Thyra Dane

Author of Romance. Blogs about Scandinavia, Vikings and books.

My author name, Thyra Dane, comes from Thyra Danebod, who is one of my main historical heroes. I suppose she`s my hero because she is one of few women mentioned by name in the Viking age.

We know she existed because her husband, King Gorm the Old, made a rune stone with her name on it and later her son Harald Bluetooth (yes, the Bluetooth technology was named after him) made a rune stone for both Queen Thyra and King Gorm.

The latter rune stone is often considered Denmark`s birth certificate because it explains that Gorm the Old was the one to bring all the different parts of Denmark into one country. This was between 960 and 985.

Was she from Wessex?

We can assume that Thyra Danebod was born in the early 900s. We know little of her origin but the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus (aprox. 1150 – 1220) claimed that she was the daughter of the King of Wessex, Æthelred/ Edelradus. Other sources claim she was the illegitimate daughter of the English King Edward the Elder.

According to legends Thyra Danebod built defense walls to the south, the defense walls that exist even today under the name Dannevirke. Apparently, the German emperor Otto I wooed her and she kept stalling for a year while building those defense walls. Unfortunately, that story isn`t true. Archeological tests have shown that the walls were built before Thyra`s birth and rebuilt after her death. But it was a good story.

A picture by Lorens Frølich from the middle of the 19th century. It shows how Thyra Danebod plans the building of the defense walls Dannevirke.

The big Jelling stone erected by Harald Bluetooth for his parents, King Gorm the Old and Queen Thyra Danebod.


The small Jelling stone erected by Gorm the Old to his wife Thyra Danebod next to the large Jelling stone.

5 thoughts on “Thyra Danebod

  1. fffbone says:

    It’s so cool that these have lasted for so long!

  2. thyra10 says:

    Yes, it is amazing and one can only wonder at how many that didn`t last.

  3. iersseltje says:

    Where can you see the Jelling stone’s?

  4. thyra10 says:

    You can find them in Jelling close to the Danish city of Vejle on the peninsular Jylland/Jutland (the peninsular that shares a border with Germany).

    The Jelling stones are now in a small glass house because the acid rain we`ve had the last 100 years has destroyed more of them than was destroyed the 900 years before 🙁

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