Ireland’s Ice Queen



She could not or would not thaw.

Kidnapped Irish Princess ‘Melkork’ and her son Olaf with spouse/kidnapper Hoskuld in background.

She gave Hoskuld the silent treatment for three years.

He would look back on it as their happiest time together.

Sibling of Daedalus writes:

Just browsing through the Laxdæla saga when I came across the story of Melkorka, an Irish princess abducted as a slave (the exact word is ‘bondswoman’) by Icelandic raiders back in 910 or so.

In protest against her enslavement, she refused to utter a word, and her purchaser, Hoskuld the Viking, only discovered she was able to talk three years later when he overheard her chatting in Irish to their son (see pic above).

Melkorka getting her voice back proved a mixed blessing for Hoskuld; domestic tiffs between her and his primary wife became so frequent and heated that she had to be given her own farm at the other end of the island and, later married off to Thorbjorn the Feeble.

Melkorka’s son with Hoskuld, Olaf the Peacock, became one of Iceland’s premier heroes and never forgot his Irish origins, even making a visit to see his relatives back in the auld sod after he had grown up (some say Melkorka’s marriage to Thorbjorn was to assist him in obtaining funding for this trip).

Melkorka’s story (apart from the royal descent and the self-imposed silence) was not unusual.

With few of their own women prepared to make the trip to Iceland, its settlers had to look for home comforts closer by, and, even today, a very considerable portion of Icelanders (some say as high as fifty percent) are of Irish descent in the matrilineal line


Three years.

Pic via The Story of Iceland Folk (Heathengods)

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