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The Fearless Vampire Killers: A Note about the Icelandic Draugr  and Demonic Contamination in Grettis Saga

Ármann Jakobsson

In 1897 Andrew Lang referred to Gla´mr, one of Iceland’s most celebrated mediaeval ghosts, as a “vampire” in his The Book of Dreams and Ghosts. This article examines the arguments for such a categorisation, which are mainly the similarfunction of vampires and the Icelandic ghosts. It goes on to examine the case of Gla´mr; in particular, how his condition as a supernatural Other has been transmitted from a previous unspecified demon and the implications this has forthe character of the well-known saga hero Grettir who eventually becomesGla´mr’s “slayer.” It argues that as Gla´mr had also been hired as a “vampireslayer” of sorts, Grettir and Gla´mr are in a sense doubles; and that the Gla´mr episode of Grettis saga highlights both his resilience in the face of evil but also thedanger that goes with monster fighting and the lonely condition of the monster fighter.

Click here to read the article from Academia.edu