Saturday, July 2, 2011

Of earls and ales

The Orkney Brewery does a beer called the Skull Splitter, named after sometime Earl of Orkney Thorfinn Hausakljufr (the last name is literally "head-cleaver" I think). But in some ways a more obvious Orcadian earl to name a beer after is Sigurd the Stout. (There are recursive possibilities here: "Sigurd the Stout" the stout, etc.)

Looking up S. the S., I came upon an article about Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye, who "was born with the image of the ouroboros, a snake or dragon biting its own tail, encircling the pupil of his left eye." As far as I can tell, however, the snake served no literary purpose.

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