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Saying no to kings

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Chapter Summary

Like Harald Hardradi, Audun too plays with the rules, pushes at them, rather than follows them in the interest of smooth and uneventful encounter. This chapter is not raising the view of Audun as a holy fool or clueless nerd as a strawman. Audun is no fool, but the tale raises the issue of his character and motives and teases us or sets us to wondering, much as Audun set Harald and King Svein, Thorir, and Eirik to wondering, if he is not a little bit, how to put this delicately, “obsessively ill-advised” in his actions. The tale teases us with the idea that Audun may only be the beneficiary of a lot of dumb luck. The tale teases us too because it plays off the expectations of the folktale motifs it both participates in and transcends: the wily trickster and/or the country bumpkin making good.

Keywords: Audun; Harald Hardradi; King Svein; Thorir

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