The Heimskringla saga tells the tale of King Olaf Tryggvason. According to this Saga, King Harald ‘Bluetooth’ Gormsson of Denmark and Norway,
was scheming to attack and take control of Iceland, his method was to have a powerful, wizard transform into a clever whale, by using its’ sonar it would detect Iceland’s accessible coastal areas.
This whale-wizard attacked the four access points, unsuccessfully.
Each time the whale-wizard tested to approach the shore, a brilliant earth spirit arose and returned the whale to the sea.
It turns out that these four spirits just happen to be Land Wights and are Iceland’s true guardians.
The first attempt by the whale-wizard was to land on the Eastern Fjords, it was confronted by an dangerous dragon that was extremely powerful. Powerful enough, that the ocean sizzled under its breath and its beating wings made the sound of thunder. The dragon was accompanied by serpent spirits, lizards and snakes that were so terrifying that the whale-wizard shuddered with fear and quickly returned to the deep dark sea.
The whale-wizard’s second try was to rush the fjord of Eyjafjörður, North Iceland. Here it was confronted by a majestic griffin with a wing spread the width between mountain tops. The large griffin led a murder of scary, predatory, birds with sharp beaks like battle axes and razor sharp claws. This terribly, frightened the whale-wizard enough to send him back into the depths of the briny sea.
On the third try, the whale-wizard’s goal was to land in Breiðafjörður, the western fjord.
The whale-wizard’s attempt failed once more at this fjord when he was challenged by a huge, nasty bull with a body solid like the land, where mountains quaked from its’ loud bellow. The bull’s hide was compared to hard rocks and its’ downward horns were made from bronze. The crafty whale-wizard was forced back into the sea by this bull.
On his fourth and final try, the whale-wizard’s goal was to land on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula, where he was challenged by an enourmous giant that was so tall his head towered above the hill tops. This giant who clutched an iron staff was the leader of a tremendous army of titans that sent the frustrated whale-wizard home, only to be humiliated for his dismal failure in the presence of King Harald Bluetooth.
Together they protect Iceland, each guard a quarter of it. In modern times these four land wights are honored and their images are placed on the Icelandic Coat of arms and on the front of the Króna coins, where they safeguard and aid the land and each of its ethereal and earth creatures to thrive.
Heimskringla’s single surviving page known as the Kringla leaf (Kringlublaðið). Wikimedia, Creative Commons.
Sources & Reference
Wikipedia: Harald Bluetooth