jarl of the North of Russia, that they might be allied, but was not granted audience; so befriending the Jarl's son, Yngvar made great play of drink, and then rode his steed right through the very doors of the Jarl's mead-hall, and the Jarl could not help acknowledge Yngvar's audacity, and an alliance was duly forged between two nations. That is totally like me! Sing it to the compass points that I, Gylfy, have taken the measure of my own heart and gone drinking with my boss, master sledge-runner crofter Wylm Festgessen and, through skillful application of flattery, advanced my career as Yngvar advanced the cause of his nation. And, like Gautek, my goodwife's mother—a fulminating sulfur-spring of a woman who could find fault in the Sun's rising—thinks me just an idler in my cups, and says Festgessen only set me in my high place to knock me down some cold day. And that woman is a curse unto me, much like the magic coal Gautek accidentally swallowed that kept him from knowing peace or sleep. Oh, also Yngvar had a goat named Snorri, and I, too, have a goat named Snorri. I did not, as some have said, name my goat after Yngvar's! It was happenstance. But also symbolic, you must agree.And so the saga of Gylfy, Gylfy's saga, is like unto these great tales in its warp and woof, like one and the other both, as the King's coin is struck on two sides and contains each side complete yet is its own coin; you get the idea. My saga, that of a nice all-around guy with a maddening clan he loves, though they frustrate him, is Gylfy's saga called. And so it is said: Gylfy's saga is a saga of the little-guy, a man who lives, loves, and, if he is not full of care, may even learn a thing or two along the way.