Here you’ve read a simplified retelling of the chapters leading up to the climactic event of Brennu-Njáls saga (“The Saga of Burnt Njáll”) in which the main character Njáll and all of his sons are killed when his house is burnt down.
The concept of honor plays a significant role in the story. If someone murders your family member, you must restore your family’s honor, which usually implies murdering the murderer. However, then the family of the murderer has to murder you. The process then repeats and the back and forth bloodshed can last decades.
Even being insulted can be sufficiently damaging to your reputation that you must get revenge. Such insults can be based on calling someone a coward, in Brennu-Njáls saga insults that are based on questioning someone’s masculinity are particularly prominent. Worst of all are the insults suggesting that someone plays a passive role in a sexual relationship with other men, which was sufficiently insulting to Flosi that he refused the monetary compensation and burned down Njál’s house with his family inside.
Njáll knows that he’s too old to avenge the murder of his sons, so he chooses to die instead of living in shame.
You can purchase a shortened version of the entire story in modern English here for 1,600 kr.