Literature written about the pagan Viking era, which lasted from roughly the eighth to eleventh century C.E, stems from the period immediately following it known as the early Christian period. The relation of how history is remembered as viewed in literature will develop an understanding of the attitudes of the society toward women and how that illustrates the values of women in Old Norse society. From this literature we can postulate the position of women in the pagan Norse society as a complex balance of ‘traditional patriarchy’ and great liberties for women. Throughout the literature women are seen as conducive with ‘traditional’ female roles and yet some women exhibit an unlikely amount of power that earns them respect. The lines of a ‘traditional’ society in regards to gender are not reversed but are highly complex with degrees of varying social potential for women. The stories exemplify the expectations placed on women of differing positions and ultimately demonstrate the social norms for them. Female characters range from docile housewives to shieldmaidens to powerful Queens. Evidently the Norse valued their women for their wisdom as such an attribute was given to each favorably presented female character. Women were expected to be wise and often encouraged to act on this wisdom either through the common role of an inciter or through direct action. Despite social position and limitations, women received an aura of respect in regards to their intellectual capacities. Nevertheless Old Norse society was both patriarchal and accepting of women who could prove themselves as honorable, wise and strong, thus giving many Norse women substantial influence over their lives.