Legendary Viking Warriors: Unveiling the Myth and Reality of Shieldmaidens

Legendary Viking Warriors: Unveiling the Myth and Reality of Shieldmaidens

Shieldmaidens, the legendary female warriors of Norse folklore, have captivated the imagination of many through tales of bravery, battle, and valor.

These figures, often depicted as wielding swords and shields alongside their male counterparts, embody the spirit of Viking lore and the possibility of women in combat roles during the Viking Age.

The historical existence of shieldmaidens is a topic of much debate among scholars.

Click here to read our blog post: Lagertha: Viking Shieldmaiden

While some, like Neil Price, argue for their presence based on archaeological findings and historical accounts, others, such as professor Judith Jesch, highlight the lack of concrete evidence for trained female warriors in the Viking era.

The discovery of graves containing female skeletons with weapons, notably the Birka female Viking warrior, suggests that some women may have engaged in combat.

However, interpretations of these findings vary, and it remains uncertain whether these individuals were exceptions or part of a broader practice​​.

Legendary accounts, such as those of Brynhildr, Lagertha, and Hervor, provide rich narratives of shieldmaidens' valor and skill in battle.

Brynhildr, a central figure in the Volsunga saga, is portrayed as a fierce warrior whose actions are pivotal to the saga's tragic events.

Lagertha's legend, as recorded by Saxo Grammaticus, tells of a woman of extraordinary bravery who fought alongside and even saved Ragnar Lodbrok, a renowned Viking leader.

Hervor's story, detailed in the Hervarar saga, highlights her quest to reclaim her father's cursed sword, Tyrfing, showcasing her courage and determination​.

The cultural legacy of shieldmaidens endures in modern media, reflecting a fascination with these formidable figures.

Whether as historical fact or fictional embellishment, the tales of shieldmaidens contribute to our understanding of Norse culture and the role of women in Viking society.

They challenge modern perceptions of gender roles in the past and inspire a reevaluation of women's contributions to history and legend alike.


In crafting an article on shieldmaidens, it's essential to navigate the fine line between historical evidence and legendary accounts.

The discussion should explore the archaeological findings that hint at the possibility of female warriors, the historical accounts that occasionally mention women in battle, and the rich tapestry of Norse sagas and legends that bring these characters to life.

Moreover, the article should address the ongoing debates among scholars about the existence and role of shieldmaidens, offering a balanced view that acknowledges both the evidence and the uncertainties.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.