Top 5 Most Interesting Female Rulers in CK3

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Crusader Kings III spans a period when women rarely found themselves in positions of power.

But this doesn’t mean that there were no female rulers during the Middle Ages.

While disfavored in most cultures and religions in the civilized world of the period, many women still found themselves ruling powerful fiefdoms.

Be it due to merit or circumstance, these historical rulers offer some very interesting and unique starting positions. So let’s see some of the best & most interesting female rulers in both starting dates!


5. Auðr Flatnefr, 867

Auðr Flatnefr, 867 / Crusader Kings III

Auðr “the Deep-Minded” Ketillsdottir Flatnefr starts at the northwest corner of the map, controlling the western half of Iceland.

Auðr is one of the most prominent characters of the Viking Sagas. Her husband was Olaf the White, a Norwegian Prince and lord of Dublin. Her son, Thorstein the Red, went on to conquer the Scottish Highlands before being betrayed by his men.

Auðr herself is the ONLY independent Christian Norse ruler in 867.

She is guaranteed to begin with good traits, including the congenital quick trait. (Her exact traits are shown in the picture above).

Her campaign position is one of the most unique in the entire game. Isolated from external threats, two distinct paths appear before you when choosing to start as Auðr.

First you will have to slowly build up your forces, consolidate Iceland and strike into the Atlantic islands.

Carving up a realm in Scotland and the British Isles, ultimately reclaiming Dublin in Olaf’s memory can make for a nice early goal.

Alternatively, striking at the Norwegian shores to bring the word of Christ to your fellow Norsemen is a more challenging but rewarding endeavor!


4. Urraca Jimena, 1066

Urraca Jimena, 1066 / Crusader Kings III

Infanta Urraca Fernandez is the eldest child of the late Iberian King, Fernando. Her three younger brothers were each entrusted with a portion of their father’s kingdom upon his death.

Historically, Urraca was given control of all the monasteries and ecclesiastical property in Iberia, but this is impossible to depict in-game.

Instead, she begins with the county of Zamora, having claims on ALL her brother’s lands and then some.

A peculiarity of the start is that Urraca begins in a lover relationship with one of her brothers and liege, Alfonso. This can be a double-edged sword. On one hand you can exploit it for your own benefit, while on the other it is easy for the secret to get out and stigmatize Urraca for the rest of her life.

Securing a matrilineal marriage with Rodrigo de Vivar, the one and only “El Cid” is a very good early option and easily doable in most scenarios.

And since she has access to a couple of unique achievements shared with her siblings, Urraca is an excellent choice for a campaign. An underdog story that can quickly lead to the strongest realm in western Europe!


3. Margaret Wessex, 1066

Margaret Wessex, 1066 / Crusader Kings III

Margaret, daughter of Edward, starts the game as the countess of Staffordshire.

Her younger brother Eadgar begins directly to the south as the earl of warwick. Their grandfather was Edmund “Ironside”, King of England.

Margaret begins with a strong claim on the English throne. Well, you might say that this isn’t something special, as there’s literally a dozen of characters in 1066 who claim the throne of England.

I counted them by the way – there’s exactly 12.

What differentiates Margaret from the others is that she is already an English vassal. Not even a direct one, as she answers to the duke of Mercia.

This makes her gameplay drastically different. While the Anglo-Saxon King defends against the Norwegian and Norman invaders, you will focus on building up your powerbase inside England.

There are many choices in front of you as you cement control of the midlands. You can embrace English culture if William wins the invasion (he usually does) and later down the line make a play for the throne.

Alternatively, you can keep true to your Saxon roots and try to push back against the invaders. You can even try helping Harold Godwinson repel the invaders from the start!


2. Daurama Daura, 867

Daurama Daura, 867 / Crusader Kings III

Daurama Daura is historically remembered as the last matriarchal Queen of the Hausa people and the “queen grandmother” of all Nigerian royals, even to this day.

She begins the game married to the absolute chad, Bayazid (Bayajidda in the Hausa language) the Snake-Slayer, who is her de jure liege and neighbor.

Bayajidda is a legendary hero for Nigerians, akin to Ragnar Lodbrok for the Norse.

Despite being in a matrilineal marriage with him, you start the game already with a legitimate child that is of Bayajidda’s dynasty.

This complicates things, as you will need to deal with this problem. If you die with this child as your primary heir, the game will be over.

Daurama follows the traditional Bori faith, a faith that treats women equally with men.

You’re in an excellent position to unite the Hausa people using your husband’s military might, easily reforming the faith down the line.

After that, embarking on a quest to bring equality to the entirety of Africa makes for a very interesting and long campaign. You can also net the “Mother of Us All” achievement if you succeed in converting all of Africa to a single faith.


1. Matilda Canossa, 1066

Matilda Canossa, 1066 / Crusader Kings III

Who else could be in first place except Matilda di Canossa?

As a fan favorite character since Crusader Kings II, Matilda offers engaging gameplay right from the start.

Matilda’s father and brothers tragically died one after the other a decade prior to the starting date. As the last member of her House, Matilda has been the nominal ruler of most of Central Italy since she was 9 years old.

And her expansion prospects are excellent.

You can usurp the Kingdom of Romagna from the Pope after only securing 2 more counties in it. The Kingdom of Italy is not far from your grasp either.

By either befriending the Pope (or even seducing him), you can get a claim on the duchy of Lombardy and easily create the Kingdom of Italy. Subjugating the rest of the Italian minor lords is trivial.

Sardinia is not a stretch either, and voila – you can easily have enough land to form the Empire of Italia already during Matilda’s lifetime.

There lies your choice for the future.

Remain loyal to the German Kaiser as a vassal Queen of Italy, or declare independence and forge your own path as Empress of Italia?

She’s a historically controversial figure, remembered for both her piousness and alleged witchcraft.

And Matilda offers one of the most interesting starting scenarios.

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G. Tsechilidis

Born and raised Greek citizen. His love of history, geography, and all things map-related, are certainly a contrast to his pursuit of a master in civil engineering. An avid gamer from a very young age, he found the perfect match in Grand Strategy Games. If not for a good chess match or a round of carambole billiards, you'll certainly catch him firing up EU4 or a Total War game to spend the evening.