Imagine yourself on Iceland. History is being made and you play a role in it. Who would you be?
Read the four profiles and pick which woman you most identify with. The answers to these real Viking women can be found below.
A) You’re a quiet, deep thinker. There’s a quality of stillness about you that draws people in. Because of these characteristics, you fall into a leadership role whether it’s something you want or not. You’re generous and fair…as long as people abide by your rules. If they don’t, watch out!
B) You’re a tad headstrong but smart. When the odds are against you, you regroup and try a different approach. Some might say you’re wily as a fox. Using feminine wiles and your brain is fair game in your opinion. And menial labor? Not top on your list of things to do.
C) You’re gentle, stubborn, and curious. The world is your oyster, and you want to explore it. You get your hands dirty and work hard right alongside men. You’re not concerned about equality because you live as you please; men better respect you (and they do!).
D) You’re fierce – physically and mentally. You’re not afraid to defend what’s yours. Family and friends mean the world to you and anyone bringing trouble to your door better watch out. Though it may exhaust you, you work as hard outside the home as inside.
Who were they?
A) Audr the Deep-Minded of Iceland (also Aud). The daughter of a Norwegian chieftain, Audr was one of the first Viking women to settle Iceland. After becoming a widow, she commissioned a ship built for her to go to Iceland. Twenty men followed her there. Once on the new island nation, leaders divided Iceland into 4 sections. They asked Audr to lead one. She did, granting freedom to all thralls (slaves) who lived in her section. Audr gave them land too with one requirement – follow her rules.
B) Melkorka, a highborn daughter of Eyre, stolen in a raid. She feigned muteness for several years. The highborn woman became a thrall (slave) who disdained chores and made life difficult for the Viking mistress she served. One day the jig was up on her muteness. Her Viking master wisely decided to keep the peace in his home and give Melkorka a home of her own in another meadow! There’s a place in Iceland named after the crafty former slave.
C) Gudrid of Iceland. Her story is in the Sagas but it took historians a long time to believe she was real! Gudrid journeyed with Leif Erikson to “Vinland” (North America) and lived there for a few years. But, she packed up and went back to Iceland. Still restless, the Viking woman traveled to Rome and hung out for a year. Then, she went home to Iceland. She wasn’t concerned about making a name for herself: this was Gudrid’s gentle curiosity at work — amazing but true travels. It took historians (read that as male historians) centuries to believe she was real – all confirmed when they found her longhouse about 20 years ago in Iceland (silly men!).
D) Freydis (half-sister to Leif). Leif was a brave one, but she’s just as fierce and strong. She too went to the wilds of Vinland as an adventurer. Isolation and wilderness didn’t phase her. Neither did the vicious locals. When they attacked, the Viking men ran but Freydis picked up a fallen sword, wielding it with one breast bared! The attackers ran away (likely in shock because she was also pregnant). Some say the Vinland settlement failed due to a lack of women. (They needed more Freydis’s and Gudrid’s). One thing is certain, wherever home is Freydis is sure to protect it.
Wait! Don’t go yet!
Tell me in the comment section below which woman you identified with and why.
Cheers to you, Reader!