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Ulfhildr Þegjandi

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Photograph: Ulfhildr Þegjandi
Man-at-arms and apprentice to Sir Master Edwin Atte Bridge

Ulfhildr was born 823, on the Sognefjord in western Norway, near what is now Laerdal. She was born into the family of a wealthy farmer/viking. Much to the dismay of Ulfhildr's mother, she was a relentless tomboy, and her father allowed her to wrestle, play-fight and play sports with her numerous brothers and male cousins. She loved listening to her dad's battle-poems, and especially demanded stories with valkyries. When she came of marriageable age however, her father and mother cracked down attempting to shape her into a proper wife to be granted to a local jarl. Enraged and disgusted at the idea, 14-year-old Ulfhildr bound her chest, stole her brother's clothes, her father's ax and ran away to another settlement. She managed to make her way down the Sognefjord to a settlement on the coast. There she enlisted in a Viking crew and spent the next few years raiding England and Ireland. She lived in the household of one of her fellow raiders, all the while pretending to be male; a slightly odd rather unfriendly one at that in order to hide herself. She became known as Ulf Þegjandi, Ulf the silent, as she feared if she talked too much it would give her away. Despite her aloof nature, this arrangement worked for years as she was a decent raider and trustworthy clan member who worked hard on the farmstead. She realized however that she could not keep up the sham of being male forever, and when questions about when she would find a wife started coming up too often and too earnestly, among other suspicions, she emigrated to the new settlement of Dublin in 842.

In Dublin she resumed living as a woman, but passed herself off as a childless widow, ensuring she'd have enough power to keep the wealth she had amassed while raiding and most of the freedoms she was accustomed to. She still was quiet, fearing that talking too much about her past would trap her in a lie.

While in Ireland, she fell in love with a divorced Irishwoman. The two lived together quite happily together until in one last cross dressing stint, Ulfhildr was slain in battle defending Dublin against the Danes.


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