Thora "borgarhjörtr" Herraudsdatter

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Þóra from Gotland Herrauðrsdatter, from Gotland

Norwegian: Þóra Herrauðrsdatter Borgarhjörtr, from Gotland, Russian: Тора, из Готланда, Icelandic: Þóra Borgarhjǫrtr, from Gotland
Also Known As: "Þóra", "Tora", "Thora Hart-of-the-Town", "Thóra Herraudsdatter", "Þóra "borgarhjörtr" Herraudsdatter", "Thora Town-Hart", "Thora Townhart"
Birthplace: Västergötland, Sverige (Sweden)
Death: circa 825 (21-38)
Denmark (The sagas record that she died while her sons were still very young.)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Herrauðr, King of Götaland and Hleid Ulfhedinsdatter
Wife of Ragnar 'Lodbrok' Sigurdsson King of Denmark and Norway
Mother of Eric Ragnarsson and Agnar Ragnarsson
Sister of Hygd Herraudsdatter, {Legendary}

Occupation: Princess of Sweden, Queen Consort of Denmark
Managed by: Harold Allen Buell, Jr.
Last Updated:

About Thora "borgarhjörtr" Herraudsdatter

A mythical queen of Denmark, potentially based on a historical person, Thora is described in the sagas and other earl medieval sources as "the most beautiful of all women in appearance" earning her the nickname Borgarhjört (Hart-of-the-village), since she stood out from all women in beauty as the hart does from all other animals.

Thora was the daughter of, Herrauðr, the earl of Götaland, who promised her in marriage to any man that could slay the serpent which lay curled around her bower. The ploy used by the viking Ragnar Sigurdsson to kill the serpent, earned him his famous nickname, Ragnar Loðbrók.

After marrying Ragnar Thora had at least two sons with him, Eric and Agnar dying shortly after.

Further Reading


  • Date of birth based on husband's birth as discussed here.
  • Location of birth based on her father being earl of Götaland.
  • Date of death based on saga tradition that she died while her sons were young.
  • Location of death based on Ragnar being most commonly referred to as king of Denmark.

Thora Town-Hart (Old Norse: Þóra Borgarhjǫrtr, Thora Borgarhjört) was the daughter of Herrauðr, the earl of Götaland and a wife of Ragnar Loðbrók.

Her father gave her a small lindworm that grew into a serpent and encircled her bower. Her father promised Þóra to the one who could slay the serpent. Ragnar Loðbrók arrived, killed the serpent and married Þóra. Ragnar famously wore hairy breeches, whereby he gained his nickname, Loðbrók "Hairy-Breeks". Ragnar went to Västergötland and dressed himself in shaggy clothes that he had treated with tar and sand. He took a spear and approached the serpent, which blew poison at him. Ragnar protected himself with his shield and his clothes and stuck the spear through its heart. He then cut off the serpent's head and married Þora.

According to the Tale of Ragnar's Sons (Ragnarssona þáttr), they had two sons, Eiríkr and Agnar, who would both die in battle with Eysteinn Beli, Ragnar's Earl of Sweden. Before this Þóra died of an illness and Ragnar was remarried to Aslaug (Aslög) ' Kraka' Sigurdsdatter, from Spangereid Lindesnes Norwaythe daughter of Sigurd and Brynhildr.

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Thora "borgarhjörtr" Herraudsdatter's Timeline

Västergötland, Sverige (Sweden)
Age 30