Freydis Eiríksdóttir

Illustration

Emma Groeneveld
by Luc Van Braekel
published on 08 January 2019

Freydis Eiríksdóttir (c. 970-c. 1004 CE) was either a great woman warrior or an evil, conniving murderess depending on which of the two stories about her one reads. She appears in Erik the Red’s Saga (where she is the heroine) and The Saga of the Greenlanders (a villainess). In Erik the Red’s Saga, Freydis, daughter of Erik the Red, accompanies a party to Vinland (Newfoundland, North America), where she picks up a sword from a fallen comrade and defends her party when they are attacked by natives, thus saving them. In The Saga of the Greenlanders she accompanies her husband, his men, and two brothers/business partners to Vinland. She dislikes the brothers and feels they are too presumptuous so she frames them, telling her husband they abused and beat her and that she will divorce him if he does not avenge the insult. Her husband and his men kill the brothers and their party but will not hurt the women so Freydis kills all the women herself with an axe. This image showcases the first story.

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