Posted on Leave a comment

The Story of Ragnhildr Hrólfsdóttir

There are a number of Women who’s stories are mentioned in the Sagas of the Viking Age that I find quite fascinating and one of these Women is Hildr also known as Ragnhildr Hrólfsdóttir. Her story is wrapped into several Sagas which I will include in this blog post along with some videos I highly recommend regarding this subject. I do plan to post of other key female figures of the Sagas but for now here is the tales of this lady.

According to the sagas, Hild was the daughter of Rolv Nefia (Hrólfr nefja) jarl at Trondhjem (modern day Trondheim). In the Orkneyinga saga, the daughter of Rolv Nefia was called Ragnhild, although in the Heimskringla she was called Hild. Her father used to go on Viking expeditions. One summer he plundered in Vík. This aroused king Harald Fairhair’s anger and he was banished. Hild appealed unsuccessfully for clemency for her father. On this occasion she composed a scaldic stanza (lausavísa), which is one of the few testimonies of scaldic poetry composed by a woman that has come down to us.

She was married to Rognvald Eysteinsson (Ragnvald Øysteinsson Mørejarl) who was the jarl of Møre. They had three sons: Ívarr, Þórir and Hrólfr. Thorir (Þórir) succeeded his father as jarl of More. Rolv (Hrólfr), nicknamed Gange-Rolv, became known as Rollo of Normandy. The death of Ivar (Ívarr) during an earlier campaign in support of King Harald Finehair resulted in the Northern Isles (Norðreyar) being gifted to his family as compensation. According to the Historia Norvegiae, Rognvald’s family conquered Orkney and Shetland islands in the late ninth century.

The Orkneyinga saga

The Saga of Olaf Haraldson

Lausavísa — Hildr

Lausavísa: Hildr Hrólfsdóttir nefju

Ragnhild Hildr Hrolfsdottir

Landnámabók


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.