Gloom by planet p

Disclaimer I don't own the Reykjavík Murder Mystery series or any of its characters.


Based on Arnaldur Indriđason's 2007 novel, Harđskafi, translated into English from the original Icelandic by Victoria Cribb in 2009 for Harvill Secker, and published in Great Britain under the title Hypothermia.


She's heard it before, of course; she's heard it so many times. And now, here it is, from both of them – Finally, a united front, she thinks; it must be a first – It just was never going to work out, Eva. We don't get along; we'll never work out our differences, in all probability, there is too much hurt there, too much anger, still, just waiting to well up.

So they can't be a family, they can't even try; this is their excuse.

Her mother says her father never loved her, never cared about his kids; her father says they should try to forget it; he reads her the story of how, in 1956, he, his father – her grandfather – and his younger brother were caught in a storm; Bergur, never to return home. Perhaps, he tells her, old Dagbjartur wasn't so far off the mark in his assessment, perhaps he was 'left gloomy and withdrawn by his ordeal.' She thinks it has a lot to do with her mother's assertion that she and Erlendur should never have met; she thinks it is unjustly unfair that Halldóra should say something like that to her, as though nothing good had come from their meeting, their love, or their marriage – not her own kids; nothing!

She'd been angry about that; she'd been angry at her dad, too. He says that he cares, that he really does, and she wants to believe him, but she doesn't know what to believe when all she's ever doing is hearing two different stories that won't – that refuse – to add up.

This is the problem, she thinks; it's all so long ago, what's the point in dragging all that up again, what's the point in hurting ourselves all over again?! The point, she wants to yell, at one stage, is that we live – we have experiences – to learn something from them! But you learn nothing if you can't stop to think about what you've learnt; in that case, you keep repeating the same mistakes!

Sometimes, she doesn't care if they don't get along. Sometimes, she thinks that, though they say otherwise, they'd rather have not been parents, at all. She thinks that if Sindri and her had never been born, had never come into the picture, then her parents would have been free to live their lives how they wanted – they may have been bitter, but it's likely they'd never had thought of one another again.

So it is her fault, and Sindri's fault. That is so unfair!

She thinks, if she is ever going to have kids and then blame it on them when her life doesn't go how she'd seen it all in her mind's eye, how she'd been so sure, so happy for it to go, then she'd rather not have any kids; she'd rather not marry because what was the point when all you did was grow bitter like her mother had, It was all your father's fault, she keeps hearing, and thinks, Yes, mother, it's my fault, too, because I'm half of my father.

She just wants the hatred and misunderstanding to stop – but they can't talk, or rather, they won't!

Halldóra feels it's her right to be allowed to throw as much venom as she pleases at Erlendur, and he won't defend himself and tell her to get off her high horse. Perhaps they were all wrong for each other, perhaps he didn't love her, perhaps he didn't love her as much as she loved him, and as she deserved to be loved in return, but all that – that is the past! Perpetuating the same old lines from the past helps no-one, not even themselves. Maybe it's comfortable, it's less trouble; it hurts but it's tolerable – but it isn't, Eva thinks, It's disgusting!

She wants it to stop, needs it to stop, but she knows that isn't likely.

Her mother doesn't want to stop hating her father, if she did, then what would be left, what would be left to say she'd gotten out of their time together; just Sindri and her, just the kids she can't help being, in part, angry at also, because they are their father's children.

Thanks Mum and Dad, she thinks, when she's feeling particularly down, thanks for the wonderful example!


This is just one interpretation I thought a reader might make of Erlendur and Halldóra's interactions, and how it might affect their children, Eva Lind and Sindri Snaer. I know that it won't be everyone else's interpretation. (No offense is intended.)

Thanks for reading, anyway.