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Blubber Missiles And Whale Riders: Mundane Fishes And The Sagas

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Chapter Summary

Whales in the sagas are depicted as a famine resource or a resource sought after by newly-landed settlers. Brawling whales and witch riders are marine monsters of Norse myth, creatures more original than the pan-European monstrous whales. In the Saga of Grim Shaggy-Cheek, famine threatens Grim?s farm and valley in Halogaland, so the hero sets off to the Arctic north for fish and whales. Legendary sagas offered examples of whales as servants of troll-women, monstrous shape-shifting whales and resource whales. The Family sagas uniformly depict stranded whales as simple resources. If blubber was rendered, meat dried and bones processed, a district would be unable to use that much material. One of the major themes used in the sagas are depiction of violent dispute over the ownership of whale carcasses. The sagas? authors chose to depict stranded whales in order to create a fictional scene, which was ripe for legal ambiguity.

Keywords: blubber missiles; fish; Grim; Norse; pan-European; sagas; whale

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