|Olga of Kiev would have fit RIGHT in in Game of Thrones.
||[Jun. 6th, 2014|08:58 pm]
So, I just read about Olga of Kiev, who was the regent of the Kievan Rus from the time of her husband's death in 945 CE to her son's majority in 963. |
It's a short Wikipedia article, but I'll sum it up if you like.
The backstory is that Kievan Rus more-or-less conquered the Drevlyans a while before, at least to the point that the Drevlyans usually paid tribute to the Rus. But they were constantly trying to fight that off.
Oh, the other backstory, by the way? The Kievan Rus were actually Norse who'd conquered that chunk of Russia in order to maintain a trading route from the Norse countries through to the Black Sea and from there to the Byzantine Empire. Which is why you've got the name "Olga", which is probably a variation of "Helga". Anyway.
Olga's husband, the king of the Rus, was killed attempting to re-conquer the Drevlyans. This made Olga the regent until her son's majority. But the Drevlyans wanted her to marry their prince, making said prince the ruler. They sent twenty of their best men to make the case for this.
She had them buried alive, then sent word to the Drevlyans that those twenty men had made a really good case, and they'd convinced HER, but in order to convince her PEOPLE, they'd need to put on a good show, so could they send every single important person they had, in order to overwhelm everybody with pomp? So they did, and when they all showed up, she welcomed them warmly, and had the bathhouse all set up for them so they could have a nice bath after their journey, then barred the doors and burned the place down with them in it.
She then sent word the rest of the Drevlyans that, now that she was convinced and her people were convinced, it was only proper that they have a funeral feast for her former husband, before they went on to have the new wedding. It was a feast for EVERYBODY -- THOUSANDS of people. And there was a WHOLE LOT of wine. So, when the Drevlyans were good and drunk, Olga's soldiers killed five thousand of them.
THEN she got her army together and marched on their city.
When she got there, the survivors begged her to spare them, and promised to pay tribute. She was moved by this, and told them that she was only going to impose a token tribute -- every household was to give them three pigeons and three sparrows from their house.
They were ELATED at being let off so easy, and they did this.
That night, she had her soldiers tie slow-matches to the birds' feet, and released them. All the birds went home to roost, and every single house went up in flames simultaneously. She killed a bunch of the fleeing citizens, sold another bunch into slavery, and sent a few back to rebuild their city and pay tribute.
I think Tywin Lannister would be scared of her.
Holy shite. Yes, I would agree.
Why did she feel the need to so thoroughly take out the whole community, including the people?
Well, y'know, Russian.
Obviously (and happily), I'm not she, so I don't know, but if I were to guess, I'd guess that it was partially because it was personal -- they killed her husband, then tried to use her as a pawn -- and it partially was a warning to anybody else that she is one with whom it is not to be fucked.
I think Tywin would slow-clap for the bird ploy, right before she cut off his head.
Another awesome female ruler from a future Soviet republic (although not quite as bloodthirsty): Tamar the Great of Georgia
Fit into? She'd show them how it's done.