Banner Saga Wiki

Gunnulf is the first varl Hero character encountered in The Banner Saga series, accompanying Ubin to collect the king's tithes. Or enforce the collection, anyway.

Warhawk v1.icon.versus Statistics
Base – Max Stat
7 / 12 Armor
15 / 18 Strength
3 / 11 Willpower
0 / 2 Exertion
1 / 2 Break
Start rank Free points
1 0
Movement Range
Active Passive
Tempest Heavy Impact
Class: Warhawk

Background[ | ]

When Ubin became the Varl king's tax collector he was given an entourage of bodyguards to help transport gold collected across Hraun. Gunnulf is the only one from the original group still alive, and for good reason.

Abilities header[]


Active Ability: Tempest[ | ]

The Warhawk uses his massive weight to sweep his weapon around himself, hitting multiple adjacent targets, friend or foe, for normal strength damage.
Tempest hits the selected enemy target plus additional units, friend or foe, moving in a clockwise fashion around the Warhawk. After clicking on the enemy target (and before ticking to confirm the action) the units to be hit are highlighted with the purple-filled tiles.
Rank 1: hits up to 2 targets
Rank 2: hits up to 3 targets
Rank 3: hits up to 4 targets
Tempest triggers the Warhawk's passive ability, Heavy Impact, which in turn can cause a chain reaction of destruction if used in close quarters. Keeping the Warhawk out of harm's way until late in the fight will maximize his effectiveness.

Secondabilitygeneric icon

Second Active Ability: Choice[ | ]

In the second part of The Banner Saga, when Gunnulf reaches Rank 6, he can choose a second active ability between:

Heavyimpact icon

Passive Ability: Heavy Impact[ | ]

The Warrior hits so hard that any enemies standing adjacent to his target on a strength attack take 1 strength damage from the shockwave.
Hitting a large target like a Varl or Dredge who takes up four tiles can potentially cause an impact across many more victims than hitting a single-square target such as a human.

Caravan Presence[ | ]

The following sections may contain story spoilers.      

First Game: Gunnulf is Ubin's main bodyguard and follows him throughout the game. He is a member of the Varl caravan at Chapter 1 and 3 and joins Rook's caravan in Chapter 6 and 7.

Second Game: He stays with the Skogr caravan throughout the game.

Possible Death Scenarios[ | ]

First Game: In Chapter 3, Gunnulf can be killed if he is allowed to attempt to save a falling wagon. He will fail and fall to his death if you do not tell him to let go or if you are defeated in the battle immediately preceding the event, which is the first battle against Dredge Slingers in the game.

Second Game: There is no event that leads to his death or departure.

Third Game: Gunnulf will die in Chapter 21 while holding the wall near the Great Hall against the Warped on the fourth return to Arberrang, unless you or Ubin tell him to let go.

Playstyle[ | ]

  • As his Strength is sufficiently high, he is one of the easiest characters to get kills for, and so earn fast promotions. Investing is a good idea
  • Increasing his Armor and Exertion will increase his survivability and utility. Exertion is especially important, as he starts with 0!
  • Tempest is one of the most devastating active abilities, hitting multiple enemies in one turn. Exploiting positioning and make sure that Gunnulf's Strength remains high enough so that he can keep Tempesting!

Trivia[ | ]

  • His name loosely translates to "Battle Wolf".
  • Gunnulf fights in the first tutorial battle, against the Skalfing Chieftain and his henchmen, dressed up as the generic Factions Warhawk. His stats are different from his starting ones; notably, he has 2 Exertion whereas he later starts with 0. After the fight, he purchases his trademark green-and-orange garments from the Strand market, which leads to a comical comment from his master, Ubin: "You look like a frog". Gunnulf's response is equally pointed: "Better than an eggplant"'.
  • Gunnulf claims that his two-handed greatsword was given to him by Skrymir himself, the third Varl King, when he entrusted him to guard the King and his belongings.