The traditional view of 'Gunn’ Ottar is put forward by Mark Rugg Gunn who writes;
- the dates. R. Andrew McDonald in The Kingdom of The Isles Scotland’s Western Seaboard c 1100-c.1336 (Scottish Historical Review Monograph 4, Tuckwell Press, Scotland, 1998) agrees with the quotation but provides a time; 1224. Now we have a good idea when Snaekoll was born; his mother's first husband was well-known and definitely killed in 1198 so if we say Snaekoll was born circa 1200 that means the above child Ottar - if Snaekoll's son - was hopping on a boat when aged say 4. And 'had many letters' with him. Or not.... No mother / father mentioned, nor servants... Now, Snaekoll is actually free in 1224 - he only kills the Earl in 1230 so why would 'his' child be popped on a boat to Norway?
- And don't forget the Hebrides and Caithness are different Kingdoms at this point. Why would they drop in for this young child?
- Especially as the Hebrides have their own Ottar son of Snaekoll (in fact several possibilities); the Sudreyan chief Ottar Snaekollson is well known and more on him another day. So a boat from the Hebrides goes to Norway with just Hebridean linked people or the boat picks up a random young child in Caithness? I know which option makes logical sense
- It is, as well, worth considering the Orkneyinga Saga. Now, the saga exaggerates but Snaekoll is very important in it. And he's famous; you don't ignore an Earl killer. And he's explored in detail; we know his friends and what he does and where he lives. And there is no mention of a marriage and no mention of children before he has to flee to Norway. And that sort of 'marriage / children' gossip would not have been ignored.