GORDĀFARID, daughter of Gaždaham (q.v.), the castellan of Dež-e Sapid (q.v.), the Iranian fortress on the frontier with Turān. She plays a daringly martial role in the tragic episode of Rostam and Sohrāb (Šāh-nāma, ed. Khaleghi, II, pp. 130-37). Upon Sohrāb’s attack on Dež-e Sapid and the defeat and capture of the Iranian hero, Hojir, Gordāfarid puts on her armor and challenges the Turanian heroes to single combat. She is, however, defeated by Sohrāb, who only realizes that his adversary belongs to the opposite sex when he succeeds in removing her helmet. He then promptly falls in love with her. Gordāfarid, who does not see herself as Sohrāb’s equal in battle, deceives him by false promises. She takes him up to the gate of the fortress, which she enters, and the gate closes behind her. The most haunting part of this episode is her conversation with Sohrāb (vv. 213-21, 236-48) and her foreboding of Sohrāb’s downfall.
Originally Published: December 15, 2002
Last Updated: February 17, 2012
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Vol. XI, Fasc. 2, p. 138