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Erke Bodilsson was a Viking resident of Lunden who served as the reeve of the city's eastern half during the 9th century. He was the son of Bodil Bodilsson, one of the jarls of Lunden, and the brother of Bjorn and Thor. He was also the partner of Stowe, with their relationship unknown to the public eye.


Early life

"Erke's an orphan of the last Viking horde to put down in Lunden for a season. Two or three years back now, it must have been. It's through Tryggr I met Erke, and now we reeves walk the city like parents looking after our children."
―Stowe describing Erke to Eivor, 873.[src]-[m]

Erke was born in Lunden during the city's occupation by the Great Heathen Army. His father Bodil served as the city's jarl and was known as one of the "Great Jarls of Lunden". Bodil was able to outlive the two jarls largely due to his efforts as a peacekeeper. Some years later, Erke became an orphan after losing his father and brothers to a plague.[1]

By the early 870s, Lunden came to be governed Tryggr, a former Viking who served alongside Ubba Ragnarsson.[1] Erke came to work under Tryggr and through him, met and befriended the Saxon Stowe. Sharing a similar upbringing with Stowe, who was raised by priests, Erke formed a close bond and eventually a romantic relationship with Stowe, which they hid from the public. The two worked as the city's reeves, with Erke looking after the eastern half of the city while Stowe took care of the city's western half.[2]