Lagertha is one of the pillars of Vikings, a character that has captured all of our hearts and has been with us since the beginning. We’ve seen her triumphs and her failures, and this piece is going to take a look at her journey through the show. Let’s explore Lagertha’s life as we’ve seen it play out on Vikings. Quite a lot has happened to our favourite shieldmaiden since season one.
We first meet Lagertha when she’s married to Ragnar, the mother of both Bjorn and Gyda. She lives in a small house in Kattegat with her family, and defends their home when Ragnar leaves on voyages and expeditions.
One such time, we see two men attempt to invade the home and assault both Lagertha and Gyda, clearly underestimating Lagertha’s abilities. She fights them off with a sword, clearly capable of defending her home alone.
We learn lots about Lagertha in season one. She’s headstrong, and isn’t afraid to put up a fight with her husband when she disagrees with him. She wants to be able to explore with him and fight in battles with him, not just stay at home while he has all the fun. This is proven when she kills Knut, the half-brother of Earl Haraldson, when he attempts to assault a Saxon woman during one of their raids.
Another thing we learn about Lagertha is how important being a mother is to her. She learns she’s pregnant in this season, and Ragnar is elated. When he’s away on another voyage, she suffers a miscarriage, which upsets her deeply. This isn’t the end of loss for Lagertha, as her daughter Gyda passes during a plague in Kattegat.
When Bjorn reveals Ragnar’s adultery to his mother, Lagertha is intensely betrayed and upset by this news, but agrees to let it go if Ragnar promises to be faithful in the future. This is all put on hold when Aslaug shows up in Kattegat, pregnant with Ragnar’s child. This breaks Lagertha’s heart, especially when Ragnar proposes a polyamorous relationship.
Lagertha, feeling disrespected, chooses instead to leave Ragnar, and is joined by Bjorn when she goes.
Years pass, and we see that Lagertha has remarried, but is in an abusive relationship. This relationship results in the murder of her husband and her becoming an Earl.
The Seer tells Lagertha that she will not have any more children, which hurts her, but she carries on regardless. In this season, we see her relationship with Kalf, and how he betrays her when she’s away.
We also explore Lagertha’s other ambitions, her desire to create a settlement that is prosperous and beneficial to her people. While in Wessex, she has a small relationship with King Ecbert, who is fascinated by her.
When she returns to her village after Wessex, she finds that Kalf has betrayed her and taken her Earldom. This leads to her deciding her ultimate hatred for him, which we see later on in the show.
We get to see Lagertha’s warrior side prosper again this season, as she fights in the battle of Paris. After this, Bjorn is injured, causing her to be angry with Ragnar for not looking after him more closely.
After the siege on Paris, Kalf confesses his love to Lagertha, who accepts his confession with the promise that one day she will kill him for betraying her.
Lagertha and Kalf return to Hedeby after the siege on Paris, and they announce their marriage. Just before their wedding, Lagertha fulfills her promise to Kalf and kills him, becoming Earl again.
After this, Lagertha joins both Ragnar and Harald as they set sail for Paris again. This time they face off against Rollo, who has officially changed allegiances. When they fail, Lagertha stands by Ragnar as a leader when others start to question him. We also see Ragnar apologize to Lagertha for how they ended things, and there is a clear connection between the two of them as it becomes apparent that they are saying goodbye to one another in a way.
When back in Kattegat, we see Lagertha and Aslaug finally come head to head, tensions are very high as the two women prepare to perform a sacrifice towards the health of their sons. Lagertha tells Aslaug that she can never forgive her for taking Ragnar and Kattegat away from her.
Shortly after this, Lagertha imprisons the sons of Ragnar and kills Aslaug, finally reclaiming Kattegat as her own. This causes the sons of Ragnar to rebel against her, swearing revenge against her for the death of her mother.
At the end of this season, we see Lagertha once again betrayed by King Harald, who she thought was her ally.
For more of Lagertha’s fierceness, make sure to tune into Season 5 on Wednesdays at 9EP, and catch up on history.ca so that you don’t miss a single moment.