Legendary saga  

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A Legendary saga or Fornaldarsaga (literally, a tale of times past) is a Norse saga that, unlike the Icelanders' sagas, takes place before the colonization of Iceland.

A related tradition to the medieval romance existed in Northern Europe, and comes down to us in the form of legendary sagas, such as Beowulf and the Nibelungenlied. However, the richest set of Germanic Romantic literature comes from Scandinavia in the form of the Fornaldarsagas. The setting is Scandinavia, but occasionally it moves temporarily to more distant and exotic locations. There are also very often mythological elements, such as gods, dwarves, elves, dragons, giants and magic swords. The heroes often embark on dangerous quests where they fight the forces of evil, dragons, witchkings, barrow-wights, and rescue fair maidens.

Many or most of the sagas are based on distant historic events and this is evident in cases where there are corroborating sources, such as Göngu-Hrólfs saga, Ragnars saga loðbrókar, Yngvars saga víðförla and Völsunga saga. In the case of Hervarar saga the names in the Gothic setting indicate a historic basis, and the latter parts of the saga are still used as a historic source for Swedish history. They often contain very old Germanic matter, such as the Hervarar saga and the Völsunga saga which contains poetry about Sigurd that did not find its way into the Poetic Edda and which would otherwise have been lost. Other sagas deal with heroes such as Ragnar Lodbrok, Starkad, Orvar-Odd, Hagbard and Signy.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Legendary saga" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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