> [he would have been at prayer- does this mean the Earl was a Christian
but Guðbrand was Heathen or what - Heathens do not usually kneel I

Good question. Does anyone know of any parallels? From the context,
and from other sources, it seems as if he ought to be a heathen. He
shares the 'hof' with his friend Guðbrandr, and presumably he
officiates there because it says that the 'hof' is only opened when
the earl goes there. But he would have been familiar with Christian
practices too, so the author might be trying to suggest that Hákon was
taking advantage of this new-fangled method of prayer for strictly
opportunistic and utilitarian reasons. But what ideas would 13th
century Icelanders have had about heathen ways of praying in 10th
century Norway? And is there any information we can glean about those
ways independent of what Christians wrote much later?