Gedren was the evil and ruthless queen of Berkubane, the Kingdom of Eternal Night. She had a taste for young women and desired the beautiful Red Sonja
to be her royal consort when Sonja was a just a teenager. Sonja rejected Gedren's advances, so in retaliation Gedren killed Sonja's brother and parents and ordered her soldiers to brutally rape Sonja. After the horrible deeds were carried out, Sonja managed to attack and damage the queen's face before being knocked unconscious by Gedren's soldiers. Sonja was left for dead, but she was revived by the goddess Scathach
, who granted Sonja the strength and fighting skill to avenge herself on Gedren.
Queen Gedren was created to be the main antagonist in the 1985 Red Sonja movie
and had no counterpart in any previous Red Sonja comic book story. The movie was adapted into a two-issue comic book miniseries by writer Louise Simonson
and artist Mary Wilshire
. Queen Gedren was played by actress Sandahl Bergman, who also played Valeria
in the 1982 Conan the Barbarian movie
In the movie's storyline, Queen Gedren was the killer of Red Sonja's family as well as the one responsible for Sonja's rape (by the queen's soldiers), which contradicts Sonja's comic book origin of the evil deeds being carried out entirely by a gang of men. Gedren often wore a metal mask that concealed the scar on her face left by Sonja. Because Gedren was shown to desire women (specifically Red Sonja), the character was criticized for portraying homosexuality
as a negative, evil trait.
Major Story Arcs
Red Sonja's Revenge
Years after victimizing the young Red Sonja, Queen Gedren and her army attacked a temple of priestesses who were harboring a powerful artifact called the Talisman. Gedren seized the Talisman and slaughtered all but one of the priestesses, Varna, who happened to be Red Sonja's sister. Though badly injured, Varna managed to escape and locate Red Sonja. Varna urged her sister to find and destroy the Talisman before Gedren could use it and possibly destroy the world.
Red Sonja and her allies traveled to Castle Berkubane while Queen Gedren watched them using a magical scrying device. Gedren recognized Red Sonja and ordered her men to capture Sonja unharmed and bring her to the castle. Gedren then used the power of the Talisman to try to defeat Sonja's party, but lost them in the process. Red Sonja infiltrated the queen's castle and confronted Gedren. While the two women dueled, the Talisman's power overloaded, causing the castle's floor to rupture and expose a chasm filled with lava. Red Sonja gained the upper hand in the duel and forced Gedren into the chasm, where she fell to her death. Sonja then hurled the Talisman into the lava, destroying it and starting a volcanic eruption, which consumed the evil queen's castle as Sonja and her allies escaped.