Hell Hath No Fury Like Princess Olga Of Kiev

Saint Olga by Nikolay Bruni. (Russian Museum/Wikimedia Commons)

In 945 C.E., a Drevlian convoy of diplomatic messengers arrived at the castle of Olga, the Grand Princess of Kiev, to inform her that their ruler had murdered her husband, Igor, by tying him to two trees and slowly ripping him apart with ropes after he demanded too much in tribute. Rather than ignite a war, however, the Drevlians offered Olga the option to marry their Prince Mal, which they thought would be especially kind, seeing as her son was only three and no woman had ever ruled the Kievan Rus before. To their delight, the princess accepted the offer and told them to wait in their boat and come back in the morning to make arrangements.

To their horror, however, this was no honor but a trap, as the princess had ordered her guards to spend the entire night ripping up the floor and digging a deep hole within the castle. The Rus guards threw the Drevlians into the hole and buried them alive, but it wasn't enough for Olga. Hellbent on avenging her dearly departed husband, she embarked on a series of revenges, each more ghastly than the last.