Medieval Icelandic Sagas
The Saga of Hervor and King Heidrek the Wise
13th century, Old Norse.
Angantyr Arngrimsson's daughter Hervor lived as the warrior Hervard for a long time, before returning home to her embroidery.
On his way to fight what turns out to be a fatal duel on the island of Samsey in the Baltic, Angantyr Arngrimsson is married and fathers a child. The baby girl grows to be just like her late father, much preferring the clash of arms to the gentility of needlework.
When at last she learns the truth about her parentage, this girl, whose name is Hervor, visits her father’s haunted tomb on the island of Samsey and recovers the sword Tyrfing that was buried with him. But she has already assumed a man’s name, Hervard, and now travels to Godmund of Glasisvellr. Godmund is a king in Jotunheim, which is a land of giants. His subjects live for much longer than the normal span of years and because of this, it has been rumoured that the Deathless Acre must lie in this part of the world, where people who are old and sick will become young and healthy again.
Later, Hervard returns home to her weaving and her embroidery, as the woman Hervor once more.