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Lagertha

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Lagertha
Portrayed by Katheryn Winnick
Lagertha c1
Status: Alive
Home: Hedeby
Kattegat, Scandinavia (formerly)
AKA: Earl Ingstad
Livelihood: Shield-maiden
Farmer
Title: Earl of Hedeby
Significant Other/s: Sigvard † (husband)
Ragnar Lothbrok (former husband)
Children: Bjorn (son)
Gyda † (daughter)
Relatives: Rollo (brother-in-law)
Character Information
Season/s: 1, 2
First appearance: Rites of Passage
Appearance Count: 18

Lagertha is a powerful and well-known shield-maiden, continuing to fight alongside her former husband and fellow Viking fighters, before her great tragedy.

Once the devoted wife of the Ragnar Lothbrok, with whom she shared a great love story, deep respect, admiration, and ambitions, Lagertha has since married another after they lost their second and unborn third child.

Since the loss of her children and suffering the blows of love and rejection, Lagertha realizes that Freyja's fertility is meant for another, and that it is the goddess' warrior aspect that speaks to her fellow Valkyrie. Lagertha remains fiercely independent when it comes to protecting her family—and the throne.

Biography Edit

Early Life Edit

Lagertha's parents were farmers. She was born and raised by her father as a shield-maiden[1] and grew to become a fierce and courageous one.

At one point, Ragnar went to Lagertha's home to confess his love to her, but he was set upon by a bear and an enormous hound who guarded her home. Ragnar killed the bear with his spear and strangled the hound with his bare hands, thus gaining her hand in marriage.

Season 1 Edit

In 8th century Scandinavia, Lagertha's son, Bjorn, had just turned twelve when her husband, Ragnar decided to leave for Kattegat to have Bjorn swear allegiance to their reigning Earl, Haraldson so he could finally earn his arm ring. Lagertha did not think her son was ready and tried to ask Ragnar to wait a while, to which he refused.

While her husband and son were away, two men invade their home, hoping to take advantage of Lagertha and Gyda but are quickly injured by Lagertha. Thereafter, the injured bandits flee and are never seen again. Upon her husband's return, Lagertha is told by Ragnar that he will be exploring the West with a few good men and a sturdy ship. When she learned that she will not be accompanying him, Lagertha is offended and tries to protest, but Ragnar insists that she stay since she is the only one he trusts to watch their farm. Resistant, Lagertha even got into a physical altercation with her husband, only to be stopped by their son.

When Ragnar returned from his voyage, he brought with him a ship full of treasures and a few Christian monks, including a young man named Athelstan, who can speak their language. The Earl, pleased with the bounty, decided that everything is his, though Ragnar and his men can each have one item. Obviously angered by the Earl's decision, Ragnar chose to keep Athelstan and brought him home as their slave, whom they later invite into bed with them, which he declined for as he has taken a vow of celibacy. Despite Athelstan's status as a captive, however, he is generally well taken care of.

The next trip to England planned by Ragnar has been sanctioned by the Earl. Now that they have Athelstan to watch over their farm and children, Lagertha is brought on the journey by Ragnar.

Upon their arrival, they are met by a group of King Aelle's soldiers inviting them to meet their king. Distrust on either side eventually cause a battle, with all but one soldier killed. The Vikings continued on to a nearby town and promptly raided it, though, with information learned from Athelstan, they wait until Sunday to attack the church.

During the raid, Lagertha stopped Knut, Earl's half-brother sent to spy on Ragnar, from raping a Saxon woman. With redirected anger, Knut attempted to rape Lagertha and is subsequently killed with his own knife.

104, Lagertha et al

Lagertha telling the others about Knut.

She managed to quietly leave the scene, only to be met by Ragnar and the other men who have since finished with the church. He asked Lagertha about Knut and told the group of what had happened. Ragnar expressed his concern by saying that he hoped to kill him. While Lagertha said there were no witnesses, she knows her crime is still punishable by death.

At the beach, the Vikings were met with another group of soldiers whom they easily defeat. Upon their return to Scandanavia, again laden with goods, they are greeted with cheers and praises, though the Earl is quick to realize that his half-brother is missing. Ragnar then took the blame for Knut's death, saying he killed Knut because he tried to rape Lagertha. The Earl had Ragnar imprisoned and planned to try and execute him, almost convincing Ragnar's brother, Rollo, to betray him.

During the trial, however, it is Haraldson who is ultimately betrayed by Rollo as he testified in support of his brother, thus freeing Ragnar of his charges. Rollo later revealed to Lagertha that he did it not for Ragnar but for her. Although Lagertha has long been pursued secretly by Rollo, she constantly rejects him, and Ragnar remains oblivious to his brother's affections.

105, boat escape

Lagertha, Athelstan and the children waiting for Ragnar.

The Earl, now hellbent on destroying Ragnar, tried many times to kill him and all those who approve of him. He and his men raid their island and quickly destroy everything, from their homes and other neighboring ones, to the farms and the lives of people who tried to fight back or run. Lagertha, however, managed to escape and hide with her children and Athelstan. An injured Ragnar later joined them and together, the group found refuge at Floki's home.

Ragnar soon decided to challenge Haraldson in a duel to the death, worrying Lagertha. The night before, in the midst of love-making, Lagertha asked her husband not to fight as he is still badly injured. Ragnar, however, emerged victorious in the battle against Haraldson and became the new Earl.

In the midst of a party following a lavish burial for the former Earl, Lagertha announced that she is pregnant. A pleased Ragnar insisted that the unborn child is a boy, just as the gods have predetermined, as the Seer once foretold.

Months into her pregnancy, Lagertha is once again left alone at Kattegat as Ragnar sailed for England. At this point, Lagertha has become responsible for overseeing varying disputes among the townspeople to maintain order.

Lagertha's leadership was tested when a man brought his wife with an infant. The man claimed that a young man stayed at their house for three days, and nine months later, his wife gave birth to a child when the couple had went years without conceiving. Upon learning that the visitor's name was Rig, Lagertha demonstrated her knowledge and told them that Rig is another name for their Norse god Heimdallr. She then told the man that he should consider himself blessed that the god chose them, and warns him that if any harm comes to the child or his wife, he will have to answer to her.

Later, the former Earl's widow, Siggy, requested to become Lagertha's servant. Initially hesitant, Lagertha agreed. Unfortunately, Lagertha had a miscarriage and upon Ragnar's return, Ragnar is devastated. Promised many sons by the gods, Ragnar began to doubt that it is Lagertha who will provide them for him as they fail to conceive another child, no matter their efforts.

Frustrated with their inability to produce the sons Ragnar was promised, both Lagertha and Ragnar ask the gods for help during the traditional pilgrimage to Uppsala, where they honor the gods with sacrifices.

During this time, Ragnar met King Horik and pledged his service to him, in return for more manpower for his future travels to England. Following the sacrifice, King Horik immediately sent Ragnar and a few other men to Gotaland for negotiations, leaving Lagertha alone and worried that her husband will seek out another woman to have sons with.

The negotiations eventually fall though, though Ragnar's men spy on a beautiful young woman bathing. The woman, named Aslaug, demands an apology from Ragnar, and, by using her wits to solve his riddle, soon intrigues Ragnar. The pair eventually have sex, infuriating his son with Lagertha, Bjorn, who is incredibly upset that his father is cheating on his mother. Regardless, Aslaug soon becomes pregnant with what Ragnar is predicting will be his next son, and Ragnar continues his torrid affair with her.

While Ragnar and Aslaug were celebrating the good news, Lagertha and the remaining Vikings have been fighting a losing battle with a plague. Lagertha is left to grieve one of the the many victims, her and Ragnar's own daughter, Gyda.

Season 2 Edit

Lagertha soon discovered Ragnar's infidelity with Aslaug through Bjorn. While it initially seemed the couple would overcome Ragnar's adultery, this changed when the heavily pregnant Aslaug sailed to Kattegat. Ragnar asked to be in an arrangement where he would be married to both of them, for the sake of their children. Lagertha, disgusted, insulted, and far too dignified to tolerate such disrespect, chose to leave him, and was joined by Bjorn.

Lagertha has since remarried, settling in Hedeby, Scandinavia, with the wealthy earl Sigvard. Unfortunately, she seems less than pleased with him though he claims to have wanted her for a long time. Lagertha is trying (and failing) to elude Sigvard. He says as his wife she should be by his side when he entertains guests; Lagertha says she will not be insulted as he does not love her or her son. Sigvard slaps her and tells her that he does love them both, then apologizes for hitting her.

Later that night, Bjorn confronts his mother about her husband’s violence. She tells him it won’t happen again, but Bjorn is unconvinced. He later tells his mother that, while Ragnar and his men have been away, their former home of Kattegat has been taken over by Jarl Borg. Lagertha tells her son that she will convince her husband help. Later that night, Sigvard stumbles into the bedroom, apparently after having a few drinks. Lagertha appraches the subject of Ragnar, but Sigvard won't hear of it and attempts instead to make love to her. She refuses his advance which causes Sigvard to become rough and attempt to rape her. Outside the door, Bjorn can hear the commotion and draws his knife; Lagertha manages to throw Sigvard off and tells him to never to treat her like that again. She opens the door to find Bjorn and thanks him, but says he will not harm her. Sigvard passes out.

A few days later, Lagertha, Bjorn and a small army join Ragnar. It has been several years since Ragnar has seen Lagertha and his son, now a young adult, which causes Ragnar great happiness in how much his son has grown. Inside, Lagertha greets her former brother-in-law and Siggy, then heads over to Aslaug and her sons. Though the air is stiff, Aslaug thanks Lagertha for her help and Lagertha dotes on the children.

Personality Edit

Lagertha is a fierce warrior, much like other shield-maidens who are comparable to their male counterparts. She shares her husband's lust for adventure.  She is courageous and wise at the same time, only using violence when absolutely needed.  Unlike Aslaug and Siggy, Lagertha is very strong and surges through even the most trying of times with a clear head.  Although Lagertha is rather brutal and violent at times, she is very intelligent and knows when to back out. She is also very kind, caring, and compassionate. This side of her personality is usually shown when she is around Bjorn or Gyda before she died. She also rules her people with empathy and compassion and these traits make her very popular among her people.

Relationships Edit

Ragnar Lothbrok Edit

While they were still married, Lagertha and Ragnar loved each other very much. However, after Lagertha miscarried what should have been their third child, Ragnar grew increasingly distant from her in the following months. While he eventually got over it, Ragnar had cheated on her, and Lagertha left him when she realized he wanted children more than he wanted her.


TriviaEdit

  • As the reigning earl of Hedeby, Lagertha's subjects and followers among the local population would be considered Jutish, given Hedeby's location in the Jutland Peninsula. There would also be Saxons present, as Hedeby was in the contemporary frontier zone with Frankish-occupied Saxony. Both Saxons and Jutes were among the North Germanic tribes which took part in the migrations toward Britain in the four hundred years prior to the Viking Age.

Appearances Edit

Season one appearances
Rites of Passage Wrath of the Northmen Dispossessed
Trial Raid Burial of the Dead
A King's Ransom Sacrifice All Change
Season two appearances
Brother's War Invasion Treachery Eye For an Eye Answers in Blood
Unforgiven Blood Eagle Boneless The Choice The Lord's Prayer

References Edit

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