|“||Power is dangerous. These are the words of the Gods. But that power, that danger, is everything. It lives in an army that will protect my people and my rule. My son, my legacy, has become the bravest of warriors. I listen silently to the ramblings of men. Those who dream of danger may awake to death. But life must be lived to the fullest before it is over. I embrace the idea of life and death. For I am not the one in charge of my fate. The gods have already written my story. Victory or Valhalla. ”||”|
–– Lagertha, Vikings Season 4 Promo
Since the loss of her children, 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.
Early Life Edit
She was brought up by her father to be a Shield-maiden.
At an unspecified time, Ragnar went to Lagertha's home to confess his love for 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, Björn, had just turned twelve when her husband, Ragnar, took him to Kattegat to swear allegiance to their reigning Earl Haraldson and earn his arm ring. Lagertha did not think her son was ready and tried to ask Ragnar to wait a while but he refused.
While her husband and son are away, two men invade their home to rape Lagertha and her daughter Gyda. They underestimate Lagertha and she drives them off with a sword. On Ragnar's return, he tells her of his plan to explore the West with a few good men and a sturdy ship. When she learns that she cannot go too, Lagertha is offended and protests, but Ragnar insists that she stay since she is the only one he trusts to watch their farm. Resistant, Lagertha fights with her husband, only to be stopped by their son.
When Ragnar returns from his voyage, he brings 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, decides that everything is his, though Ragnar and his men can each have one item. Obviously angered by the Earl's decision, Ragnar chooses to keep Athelstan and takes him home as their slave, whom they later invite into bed with them, which he declined 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.
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.
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 farm and quickly destroy everything, 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 upset that his father is cheating on his mother. Regardless, Aslaug soon becomes pregnant with what Ragnar is predicting will be his next son Ubbe, and Ragnar continues his torrid affair with her.
While Ragnar and Aslaug celebrate 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
In Kattegat, Bjorn reveals Ragnar's infidelity to his mother. Though initially the couple seem to overcome the adultery, this changes when the heavily pregnant Aslaug comes to Kattegat. Ragnar asked if he may marry both of them, for the sake of their children. Lagertha is disgusted and too insulted to tolerate such disrespect, chooses to leave him, joined by Bjorn.
In the time that passes, Ragnar becomes the father to several sons by Aslaug, fulfilling the prophecy. 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 four years since Ragnar has seen Lagertha and his son, now a young adult, which gives Ragnar great happiness to see 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.
When she returns to Hedeby, she finds her husband as violent as ever. The final straw for Lagertha, however, comes after Sigvard has her brutally beaten, after which he begins to disrobe her in front of their dinner guests. Lagertha grabs a knife and stabs him in the eye; while Sigvard screams another man steps up and silences him by lopping off his head.
After a few tense moments, the hall erupts in applause and Lagertha is made the new earl.
Season 3 Edit
Now free from her husband, Lagertha, the new earl, asks a Seer if she will have any more children, to which he replies no, but relays what the gods have shown him. Lagertha is unhappy with the prophecy and how cryptic it is; she asks instead when she will die. The Seer does not know that either, only that her death has already been decided by the gods.
Before leaving once more for Wessex, Lagertha speaks to her trusted second-in-command Kalf about another marriage proposal she has received. Kalf says the man has much to offer her; she asks why he does not ask for her hand. Kalf explains that he has nothing to offer her; the marriage would not benefit either of them. Lagertha smiles.
Lagertha takes several men and women to Wessex, with intention of creating a thriving settlement, though not all her subjects agree with this plan. Once there, King Ecbert shows a keen interest in her and tries to get in her favor. She notices his stares, but does not rebuff his attentions. The King picks up a handful of soil and offers it to Lagertha. They agree that fertile land is a better gift than jewels.
King Ecbert invites Lagertha and Athelstan to his villa, where he bestows another gift, this time, a beautiful necklace. Lagertha is falttered and allows the King to put the necklace around her neck. They stay for a few days before returning to the settlement.
A few days later, King Ecbert, who simply can not seem to stay away, visits Lagertha again, who now greets him in English. The King is impressed and, once again, has a gift for her: a plow, designed to dig deeper into the ground and turn the soil as well. He says she and Athelstan are always welcome in his castle, whenever they may choose.
The offer of hospitality is taken upon and Lagertha is back with the King in his castle. He shows her the Roman baths and invites her (as well as Athelstan and Judith) for a dip. Soon, Lagertha and the King are wrapped around each other, though Judith abruptly leaves the bath as Athelstan follows. Lagertha and King Ecbert take little notice, however, and continue having sex. Later, Lagertha flings briefly with Princess Kwenthrith.
Unbeknownst to Lagertha; however, the King has no intention of keeping his promise and sends his men to kill the settlers and burn the land. Lagertha has other problems and upon returning home finds that Kalf has taken over her earldom. She asks Ragnar to help her recover it, and, although he joins her in speaking with Kalf on the matter, he only goes to ask for his help is attacking Frankia. Ragnar then leaves Kalf to deal with his ex-wife on her own.
Though Lagertha develops an intense hatred for Kalf, their past follows them and Kalf silently watches over Lagertha during the siege of Paris. Lagertha will have nothing to do with the man, and refuses to listen to him when he warns her that something doesn't feel right. Unable to convince her with words, Kalf takes it upon himself to knock her out and take her away, only seconds before a wave of arrows fly towards them.
Lagertha awakens later to find her son Bjorn has been wounded during battle. Like any mother would do, she rushes over to him and scolds Ragnar for not watching over him. Ragnar disagrees, of course, as Bjorn is a man after all.
With the Vikings still recovering, Ragnar orders another attack. Led by Lagertha, Rollo and Kalf, they manage to pass the bridge, but they are once again pushed back. Siegfried is captured and executed.
As Lagertha recovers from the disastrous siege attempt, Kalf makes his intentions clear: he desires her with all his heart. Lagertha says that should she accept his offer, then he should know that one day she will kill him for usurping her earldom. Kalf accepts and the two make love.
Ragnar secretly meets the Franks although offered gold and silver, Ragnar doesn't accept, he asks to be baptized, and be buried in the city. The vikings place Ragnar into a wooden coffin and escort it to the gates of Paris, where they meet the Bishop. The coffin is brought inside the Cathedral to be blessed, but Ragnar suddenly jumps out of the coffin alive. He takes Princess Gisla as a hostage and forces the guards to open the gates, Bjorn is standing in front of the city with the vikings behind him enter the city. When Ragnar exits Paris, Björn catches and holds him. Bjorn later defends himself and tells Largertha, Rollo and Floki he only did what his father asked of him. The vikings leave Rollo to stay at Frankia with a small party while the rest of the vikings sail back to Kattegat
Season 4 Edit
Lagertha returns to Hedeby after invading Paris with Kalf, Torvi and Erlendur. Earl Kalf announces that he and Lagertha will share the Earldom, to the dislike of Einar. Kalf invites Einar and his men to vote to exile Lagertha, then turns on them, killing the dissidents and allowing Lagertha to kill Einar. Lagertha sleeps with Kalf and he tells her he loves her. Lagertha reveals to Kalf she is pregnant, and Kalf asks her to marry him. Just before their wedding, Lagertha stabs and kills Kalf, and reclaims her status as Earl. Ragnar announces his plan to raid Paris Lagertha and Harald joins him they set sail. A storm throws the Viking's ships off course. Lagertha, Ragnar and Harald arrive in France, where they set up camp. Once the remaining ships arrive, the Vikings sail up river towards Paris. As the ships approach Paris, they see Rollo waiting with his new French allies. Ragnar suggests attacking from both the river and by land. Lagertha and her warriors attack from the marshes but warriors become stuck in the marsh. Rollo fires upon them and the ships. As the ships approach the forts, Rollo orders the Franks to raise a metal chain between them, which capsizes some ships. Lagertha retreats, and the Franks begin to set the Viking ships on fire.
The Vikings retreat, and Ragnar's leadership is questioned by Harald but Lagertha continues to support Ragnar. Ragnar tells Bjorn to land near a cliff, and reveals a new plan: they will take the ships overland, behind the Frankish forts. As the Vikings carry their ships overland, Harald and Halfdan kill a Frankish family. Lagertha has a miscarriage and is comforted by Ragnar. Rollo leads his remaining ships into battle. Halfdan, Floki, and Lagertha are wounded in the battle. Ragnar and Rollo begin to fight. The Franks gains the upper hand, and Ragnar tells Bjorn to take Lagertha and retreat. many years pass. Ragnar has disappeared. Thorhall delivers the news to Aslaug and Bjorn that the Norse settlement in England had been slaughtered, and also that Ragnar has a son named Magnus in Wessex. Ragnar returns and asks Lagertha to accompany him to England but she refuses Ragnar then apologizes to Lagertha for everything he did. Lagertha and Aslaug perform a sacrifice to the gods for their sons. Lagertha tells Aslaug she cannot forgive her for taking Ragnar, and that she will never be Queen of Kattegat. Lagertha imprisons Ubbe and Sigurd, and attacks Kattegat, intending to replace Aslaug on the throne. Lagertha attacks Kattegat, but Aslaug renounces herself as Queen, promising Lagertha that her sons will not seek revenge. In exchange, she wants safe passage to leave. She also said that Ragnar and Ivar died in a storm Lagertha initially agrees, but then kills Aslaug. Ubbe and Sigurd arrive to find Lagertha in the great hall. Ubbe challenges Lagertha's warriors in an attempt to kill her, but fails. Astrid tells Ubbe and Sigurd that they will die if they harm Lagertha. Lagertha consider the consequences of Ragnar's death, while his sons start to plan their revenge. Lagertha orders defences to be built around Kattegat. Ivar challenges Lagertha to single combat, but is refused, and promises that he will kill Lagertha one day. Lagertha asks if a son of Ragnar wil kill he and the Seer ''yes''. Ivar and Ubbe attempt to kill Lagertha, but are stopped by Bjorn, who makes clear that his brothers will have to kill him before Lagertha. Earl Jorgensen volunteers to be sacrificed to assure victory in the coming war she kills him as an offering to the gods. Lagetha discovers that Kattegat is being infiltrated. Kattegat is attacked by Egil and his men, but they are repulsed and Egil is captured. Torvi is severely injured. Under torture, Egil confesses to Lagertha that he had been paid by King Harald to attack her, Egil says to Lagertha that King Harald ordered him to attack Kattegat, shocking her as he was a sworn ally.
Season 5 Edit
King Harald heads back to Kattegat only to find Lagertha waiting for him, Lagertha suggests that Harald was expecting to find Egil in her place, so he could take over the kingdom. Harald confesses and dares that she kill him. Harald is held prisoner by Lagertha. He proposes an alliance with her through marriage, but she refuses and rapes him. Harald's men free him and capture Astrid they leave Kattegat. Ubbe arrives at Kattegat there Ubbe agrees to ally with Lagertha against both Ivar and Harald. Floki returns to Kattegat with tales of his fabulous new land and recruits settlers to return, Lagertha forbids him from taking her warriors away. Lagertha finds out from Guthrum that Floki has secretly recruited settlers to leave with him. Lagertha meets with Floki and lets them leave because she see's no point in keeping these warriors here against there will.
Lagertha warns Margrethe that if she continues to plot against her she will cut out her tounge and enslave her. Hakon a fisherman who was bribed by Astrid informs Lagertha in the full moon Ivar and Harald will attack Kattegat together. Lagertha has allied with King Svase, she then welcomes her son Bjorn and introduces him to the king and his daughter. Lagertha witness Bjorn breaking up with Torvi he then asks Lagertha to marry Snaefrid, Svase's daughter. Lagertha and her allies discuss how to respond to Ivar's attack, and decide to meet him in battle on land, assuming that he will not attack the town from the sea.
Lagertha is a respected warrior, who fights alongside her male counterparts, and is adept in battle. Like her late former husband, Ragnar Lothbrok, she also has a sense of adventure, as well as fierce ambition and the desire to rule.
Whilst physically able, she is also a very loving person to those close to her, such as Ragnar, her surviving child Bjorn, deceased daughter Gyda, and her friends and allies. She also is compassionate of non-Norse, as she protects an Anglo-Saxon woman in Hixham, Northumbria from being raped by Knut, a half-brother of the late Earl Haraldsson.
Whilst using power wisely, and justly, she is extremely vicious to those whom she deems enemies. Lagertha killed Earl Kalf for usurping her Earldom of Hedeby, castrated Einar for assisting in this act, and was close to killing Rollo in the attack on Paris. She also killed Aslaug, after her surrender to Lagertha, in vengeance for supposedly using spells to coax Ragnar away from her. Egil the Bastard was tortured by her, for leading an attack on Kattegat under the instruction of King Harald Finehair of Norway.
Lagertha has a great love for children, and was told by the Seer that she would have no more children other than Bjorn and Gyda. This prophecy, whilst true, was seen by Ragnar as dangerous, since she took unhealthy and unreasonable risks whilst pregnant, thus looking to "prove" the prophecies correct.
There is also a hypocritical side to Lagertha. Despite her background as a farmer, she refused to let citizens of Kattegat to leave to farm in peace, something that Ragnar wanted for the Norse people, in Iceland. Despite her hatred of rape, she has no problem committing it herself having raped Harald Finehair. On a final note, she said Ivar would be a usurper never mind the fact that she is a usurper herself and Ivar has a better right to Kattegat's throne than she does since by divorcing Ragnar she lost all right to the throne while Ivar is the son of Ragnar and Aslaug, Kattegat's previous rulers.
Ragnar Lothbrok Edit
Lagertha had a very loving relationship with Ragnar; However, Ragnar becomes obsessed with a prophecy that has been foretold to him that he should have many sons. When Lagertha miscarries what should have been their third child, Ragnar becomes increasingly distant in the following months. Ragnar begins a fling with Aslaug, who soon becomes pregnant. When Lagertha finds out, she is furious, when a heavily pregnant Aslaug arrives in Kattegat and Ragnar suggests taking on Aslaug as a second wife.
Lagertha feels hurt and insulted and leaves him to his new wife. In the years that pass, Lagertha remarries and moves away from Ragnar with their surviving child, Bjorn. She joins him, however, in his endevour to colonize England, bringing back the feelings they each had for one another. However, he is unable to reconcile completely with Lagertha.
Lagertha's relationship with Athelstan was amicable. As the show progressed, she considered her former slave as a friend. She even showed willingness to having a threesome with him and Ragnar. Although it is unknown, if it was by her desire or Ragnar's, since she haven't made any indication of trying again, after he refused.
Sigvard was Lagertha's second ex-husband. It is unknown how their relationship was at first, but by the time Bjorn has grown to young adulthood, their relationship is hateful and abusive. Sigvard humiliates, beats and possibly rapes Lagertha, who tolerates it for a long time, but is forced to kill Sigvard when she realizes he wants to up his humiliation of her. To her surprise, Sigvard former allies didn't like her late ex-husband either and after she finally makes a move to kill him and stabs him in the eye, they support her and elect her as new earl.
Kalf and Lagertha had a love and hate relationship. Kalf was once her trusted advisor. She trusted him so much to the point of leaving him in command of Hedeby and to deal with Einar. But Kalf eventually betrayed her and usurped her throne, causing her to hate and want revenge on him. Things got worse when Ragnar instead of helping her, invites him to join the Raid on Frankia. They fight together twice in the attacks on the bridge of Paris. after both saved the life of the other in different occasions. they start to gain respect for each other, to the point of Kalf revealing he always loved her. They have a conversation after Lagertha bathes. Kalf reveling wanting her with him in Hedeby. She accepts but at the same time swears she will kill him for having usurped her. When Lagertha was earl she asked Kalf why he didn't asked her hand in marriage " Hinting she would accept ". Kalf answered he had nothing to offer.
Eventually she killed him on their wedding day, honoring her promise.
|“||Although you have made me happy and fulfilled, I have come to understand that the only person you truly care for is yourself.||”|
|“||Who knows, Ragnar, what the gods have in store for us. But this, I can never imagine. If you have gone to Heaven, then we will never meet again. And yet, I think Odin will ride like the wind, and rescue you, and take you to Valhalla, where you belong, my own sweet Ragnar. And there, there we shall meet again, and fight and drink and… love one another.||”|
|“||Power is dangerous. These are the words of the Gods. But that power, that danger, is everything. It lives in an army that will protect my people and my rule. My son, my legacy, has become the bravest of warriors. I listen silently to the ramblings of men. Those who dream of danger may awake to death. But life must be lived to the fullest before it is over. I embrace the idea of life and death. For I am not the one in charge of my fate. The gods have already written my story. Victory or Valhalla.||”|
– Lagertha, Vikings Season 4 Promo
|“||We have one life… so go and live it.||”|
|“||I advise you to keep your friends very close, for some of them will die only too soon. And the others… The others will betray you.||”|
|“||My heart was broken a long time ago.||”|
- 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 Germanic tribes which took part in the migrations toward Britain in the four hundred years prior to the Viking Age.
- In the legend of Ragnar Lothbrok, Lagertha, who was his first wife, gave birth to three children, son Fridleif and two unnamed daughters.
- Michael Hirst, creator of the show was quoted saying: "There's a feminist collective in New York who wrote to me a couple years ago and they said, 'We don't' care how many of the male characters you kill off, but if you do anything to Lagertha, you're in trouble.' So I'm very careful about that warning."
- The character of Lagertha does not originate from Ragnar's saga but rather from the Gesta Danorum. Due to this Lagertha was never Bjorn's mother, Aslaug was. This by extension means Ragnar never had three wives, just two.
|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|
|Season three appearances|
|Mercenary||The Wanderer||Warrior's Fate||Scarred||The Usurper|
|Born Again||Paris||To the Gates!||Breaking Point||The Dead|
|Season five appearances|
|The Departed Part 1||The Departed Part 2||Homeland||The Plan||The Prisoner|
|The Message||Full Moon||The Joke||A Simple Story||Moments of Vision|