Hjalmar the Fearless is a warrior best known for his duel against the berserker Angantyr.

History[edit | edit source]

When King Yngvi of Uppsala offered his daughter Ingeborg's hand in marriage to Hjalmar the Fearless, the berserker Angantyr challenged him to a duel. Angantyr showed up to the duel with his eleven berserker brothers and the cursed sword Tyrfing. Hjalmar had with him the hero Orvar-Odd.[1]

Angantyr and Hjalmar slew each other, and Angantyr's eleven brothers were also killed. They were buried in a burial mound together with the sword Tyrfing.

Creative origins[edit | edit source]

Hjalmar and his duel with Angantyr appear in the 13th century Icelandic saga Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks (The Saga of Hervör and Heidrek). In this story, Angantyr's brother Hjörvard challenges Hjalmar to the duel, though all twelve brothers still show up. Hjalmar kills Angantyr in the duel, but Hjalmar pronounces a seven-stanza poem before dying of his wounds.[2]

Reception and influence[edit | edit source]

The name Hjalmar appears in a list of viking names in the HR1 Vikings Campaign Sourcebook (1991), and in a list of male Norse names in Xanathar's Guide to Everything (2017).

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Giants in the Earth, Dragon #42 (Oct 1980), p.35.
  2. The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise (1960), Christopher Tolkien.
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