Fairy Tales of the World Iceland



Iceland is located off the worthwestern coast of Europe, and off the western coast of Greenland.


Despite Iceland being so far to the north, Iceland's climate is rather mild due to the warm air brought by the Gulf Stream. During winter, the temperature drops to around negative one degrees Fahrenheit, but the mean year round temperature is forty degrees Fahrenheit.

Physical Characteristics

Iceland is a central plateau that is ringed by mountains and volcanoes. Due to Iceland being on top fo the Mid Atlantic Ridge, the island has many active volcanoes and there is an average of one eruption every five years. On the coasts, there are many fjords that make excellent places for towns and harbors. A fjord is a narrow river that leads to sea created by moving glaciers. Glaciers and lava fields take up 23% of the country's surface area, which is more than any other country in Europe. There are also smaller common landforms like geysers, hot springs, lakes, and snowfields scattered throughout Iceland.


Iceland has an almost entirely homogenous population of 262,200. Of that, 99.9 percent of Icelanders are literate.


Customs and Traditions

Icelanders have many traditions, one of which is the drink milk. It is a traditional drink to their culture. Icelanders have a casual view on marriage, with 70 percent of all children in the country having been born illegitimately. Also, an illegitimate child carries no social stigma. They also have a strong work ethic and most children hold summer jobs and many Icelanders have 2-3 jobs. Even today, many Icelanders believe in supernatural creatures like giants, wargs, and trolls.


When it was first settled, Icelanders worshipped gods such as Thor and Odin. In modern times, Seventy-seven percent of Icelanders are Lutheran, eight percent are other Christian, three percent are Roman Catholic, and twelve percent are nonreligious/other.


When it was first established, the spoken langauge was old Norse. Over time, it evolved into Icelandic, which has roots in Germanic, Norwegian, Dutch, and Faroese.


A typical Icelander's diet consists mainly of lamb, mutton, and fish. They have to import agricultural and some meats as a meager 5 percent of the populace works as farmers.

How Gerald the coward was punished

Andrew Lang


A coward steals credit for a knight's deeds, while the knight finds a way to prove to a princess he is the one who did the deeds.

Typical Characteristics

Special Beginning

The story begins with once upon a time, which is a special beginning.

Good Character

The good character of the story is Rosald, the son of a poor knight. He is good because he slew a band of robbers and slew a gang that had killed 50 of a King''s knights

Evil Character

Geirald is more misguided than evil, he is a coward who takes the credit for Rosald's great deeds. He does get punished, as after Rosald marries the princess "a poor beggar knocked at the palace gates and asked for money", and that beggar was Geirald (Lang).

Royalty and/or Castle

This motif is present, Geirald and Rosald go to a king's castle and kill a giant for him. Later on, Rosald even marries a princess.

Magic Use/Something Magical

This motif is present, Geirald and Rosald are sent to kill a giant by the king, which is a magical creature of Norse mythology.


This motif is present, there are many problems and solutions. First, Rosald and Geirald must kill a band of robbers, which Rosald does by causing "a shower of huge stones [to] fall on their heads" (Lang). Later, they must fight a magical giant who is so powerful "that even fifty knights have no chance against him" (Lang). Rosald kills the giant by making a spiked club and killing the giant as he walked outside. The final problem is the princess wishes to marry the bravest of the two, but has no way to tell if Geirald or Rosald did the great deeds. She finds out Rosald is brave because Geirald is hiding under his bed on the day the two are scheduled to fight to the death.

3s or 7s

This motif is present, but only once. When Geirald and Rosald are tasked with killing the giant, the king gives them tree days of preparation before riding to his lair.

Connection to iceland

The story has little to no connection to Iceland. There are similarities to climate with the bitingly cold winter, and with the presence of a giant, which some Icelanders believe roam their country.


Created with images by Moyan_Brenn - "Iceland" • JimboChan - "basalt bars sunset iceland" • tpsdave - "iceland mountains sky" • Moyan_Brenn - "Iceland" • Bernard McManus - "Reykjavik from Hallgrimskirkja" • PublicDomainPictures - "evening breakwater fishermen" • mckaysavage - "Iceland - Reykjavik 110 - Landakotskirkja Church" • Ronile - "iceland gamme home" • moohaha - "Garlic Roasted Langoustines" • Bill Ward's Brickpile - "Dimmuborgir 17" • fotshot - "dunrobin castle architecture" • JimboChan - "kirkjufell magical mountain iceland" Gall, Timothy L. "Icelanders." Ed. Allison K. McNeil, Andrea K. Henderson, Lawrence W. Baker, Michelle DiMercurio, and Randy Basset. Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life. Comp. Shanna P. Heilveil. Vol. 4. Detroit: Gale, 1998. N. 190-94. Print. "Iceland." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 10 Nov. 2016. school.eb.com/levels/high/article/Iceland/106235. Accessed 6 Apr. 2017. "ANDREW LANG'S FAIRY BOOKS." From Andrew Lang's Fairy Books. N.p., 12 July 2003. Web. 06 Apr. 2017. Gall, Timothy L., and Jeneen M. Hobby. Worldmark encyclopedia of the nations. Detroit, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007. Print.

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