Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Folke Filbyter

Folke Filbyter, a peasant freebooter, founder of the Folkung family and builder of the hall called Folketuna. He has three sons by the daughter of Dwarf Jorgrimme, a Finnish sorcerer.


Ingemund and


Hallsten, Folke’s two sons who become sea-rovers and, later, members of King Inge’s guard.


Ingevald, Folke’s other son, who stays at home with his father.


Holmdis, Ingevald’s wife, carried off by force from the house of her father, Ulf Ulfsson.

Folke Ingevaldsson

Folke Ingevaldsson, Ingevald’s son and old Folke’s heir. He becomes a Christian and an adherent to Blot Sven, the king of Sweden.

Old Jakob

Old Jakob, a begging friar who brings Christianity. He becomes the foster father of Folke Ingevaldsson.

Earl Birger

Earl Birger, a descendant of Folke Filbyter. He is the real ruler of Sweden, though his son wears the crown.


Valdemar, a weak king of Sweden, the son of Earl Birger. He loves pleasure and women, and he is no warrior. After his father’s death, he allows confusion to spread over Sweden. He is finally overthrown by his brother Magnus.


Sophia, Valdemar’s queen, a jealous woman who has Yrsa-Lill thrown into a cage filled with snakes. Sophia is a princess of Denmark.

Lady Jutta

Lady Jutta, Sophia’s sister. She has a son by Valdemar.


Yrsa-Lill, a goat-girl in whom Valdemar takes an active interest.

Junker Magnus

Junker Magnus, Valdemar’s knightly brother. He becomes king and restores order to Sweden after defeating his brother.

Gistre Härjanson

Gistre Härjanson, a minstrel. He rescues Yrsa-Lill from a cage of snakes.

Sir Svantepolk

Sir Svantepolk, a Swedish knight. He becomes a henchman of Junker Magnus.

Archbishop Fulco

Archbishop Fulco, the prelate of Uppsala. He becomes foster father to the child of Valdemar and Lady Jutta.

Lady Luitgard

Lady Luitgard, Valdemar’s last friend and his mistress.