This is such a great story, actually some people think that it might be the basis for Rapunzle, also a favorite of mine, since it involves a beautiful princess hidden away in a tower and guarded by poisonous snakes. Alvilda (also known as Alfhild, or Elf Warrior) lived sometime between the 5th and 13th centuries so there’s been plenty of time to embellish this as you can probably already tell. Anyway, the idea was that the person who would be able to get to her through the snakes would be man enough to marry her….Vikings being big on manly. Many tried and failed of course until Prince Alf (yup Alf) made it through. Neither Alvilda, nor her parents were too excited about Alf. Alvilda was so un-excited in fact that she dressed as a man and took to the sea with a crew of other women “who were uninterested in marriage.” Boat full of Viking Lesbians, anyone?
She and her female crew hadn’t been at sea for very long, when they ran into a crew of pirates/Vikings who had recently lost their captain. The crew of the pirate ship was so impressed with her that they voted unanimously to make her the new Captain. She and her new crew set about raiding the coastline around the Baltic sea. Her raids were so devastating that (get this) Prince Alf himself was sent to try and stop them, unaware that the fierce pirate captain he was being sent to subdue was actually his former fiancé. The battle was fierce, but in the end the pirates were defeated. Alvilda had her face covered when she was taken captive (to hid her great beauty of course), but when Alf found out who she was he was immediately renewed his offer of marriage (nothing makes a Prince think about settling down like a fierce battle). Alvilda had been so impressed with his battle prowess that she married him on the spot…and they became king and queen of Denmark and lived happily ever after. Great shit eh?
Okay…so that’s too much of a fairytale ending for you? How about this for an alternative. The punishment for piracy was to be burned at the stake, but she escaped and “burned her husband on the same stake.” (seems like that could be embellished a little bit more, like maybe there should be some exposition in between “she escaped” and “burned her husband on the same stake”) So instead of becoming Queen of Denmark, she became queen of the sea, raiding and plundering with her crew of pirates.
I kinda like the happy ending though (softy that I am) so in my mind they arrange a fake stake burning, and run off together, and Alf becomes her second in command. Can’t you see them holding hands on the beach in the glow of a burning Norman village? Maybe a little Viking ankle biter or two…
This is the only picture that I can find of Alvilda, but since it doesn’t look very Viking or bad ass I’m discounting it as a fraud!
Instead let us think of her as Tilda Swinton in the Battle scene from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe….because, yeah, totally bad ass.
How come the "good" guys always win in those movies? It should be obivious to everyone that the "bad" guys (so subjective) are much cooler.