My love for the television series Vikings isn’t exactly a secret. I’ve watched the show in its entirety about four or five times now, and I don’t think I’ll be getting tired of it any time soon. With so many characters, plot developments and insanely intense battles, I think it would honestly be difficult to become bored of it.
I wrote a post about Lagertha a while ago, one of the main characters in the series. She is the most famous shield maiden among the Vikings (shield maiden being a term used to refer to Viking woman who fought in battle), is Ragnar’s wife, and Bjorn’s mother. To me, Lagertha in herself is a celebration of femininity in the Viking era because of what her character embodies; strength, bravery, confidence, beauty, womanhood, a warrior, a mother, and an absolute badass.
While Lagertha is arguably one of the most recognized women in the Viking era, she wasn’t the only shield maiden tearing up the battlefield. A lot of women in the Viking era were shield maidens, while simultaneously being mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters, and farmers, as farming was the main occupation among these people. These women were the whole package, and I’ve always found Viking women to be incredible and worthy of utmost respect.
In the series, Christian women also appear, and their characters are a stark contrast to the Viking women in the show. Understandably so, considering the differences in culture and beliefs, but seeing Viking women suiting up for battle and holding their own against men twice their size is pretty fucking awesome, in my own humble opinion.
I believe Viking women remain to be some of the strongest and toughest in history. It isn’t a competition, but for me, shield maidens embody the essence of being female role models, and I don’t think they garner the attention and respect they deserve.