no image

Thora Thorbergsdatter (1026 - aft. 1070)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Born in Giske, More Og Romsdal, Norwaymap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married [location unknown]
Wife of — married [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died after in Norwaymap
Profile last modified | Created 21 Apr 2014
This page has been accessed 1,360 times.


Royal concubine. Parents: Thorberg Arnason Giske (ca. 1000-1050) and Ragnhild Erling Daughter. Married about 1048 with Harald III Hardråde (1015-1066). Daughter of lenderman Thorberg Arnason of Giske and granddaughter of Erling Skjalgsson (died 1027); mother of Magnus II Haraldsson (ca. 1049-1069) and Olav III Haraldsson Kyrre (ca. 1050-1093).

Around 1048, the winter after King Magnus the Good died, Tora Torbergsdatter from Giske according saga married to Harald Hardrada. King Harald was already married to Ellisiv from Russia[1] the relationship with Tora must initially have been a frilleforhold or concubine. What is it when saga writes that the king married Tora, one may therefore wonder. Polygamy in the traditional sense was hardly accepted, while "frilleforhold" was very ordinary. It's almost a pattern among the kings in this period that they marry Swedish, Danish or Russian prince daughters. Such marriage alliances borne for peace and friendship between the Nordic kingdoms and was important that the Norwegian kings were to be accepted by the good Nordic companies. Equally common was that they had extramarital relationship which happily resulted in children, which was also the case with the relationship between Tora Torbergsdatter and Harald Hardrada.

Relations between Tora Torbergsdatter and King Harald can thus largely be explained by politics and alliances. Tora stemmed from one of his time most powerful families. The chiefs of Giske played a key role in power politics, and the relationship between Tora Torbergsdatter and Harald Hardrada created strong ties between the royal family and nobles from Giske. This relation was plenty of mutual importance, and we see how it further strengthened through marriage between Jorunn, Tora sister and Wolf Uspaksson, king Marshal. The fact that two of Giske-chief's daughters married into the royal family or the close circle around the king, clearly shows how important it was for the king to have a good relationship with Giske tribesmen.

After King Harald died in 1066 Tora again married, either with the Danish king Svend Estridsen or with the Swedish king Håkan. It is impossible to determine for sure which of them she actually married, but again it seems that Tora played an important role in a kind of Nordic alliances. Both her sons, Magnus and Olav Kyrre, the Norwegian kings. When the mother was married either a Swedish or a Danish king, were ties between both nations were strengthened, which could contribute to political stability in the region.


  1. King Harald had previously married Elisaveta Yaroslavna during the winter of 1043–44. The prior marriage between Harald and Elisaveta is only documented by the court poet Stuv den blinde (Stúfr inn blindi Þórðarson kattar). There are no other remaining documentation about her stay in Norway. It is therefore possible that Elisaveta stayed in Rus', or that she may have died on her way to Norway. However, that would mean that the daughters of Harald, Ingegerd and Maria, who are attributed to her, must have been Tora's. This is not considered likely, as Maria was engaged to Eystein Orre, who would have been her uncle had she been the daughter of Tora. It is therefore possible that Tora was Harald's concubine [1]


Tora Torbergsdatter discussed in the sagas primarily because of her relations with some of its contemporary powerful men, and it is all in all little we know about her life. As such sets she fully in line with most female characters who act in the saga.

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Sponsored Search by

No known carriers of Thora's mitochondrial DNA have taken an mtDNA test.

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.


On 6 Aug 2018 at 10:29 GMT C. Mackinnon wrote:

Why has a second husband been included when it says quite clearly in the profile that it is not know who her second husband was?

On 1 Nov 2013 at 22:03 GMT Sheri (Petersen) Sturm wrote:

Thora is 27 degrees from Jim Angelo, 26 degrees from Willis Carrier and 16 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

T  >  Thorbergsdatter  >  Thora Thorbergsdatter

Categories: Heimskringla