Female Viking Warriors: Ultimate List [FROM BIRKA TO THE VALKYRIES]

What Is A Female Viking Warrior Called?

A female Viking warrior is known as a shieldmaiden. Shieldmaidens were often seen in Norse legends and mythology, and they were just as respected as their male counterparts.

There are well-documented historical sources that show that females fought alongside men and that there were female viking warriors.

They fought with swords, spears, axes, and shields like the other warriors of their time.

In some sagas and tales, shieldmaidens also led armies into battle.

Some sources even suggest that the Norse goddess Freya may have been a shieldmaiden herself, who was honored and revered in Viking culture.

Shieldmaidens were highly valued for their courage and strength.

Even today, they are seen as symbols of female empowerment, inspiring many with their bravery, resilience, and skill in battle.

What Did Female Viking Warriors Wear?

Female Viking warriors, or shieldmaidens, wore garments designed to protect them while they fought.

They typically donned woolen embroidered dresses with leather leggings and boots.

They also usually wore a leather belt to secure the dress and carried a shield and sword into battle.

The dresses that female Vikings wore were usually decorated with intricate naturalistic patterns as a sign of wealth and status.

The most affluent among these women also sometimes incorporated precious metals into their outfits for additional protection during combat.

In addition to their dress, female Viking warriors often adorned themselves with jewelry such as broaches, rings, and necklaces made from gold or silver.

Well-adorned shieldmaidens were seen as brave warriors who were capable of protecting their families in times of war.

The Most Famous Viking Female Warriors

Viking female warriors, also known as shieldmaidens, were powerful figures in Norse society.

While the majority of Viking warriors were male, a select few women earned the respect of their peers and made names for themselves on the battlefields.

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The discovery of a female Viking warrior grave at Birka, Sweden in 2017 provided fresh insight into the role of women in Viking society.

The female warrior was buried with a full set of weapons and armor, indicating her elevated status as a capable combatant and leader.

This find challenged the previously held notion that only men were allowed to participate in warfare.

Analysis of the grave goods showed that she was likely a high-ranking individual within the Viking military hierarchy.

She had several weapons, including an axe, a sword, arrows and two shields. Her armor included a metal helmet with cheek plates and a mail shirt.

Such gear would have been expensive and therefore inaccessible to most lower-class Vikings. She also had an array of other artifacts, including jewelry and a gaming set, which implied that she was wealthy and respected.

The Birka find indicates that some women were able to take on roles as capable warriors and leaders, a sign of tremendous progress for the time period.

Further analysis of the grave goods has provided further insight into Viking culture.

Through her artifacts, we can gain a better understanding of religious life at this time and the various artisan crafts practiced by the Vikings. Additionally, her burial site provides evidence of how Viking funeral rites were conducted for important figures.

The grave at Birka is a significant archaeological find and a testament to the accomplishments of Viking women.

The excavation also provides an opportunity for us to learn more about the broader Viking culture, offering insight into religious practices, cultural rituals and funerary rites of the period.

It has opened up avenues of exploration and encouraged further study on Viking women, their capabilities and their place within society.


Lagertha was a legendary shield-maiden and Viking warrior who lived in what is now Norway during the 9th century.

She fought alongside her husband, Ragnar Lodbrok, in many battles against enemies such as the Saxons and Franks. Lagertha’s courage and skill in battle earned her respect from both her allies and her adversaries.

Her legacy has been celebrated throughout the centuries, and she is often cited as an inspiration for strong female characters in popular culture.

Lagertha was born into a warrior family and is believed to have been trained in the use of weapons from a young age.

She demonstrated her skill on the battlefield when she fought against the Saxon invaders in the 8th century.

Her participation in this battle is recorded in Norse sagas, where it states that she fought with ferocity and courage, even slaying one of their leaders.

This victory would have earned her great honor among the Vikings.

Lagertha’s fame continued to grow as she accompanied her husband Ragnar on his various conquests.

In one famous battle against the Franks, it is said that Lagertha single-handedly killed hundreds of enemy soldiers.

Her bravery and strength earned her a great reputation and admiration from both sides of the conflict.

In addition to her combat skills, Lagertha was also highly respected for her wisdom and leadership. She held important positions of power in the Viking community, including becoming Earl or Jarl of what is now Norway.

Her decisions were respected and she served as an example to many other women of how they could take on a role in society that was usually only reserved for men.

Today, Lagertha’s legacy continues to live on through popular culture. She is often cited as an inspiration for strong female characters in literature, film, and television shows, such as the History Channel series Vikings.

Rafaella “The Red”

Rafaella “The Red” was a legendary warrior who lived during the height of the Middle Ages. Born to a noble family, she had always dreamed of joining her father in battle and showing her prowess as a warrior.

She spent many hours honing her skills with sword and spear, until finally, at the age of twenty-one, her father recognized her skill and granted her permission to fight alongside him.

Rafaella “The Red” quickly made a name for herself in the battles she fought, always standing at the front line with courage and an unbreakable spirit.

She showed remarkable strength and agility in combat and was soon sought after by other warriors and generals, who wanted her to fight alongside them.

Rafaella “The Red” gained a reputation as an unbeatable warrior, gaining the admiration of many throughout the kingdom.

She was widely known for her courage and bravery in battle as well as her unwavering commitment to justice and truth. Her actions were often described as noble and selfless and she was seen as a role model for many of her contemporaries.

Rafaella “The Red” eventually retired from battle, but continued to be an inspirational figure in the kingdom. She often gave counsel to those who sought it, using her wisdom gained through years of battle.

Freydis Eiríksdóttir

Freydis Eiríksdóttir was an Icelandic explorer who played a pivotal role in the 10th century Viking Age.

As the daughter of Erik the Red, she accompanied her brother Leif Erikson on his journey to Vinland, now known as Canada, and is credited with being one of the first Europeans known to have explored North America.

Freydis was a formidable leader and is remembered for her courage, determination, and resilience in the face of adversity.

She also demonstrated remarkable prudence in her dealings with both Indigenous people on the continent and other settlers from Europe.

Despite her accomplishments, however, Freydis also has a more notorious side to her legacy that includes tales of violence and aggression during her time in Vinland.

While some historians have questioned the veracity of these stories, they remain a part of the mythology surrounding Freydis and are frequently used to illustrate her strength as a leader.

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Despite the mixed legacy that Freydis left behind, she remains an iconic figure in Icelandic history and is remembered for paving the way for later explorers and settlers in North America.

Today, her contribution to the Viking Age is remembered through monuments, books, films, and other cultural artifacts that honor her memory and achievements.

Statue of Freydis Eiriksdottir in Reykjavik, Iceland. Source: Naked History

Shieldmaiden Thora

Shieldmaiden Thora was an incredible figure in Viking lore.

Not only was she a fierce warrior, but her courage and strength were renowned throughout the land.

She is often associated with the Valkyries, a group of female warriors who served Odin, ruler of the gods.

Thora’s story begins when she is a young girl living in the kingdom of Norway. As she grows older, her reputation and skill as a warrior grow with her.

She is eventually called upon to join the Valkyries and fights alongside them against Odin’s enemies.

Thora never backs down or gives up, always pushing forward until victory is achieved.

Thora’s bravery is legendary and her story lives on. She is remembered as a symbol of courage and strength, inspiring generations of warriors to come.

Though gone from this world, her legacy lives on in the tales told by our ancestors and in the hearts of those still fighting for justice in our times.

The Valkyries

Ride of the Valkyries, by Cesare Viazzi

In Norse mythology, a Valkyrie is a female figure who chooses who lives and dies in battle.

They are typically portrayed as fierce and beautiful women, often with raven or eagle wings, carrying swords and shields.

They were seen as embodiments of fate and each Valkyrie had a different personality and traits.

As such, they could be viewed as protective spirits or agents of chaos depending on their actions. In addition to choosing who would live or die in battle, Valkyries were also responsible for delivering the souls of fallen warriors to Valhalla.

They are sometimes referred to as the Choosers of the Slain and carry out Odin’s will on the battlefield. Valkyries are said to fly over the battlefield on horses or chariots, guiding fallen warriors to Valhalla, where they can feast and fight until Ragnarok.

Valkyries also had the power to shape-shift into swans and send messages between gods and humans.

These divine beings appear in many stories from Norse mythology, both as allies and enemies to the gods. As such, they carry a significant place in the pantheon of Norse mythology.

Valkyries had a wide variety of appearances and abilities in the stories that featured them. They could take the form of swans, ravens, horses, wolves, or even beautiful women.

In some stories, they could even appear in wolf form.

Some were said to be able to fly over battlefields and have control over the wind and weather.

Others possessed magical weapons or the ability to cast spells.

Certain stories even depicted them as having the power to grant victory in a battle.

Despite their often-dangerous nature, Valkyries were not always viewed as evil or malicious forces. Valkyries were seen as both protectors and punishers, depending on the situation.

They were often seen as bringers of justice and keepers of fate, deciding who was worthy of entering Valhalla after death. As such, they played an important role in Norse mythology.

In some stories, they offer guidance and advice to heroes, acting almost like spiritual protectors rather than agents of chaos.

They could also grant special boons to mortals, such as invulnerability or the ability to understand the language of animals.

Valkyries have been depicted in many works of art throughout history, from Viking tapestries to modern movies and television shows. They also feature heavily in Norse mythology, as they are often seen as messengers between gods and humans.

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