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By Rider, 2 December 2007; Revised
Category: Medieval Europe
The legends of Helge Hjorvardsson tell us of a great man who fights for his loved one. Helge was the son of Hjorvard and his fourth wife Sigrlin. Helge was a great man and the legends mostly tell of his campaign to gain the love of the Valkyre Svava.
King Hjorvard already had three wives and sons with them. He had vowed that the most beautiful woman he hears of, shall be his. He heard of Sigrlin through a bird who sang to a response to the words of Atle. Atle then went to betrothe Sigrlin but on his first trip, he failed. He had made it to Svafner’s lands, who was the father of Sigrlin but he had refused to give Sigrlin to him.
The second time, Hjorvard himself went to Svafner and then he noticed the ladns burning and horsemen riding around. They came to a building which was guarded by a bird. Atle killed the bird and the men found Sigrlin inside. The bird they killed was Jarl Franmar who had been the advisor to Svafner. Franmar’s daughter Alof became the wife of Atle and Hjorvard took Sigrlin as his.
Hjorvard and Sigrlin had a son but the son spoke not a single word and they knew not how to name him. On a beautiful day, the son was sitting on a hill and nine Valkyres flew past. The first one addressed the boy as Helge and told him that if he sat around and spoke nothing, he would not become a king. The boy accepted the name and asked for a gift of name, by the tradition and he said that the gift should be the Valkyre herself. The Valkyre’s name was Svava, daughter of Eylime. Svava told Helge about 46 swords that Helge could find at Sigarsholm and that he should take the most decorated one to himseld.
Helge went to his father and asked for men and he was given them. Together they then rode to Sigarsholm and there they avenged a relative of Helge. Svava rode above Helge in battle and protected him from harm.
Helge then met a giant, Hate by the name and took the giant’s life. Hrimgerd then arrived and she was Hate’s daughter and she spoke with the men. Atle, who had remained as a guard, told her to leave or else prepare for worst but Hrimgerd understood that she was close to the killer’s of her father and called Atle to battle. Helge then woke up and said to Hrimgerd that he would not agree to any terms. Hrimgerd replied that she had avanged a long time ago if it were not for someone protecting the warriors from above. Helge took notice of this and made the conversation last so the Sun rose over the mountains and Hrimgerd turned into stone. Helge then went to Eylime and wedded Svava and they married.
Hedin was the brother of Helge. Once, when hunting, Hedin met a giant who suggested herself to accompany Hedin. Hedin refused but then was obliged to sware an oath that couldn’t be broken. Hedin said that he would take Svava as his wife. Hedin later was sorry for the oath and he lived in forests. Once on a walk, he met Helge and told him what had happened.
Helge said that he shouldn’t be afraid and that he would meet Alf, the son of Hrodmar who was a man he had once killed. Helge knew he wouldn’t return from that duel and told Hedin as much.
At home, Helge told Svava everything and also told her to betrothe Hedin after his death. Helge then rode to the duel and was mortally wounded there. Svava came to see him for one last time. Hedin asked for Svava after Helge’s death but Svava refused and Hedin swore to kill the slayer of the best man on earth.