Þóra Borgarhjǫrtr

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Thora Townhart
illustration by Jenny Nyström (1895).

Thora Town-Hart (Old Norse: Þóra Borgarhjǫrtr, Thora Borgarhjört) was the daughter of Herrauðr, the earl of Götaland and a wife of Ragnar Loðbrók.

Her father gave her a small lindworm that grew into a serpent and encircled her bower. Her father promised Þóra to the one who could slay the serpent. Ragnar Loðbrók arrived, killed the serpent and married Þóra. Ragnar famously wore hairy breeches, whereby he gained his nickname, Loðbrók "Hairy-Breeks". Ragnar went to Västergötland and dressed himself in shaggy clothes that he had treated with tar and sand. He took a spear and approached the serpent, which blew poison at him. Ragnar protected himself with his shield and his clothes and stuck the spear through its heart. He then cut off the serpent's head and married Þora.

According to the Tale of Ragnar's Sons (Ragnarssona þáttr), they had two sons, Eiríkr and Agnar, who would both die in battle with Eysteinn Beli, Ragnar's Earl of Sweden. Before this Þóra died of an illness and Ragnar was remarried to Aslaug (Aslög), the daughter of Sigurd and Brynhildr.[1]


The story appears in Krákumál, the Tale of Ragnar Lodbrok's sons, Ragnar Lodbrok's saga, Gesta Danorum and Bósa saga ok Herrauds. According to the last saga, the lindworm was hatched from an egg that Herrauðr had taken in Bjarmland.


Other sources[edit]

  • McTurk, Rory Studies in Ragnars saga loðbrókar and its Major Scandinavian Analogues (Oxford: The Society for the Study of Mediæval Languages and Literature, 1991) ISBN 0-907570-08-09

See also[edit]