Gunnlaug Wormtongue ┬ę wood engraving (ed. 40) image: 7 x 5 in. $100.00 (go to "Hi There" for purchase information)
Gunnlaug Wormtongue, like Unn the Deepminded, shares the gallery of odd-ball portraits, not for idiotic deeds or strange circumstances, but because of his name. Gunnlaug was a tenth century Icelandic poet who got his name because his poetry was offensive or unpopular. When he was a young man Gunnlaug and the poet Hrafn ├ľnundarson competed for the attention of a maiden named Helga the Fair. They competed with their poetry and Gunnlaug won her attention. He and Helga were betrothed, but he was forced to leave her when he went sailing, as Vikings often did. He was gone more than their agreed-upon three year absence, so when he returned he found Helga was married to Hrafn. He and Hrafn fought a duel which ended in a draw, but since duels were illegal in Iceland they moved their battle to Norway where Gunnlaug won, but was so badly wounded he died later.

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