Hallfreðr Óttarsson or Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld (Troublesome Poet) (ca. 965 – ca. 1007) was an Icelandic skald. He is the protagonist of Hallfreðar saga according to which he was the court poet first of Hákon Sigurðarson, then of Óláfr Tryggvason and finally of Eiríkr Hákonarson. A significant amount of poetry by Hallfreðr has been preserved, primarily in Hallfreðar saga and the kings' sagas but a few fragments are also quoted in Skáldskaparmál.
In his lausavísur Hallfreðr was an unusually personal skald, offering insight into his emotional life and, especially, his troubled and reluctant conversion from paganism to Christianity under the tutelage of king Óláfr. The following is an example.
Ǫll hefr ætt til hylli
Óðins skipat ljóðum
(algildar man'k) aldar
(iðjur várra niðja);
en trauðr, því't vel Viðris
vald hugnaðisk skaldi,
legg'k á frumver Friggjar
fjón því't Kristi þjónum.
—Lausavísur 10, Whaley's edition —Lausavísur 10, Whaley's translation
- Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld All extant poetry
- Hallfreðar saga vandræðaskálds Version from Möðruvallabók
- Myth and Religion in the Poetry of a Reluctant Convert Article by Diana Whaley
- Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar Text of Erfidrápa with short notes on the poet in Norwegian