Then Signy spoke to her father: "I do not wish to go away with Siggeir, nor do my thoughts laugh with him. I know through my foresight and that special ability found in our family that if the marriage contract is not quickly dissolved this union will bring us much misery." "You should not say such things, daughter," he replied, "for it would be shameful both for him and for us to break the agreement without cause. And if it is broken we could neither have his trust nor bind him in a friendly alliance. He would repay us with as much ill as he could. the only honorable thing is to hold to our side of the bargain" (Byock, 1990).
This is usually how it goes. Daughter foretells some terrible event if she is married to some upstart, and father hushes her and send her on her way anyway, and because she is honorable and dutiful and all things virtuous, with concern for her family name, she goes. Then pretty much everyone dies because they didn't listen, and the woman is left to struggle on and avenge all, through her children. It must've been pretty hard on the kids, raised on all that spite and hatred.
But I'm maybe more fascinated by what Signy says about her new husband-- "Nor do my thoughts laugh with him." The OMACL.org translation presents this as: "I have no will to go away with Seggeir, neither does my heart smile upon him," and the sacred-texts version is, it looks like, the same translation. But the word used in Icelandic for the same passage, is definitely hlæja, meaning laugh, and hugr, which according to my Old Norse dictionary, translates as courage. So where exactly does courage reside, friends? In the heart, or in the mind? Or perhaps the better question is, where did it reside according to the Vikings?
It makes me itch to learn Icelandic, because there is definitely something very interesting going on there, and I really want to know what it is.