The þættir (Old Norse singular þáttr, literally meaning a "strand" of rope or yarn[1][2]) are short stories written mostly in Iceland during the 13th and 14th centuries.

The majority of þættir occur in two compendious manuscripts, Morkinskinna and Flateyjarbók, and within them most are found as digressions within kings' sagas. Sverrir Tómasson regards those in Morkinskinna, at least, as exempla or illustrations inseparable from the narratives that contain them, filling out the picture of the kings' qualities, good and bad, as well as adding comic relief.[3]

Íslendinga þættir

The short tales of Icelanders or Íslendinga þættir focus on Icelanders, often relating the story of their travels abroad to the court of a Norwegian king.

List of short tales:

Legendary þættir

Other þættir


  1. O'Donoghue (2004:226).
  2. Sverrir Tómasson (2006:112).
  3. Sverrir Tómasson (2006:111-13).


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