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Gunnar

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Gunnar Hámundarson

Gunnar Hámundarson á Hlíðarenda.
Eftir að hafa lesið Njálu er enginn sem situr jafn eftirminnlega eftir eins og Gunnar Hámundarson. Gunnar er kynntur til leiks 19. kafla, og kemur fljótlega í ljós að hann ber höfuð og herðar yfir aðra að flestu leiti hvað varðar líkamlegt og andlegt atgerfi. Lýsingar á Gunnari eru þannig að þar sé maður sem gott væri að eiga að vini og stuðningur hans væri ómetanlegur í öllum málum, hann virðist sanngjarn, réttlátur og vinur vina sinna en lætur engan troða sér um tær. Hefur Gunnar alla tíð verið í mestum metum af öllum okkar fornköppum að ólöstuðum, og hefur í gegnum tíðina verið vinsælt hjá ungum strákum að vera í hans hlutverki í bardagaleikjum.
Gunnars var sonur Hámundar Gunnarsonar og Rannveigar Sigfúsdóttur, sem er systir þeirra Sigfússona sem koma mikið við sögu eftir að Skarphéðinn Njálsson vegur einn þeirrra Þráinn. Gunnar átti þrjú alsystkini og einn hálfbróður, Orm. Bræður Gunnars Hjörtur og Kolskeggur voru fylgismenn hans og var Hjörtur drepinn í bardaga við Rangá en leiðir Gunnars og Kolskeggs skyldu síðar er Gunnar hættir við utanferð þá er hann hafði verið skikkaður í þegar hann var gerður útlægur. Kolskeggur hins vegar hélt sínu striki og fór utan og farnaðist vel þar sem hann var einnig mikill kappi og vel gerður. Gunnar var mikill vinur Njáls á Bergþórshvoli og sótti til hans góð ráð. Njáll ráðlagði honum að vega ekki aftur í sama knérunn, því að það yrði hans bani. Eins og oftar reyndist Njáll sannspár í þessu, því að Gunnar var drepinn eftir að hann hafði vegið tvo af ættmönnum Gissurar hvíta og þeirra Mosfellinga.
Gunnar giftist Hallgerði Höskuldsdóttur frá Höskuldsstöðum í Laxárdal í Dalasýslu eftir að hann kom til baka úr sinni einu utanferð. Hún er þekkt sem Hallgerður langbrók. Hann var þriðji maður hennar. En fóstri hennar Þjóstólfur hafði drepið þá báða og þann fyrri að hennar beiðni. Ekki leist Njáli vel á kvonfang Gunnars og varaði hann við, að ekkert nema illt hlytist af þessum kvenmanni. Mættust síðan stálin stinn eftir að Bergþóra kona Njáls móðgar Hallgerði og lætur hún þá drepa vinnumann þeirra Njáls og Bergþóru, ári síðar lætur Bergþóra hefna drápsins og ganga þannig skærurnar á milli og eru kallaðar húskarlavígin en á meðan þessu fer fram eru karlarnir á Þingi og fregna það þangað og semja um bætur sín á milli þeir Gunnar og Njáll og aldrei fellur skuggi á vináttu þeirra, er þetta þó hluti þess sem byggir upp spennuna í samfélaginu og eru síðustu tvö drápin á frjálsbornum mönnum, einnig er Hallgerður hin erfiðasta gagnvart vinum Gunnars og lætur sér ekkert fyrir brjósti brenna.
Hallgerður lét þræl ræna búrið í Kirkjubæ eitt sinn er þröngt var í búi hjá þeim á Hlíðarenda og varð það upphaf atburða, sem að lokum leiddu til þess að mikill herflokkur undir forystu Gissurar hvíta fór að Gunnari og drápu þeir hann eftir frækilega vörn. Þegar bogastrengur Gunnars slitnaði bað hann Hallgerði að gefa sér lokk úr hári sínu, svo að hægt væri að snúa nýjan bogastreng úr honum. Þessu neitaði Hallgerður og kvaðst með því vilja launa honum kinnhestinn sem hann gaf henni forðum. Hefur Hallgerði verið kennt um dauða Gunnars eftir þetta.…...

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