Gunnlaugs saga ormstungu is one of the most popular sagas of Icelanders, not least outside Iceland. It is a relatively brief family saga that takes place in one generation with one main plot. The oldest attestation of the saga is in Holm perg 18 4to that dates from the beginning of the fourteenth century, the second oldest is in AM 557 4to from the second quarter of the fifteenth century, and a seventeenth century paper manuscript, AM 552 I 4to, is also of value.
The saga is believed to be composed in the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century by an unknown author. The plot concerns the grand-daughter of Egill Skalla-Grímsson, Helga the beautiful, and her two suitors, Gunnlaugr ormstunga (serpent-tongue) and Hrafn the poet who eventually duel in Norway for her affections, killing
Citation: Jakobsson, Ármann. "Gunnlaugs saga ormstungu". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 October 2023 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=41261, accessed 11 December 2023.]