"The giant stands iron staff in hand
by Lómagnúpur mountain.
He calls to me and calls to you
In a deep and sombre voice."
This is a verse from the poem Áfangar by the 20th-century Icelandic poet Jón Helgason. Here the poet is alluding to an event in the famous medieval Njáls Saga when the chieftain Flosi Þorgeirson catches forty winks and dreams while resting on the slopes of Lómagnúpur mountain. Þorgeirsson is on his way to the farm Bergþórshvoll on the south coast where Njáll lives. He is intent on seeking revenge for the killing of his kinsman Höskuldur Þráinsson. In the dream those men whose names the giant called out were doomed to die, while those that he did not would survive the imminent battle.
The giant is both a seer and wise. Iron staff in hand, he has stood watch here on Lómagnúpur mountain from the time of settlement and is the guardian spirit of the country´s south coast. Throughout time he has observed as men settled the land and had to contend with various misfortunes. He can see over the entire countryside and far out to sea. Nothing misses his watchful gaze.
We meet the giant on a bright December day and ask him to tell of some notable events that occurred hereabouts over time. He´s more than willing to chat and on this website you can listen to his tales.
Stories written by Lilja Magnúsdóttir
Translation and narration by Neil McMahon