31A-Viking Sagas: Odd Man Out

/, Episodes, Podcast/31A-Viking Sagas: Odd Man Out

31A-Viking Sagas: Odd Man Out

This is the discussion post for episode 31A, that tells the first half of the story of Arrow-Odd, a legendary Viking.


The saga of the legendary Viking Arrow-Odd contains trolls, ogres, giants, magic arrows, and a sorceress getting smacked in the nose. The mistakes of one Viking's past...or just a Viking being a Viking, haunt him. There's a dangerous Viking teddy bear, and if an angry, famed warrior offers to show you his arrows up close, do not take him up on that offer.

On the creature of the week, you'll see that when you're at the supermarket, someone might just secretly be a giant purple blob that lives in the river.


Odd Man Out

This is one of those stories that surprised even me. I went digging because I wanted to do another Viking story. I am moving this week, so I figured it would be a relatively quick and easy story. If I have anything close to a specialty, it is the Vikings. This was supposed to be an easy one...and then I read the story.

It is fantastic, and next week is even better. It has all the supernatural craziness that I love in these old legends, but it is also a very grounded, human story. Odd is simultaneously the hero and a villain, and his continuing attempt to escape his past is a compelling tale. Because of the move, I've already recorded next week. The end of the story is crushing.

Elaborations and Errata


Also known as Bjarmaland, it is in northern Russia. It's highlighted in red in the map below, from Wikipedia.


Things I left out

So many things. This is a shaggy dog tale. Hjalmar, for one, had a whole love story with a princess in Sweden. We might tell it someday, and it's a fairly famous story. Hjalmar, Thord, and Asmund fight several other Viking warriors, which are described in painstaking detail. Odd also fought a giant vulture and its children and helped the giant out with his dog fight for the throne. Really, it was a literal dog fight. How did Odd help him win? He brought the prince  a bear to fight the dogs. Spoiler alert, when bears fight dogs, bears win. I'll list more of Odd's exploits next week, but I am guilty of streamlining some of it this week. If you're interested in learning more and reading the actual story, check out this book. It's not an affiliate link because I'm tired and I can't remember the Amazon login.



"Theme I" by Steve Combs and Delta Is | "Sirian Star" by Ars Sonor  | "Casual Uncertainties" by Gurdonark | "Words Fall Apart (Instrumental)" by Josh Woodward | "Scale-Free" by Oorlab | "Buffering" by Quiet Music for Tiny Robots | "Polar Vortex" by Quiet Music for Tiny Robots | "Peekdoor Quest" by Rolemusic

By |2018-03-15T14:47:19+00:00April 26th, 2016|Categories: Articles, Episodes, Podcast|Tags: , , , , , , , , |9 Comments


  1. Phil February 7, 2018 at 2:26 am - Reply

    This story reminds me of Galactic North by Alastair Reynolds (sci fi), I wonder if he was inspired by it.
    Two enemies who respect each other and chase each other over thousands of years and are the only people left alive at the end so become friends again.

  2. Donna Singmaster August 1, 2016 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Hi Jason
    I’m a member and can’t figure how to listen without ads. When I sign in I get a pop up that reads ‘open in news?’ Regardless of how I answer it just goes nowhere. Can you help explain?
    I’ve listened to the last episode twice bec it’s so packed with story. A lot to follow there. Superb job of condensing, explaining, editorializing (especially idea for hi jinx film with Odin Thor and two kids), creating visuals with your words. Look forward to each weeks new episode. DS

    • Jason August 2, 2016 at 7:55 am - Reply

      Sorry, the ad-free will start this week (tomorrow) and continue on week-by-week. Sorry about that. I’m working on taking out the ads and posting them, but it takes a bit of time so the previous ones will be added gradually.

      And thanks! Glad you liked the show 🙂

  3. Morrigane Feu July 28, 2016 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    I should have known that Neil Gaiman had not chosen the name “Odd” without reasons. Thanks for that story that changed my understanding of another story. 🙂


  4. Mark June 26, 2016 at 7:08 am - Reply

    This was a really great story. What is the correct spelling for the creature of the week?

  5. Bendik May 10, 2016 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Was introdused to Odd, and your podcast, by a friend while making dinner. At the beginning we had a pleasant conversation, but as the story intensified, we cooked in silence. Great job, great story. I have decided to learn it by heart so i can re-tell it the next time i find myself around a campfire, haha.
    Keep up the good work. Peace from Norway.

  6. Leo April 29, 2016 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Your discussion of what trolls are has wondering if trolls were ever benign in the old Norse stories, or if the sort of ugly-cute, smiling troll is just a modern version that Scandinavians came up with to sell kitsch to tourists.

  7. Lance B. April 28, 2016 at 8:17 am - Reply

    What was grim cheeks’ full name? It was hilarious. Might use it for my next DnD character lol.

    • Jason April 28, 2016 at 9:21 am - Reply

      He was Grim Hairy-Cheeks, son of Ketil Trout. Haha, so many of these would make great DnD character names. There’s an amazing one next week.

Leave A Comment