Hervor: From An Abandoned Child to Great Viking Shieldmaiden
Hervor was the name of a legendary shieldmaiden in Viking sagas. She was associated with the story of the terrifying Tyrfing sword and her bold characters from life of an abandoned child to the boldest Viking shieldmaiden.
The abandoned child of a great warrior
Hervor was the daughter of a famous Viking warrior, Angantyr, and her grandfather was allegedly a berserker. The blood of being a bold warrior seemed to run in her vein ever since she was born. Soon after her father's defeat in a duality to enter Valhalla, Hervor was born.
Anyone who knew her father knew how bloodthirsty Angantyr was with his notorious Tyrfing sword. So as soon as Hervor was born, her terrified neighbours suggested to leave her in the jungle to prevent any regretful deeds in the future. Then they just brought her into the jungle and hoped the wild dogs would prey on her. But this never happened. What the neighbours wished not to come did come true.
Hervor quickly grew up to be a person that her former neighbours didn't want. She was strong, tall, and tough. Hervor feared nothing in the cosmos. Of course, how could she fear anything when she was destinated to death but still alive. How could she fear anything when the blood of the great Viking warriors ran in her vein keeping her alive?
When the girls in the village followed their mothers to learn household chores like knitting, cooking, brewing ale, Hervor spent most of her time learning horsemanship, archery, sword-wielding, etc. What terrified the neighbours was their sons always got beaten up running back homes with the black eyes or swollen bodies.
She refused to learn what the Viking women should know. She took up the life of a warrior and a raider
When Hervor came up age of marriage, she refused to settle down to have a boring life within the threshold. Rather, she took up the life of a raider floating on the seas, killing and looting.
Hervor quickly rose to her power in her community. For the boldness and toughness of Hervor, the Vikings nominated her to lead them to raid when their major chieftain was dead.
The Viking shieldmaiden who never disappointed her people
In fact, Hervor never disappointed her people for the achievement she got across the waves. She won not only the wealth but also the social position and the honor from her people. Hervor and her sea serpent travelled across the high waves looting and raiding.
The only one thing that made Hervor toss and turn every night was her father's sword Tyrfing. She wanted to retrieve the sword as soon as possible.
Hervor as the war-band leader never disappointed her crew
The Tyrfing sword was forged by the dwarves the most talented craftsmen in the world. However, the sword was not the definition of perfection because of its curse. According to the legend, the Tyrfing sword once drawn out of the scabbard must kill someone, either the enemies or the friends of the wielder. Because of this, the neighbours considered the sword to be dangerous and unlucky. When father of Hervor died, they buried the sword with him.
Hervor the bold shieldmaiden would never waste her opportunity to own such a great weapon. She came up with an idea of inheriting her treasure. One day, when she and her crew were sailing through the ocean, she ordered to visit the island where her father was buried.
They arrived at the island in the middle of the night. When Hervor was ready to loot her father's grave, the men under her command was terrified because of the fire ghost flying over the grave. No one but Hervor dared to jump out of the ship and prove her bravery and boldness.
Standing in front of her father's grave, Hervor started screaming and insulting and called her father back from the grave. Then the dead father replied to his bold daughter by throwing the flames outside the grave. But Hervor jumped through the flames proving that she would never leave the island without taking the sword.
Hervor Viking shieldmaiden who could summon the dead
We just realize that Hervor could summon the dead. Not only her father but her uncles joined this family reunion. They told Hervor that the sword would bring on the doom of her family and it was cursed. But what Hervor saw at the time was the endless power of Tyrfing, she didn't hear a word from the uncles and dad.
Her dead dad was so impressed by her determination and achievement that he revealed the sword and gave her. She turned back to the ship only to find that her coward crew sailed their ship far away because of fear. Somehow she found way back home and continued her leading warrior role.
With the aid of Tyrfing sword, Hervor became more powerful and more insane when raiding.