Gísla saga Súrssonar (the saga of Gísli Súrsson) is one of the Sagas of Icelanders. It tells the story of Gisli, a tragic hero who must kill one of his brothers-in-law to avenge another brother-in-law. Gisli is outlawed and forced to stay on the run for thirteen years before he is finally hunted down and killed.
The saga was likely written in the 13th century, it describes events taking place in the period 940-980. In 1981, Gísla saga was made into a film titled Útlaginn (The Outlaw).
Gísla saga is a classic outlaw saga that is centered on the internal struggles of Gísli. As Gisli’s fate unfolds, he experiences conflicting passions of love, hate, and complex emotional bonds. Differing from the typical family saga, it uses the common theme of vengeance to divide loyalties within family instead of strengthening familial bonds. More than most sagas, Gísla saga makes use of motifs from the Eddaic poems, in particular by referring to Guðrún Gjúkadóttir to represent old ways of vengeance and family honor.
This edition, translated by George Webbe Dasent, has been fully updated by Karen M. P. Carlson to reflect our modern language.