Art by Matt Smith
So now Thangbrand sails on back tah Nahway n’ he finds Olaf up there in Trondie since that’s where Olaf likes tah do his summahtime swimmin’ even though the watah’s coldah ‘en the bottom’ah fuckin’ Lake Winnipesaukee in the wintahtime, but Thangbrand, he just goes right on up tah him n’ he throws his hands up in the aihr, n’ he’s like, “Hey, Olaf, it’s fuckin’ hopeless, man, it’s just fuckin’ hopeless!” ‘Cause those Icelandahs, yah know, they’re a bunch’ah fuckin’ hahdco’ah pagans n’ they won’t stop bleedin’ fahr their ancient gods on accoun’ah some strict new religion that won’t allow ‘em tah gawk at the likenesses’ah Chris Hemsworth like a bunch’ah fuckin’ teenage girls. But Olaf, bein’ the king, he doesn’t give a shit ‘bout what the Icelandahs want n’ so now he’s fuckin’ pissed n’ so what he does is he goes n’ he rounds up all the Icelandahs who ahr hangin’ out there in Trondie with him—most’ah whom ahr heathen ‘emselves—n’ he locks up ‘em up n’ threatens tah kill the sohrry bastahds if someone doesn’t come up with a fuckin’ solution tah his Icelandic missionahry problem real fuckin’ fast.
But thing is, there were alsah some Christian Icelandahs hangin’ out there in Trondie too, like this one guy Hjalti who became a real fuckin’ legend’ah a banished man when he got outlawed from Iceland fahr blasphemy ‘cause he decided it’d be a wicked good ideer tah stand up on the Law Rock in front’ah a full heathen crowd n’ staht spoutin’ off all sohrts’ah controvehrsial bullshit. N’ the ancient Nahrse were a vehry vehrbal society which meant they were all ‘bout ohral histahry n’ transmittin’ news n’ stahries by wohrd’ah mouth n’ all that shit, so pretty much evuhyrone there fuckin’ memahrized what Hjalti said wohrd fahr fuckin’ wohrd.
N’ honestly, who wouldn’t have remembuh’d what he said? It’s not evuhryday that you go to a medieval outdoor legal assembly in a huge fuckin’ massive fissure set between the tectonic plates’ah Europe n’ Nohrth America n’ hee’ah some unhinged religious fanatic staht provokin’ the fuckin’ audience by tellin’ ‘em where he thinks Thor should go shove his fuckin’ hammah. But the bit that really got him in trouble was when he got all supah sehrious n’ was like, “Hey, it’s not my fault that Freyja’s a fuckin’ bitch.”
But since no one in the audience had their phones with ‘em, there ahrn’t any actual photos ah videos’ah all the inappropriate gestures Hjalti was makin’ while he was sayin’ all this shit, which is prob’bly fahr the best ‘cause that meant that no one could then go n’ turn it intah some fuckin’ meme tah blow up all ovah social media even though that shit doesn’t even have neehly the stayin’ powah’ah as some’ah those old-time ultra heavy ancient stones that were raised fahr all tah see with runes cahved intah them fahr the sake’ah keepin’ the memahries. But long stahry shohrt, Hjalti ended up gettin’ designated as a fuckin’ enemy’ah the people n’ had a bounty put on his head, so he had tah leave the country othahwise anyone who crossed his path could muhrdah his ass right there on the fuckin’ spot where he stood n’ that’d be considuh’d a just n’ legal thing tah do.
Now Gizurr the White was alsah up there in Trondie too at the same time, n’ he’s the guy whose house Thangbrand crashed at before he finally left Iceland. N’ as tah why Gizurr went tah Trondie at basic’ly the same time as Thangbrand but not with Thangbrand? No one really knows. Sometimes those medieval Icelandic monks just didn’t really give a shit, yah know?
But anyway, Hjalti n’ Gizurr, they see what’s goin’ on there in Trondie with Olaf on the vehrge’ah mass muhrdah’in’ evuhryone in sight n’ so they make a plea bahgain fahr their fellow countrymen n’ they say that they’ll help get Iceland Christianized if that’ll make Olaf happy. ‘Cause the thing is, everyone knows Thangbrand’s got an Irish tempah, so how ‘ffective a missionahry could he have evah really have been? So now they’re up there tellin’ Olaf that yah know, “Ah couhrse most people didn’t convehrt when Thangbrand was ovah there! He’s a violent fuckin’ shithead n’ he caused a lot’ah fuckin’ bloodshed.”
N’ Thangbrand, he actually hee’ahs this since he’s sittin’ right fuckin’ there, but instead’ah flyin’ off the fuckin’ handle n’ killin’ someone right then n’ there as is his nahmal natuhral response in such situations, he’s just kindah like, “Hey yeah, yah know what? I think these guys might actually have a point.” N’ this is cool ‘cause this means that Thangbrand might’ah actually experienced some pehrsonal growth back when he was bein’ subjected tah the puhrsuit’ah Vikings who were chasin’ him all ovah Iceland n’ in ohrdah tah try n’ catch him n’ legally muhrdah his ass.
N’ so Olaf agrees tah let Hjalti n’ Gizurr go n’ try n’ convehrt Iceland n’ he releases most’ah the Icelandahs he locked up too ‘cept fahr a few that he decides tah hold ontah as hostages since he figyahs he’s the king n’ he can basic’ly do whatevah he wants n’ live without regrets n’ this is a way to ensure Hjalti n’ Gizurr don’t double-cross him. But alsah as paht’ah the deal all the heathen Icelandahs there in Trondie have tah get baptized ’emselves, but they all pretty much agreed that this was bettah ‘en a mass execution n’ so they went ‘long with it without too much trouble. ‘Cept fahr this one guy, Hallfrodr who was wicked good at poetry.
N’ Fuckin’ Hallfrodr, man! I mean, this guy was fuckin’ nuts! He makes such a big fuckin’ fuss ’bout it—fuckin’, he even insists that King Olaf himself pahticipates in his baptism! N’ Olaf actually obliges! N’ hencefohrth Olaf alsah decides that Hallfrodr’s new nickname is gonnah be Troublesome Poet, which is like a sign’ah respect since back in those days the Vikings valued both really complicated stanzas as well as full-blown obstinateness as positive pehrsonal qualities. So this was basic’ly like tellin’ someone he’s a badass, yah know, like where it’s a good thing even though it sounds like maybe it shouldn’t be ah whatevah but it is because that’s how slang wohrks.
N’ then they all just prahceeded tah spend the wintah there in Trondie raisin’ their hohrns n’ gettin’ fuckin’ plastah’d, n’ Gizurr became Olaf’s main drinkin’ pahtnah which was pry a pretty sweet deal fahr him, I guess.