Types of sagas
Sagas of Icelanders: Approximately 40 sagas of Icelanders (íslendingasögur) have been handed down to us. Before they were written down by unknown authors, they had been transmitted orally from generation to generation. The events usually take place around the time of the settlement of Iceland (landnám) until the time when christianity arrived in Iceland. They can either tell the story of a single hero (Gunnlaugs saga ormstungu) or of a whole family (Gísla saga Súrssonar).
Kings' sagas: The sagas of kings (konungasögur) may either have been written in Iceland or Norway. The first one was written around 1100. The most famous collection of these is probably the one found in Heimskringla which contains among others the saga of St. Olaf.
Chivalric sagas: or the sagas of knights (riddarasögur) are translated works, usually from the French chansons de geste, that tell stories of courtly knights. These are the most important in quantity among the literature we know from Norway in the 13th century.
Legendary sagas: The fornaldarsögur were primarily written for entertainment purposes. They tell stories of heroes in Scandinavia, usually with supernatural powers, from before the settlement of Iceland.
þættir: These are short stories which in genre may ressemble all the other types of sagas. As opposed to the Icelandic sagas where the heroes are from rather wealthy families, the heroes in the þættir may belong to any social class and not possess the skills that would usually define an ideal Nordic male.