The wellspring of modern knowledge of Norse mythology, these sagas preserved the Vikings' narrative style from an invading European influence. Iceland's great literary genius, Snorri Sturluson (1179–1241), combined oral traditions, genealogical records, and old songs to immortalize his country's glorious past. Edda means "poetic art," and Sturluson's guidebook for Icelandic poets has been a timeless inspiration for generations of writers around the world, including Wagner, Borges, and Tolkien.
In autumn, King Halfdan proceeded to Vingulmark. One night when he was there in guest quarters, it happened that about midnight a man came to him who had been on the watch on horseback, and told him a war force was come near to the house. The king instantly got up, ordered his men to arm themselves, and went out of the house and drew them up in battle order. At the same moment, Gandalf’s sons, Hysing and Helsing, made their appearance with a large army. There was a great battle; but Halfdan being overpowered by the numbers of people fled to the forest, leaving many of his men on this spot. His foster-father, Olver Spake (the Wise), fell here. The people now came in swarms to King Halfdan, and he advanced to seek Gandalf’s sons. They met at Eid, near Lake Oieren, and fought there. Hysing and Helsing fell, and their brother Hake saved himself by flight. King Halfdan then took possession of the whole of Vingulmark, and Hake fled to Alfheimar.