THE REAL GAME OF THRONES

Iceland was settled in 874 by the Vikings, who had a rich literary tradition and recorded a great deal about the early history of their new country over about 400 years, until the country was claimed by Norway in 1262. The sagas tell stories of strong warrior men and women, and narrates the histories of their feuds, fights and families. The mystic is occasionally invoked, since Christianity did not come to Iceland until 1000. Egil's saga makes a good first foray into the literature: Egil is something of an anti-hero, killing his childhood playmates, stealing other people's women, and drunkenly vomiting on party hosts. Without the sagas, there would certainly have been no Game of Thrones.


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