Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Friðþjófs saga ins frœkna 16 (Friðþjófr Þorsteinsson, Lausavísur 14)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 213.
context: The ship does not founder, as Friðþjófr expected, but enters a murky stretch of ocean where it is impossible to see the way forward. Friðþjófr climbs the mast and spies a huge whale circling the ship, preventing it from making land; he interprets this phenomenon as a product of Helgi’s sorcery and says that he can also see two women riding on the whale’s back. He directs the ship to be steered towards them aggressively and recites Frið 16.
notes: This fornyrðislag stanza is in both redactions, though 568ˣ contains several lacunae. The motif of hostile troll-women attacking the hero’s ship is paralleled in other fornaldarsögur, like Ket and GrL. See particularly GrL 1-5, a dialogue between Grímr loðinkinni ‘Hairy-cheek’ and the troll-women Feima and Kleima. In all these instances, the level of physical aggression expressed by the hero towards the troll-women is very high. In this stanza agonistic agency is, however, attributed to the ship Elliði, rather than the speaker of the stanza, Friðþjófr, and Frið 17, extant only in the B mss, elaborates this motif.
texts: ‹Frið 16›
editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: E. 7. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Friðþjófssaga ens frækna I 15 (AII, 273; BII, 295); Skald II, 155; Falk 1890, 76, Frið 1893, 17, 47, 72-3, Frið 1901, 26, Frið 1914, 16; Edd. Min. 99.