Following the death of Ragnar Lothbrook, the Vikings were invited to start a settlement in England. This proposal ended a years-long beef between the two — that was until the St. Brice’s Day massacre.
The Netflix original docuseries Vikings: Valhalla documents the aftermath of the slaughter, introducing viewers to Lief Erikson and his half-sister, Freydis Eriksdottir. The show returns for its second installment this January, and viewers are eager to see what happens next.
Longtime fans of the series know that the stories told in Vikings are equal parts fact and fiction. Upon the show’s return, fans wonder how much of the story was actually true. So, was Freydis a real person? Here’s what we know!
Was Freydis Eriksdottir from ‘Vikings: Valhalla’ a real person?
There isn't a definitive way to know whether or not Freydis was a real person. The only evidence of her existence lies in The Vinland Sagas — The Saga of the Greenlanders and later, Erik the Red’s Saga.
In them, we meet two very different versions of Freydis — one that is a vengeful villain and the other a revered hero. However, in both tales, Freydis is a badass.
In The Saga of the Greenlanders, Freydis — the daughter who the notorious Erik the Red had out of wedlock — proposed a plan to travel to Vinland (which we now know as North America) in search of treasure. Joining her on her voyage was a pair of brothers who she later swindled out of their piece of the pie.
The tale purports that upon their arrival in Vinland, Freydis ordered her men to murder the other travelers. When Freydis’s men refused to slay the women who came along for the voyage, Freydis decided to do her own dirty work.
Although she remained tight-lipped about her indiscretions overseas upon her return home to Greenland, word of what Freydis had done traveled fast. As a result, she was ostracized from the rest of the Viking community.
The Saga of Erik the Red, on the other hand, tells a much different story.
Here’s the story of Freydis Eriksdottir per ‘The Saga of Erik the Red.’
According to The Saga of Erik the Red, following their arrival in Vinland, the Vikings soon found themselves under attack. A pregnant Freydis fell behind her group and fell prey to natives.
In a courageous (and frankly, ultra-feminist) act of bravery, Freydis wielded her sword at the assailants. With a King Kong-style sword slap to the titty, the natives fled and she was ultimately able to escape.
Both accounts of Freydis are plausible, though likely embellished — much like Fredyis’s character in Vikings: Valhalla. Season 1 saw Freydis seek out the Christian Viking who raped her and carved a cross into her back. However, there’s absolutely no evidence that this actually happened.
Find out what happens next when Vikings: Valhalla returns for Season 2 on Wednesday, Jan. 11 on Netflix!