Gyda Eiriksdatter

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Gyda Eiriksdottir of Hordaland (floruit 872) was a legendary Norwegian Viking age queen consort, according to the sagas the first queen of united Norway.

The legend of Gyda describes the unification of Norway as somewhat of a love story. Gyda was the daughter of one of the petty kings of pre-united Norway, Eirik, king of Hordaland. Princess Gyda was proposed to by Harold Fairhair, king of the petty kingdom Vestfold.

She answered that she refused to marry Harald "before he was king over all of Norway". Harald was therefore induced to take a vow not to cut nor comb his hair until he was sole king of Norway, and that ten years later, in 872, he was justified in trimming it; whereupon he exchanged the epithet "Shockhead" or "Tanglehair" for the one by which he is usually known. He was now king of united Norway: he sent for Gyda and reminded her of the promise she made, and they were married.

Most scholars today regard this story as a truthful representation of the romance stories that were popular at the courts by the time Heimskringla was written.

Children:

  • Ålov Årbot (Haraldsdotter)
  • Rørek Haraldsson
  • Sigtrygg Haraldsson
  • Frode Haraldsson
  • Torgils Haraldsson
Gyda Eiriksdatter
Preceded by
None, new title
Queen Consort of Norway
872–930
Succeeded by
Gunnhild, Mother of Kings