This concluding chapter examines the three stages of friendship: establishment, development, and conclusion. The establishment of friendship was only the first step in a relationship between two parties. The contribution each party then made to the relationship determined its depth, importance and content. The key factor in friendships was loyalty. In a society without institutions that could guarantee support and security, it was crucial that a bond existed that created loyalty and provided assistance, and that was friendship. This is why it was such an important aspect of society in Norway and Iceland in the greater part of the period considered in this book. Given the lack of sources about the ending of a friendship, it is probable that most did not end until one of the friends died. In the relationship between chieftains and householders, if both parties fulfilled their obligations, the friendship would likely be lifelong.
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