Cite as: Hubert Seelow (ed.) 2017, ‘Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka 34 (Innsteinn Gunnlaðarson, Innsteinskviða 14)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 331.
The third and final section of Innkv (Hálf 34-7) is another monologue spoken by Innsteinn after Hálfr has fallen and the remainder of the Hálfsrekkar have come up from their ships and have fought courageously until many have been killed, ultimately including Innsteinn himself. The stanzas do not follow the course of the fight (so Edd. Min., xxviii) but rather praise the heroic courage and loyalty of the Hálfsrekkar and reflect upon Innsteinn’s own prudent heroism, as well as the inevitability of death. They present the situation in a more restrained manner than the stanzas recited before the fight and during the arousal of the warriors in the burning hall. The dominant motifs – loyalty, death and fame – have been touched upon already in the second part of the poem (Hálf 31 and 33), while Innsteinn’s final elegaic reflection on his past life takes up a theme already announced in Hálf 28.
context: This stanza is preceded by a short prose passage. Having
managed to get out of the fire, Hálfr and his band succumb to their enemies and
are slain. The stanza is introduced by the words: Innsteinn kvað, er kóngr var fallinn … ‘Innsteinn said, when
the king had fallen …’.
texts: ‹Hálf 34›
editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: E. 6. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hálfssaga VII 6 (AII, 262; BII, 283); Skald II, 148; Hálf 1864, 24, Hálf 1909, 110, FSGJ 2, 116-17, Hálf 1981, 125-6, 184-5; Edd. Min. 37.