Three Viking Queens: Beautiful, Daring, and Wise

Posted by Ms Elly on

Three Viking Queens: Beautiful, Daring, and Wise 

If you are a Viking enthusiast, chances are that you have heard that the Vikings respected their women a lot. In society, the Viking women had a certain rank. We read a lot about the Viking shieldmaidens, but not many articles revolve around the Viking queens. In this blog post, we are to list three famous and powerful Viking queens who were not only beautiful but also wise, even in military strategy. 

Thyra: Queen of the Danes, mother of Harald Bluetooth. 

Thyra was the wife of King Gorm the Old who was commonly recognized as the first Danish Viking King. Their famous son was Harald Bluetooth who declared himself as the first King of the Danes and the one who managed to convert the Danes into Christianity. 

Thyra the Queen was honored as the builder of the Dannevirke the great defensive wall cross Denmark. However, other sources only mentioned Thyra as the one who extended the wall only. 

Queen Thyra was also a wise woman whom the King could consult her for military strategy. She once interpreted the dream of King Gorm the Old as well as put forward warnings for her son, Harald Bluetooth, before her death.

Queen Thyra was among the most powerful Viking queens

Thyra died before Gorm the Old. Being the beloved queen, wife, and mother, Thyra was honored on the surface of the Jelling Stone erected by Gorm the Old. 

Sigrid the Haughty: Mother of Cnut the Great

Sigrid was a pagan in her blood. She was born and brought up in the Christianity-dominated country but she still chose to follow her ancient path - pagan.

When her first husband, Eric the Victorious of Sweden died, Sigrid, as a widow, possessed not only fortune but also political power. Many rulers tried to win her hands. One of them was Olaf Tryggvason who had been trying to cement his power at that time. The only thing about this Olaf was that he was Christianized.

And when proposing Sigrid, he asked her to abandon her pagan belief and he would give her whatever she wanted. A solid "No" was what Olaf received. Olaf who couldn't bear this insult hit Sigrid with his glove. But this queen just calmly told him that: "This may some day be thy death". 

Queen Sigrid the Haughty and Olaf Tryggvason

Olaf Tryggvason hit Sigrid the Haughty with his glove which finally led him to his demise

And Sigrid proved it to be true soon after she married Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark. Sweyn Forkbeard was the son of Harald Bluetooth which made him the grandson of Thyra and Gorm the Old. Sweyn was also a pagan and he harbored his hatred toward his father, King Harald Bluetooth, who converted the Danes into Christian. This led to the demise of Harald Bluetooth as Sweyn waged war against his father. 

Sweyn had arranged a win-win political marriage for his sister yet the sister fled and married Olaf Tryggvason. This fueled the hatred among two parties. Sigrid also triggered off the hatred inside Sweyn and there came to war - the Battle of Svolder in which Olaf Tryggvason finally met his demise. 

Soon after, Sweyn and Sigrid broke up and Sigrid came back to her homeland and became an excellent consult for his brother. 

Hervor: From a rebel Viking girl to a Queen 

Hervor was a daughter of a Viking berserker who entered Valhalla after a duality. With the warrior blood running in her vein, Hervor didn't grow up to be like other Viking girls who only knew housework. Hervor refused to learn anything she considered to be "girly". She wielded the axe and took up the life of a hunter and later a warrior. 

Her neighbours didn't let their children play with Hervor because every time Hervor appeared, their children would be beaten till blackout. 

Somehow, Hervor joined the army to become a shieldmaiden and later a war-band leader. Once, she led a crew team to an island with a view to finding her father's lost sword the Tyrfying. On the island, they found a mound belonging to Hervor's father. On the mound, she summoned the dead which scared some of her crew to death. After proving her bravery and desire for the sword, Hervor could finally take the sword out. 

Hervor summoned the dead

Hervor summoning the dead

Years later, Hervor started to live as a traditional woman when she started to learn sewing, brewing, and cooking. At this point, people started to love Hervor who was not only beautiful but also good-mannered. 

Then the prince Hofund Gudmundsson came and asked for her hand. They held a grand wedding and lived happily together. 

Older Post Newer Post

Recent Articles


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published