Written by Dyami Millarson
The Sagas were written in a time that was temporally closer to the Viking Age than we are. For that reason, the language, culture and folklore of the people who composed the Sagas were much closer to those of the people living during the Viking Age. Temporal closeness does matter; for it is much easier for lore to be retained when periods are temporally closer. If folklore can be retained over a long period of time, as the etymologies of supernatural beings found in later Germanic folklore traditions also seem to suggest, then surely Viking Age lore could easily be retained for centuries after the Viking Age.
I am inclined to assume that the folklore during the time of the Sagas was quite similar to that of the Viking Age. Likewise, the Dutch language of the 17th century is much closer to that of the 15th century than the Dutch language of the 21st century is to the Dutch language of the 15th century. How people spoke Dutch in the 17th century was, therefore, much more reflective of how people spoke Dutch in the 15th century than the Dutch language of the 21st century is reflective of how people spoke Dutch in the 15th century. Similarly, the Sagas are much more reflective of the language and culture that we see in the Eddas than lore from later times.