Mother of Kings III - Cold are the Counsels of Women

- 2 mins

Mother of Kings III - Cold are the Counsels of Women

In this episode, we continue our exploration of the life and legend of Gunnhild konungamóðir, discussing the power of her words and the speech of powerful women throughout Old Norse Literature.

Whether goading their male relatives to violence, advocating peace and accommodation, or predicting what fate held in store, women in the Sagas are frequently pictured exercising power though their words. Today, we are going to take a deep dive into these portrayals. Along the way we will meet all manner of powerful women and get a chance to marvel at their powerful words.


Primary Sources

Heimskringla translated by Alison Finlay and Anthony Faulkes.

Fagrskinna translated by Alison Finlay.

Ágrip af Nóregskonungasogum translated by M.J. Driscoll.

Historia Norwegiae translated by Devra Kunin.

Egil’s Saga translated by Bernard Scudder in The Sagas of the Icelanders.

Saga of the People of Laxardal (Laxdaela Saga) translated by Keneva Kunz in The Sagas of the Icelanders.

Sagas of the People of Vatnsdal (Vatnsdaela Saga) translated by Andrew Wahn in The Sagas of the Icelanders

Njal’s Saga translated by Robert Cook.

The Saga of Hrolf Gautrekkson translated by Ben Waggoner in Six Sagas of Adventure.

The Saga of the Sworn Brothers translated by Martin S. Regal in Comic Sagas and Tales from Iceland.

The Poetic Edda translated by Carolyne Larrington.

The Poetic Edda translated by Jackson Crawford.

Grágás I translated by Andrew Dennis, Peter Foote and Richard Perkins.

Grágás II translated by Andrew Dennis, Peter Foote and Richard Perkins.

Secondary Sources

Women in Old Norse Literature, Bodies, Words, and Power by Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir.

Gender by Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir in The Routledge Research Companion to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas.

Gender, Humor, and Power in Old Norse-Icelandic Literature by Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir.

Women in Old Norse Society by Jenny Jochens.

The Norns in Old Norse Mythology by Karen Bek-Pedersen.

Viking Diaspora by Judith Jesch.

The Age of the Vikings by Anders Winroth.

Women in Old Norse Poetry and Sagas by Judy Quinn in A Companion to Old Norse-Icelandic Literature and Culture.

Gunnhildur and the Male Whores by Jóna Guðbjörg Torfadóttir

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