Alternate History

Geirfrithur of Vinland (The Kalmar Union)

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Queen of Vinland
Reign 3rd December 1352 - 1st February, 1355
Predecessor Kristjana IV
Successor Snaedis II
Spouse Ari Tállsson

Vilhjálmur Magnusson

Issue Runólf Arisson

Svend Arisson
Snaedis II Vilhjálmursdottír
Bjarki Vilhjálmursson

Full name
Geirfrithur Elvarsdottír
House Eiriksdottír
Father Elvar Elvarsson
Mother Hafdis III Kárisdottír
Born 15th August, 1310
Báratvomurám, Vinland
Died 1st February, 1355
Fjallasay, Vinland

While to future generations her mother Hafdis III's reign would remain a black mark on Vinland and her half-sister Kristjana IV's reign would be praised to high heaven, when it comes to her own legacy Geirfrithur and her short reign is usually met with mild indifference.

Recognised as Kristjana IV's heir from around 1326 Geirfrithur escaped much of the pageantry that surrounded her older half-sister and her 'royal' marriage. Indeed the Althing praised her for remaining grounded and marrying a Ingolfurseysk merchant for love (apparently against her ambitious mother's wishes).

Her reign coincided with the tail end of the Black Death's initial incursion into Leifia. Vinland was sparsely populated and much of Hafsvaedaland escaped serious disease. Even so the Atlantic facing lands were much affected as too were the larger towns of the interior. It is clear however that even as Fjallasay was experiencing a 40% drop in population and the brothers of its three monasteries were to a man wiped out, the farmlands continued to boom and the losses would soon be made good. This helped Vinland escape the issue of shortage of labour that affected many other medieval states in the plague's aftermath. Indeed it would be the second pandemic in the 1380s that really shook Vinland.

Just about the only time that her reign really shines in the historical record is in 1353 when Greenland finally fell under Vinlandic protection. Devastated by the Black Death and by a steadily worsening climate the Vinlandic Althing had been slowly encroaching on the rights of the colony for decades. At a well-attended and showy ceremony at Isafjordhur Geirfrithur clasped the hands of the chief of the Greenlanders, 'her cousin' Thorsteinn Bjornsson (both were descended more or less directly from Eirik the Red) and bestowed upon him the title 'Earl of Greenland'. In return Thorsteinn pledged his and his land's vassalage to Geirfrithur and the Althing. Meanwhile the Bishop of Garðar, Álfur subordinated himself and his ever-shrinking flock to the preening and saturnine Bishop of Vinland, Nikulás of Jönköping.

Geirfrithur died in early 1355 apparently of a stroke. The crown then passed to her daughter Snaedis II whose tireless activities would elevate the crown into premier power within Vinland.

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