Bolli Bollason - Laxdæla Saga - Account - Family and Early Life

Family and Early Life

Bolli Bollason was one of the People of Laxárdalur, in the Western Quarter of Iceland. He was born in 1006 to Guðrún Ósvífursdóttir, the winter after the killing of his father, Bolli Þorleiksson. Guðrún had been courted by Þorleiksson and his foster-brother Kjartan Ólafsson, but although she preferred Kjartan, she gave herself to Þorleiksson on the basis of a false rumour that Kjartan was engaged. The consequent hostilities between the two foster-brothers ended with Þorleiksson killing Kjartan, and then he in turn being killed by Kjartan's kinsmen. Bolli Bollason grew up with his brother Thorleik, who was four years his senior, and his mother Guðrún in Helgafell, after she exchanged homes with the renowned Snorri the Goði.

Guðrún remarried, this time to Thorkell Eyjolffsson, who became a great chieftain in his own countryside and took over the running of the household at Helgafell. This left Bolli able to spend his time both at Helgafell and with Snorri in Tunga, and Snorri became very fond of him. Thorkell was fond of both his stepsons, but Bolli was regarded as "being the foremost in all things". Thorleik journeyed abroad to Norway, and stayed with King Olaf II for several months.

When Bolli was eighteen years old he asked for his father's portion, as he intended to woo Thordis Snorradottir, the daughter of Snorri Goði. He set out with his stepfather and a good many followers to Tunga. Snorri welcomed them, and the wedding feast took place that summer. Bolli abode at Tunga, and love grew between him and Thordis. The next summer, Thorleik returned in a goods-laden ship to White-river, "and the brothers greeted each other joyfully".

The two brothers made peace with the sons of Ólaf, Kjartan's kinsmen, at the Thorness Thing; it is not known how much money was exchanged in compensation as part of the agreement, but Bolli received a good sword, and after the assembly "both sides were thought to have gained in esteem from these affairs".

Read more about this topic:  Bolli Bollason, Laxdæla Saga, Account

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