The parallel character in the Legend of Ponnivala is Kolatta, the pioneer grandfather. Instead of having a genealogical lineage of four preceding males, Kolatta is directly created by the goddess Parvati along with eight younger brothers. This gives him a different but equally “prestigious” status in this South India story. Kolatta does not go out and kill another man at age eighteen, but he does marry a woman (also created by the goddess) and at roughly the same age he enters Ponnivala as an immigrant with the plan to become a pioneer farmer there. He is opposed by previous sword-bearing residents. Instead of killing them (Kolatta has no sword) he bravely rises from the earth (symbolically positioned as its son) and we learn that because he is backed by Lord Vishnu, no sword can kill him. He goes on to adopt a son whose wife eventually bears the clan line several grandchildren. These children are not given his (and his wife’s) name(s). However, they are what is called cross-cousin grandchildren, a local Tamil tradition where two male clans consistently intermarry by giving women back and forth to each other over several generations. This is not “repeat naming” but a kind of social equivalent we can call “repeat intermarrying.” Kolatta also resembles Thorstein in that he is an honorable and sincere man despite the fact that he unintentionally kills several sacred cows at one point. Poor Kolatta builds a fence that whose sharp fence posts these innocent cows die on, believing they can jump over it. In sum, both Thorstein and Kolatta are responsible for a kill, though in different ways and within very different cultural frameworks. Both remain honorable men and become, as their two epic stories progress in parallel. Both die relatively natural deaths and each stands as a venerable clan forefather that later generations can look up to.
Ingimund is Thorstein’s only son and he becomes a main story hero. He matures early and is said to be handsome as well as very talented physically. As a child he goes to live with his father’s friend Ingjald where he shares adventures with Ingjald’s son. As a young man he leads the life of a Viking raider. This helps him to build his skills and self-confidence as a successful fighter and brave man.
~ Brenda E.F. Beck