Flóki Vilgerðarson

Flóki Vilgerðarson (also /Floki Vilgerdsson/Havna-Floke/Hrafna-Flóki/Ravens-Floki) was one of the first Norwegian Vikings to set sail to reach Iceland. He was said to be born in 830 as the son of Glamur  Hörða-Káradóttir and Vilger Vilgerðarson. He heard about Iceland from a Swedish Viking named Garðar Svavarsson.            

According to Landnámabók or The Book of Settlements, he took three ravens with him to find Iceland. He decided to release these birds after asking for blessings from the Gods. One of the birds flew to Faroe Islands, the other one went back to the ship, while the last one didn’t come back. He decided to follow the last bird until he reached Iceland. This Icelandic book details Floki’s journey to Iceland, including the first two Vikings who sailed before him  - Naddodd (Naddoðr or Naddaðr) & Garðar Svavarsson.         

According to the book, the first Viking who reached Iceland only got there because he got lost on his way back to Norway from Faroe Islands. Later on, Naddodd and his men decided to go back to Faroe Islands and saw snow. Naddodd named it Snowland (Snæland). After some time, Garðar Svavarsson decided to check it out too. He spent winter there along with some other Vikings. He went back home and named it Garðarshólm or Garðar’s Island.    

Floki got curious about this uninhabited island so he set sail to this island located at the Northwest of Faroe Islands just like Naddodd and Garðar. Before starting his journey, he loaded up his boat with important stuff and livestock. 

Unlike Garðar who spent only one winter there, Floki and his family spent two. Unfortunately, the weather there was harsh and they didn't have enough food for their animals so they eventually lost their livestock and went back to Norway again in summer. Floki named the island the land of ice or “Iceland” when he climbed one of the mountains during spring season and saw snow and ice. 

After living in Norway for a while, he decided to go back to Iceland and settled in Skagafjörður until his death  in the 9th century. He had a wife named  Groa Gro Bjornsdottir and they had four children (Thjodgerd Flókisdóttur, Trond Gata, Torlak Ravna-Flokeson and Oddlief Staff).        


References:

https://www.funiceland.is/facts/settlement-of-iceland/hrafna-floki-vilgerdarson/

https://mythologian.net/real-floki-vikings-ravenhrafna-floki-vilgerdarson/

http://www.viking.no/e/info-sheets/iceland/iceland.htm

https://www.ancient-origins.net/opinion-guest-authors/viking-discovery-iceland-006657                             

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