Hervor: A Bold Viking Shieldmaiden Who Used To Be An Abandoned Child

There was a legendary shieldmaiden in Viking sagas named Hervor. She was known for her association with the terrifying Tyrfing sword story, and her interesting life from an abandoned girl to being recognized as one of the greatest Viking shieldmaidens.  

A Great Warrior’s Abandoned Child           

Hervor was the daughter of Angantyr (a famous Viking warrior). She was born after her father lost in a duality to enter Valhalla. According to sources, she had a berseker grandfather as well. In this regard, it has been said that being a bold warrior definitely runs in her vein.  

Her father was known to be bloodthirsty with his notorious Tyrfing sword. So right after Hervor was born, Angantyr’s petrified neighbors suggested bringing and leaving her in the jungle. They also hoped that wild animals would prey on her. But that never happened and she eventually grew into a person they didn’t want.               

They were intimidated by her. She was tough, tall and strong. She was brave and fearless. Nothing in the cosmos fazed her. She was different from most of the girls her age. While village girls did household chores like cooking, ale brewing and knitting, she spent her time learning and honing her archery, sword wielding, horsemanship and other skills. People were also terrified of her because their sons would sometimes go home with swollen bodies or black eyes after getting beaten up.   

When the time came and she was at the right age to settle down, she refused to be married to someone and to live a boring life. Instead, she resorted to raiding, looting, and fighting. She eventually rose to her power in the community she was part of (thanks to her toughness and boldness!) and was nominated to lead raids after the major chieftain at that time passed away.            

Not a Disappointment to Her People        

Hervor was a force to be reckoned with, fearlessly travelling across high sea waves with her sea serpent in order to reach her destination. She was an achiever across the waves and never let her people down. Not only did she become wealthy, she also excelled in society and was honored by people based on her social standing or position.  

Tyrfing Sword: Turn of Events 

Dwarves were considered one of the most talented craftsmen. The Tyrfing sword was a cursed sword that was fashioned by dwarves Durin and Dvalin. According to the legend, this sword could cut through anything and even kill people after being unsheathed. This was the reason why Hervor’s neighbors looked at this sword as bad luck and dangerous. 

Once her father died, they decided to bury the sword with him. However, Hervor wanted to take advantage of her father’s sword. She didn’t want to waste the opportunity to own such a weapon so she visited the island where Angantyr was buried. 

Once Hervor and her crew arrived there in the middle of the night, the guys she was with at that time were scared upon seeing a fire ghost flying over her father’s grave. Because her men were terrified, she was the only one who took the risk. 

She then called her father in front of his grave. Her father responded to her by throwing flames outside the grave. His daughter then jumped through the flames to prove to him that she wouldn’t leave there until she got what she came there for. 

Her father eventually gave it to her because he was very impressed by her determination even after being told by his uncles the sword was cursed and would bring doom. 


Reference:

https://bavipower.com/blogs/bavipower-viking-blog/hervor-viking-shieldmaiden       

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