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his family’s farm in the Westfjords of Iceland to find fame and fortune at the Court of the Norwegian King. Because he was gifted, he became one of the King’s musicians. Soon his brother Thorfinn joined him, but became homesick and decided to return home to Iceland. Ivar asked him to carry a message to a young woman, Oddny Jonsdottir. Ivar asked her to wait for his return, and then they would be wed. Thorfinn arrived in Iceland and went to visit Oddny. She was so beautiful and gracious, that he fell in love with her himself. And so, he never gave her Ivar’s message. Thorfinn asked Oddny to marry himself instead. And so it was. When Ivar heard the news of their marriage, all desire to play music left him. That night, in the banquet hall, the King of Norway saw how dispirited Ivar was. He asked him to stay after the meal was done, and everyone else departed. The King asked Ivar what was troubling, but the Icelander said he was not free to say. This surprised the King, for he was used to having his every questions answered by those who served him. Still, he liked the Icelander, and saw this as a challenge to discover what was wrong. The King thought for awhile, and then guessed: “Ivar, do you feel that we do not pay you enough for your wonderful music?” Ivar sadly answered, “No my Lord. I am paid most generously.” “Well then,” the King continued, “Do you feel like an outsider in my kingdom? If so, I will grant you a small farm, so that you feel you belong here?” Ivar sadly answered, “No, My Lord, I have no wish to own land here in Norway.” Now the King was troubled, for he prided himself on being able to know what was in the hearts and minds of those in his royal court. The King guessed again: “You are young, and you must be bored here. I’ll have my treasurer give you some gold coins, so that you can travel the world. And when you are done with your wanderings, there will always be a place for you here as one of my court musicians.” Ivar answered, “I have no wish to travel, My Lord.” And he looked even sadder than before. The King was puzzled, but then he saw a look in Ivar’s sad eyes. Ah! Now he understood. He took one more guess:
“But. and perhaps.” replied the King. I will sit and listen to you. there is nothing I can do about that. “Well. You will meet many young woman. Ivar remained in the house of his Lord.” And so it was for many weeks. You have a young woman you love in Iceland. Before the year was out. And then the King spoke.. “then take the gold and travel all the world.. Ivar. I can offer to listen to you tell me about your love for Oddny. That is all I can offer.” The King of Norway made another offer. he had no more need to tell his story to his King. “Young man. Every evening. My Lord. wherever I travel.. whenever I see any young woman I am reminded of Oddny herself!” The King had no more offers to make. though I would till the soil from dawn to dusk. and Ivar returned home to Iceland. But I can still offer you that small farm. My Lord. If you work the land every day.. .. there is one more thing I can offer. “Ivar . to my brother. I will bring my memories of Oddny with me.” Ivar interrupted. It’s just that she is already wed. Ivar played his music joyfully again. “No. “No. Ivar. with Ivar silently sitting close by.” Ivar shook his head. and who loved him. For it is said that a person can leave their troubles behind. come travel with me when I make my rounds of the cities and castles of Norway. I would only have Oddny Jonsdottir on my mind. “Oh. small as it seems. after the guests are gone. My guess is that her parents will not allow you two to wed. And as the months went by. They were wed. He sat for the longest time. They had children. It is said that a person can forget their troubles by losing themselves in their work. no my Lord. The King listened to Ivar every night. Time passed.” Ivar sadly shook his head again. My Lord.” Now the King was sad. And they had a long and happy life between them.“I know. There he found a young woman whom he loved...” “Well.” Ivar sighed and explained..