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"I will not be captive to another man's gaudy design. My destiny is mine to weave."
―Eivor Varinsdottir, 872.[src]-[m]

Eivor Varinsdottir (born 847), also known as the Wolf-Kissed, was a Viking shieldmaiden and jarlskona from Norway who raided in what would become England during the late 9th century. She was the reincarnation of the Isu Odin, the chief of the the Æsir who was revered as a god in Germanic and Norse mythology.

Born to Rosta and Varin in Heillboer, a village who pledged allegiance to King Styrbjorn Sigvaldisson of Fornburg of the Raven Clan, Eivor was adopted into the household of Styrbjorn following her parents' deaths at the hands of Kjotve the Cruel of the Wolf Clan. She was raised alongside Styrbjorn's son Sigurd and spent much of her youth trying to hunt down Kjotve and avenge her parents.

Following her brother's return to Norway, Eivor met the Hidden Ones Basim Ibn Ishaq and Hytham and was gifted a Hidden Blade, which she used in combat against her enemies. After killing Kjotve and taking his lands with assistance from the army of Guthorm the Wise, Eivor followed her brother Sigurd to England after Styrbjorn ceded his kingdom to Harald Fairhair, a decision opposed by many of the Raven Clan, including Sigurd.

Eivor and her brother settled in Ledecestrescire, establishing the settlement of Ravensthorpe and spent the next few years building her settlement and securing alliances with the kingdoms within England. Eivor also helped Hytham in ridding England of the Order of the Ancients with aid secretly provided by the Grand Maegester Alfred of Wessex, indirectly leading to the formation of the Templar Order.

A year following the transpired events, Eivor was invited to Dublin by Bárid mac Ímair, her cousin on her mother's side. There she helped Bárid secure his throne through an alliance with the recently crowned Flann Sinna, High King of Ireland. She also fought against the Children of Danu, a Druidic cult that sought prevent the Norse and Christian faiths from replacing their own.

Some years after eliminating the Children of Danu, Eivor participated in the second Viking siege of Paris alongside Rollo.

Biography

Early life

Eivor was born in 847 to Rosta and Varin in Heillboer, a small settlement in Rygjafylke. During her childhood, Eivor accidentally spilled ink on her father's throne, much to his anger. She also had fond memories of sitting around the hearth of their longhouse listening to her mother's voice.[3]

In 855, at eight years of age, Eivor enjoyed the stacking of cairns, a skill taught to her by her mother. Her mother and father would often share stories with Eivor around cairns, the curious Eivor was all the eager to listen. On the day before King Strybjorn visited, Eivor's mother informed her that Sigurd would be accompanying him, to which Eivor responded nonchantly to. Sigurd had a habit of stealing her stones and calling her "troll-tooth", something that irked the little drengr.[4]

Eivor witnessing her parents' deaths

That night, Eivor attended a feast organized by her father to honor King Styrbjorn Sigvaldisson of Fornburg, where she and her family and clan were to pledge allegiance to the king. Eivor presented King Styrbjorn a gifted armband at the behest of her parents but halfway through the celebration, the settlement was raided by Kjotve the Cruel of the Wolf Clan. Eivor watched as her father Varin put down his axe at Kjotve's insistence that his family and clan would be spared if he gave his life willingly, leading to both his and Rosta's deaths.[5]

Eivor receives her trademark kiss of the wolf

Kjotve immediately broke said promise and ordered his men to kill the rest of the village. Eivor, however, was rescued by Styrbjorn's son Sigurd, who managed to clear the immediate village area on horseback before being separated from Eivor after a tumble caused by one of Kjotve's raiders. Finding herself in the middle of a frozen lake after a hard fall down a cliff, Eivor was accosted by a wolf that saw her as prey. As Eivor crawled towards a fallen axe in the middle of the lake, the wolf attacked her, eventually biting down hard on her neck, causing her to hallucinate a partial memory of Odin, and cry out in pain, calling two ravens to distract the wolf, allowing her to reach the axe and strike the wolf dead.[5]

Sometime following the raid, Eivor came to resent her father for his perceived weakness, something influence by the input of others. When Eivor was alone on a cliff stacking stones to ease her mind, Sigurd tried his best to comfort her. He told her that she would be taken into Styrbjorn's household and raised by him, alongside Sigurd. Eivor then cried into her new brother's shoulder as he led her down home.[4]

Eivor came to be known as the "Wolf-Kissed",[6] and from that age on began to hear the voice of Odin in her head, although she did not realize it.[4]

Meeting Geirmund

Around 867, eleven years after her parents' death, Eivor accompanied King Styrbjorn as he went to meet with Hjorr Halfsson in Avaldsnes. While the two kings discussed the growing threat in the north that was King Harald Fairhair, Eivor became acquainted with Hjorr's younger son, Geirmund Hel-hide. The discussed philosophy and the realities of their lives with Eivor imparting some words of wisdom on the younger boy.[7]

Raid on Rygjafylke

Eivor cutting Roscoe's legs in half

Around 870, Eivor alongside her clansmen Dag Nithisson and Tora Auzoux witnessed Kjotve's raid on a settlement in Rygjafylke, on the edge of Styrbjorn's territory. Seeing this as an opportunity to endear her adopted clan to the village, Eivor rushed in to stave off the raiders, disregarding Dag's suggestions of a more measured approach. While fighting, Eivor confronted a raider named Roscoe, who taunted her with the death of her father, claiming he died like a coward. In response Eivor cut his feet from under him and refused to kill him, depriving him of a warrior's death and entry to Valhalla at her hands. Leaving him bleeding and cursing, Eivor went to help Dag, who had been cornered by the raider Taras.[8]

Eivor presenting Gull to Styrbjorn

Upon the end of the skirmish, Eivor went to the head of the village and claimed the land in the name of her adopted father. Incensed, and believing Styrbjorn no better than Kjotve, the elder attempted to attack Eivor but was cut down before even managing a swing of his sword. Claiming the old man died a warrior, Eivor demanded tribute from the remaining villagers while her and her clansmen helped gather the dead. Returning to where she left the bleeding raider, Eivor found only blood. While searching the area Eivor heard noise coming from within a building and proceeded to investigate it only to be ambushed by a pale woman in robes covered in tattoos and wearing a collar. Eivor easily fended off the woman whom she identified as a slave and skald. The woman revealed herself to be Gull, one of Kjotve's, and claimed she was also a slave "to Sökkvabekkr, Sága and Idun's bounty", before calling Eivor the "Slayer of the Wolf", begging to accompany her. Believing the woman mad but perceptive, Eivor decided to take her back to Stavanger, where her adopted father held court, to present as a gift to Styrbjorn. Upon their return, the praise and adulation Eivor expected from her adoptive father was nowhere to be seen, as he berated her for incurring Kjotve's wrath by taking Gull back to Stavanger.[8]

Ambush at Feiknstafir

Eivor listening to Gull and telling Tora to keep a secret

Some time later, while training with Tora, Eivor vented her frustrations at her humiliation at the hand of adoptive father, as he rejected her tribute of Gull as a thrall. Upon hearing Eivor's desires to prove herself, Gull tempted her, claiming she could lead Eivor to bounties and treasures, the same treasures she had granted Kjotve. Claiming that since, unlike Kjotve, Eivor did not torture Gull, she would lead Eivor to the "Æsir's hoard". While Tora expressed her doubts, Eivor heeded Gull's words, to Tora's dismay. Eivor then asked Tora to keep her location a secret, while she followed Gull into the mountain tops of Feiknstafir mountains.[9]

Eivor stabbed in the back by Gull

Days later, upon the mountain ledges of Feiknstafir, Eivor and Gull climbed under Gull's directions. In a particularly treacherous ledge, Gull nearly fell to her death but was saved at the last second by Eivor. Impressed by Eivor, Gull recognised Eivor as a friend, and Eivor jokingly remarked that if the treasure trove were to be real, she'd marry Gull in celebration. Shortly thereafter they arrived at the ruined Temple of Heimdall. Once inside Eivor recognised the place as having been picked off and looted long ago, and soon found Kjotve's men inside, led by Bjarke Broadside. Before Eivor could do anything, Gull screamed for them, revealing her intention of luring Eivor to this place as a present to Kjotve. Eivor managed to fend off most of the group's attacks, but was felled by Gull, who stabbed her with a knife in the back. On the ground bleeding, Eivor claimed to Bjarke that she would not be a prize and that, by the end of the day, any riches of Heimdall would be hers, on Styrbjorn's name. Laughing, Bjarke informed her that at that very moment, Styrbjorn was already dead as a result of a raid in Stavanger.[9]

Heimdall's treasure

Eivor tackling Bjarke

Eivor witnessed Bjarke beat Gull into submission, she taunted him that Gull wouldn't be able to lead the way to the treasure if she was dead. Gull cried out when Bjarke grabbed her, "The King's desire lies at Himinbjörg, where Heimdall dwells". When Bjarke had enough of her rambling he went to beat her again, before Eivor tackled him to the ground to rescue her. Bjarke was dumbfounded that Eivor would protect the one who betrayed her, but easily tossed her off. Towards the mouth of the cave Eivor tumbled, gripping the ledge for her life. At this moment, the temple's foundations weakened scaring the two members of the Wolf Clan, Bjarke and Erland. While their attention was diverted Eivor snuck up behind Bjarke and stabbed him through the back of the head with a sword.[10]

Eivor and Erland find Heimdall's treasure

She then turned to fight Erland, but in her weakened state, he pushed her to the ground. Looking upon a painting of Himinbjörg on the wall, Eivor recalled Gull's rambling and kicked in the wall. Behind the wall was Heimdall's treasure, a mountain of gold coins and other riches. Among these, a pedestal with an Apple of Eden. As Eivor reached for it, she was thrown to the ground again by Erland, claiming the treasure belonged to Kjotve. Eivor remarked that Kjotve was nowhere to be seen and kicked Erland off the treasure pile sending him and the other thugs through the weakened floorboards and to their death. Gull grabbed the apple and stood up, no longer the cowering slave. Calling out to her, Gull's response to Eivor was "That is not my name. And this is not my life." she tore off her slave collar to reveal a marking on her neck.[10]

Eivor offering to save Gull

Eivor, still dazed and confused, had no idea what Gull was talking about. She demanded that Gull hand over the treasure that rightfully belonged to her father as she did. Gull refused to be owned by anyone, and Eivor was resigned to take it off her dead corpse and attacked. Gull commanded her to stop and with the power of the Apple, Eivor could not move. As the rest of the temple continued to crumble around them, Eivor pleaded Gull to release her from the stasis or they would both die.[10]

Gull was unafraid to die, but accidentally dropped the Apple, cancelling the stasis. Eivor, now free, realized the power the Apple held and wanted it for her father. Gull warned Eivor that she did not understand that the world was not as it seemed as she scrambled to get back the Apple as the floor broke apart. Eivor held out her hand for the Apple promising to help, but Gull refused for the Apple to go into Styrbjorn's hands. Gull, no longer mind-addled, recalled what Bjarke had said about her village under attack and asked if Eivor would abandon the man who took her in and raised her. With the ledge as weak as it was, any attempt to take the Apple would definitely kill them both. Gull gave Eivor two choices; "Risk everything for glory, or save [her] people". Eivor chose the latter and left Gull to her fate.[10]

Back in Fornburg, Eivor arrived too late to save her friend Tora but managed to avenge her and protect her father. Styrbjorn was proud of Eivor for not letting him down again. As Eivor fought against the warriors of the Wolf Clan, she called out to Dag to not let Tora's death be in vain. When questioned where she was all this time, her answer was that she made a choice; Stavanger.[10]

Retaliation

The ransacked village

In 872, Kjotve the Cruel attacked a village under the protection of King Styrbjorn. With Sigurd still on his voyages, Eivor was tasked with leading the counter-attack and driving their enemies back North. While Kjotve sacked another village, Eivor took a small band of warriors and launched a raid on Kjotve's back lines, cutting down the warriors manning three watchtowers, allowing them to move unnoticed.[11] They made their way through the village, battling the Wolf Clan warriors,[12] before Eivor joined the main body of the war-band, asking a small group of warriors to scale the rear face of the hill and draw fighters away from the front.They flanked the Meadhall, defeated one of Kjotve's sons, Hrolfr Kjotvesson, and recovered a chest full of gold, though Eivor noticed the scrolls it had contained were missing.[13]

They gave chase, following Kjotve's trail towards the summit of the mountains.[14] The small group of Vikings burst into an old hunting lodge and interrupted his meeting with his son, Gorm Kjotvesson. Eivor battled Kjotve while one of her allies took on Gorm. Eventually, the Viking struck Gorm a heavy blow to the face, wounding him, just as Kjotve incapacitated Eivor with a slash across the torso. The Viking had no time to savor victory, as Kjotve immediately ran over to Gorm's aid and stabbed his opponent between the ribs. With both assailants wounded, Kjotve gloated over his win before ordering his son to grab the scrolls and fled the lodge. Although incensed at their defeat, Eivor advised her ally to wait for another chance to meet Kjotve and get their revenge.[15]

Hunt for Kjotve

Eivor captured by Kjotve

In December 872, Eivor and her crew pursued Kjotve to the west of Rygjafylke. While Eivor herself was captured, her crew members were scattered and hunted by Kjotve's men in Avaldsnes. Before leaving Eivor to be sold into slavery, Kjotve taunted her and displayed the very axe that he had taken from, and used to kill, her father seventeen years prior. Eivor, however, was able to free herself and locate Dag, who had managed to free himself as well. While Dag headed off to the beach to reclaim Eivor's longship, Eivor headed towards Avaldsnes, where Kjotve departed from. Within the longhouse, Eivor defeated and killed Rikiwulf, Kjotve's follower, and freed the crew members. After retrieving her father's axe, she was met with a confusing vision featuring a cloaked greybeard and a wolf. The Vikings then eliminated the remaining of Kjotve's men while en route to their longship. Having reclaimed their ship, Eivor and her crew set sail and returned home to Fornburg. Upon returning, Eivor was greeted by Sigurd's wife Randvi, who informed her of Styrbjorn's displeasure for her raid against Kjotve. Eivor also learned that Sigurd would be returning soon after a two-year journey across Europe and Asia.[16]

Eivor is conflicted by Valka's prophecy

Wanting to make sense of her strange vision, Eivor consulted the local seer Valka. Upon entering her hut, Eivor saw Svala, Valka's mother, in a near-vegetative state. When questioning Valka about her mother's wellbeing, Valka feared it was her last winter. Valka then brewed an elixir for Eivor to drink, it would induce the dream state again. After Eivor consumed the concoction, she collapsed. Waking up on Valka's floor, Eivor thought the elixir did not work. As she exited the hut she saw the silhouette of her brother. She called out to him but he moved further up the mountain, the voices of the Nornir Skuld and Urðr filled the air, they called her "Havi". Following the path her brother took, Eivor spotted the wolf from her previous vision. She then saw the Nornir weaving fate, Eivor continued up the mountain, meeting a wolf guarding a doorway. She entered and heard Sigurd scream in pain. Walking through a blizzard, Eivor followed her brother's voice, when the storm partially cleared it revealed an armless Sigurd. Eivor reached out to Sigurd only for him to be yanked backwards by an invisible force, then the wolf Fenrir emerged from the fog, hungry and ready to strike. Eivor then awoke from the induced vision, explaining what happened in her dream to Valka, the seeress deduced that the meaning behind them was Eivor's future betrayal of her brother. Eivor, shocked and conflicted at this answer, left with more questions than she had answers.[17]

Eivor is gifted the Hidden Blade

When Sigurd returned from his long voyage to Miklagard, he introduced Eivor to the Hidden Ones Basim Ibn Ishaq and Hytham before gifting Eivor the Hidden Blade he had taken from the corpse of the Hidden One Ammon during his travels.[10] Keen that the traditionally stealth-based weaponry should be visible to her enemies, Eivor wore the blade over her forearm, much to Hytham's disagreement. The four of them then made their way outside and Eivor tried out her new weapon, making short work of dummies. After her practice, Basim and Hytham left leaving her and Sigurd. Eivor listened to her brother's ambitious plan to subjugate either England, Ireland, or Francia. He then suggested taking the fight straight to Kjotve's doorstep, to which Eivor agreed.[18]

Eivor and Sigurd form a temporary alliance with Harald Fairhair

Following her brief training with the Hidden Blade and her talk with Sigurd, Eivor went to sleep and dreamed about the prophecies told by Valka. After a restless sleep, she woke up, having been disturbed by a sound outside her hamlet. She went outside, finding one of Kjotve's spies running off. Eivor chased after the spy and killed him before he could escape, she then tracked down and killed his two associates. She then returned to Fornburg, arriving at the harbor to find Sigurd arguing with their father about the need to attack Kjotve's fortress. Eivor informed them that his spies had already infiltrated their camp. Eivor and her allies then boarded her longship ready to raid a Wolf Clan encampment in Nottfall. Before leaving, her father stopped her and pleaded with her to not lead Sigurd into the same storm that followed her. After successfully raiding and pillaging Nottfall, they allied with King Harald Fairhair's uncle Guthorm the Wise to confront Kjotve at his stronghold.[19]

Eivor challenging Kjotve to a holmgang

Eivor traveled to Florli and met with her brother and Guthorm to plan the assault on Kjotve's fortress. After a strategy was devised, Eivor turned away to see Basim and Hytham. Confused to see them fighting a fued that was not theirs, Basim told Eivor of their constant struggle with the order the Kjotve belonged to. Hytham had studied him for months and was to be his first assassination target. Eivor and Harald's forces then made sail to Agder, where Kjotve's fortress was situated. Eivor called out the Kjotve who was standing on the ramparts provoking her. She called a holmgang, a one-on-one fight to the death to regain her father's honor. During the fight with the unarmed jarl, Kjotve grabbed his two Dane axes and continued fighting. After Eivor had weakened him, Kjotve grabbed her, throwing her over his shoulder and running them both off a short ledge into a pit. They faced each other to continue the fight, when suddenly Hytham leapt from the ledge, attempting to assassinate Kjotve. He was unsuccessful, as Kjotve saw him, dodged and threw Hytham into the wall. Yelling out in concern for the young apprentice, Eivor then resumed the duel and eventually defeated Kjotve.[20]

Eivor being mocked by Gorm in the temple before it was set alight

Thrown into a vision of Niflheim, a dark, infinite place, the ground covered in shallow water and fog. From the water rose a forest of skeletal trees, backlit by faint light. From beside the largest stood Odin, spear in hand and face shadowed by a hood. Eivor stepped forward warily, trying to see him better. Around Odin, a conspiracy of ravens flew off, cawing. Kjotve then suddenly appeared, mocking his killer. Odin proceeded to weaken Kjotve by slamming his spear into the ground and on the last impact, Kjotve was impaled by tree roots. From his mouth flew a raven, carrying a silver medallion that it dropped into Eivor's hand. The vision faded and Eivor stood again on the field. Upon the fortress wall, Kjotve's son, Gorm, called out, taunting the Raven Clan. Gorm refused to surrender even after witnessing his father's death. After launching a full assault on the fortress Eivor caught up with Gorm within Agder's temple. Gorm however was smart enough not to directly fight Eivor, instead setting the temple aflame. Eivor managed to scale the walls and escape through the roof, but by then Gorm was long gone having fleed on horse. Sigurd and Eivor then met with Guthorm and told him to inform Harald of their victory.[20]

Leaving Norway

Eivor and an angered Sigurd confront Styrbjorn

Later at an althing at Alrekstad, hosted by King Harald Fairhair, many Norse clans gathered there. Eivor arrived after docking her longship, and sought out Sigurd. Finding him drinking at a table across from Basim Ibn Ishaq, while Gorm and two Wolf Clan members relaxed on the opposite side of the room. Eivor walked in, glared at Gorm's group, and moved to Sigurd's table, sitting beside him. Sigurd noticed Eivor's foul mood directed at Gorm and momentarily calmed her. As Gorm and his clanmates left, Eivor shot him an intense glare. When Sigurd left the table to go outside, Eivor asked Basim of Hytham's wellbeing. The young apprentice would heal, but never fully recover. Basim then queried Eivor about a medallion Kjotve had, Eivor pulled it out and shifted it across the table. As a token of goodwill, Basim revealed to Eivor where Gorm was staying and gave her hints on how to enter his camp unseen. Walking with the Hidden One, Eivor spotted the Wolf Clan encampment and stealthily entered. Eivor found Gorm in a small longhouse, barging in, she caught him by surprise. After being provoked by him, Eivor punched him in the face, before two of Harald's soldiers came in to stop the fighting. Led away by the soldiers, Eivor made her way back to the central meadhall. Joining back up with Sigurd, they sat and listened to Harald's speech about his plan to unify Norway. Hjorr and Ljufvina opposed his rule and instead left Norway all together. Gorm, deciding to show his dishonorable face again, attempted to pledge his own loyalty but was shot down. When Eivor was asked what his fate should be, Harald declared Gorm exiled. Styrbjorn then bent the knee, surrending his lands and titles. Sigurd stood up and angerily approached his father, Eivor following not far behind. After heavily insulting Styrbjorn, Sigurd stormed of. Harald expressed his interest in Eivor and asked if she would would "be one of [his] ravens", although Eivor's destiny was bound to Sigurd and so declined. The feast then continued into the night.[21]

Eivor promises Styrbjorn to be Sigurd's anchor

Eivor then returned to Fornburg, which had already been claimed by Harald hoisting his colors all over. Something Dag took offense to and made a snide comment to Eivor about their new king. She came across Hytham on her way to the longhouse and spoke to him, checking on his health. Throughout Fornburg, the citizens voiced their discontent with Harald's rule in hushed tones. In the longhouse, Eivor joined Sigurd and splintered group of the Raven Clan who opposed Harald. A plan was made to travel across the seas to England. However, with no resources they would have to start from scratch. Eivor and Sigurd opposed taking Styrbjorn's riches as fair compensation. With the plan set in motion, the crowd dispersed with everyone going to pack only whatt they needed. Eivor saw Valka and invited her along, although the latter would stay until her mother passed before joining up with the others. Eivor made her way to the docks where she met Sigurd and the departing Clanmembers. At that moment, one of Harald's longships approached, holding Styrbjorn. He pleaded with his son to stay but Sigurd refused, Styrbjorn told Eivor to be his better half before blessing their journey and leaving.[22]

Settlement in England

After three weeks at sea, in January 873, Eivor and her clan arrived in the southern part of Great Britain. Eivor and Sigurd's longship went on ahead of the others, to clear the way ahead. Entering a river, the Viking crew passed a monastery and baptism. To which all crewmembers had something to say about. Sigurd revealed that the Sons of Ragnar would present in the land and planned to meet and ally with them. They then came to a river chain blockade which Eivor later removed after killing all the soldiers present. The longship then pulled back around to collect Eivor and continued on its way. A ways ahead, they caught sight of an abandoned settlement.[23]

Eivor, Sigurd, and Dag step foot on the foreign dock

Finding it overrun by Saxon bandits Eivor, Sigurd, and Dag made short work of them. Searching the encampment, the trio discovered two prisoners of the bandits; Yanli, a Chinese merchant, and Rowan, a stable hand. When Eivor freed them, the two revealed that they were they to originally do business with the Ragnarsssons, but by the time they had gotten there they were long gone. Once given the choice to stay with the clan, the two accepted. A horn then sounded, heralding the arrival of the rest of the longships led by Randvi. Eivor and clan then unloaded all their gear and began to renovate the delapitated longhouse.[24]

After being shown the alliance map and England's four kingdoms by Randvi, the name of their new settlement was decided; Ravensthorpe, the village of ravens. After getting a map from Gunnar, she raided either Meldeburne in Grantebridgescire or Alcestre Monastery in Ledecestrescire. After raiding either monastery, Eivor returned to the settlement and had a forge built for Gunnar. Eivor returned to the longhouse to speak with Sigurd again. As she entered, she overheard a small group speaking with Randvi explaining the surrounding territories or 'shires'. Sigurd showed Eivor to a room, gifting it to her. Leaving her explore her new room, Eivor read some letters, beforing leaving the longhouse to meet with Rowan and Basim at the stables. Sigurd and him were to ride together before splitting up, Sigurd to meet with the Sons of Ragnar in the north, while Basim's motives were unknown. Sigurd left Eivor in charge, something Dag did not agree with.[25]

Eivor was tasked by Sigurd to grow the settlement.[26] Afterwards, she met Randvi at the alliance map where she explained the need to make alliances and decided to pledge to Grantebridgescire to help Soma and her Great Summer Army there. Randvi also suggested Eivor talk with Hytham after building a bureau, as his research could help the clan in bringing in new allies.[27]

Aiding Grantebridgescire

Eivor travelled to Duroliponte to the northwest of Grantebridge to meet some of the Great Summer Army's leaders. There, she met one of its commanders named Magni, who informed her that Grantebridge had been overrun from within by Saxons and informed her Soma was with her army in Grantebridgescire's swamps in the northeast of the shire. Travelling by longship, Eivor located her in the town of Middeltun tending to her wounded troops. Soma told Eivor the ambush on Grantebridge was led by a Saxon member of the Order of the Ancients named Wigmund.[28]

Eivor with Soma reunited with her friends

Eivor lit Middletun's beacon and assisted Soma in locating her advisors—Birna, Galinn and Lif—who were scattered around the marsh. The two found Lif captured by some Anglo-Saxon soldiers in a camp along with several other Danes. Eivor and Soma made short work of his captors, and once freed had Lif return to Soma's camp. Birna was found in the ruins of the Villa of Emperor Gratian, since been turned into a bandit camp. Thirdly, Galinn was found high up in an abandoned bog hamlet, where he chased up through fog by a pack of wolves. After finding and resucing all three of her advisors, Eivor travelled to Soma's camp in Middletun. Soma promised her an alliance if they retook Grantebridge from Wigmund.[29]

Eivor sounding the horn at Grantebridge's recapture

Eivor regrouped with Soma's clan at the foot of Grantebridge's western fortifications. After Wigmund declined talks with Soma, Eivor destroyed one of Grantebridge's gates and began taking back the city. Claiming victory, Eivor and Soma travelled to the city's longhouse to search for Wigmund. Wigmund's elite soldiers told them Wigmund had fled before engaging in combat. Eivor sounded the horn, which officially announced that Grantebridge had been taken. Eivor and Soma's clan went into the longhouse to celebrate. Waking up to find her drunk clan asleep, Soma informed Eivor that an underground tunnel had been the entry point for Wigmund's ambush. She told her only she and her advisors knew about the tunnel, so it must have been one of them that betrayed her. Soma tasked Eivor with finding out who had betrayed her by finding clues and interrogating Birna, Galinn and Lif.[30]

Eivor travelled to Earnningstone, a town west of Grantebridge supportive of Wigmund, to speak with Galinn. Eivor asked Galinn how he had come to join Soma's clan—his answer was a vision of Soma aiding him against various predators and how Soma found him in ruins. Eivor then asked him what he though of Birna and Lif. Galinn told her that Birna was reckless, amd Lif enthusiastic. Eivor, Galinn and his group then want to pillage and burn down Earnningstone.[31] Afterwards, Eivor travelled to Walden, a town to the south-east of Grantebridgescire to meet Lif. Lif planned to sneak into the town and assassinate a Wigmund-supporting priest. Eivor asked him how he joined Soma's clan—he had joined her as a part of the Great Summer Army. Lif wanted to be jarl after Guthrum left for Wessex, but Soma ended up becoming jarlskona instead. They succeeeded in eliminating the priest, and Eivor left to aid Birna next.[32] At Ravensburg, Eivor and Birna readied to desimate Wigmund's forces. Through conversation, Eivor learnt that Birna was in love with Soma who did not feel the same. After Ravensburg was free of Wigmund's influence, Eivor had Birna return to Grantebridge where she would later follow.[33]

Back at Grantebridge, Eivor and the three advisors interrogated an Anglo-Saxon soldier on Wigmund's whereabouts. The soldier caved under threat of torture, revealing Wigmund was on the Isle of Ely. The soldier then prayed his God would smite them, however Galinn killed him before he could say another word. Inside the Grantebridge longhouse, Soma had Eivor identify the traitor within her midst. Conducting a thorough investigation, Eivor expressed her thoughts on each advisor. She had travelled to Utbech Camp and Meldeburne to gather evidence. A witness saw someone running from the outskirts of the city to the river, although their face was obscured by fog. A letter was also found meant for Saxon forces, ordering them not to attack any ship painted yellow, the color of Galinn's ship. There were also footprints nearby the underground entrance, painted with a yellow mark. Eivor then accused Galinn of being the traitor, in response he pleaded for his life but Soma slit his throat. After Birna and Lif dragged the corpse away, Eivor and Soma planned for the attack on the Ilse of Ely.[34]

Eivor holds Wigmund's Order medallion

Near the monastery of the isle, Eivor and Soma's clan readied for the raid. Entering the monastery with Soma by her side, they heard Wigmund delivering a speech. Dropping down from the rafters, Eivor plunged her Hidden Blade into Wigmund's neck, killing him. Transported into another vision, Eivor looked on as a fleeing Wigmund passed silhouettes of stationary soldiers. Eivor started to walk towards Wigmund, who pointed at her and continued his flight. Eivor then "shoved" aside one of these soldiers and the shade disappeared. Her inner-subconscious Odin appeared and followed behind a walking Eivor, who kept making the soldiers' shades disappear. As Eivor continued her pursuit, Wigmund reached the end of the army of shades, beyond which lay the gates of Grantebridge. He stopped and stared at the set of massive wooden doors, then briefly turned back to Eivor. Odin whispered words of wisdom to Eivor. Cornering Wigmund, she reached forward, grabbing his Order medallion, and Wigmund's spirit immediately turned to mist. Eivor remained standing at the gates for a moment as Odin walked away. With Wigmund assassinated, and his guards now killed, Eivor and Soma returned to camp again. Eivor and Soma left and returned to camp, where they found Soma's forces celebrating in victory. Later, Eivor and Soma watched as her clan resupplied the longships. Soma then awarded Eivor with an armband, pledging her clan. On the shore Eivor saw Birna, who later joined Eivor's crew.[35]

With Grantebridge back in Vikings hands, and an alliance made with the Great Summer Army, Eivor returned home to Ravensthorpe to report to Randvi. At the Alliance Map, Randvi praised Eivor's victory. Eivor also shared the news that Birna was to join their clan as a fighter. Eivor left the longhouse and found Birna to talk with.[36]

Alliance with the Ragnarssons

As months passed, Eivor learned that her brother Sigurd had made his way to the Mercian town of Repton in Ledecestrescire to meet with Ivarr the Boneless and Ubba Ragnarsson, two sons of the late Ragnar Lothbrok. They planned to overthrow the current king and install a client-king loyal to them. Eivor and her crew traveled via the River Trent to Repton. After arriving near the city, Eivor went the rest of the way by horseback.[37]

Travels in Ireland

In 879, Eivor traveled to Ireland on an invitation sent by her cousin Bárid mac Ímair via the Persian trader Azar. There, she assisted her cousin in gaining favor with the High King Flann Sinna and became embroiled in a conflict with the Children of Danu.[38]

Siege of Paris

Later in 885, she joined Rollo in besieging the Frankish capital of Paris. She infiltrated the city and forged key alliances to help against the forces of Charles the Fat.[39]

Death in Vinland

At some point, Eivor traveled back to Vinland, otherwise known as Saint Brendan's Land, near the modern city of Concord, where she would ultimately be buried at Tsoka'wa'kowáhne.[3]

Legacy

In August 2020, Eivor's memories were relived by Layla Hassan through her Animus HR-8.5. Her and her Assassin cell had tracked a mysterious audio file to unearth Eivor's final resting place retrieving her DNA. Sometime later, Basim, resuscitated by the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus, replaced Layla in the Animus after the latter's physical death deep with the Yggdrasil Chamber. Basim intended to use the Animus to uncover Eivor's secrets and hoped to find the location of his children. After a prolonged time in the Animus, Eivor appeared to Basim sitting by the fire as an apparition, where she smiled and nodded at him, a gesture he returned.[2]

Due to the high level of Isu DNA belonging to Odin embedded in Eivor's remains, the Animus would, at times, represent Eivor as a male based on Odin's real appearance.[2]

Personality and characteristics

Eivor was a devoted and confident Viking clan leader, who was not afraid of dying to protect her people. Despite her deep love for her clan, she was a lone wolf. Indeed, driven by her dream to prove her courage, she preferred to take on all tasks and risks herself. On top of being a fierce warrior, Eivor was cunning and was a great strategist, as shown by her alliances with other territorial leaders.[40] Considered stubbornly independent,[41] she also claimed to not be fond of surprises.[42]

Eivor also had a poetic side, speaking with eloquence and often describing events in a manner that resembles skaldic verse. Although Eivor held Hytham and by extension the Hidden Ones in high regard, Eivor kindly declined to join them as it meant keeping her victories and glory quiet, something which went against her culture's nature.[43]

Eivor seems to possess some fragments of Odin's persona and memories. As is evident by their shared disdain for wolves, and how she recognised Odin's spear Gungnir when she discovered it within Goinnhellir.[3]

Equipment and skills

Eivor fighting with a flail and light shield

Growing up alongside Sigurd, Eivor learnt to fight as a drengr and became Sigurd's berserkr.[1] By her twenties, Eivor was capable of wielding a variety of weapons including; swords, bows, spears, bearded and Dane axes, war hammers and flails. Her usual armor was the Raven Clan's armor and could also use both light and heavy shields. Using her combat prowess she could easily overwhelm multiple opponents.[8] She could also effectively dual wield, and was strong enough to dual wield two heavy weapons, and even unconventionally two shields. She had sharp reflexes and could dodge, parry, and block incoming attacks. Eivor was also extremely skills in hand-to-hand combat, and could easily break the necks of Goliath-sized enemies with a chokehold.[3]

Usually keen for up front confrontations, Eivor was also highly adept at stealth and was able to silently assassinate her targets undetected in addition to being able to remain hidden from her enemies in shrubbery and haystacks. After gaining the Hidden Blade, Eivor was taught how to use it by Basim and quickly mastered it. Eivor was also able to emulate the Hidden Ones' ability to hide in plain sight.[3] High-diving was another of Eivor's skills, and under Hytham's tutelage she learnt the Leap of Faith.[44]

A skilled freerunner, Eivor was able to scale Saint Peter's Church as well as natural elements with relative ease. She also proved to be a strong swimmer whilst searching underwater ruins and was capable of holding her breath for a relatively long period of time. A heavy drinker, Eivor could hold her liquor and would occasionally participate in drinking competitions.[3]

Eivor shared a symbiotic relationship with her raven, Sýnin, which aided her in reconnaissance thanks to her Eagle Vision. Unlike later generations who possessed the skill, her Eagle Vision was far more literal in the sense that activating the ability allowed her to see through the eyes of Sýnin. Eivor also possessed the ability known as 'Odin's Sight' which was more akin to later iterations of Eagle Vision in which it allowed her to release a brief pulse that would locate and tag nearby enemies and points or objects of interest, even through walls and floorboards. Eivor could also tame wolves and taught them to fight with her.[3]

Behind the scenes

Early concept art by Even Amundsen

Eivor is the main protagonist of Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, a main installment of the Assassin's Creed series. First revealed in the reveal stream as male, according to Ubisoft, their gender is customizable,[45] a feature carried over from Valhalla's immediate predecessor, Assassin's Creed: Odyssey (2018). However, lead writer Darby McDevitt affirmed that both gender options were considered canon in a way that made logical sense.[46] McDevitt later affirmed that the canon playthrough method is choosing "Let the Animus Decide", With female Eivor being present for the majority of the game, except when playing the Asgard and Jotunheim arcs, in which male Eivor is the playable character.[47]

Conversely, the comic book Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Song of Glory[48] and tie-in novel Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Geirmund's Saga[49] featured Eivor as female exclusively. Eivor's appearance, including clothing, hair, and war paint, is also customizable.[50] Eivor's male voice is provided by Magnus Bruun,[51] who also voices Varin and Odin, while the female voice actor is Cecilie Stenspil, who also voices Rosta.[52] The voice of young Eivor was provided by Idun Mealor Olsen, who also voices Asta, Kaija, and Ratatosk in Valhalla.[53]

The many concept artists behind Eivor's design, drew upon many pop culture references. Yelim Kim recalled that former-Creative Director Ashraf Ismail gave her the idea of using the tank fight scene from the 1995 anime film Ghost in the Shell as inspiration and comparing Eivor to the film's protagonist, Maj. Motoko Kusanagi, as both of them fight fiercely for their allies even if the consequences are self-destructive.[41]

Name etymology

The name Eivor, Eivør or Øyvor is a female given name derived from either proto-Norse auja, believed to mean 'good luck', or *warjaʀ, meaning 'defender'. It may also come from the combination of Old Norse words ey- or øy- (meaning 'island') and -varr (meaning 'careful').[54]

When he tweeted how the name is meant to be pronounced, Valhalla's then-Creative Director Ashraf Ismail transcribed it phonetically as "Ay-vor".[55]

Varinsdottir means "Varin's daughter" (Varins + dottir). In Scandinavia, surnames were still used together with primary patronyms—the father's name and an affix denoting relationship—which were used by all social classes. This meant that most families until modern times did not have surnames. Scandinavian patronyms were generally derived from the father's given name with the addition of a suffix meaning 'son' or 'daughter'. Patronyms and matronyms are still in use in some countries, most notably Iceland.

Appearances

References

Animuslogowhite.svg An image gallery is available for
Eivor Varinsdottir
  1. 1.0 1.1 Assassin's Creed: RebellionDatabase: Eivor (Female)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaModern day
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaCairns
  5. 5.0 5.1 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaPrologue
  6. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaFamily Matters
  7. Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Geirmund's Saga
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Song of GloryIssue #1
  9. 9.0 9.1 Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Song of GloryIssue #2
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Song of GloryIssue #3
  11. Assassin's Creed: Rebellion – The Ravens' WoundTaking the Eyes
  12. Assassin's Creed: Rebellion – The Ravens' WoundThe Fury of the Northman
  13. Assassin's Creed: Rebellion – The Ravens' WoundThe Horn of the Valkyrie
  14. Assassin's Creed: Rebellion – The Ravens' WoundHunting Wolves
  15. Assassin's Creed: Rebellion – The Ravens' WoundThe Hidden Annals
  16. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaHonor Bound
  17. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaA Seer's Solace
  18. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Prodigal Prince
  19. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaRude Awakening
  20. 20.0 20.1 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaA Cruel Destiny
  21. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaBirthrights
  22. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Seas of Fate
  23. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Swan-Road Home
  24. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaUnwelcome
  25. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaSettling Down
  26. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaA New Home
  27. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Alliance Map
  28. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Great Scattered Army
  29. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaOrphans of the Fens
  30. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaGlory Regained
  31. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaRazing Earnningstone
  32. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaUnholy Father
  33. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaStorming Ravensburg
  34. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Stench of Treachery
  35. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaAn Island of Eels
  36. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaReporting on Grantebridgescire
  37. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Sons of Ragnar
  38. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the Druids
  39. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla - The Siege of Paris
  40. Ubisoft white swirl only.png Assassin's Creed Valhalla - Eivor The Wolf-kissed on Ubisoft's official website (backup link)
  41. 41.0 41.1 The Art of Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Chapter 1: Characters
  42. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the DruidsIrish Adventure
  43. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaBreaking the Order
  44. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaTo Serve the Light...
  45. Ubisoft white swirl only.png Assassin's Creed Valhalla – Become a Legendary Viking Raider on Ubisoft's official website (backup link)
  46. Twitter.png Darby McDevitt (@DarbyMcDevitt) on Twitter "Both choices are canon, but we're not going to spoil how we managed that trick until you play the game." (screenshot)
  47. Twitter.png Darby McDevitt (@DarbyMcDevitt) on Twitter "It means "Let the Animus decide" is canon. And both characters will appear at various points when you choose this option. So both are canon."
  48. Dark Horse to Publish Comics Prequel to Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Dark Horse (13-07-2020). Archived from the original on July 13, 2020. Retrieved on July 13, 2020.
  49. Twitter.png Matthew J. Kirby (@writerMattKirby) on Twitter "I've been asked many times whether Eivor will be male or female in my novel. Truth is, I was given the choice, same as a player will be in the game, when @DarbyMcDevitt told me in a meeting both are canon. My Eivor is a woman. #AssassinsCreedValhalla #AssassinsCreed #ACSisterhood. PS – I made that decision back in January." (screenshot)
  50. Juba, Joe (30-04-2020). 25 Things We've Learned About Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Game Informer. Retrieved on May 11, 2020.
  51. Twitter.png Magnus Bruun (@Magnus__Bruun) on Twitter "I'm very excited to announce that I play Male Eivor in Assassin's Creed Valhalla! 🔥🔥🔥 I just can't seem to get enough of these sexy bloody vikings! ⚔️ #assasinscreedvalhalla" (screenshot)
  52. Twitter.png Darby McDevitt (@DarbyMcDevitt) on Twitter "And for our Female Eivor, introducing Cecilie Stenspil ... not on Twitter but everywhere on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/p/B_nTCgBAgIK/" (screenshot)
  53. Imdb.png Assassin's Creed Valhalla at the Internet Movie Database
  54. Wikipedia-W-visual-balanced.svg Eivor on Wikipedia
  55. Twitter.png Ashraf Ismail (@AshrafAIsmail) on Twitter "Its spelled Eivor and pronounced Ay-vor" (screenshot)