The first half of Vikings season 4 ended on an odd note, with an episode that saw Rollo vanquish Ragnar and his fellow Vikings as they attempted to attack Paris again and then featured a time skip of several years. Season 4 returns on November 30th, and this past week Katheryn Winnick (Lagertha) was on hand to give some juicy details about what has happened and what’s to come.
One thing that’s been made very clear in the previews for “Season 4B” is the fact that Lagertha doesn’t care for Queen Aslaug or how she’s running Kattegat. Katheryn Winnick outright stated that Lagertha feels as if Aslaug is “running the show and not necessarily running it the proper way, or the strongest way, as a ruler, to help the people.” And while Winnick couldn’t go into too much detail about the upcoming reckoning between Lagertha and Aslaug, she did say that there would be a “big epic scene” where they would come face to face, a scene that is “juicy and…memorable”.
Of course Aslaug isn’t the only person with whom Lagertha will be coming face-to-face in the upcoming episodes. When asked about the return of Ragnar and the suggestion that Lagertha shows emotional weakness with/around him, Katheryn Winnick was quick to correct that idea:
Now you mentioned weakness. I don’t necessarily see it as weakness – I see it as a vulnerability – but I think there is strength in vulnerability, and especially with Lagertha and the fact that here is somebody that she shared her childhood with…They have been through so much, they had made children together and to see him now after so many years, especially after the time jump, and still have love for him…but she realizes she is in a different place…yet they will always be together. If not in this world, maybe in Valhalla.
Personally, I love the concept of that sort of bond between Ragnar and Lagertha, even if, as Katheryn said, it probably won’t be in this world. Considering Lagertha has taken another lover since Kalf’s death, and that that lover is a woman (yay!), I certainly don’t hope for there to be a full-on Ragnar/Lagertha reunion anytime soon. Speaking about this new relationship with Astrid (played by Josefin Asplund), Winnick explained,
Lagertha is in a different place…she developed this relationship with Astrid…Lagertha has been betrayed by so many men throughout her life…So her relationship with men, I’m not sure it will change. I’m not sure she will ever trust a man again. So it did make sense that she would find comfort in another human being and that that human being happened to be a woman. I don’t feel that Lagertha is necessarily a lesbian – I wouldn’t necessarily see that and I never really played it that way, but she did find a love with [Astrid] that other men have never been able to give her.
Katheryn Winnick went on to mention that Josefin brings a lot of humor to the character and that Astrid deals with Lagertha in a very unique way; additionally, Lagertha has groomed Astrid to be the warrior that she is and it’s nice to see that it’s not a situation where it’s just two women in bed together – that “there is a strong bond that is not necessarily the sexual part of a relationship, but more of an emotional bond that is evident and really beautiful to see.”
On a personal note, I love that we’re going to get to see Lagertha in an apparently healthy relationship; the fact that it’s with another women is like the extra cherry on top. I’m a bit torn about the idea that Lagertha may have ended up with a woman because of her being wronged by so many men, but I’m glad that Winnick followed that up with a much sweeter explanation of Lagertha and Astrid’s relationship.
Unfortunately, due to time constraints I was only able to get one question in, that being “How does Lagertha feel about her son Bjorn abandoning his responsibilities to his daughter?” To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised by Katheryn’s answer…
I feel that Lagertha is a warrior, and she understands that Bjorn has ambitions past…just being a father. And especially in those times it is not uncommon for the warriors to go out to explore different lands and to…raid. So is it comfortable for her to…leave her granddaughter [with] Aslaug? No, not necessarily. I don’t think that’s the ideal situation. But she does understand that Bjorn is Bjorn and she really wants the best for him…So I do feel that it’s different from how we may look at it now in our society, that he’s not necessarily a great father, but in those days it [was about] making a name for yourself and teaching your children to be good warriors and to be able to find their own path…[it’s] what really drove them and is definitely what drives Lagertha.
Thankfully between some other great questions and Katheryn Winnick’s consistently wonderful answers, this was one of the more enjoyable press conferences I’ve ever been part of. It was awesome to hear from her that “there is a very big battle coming up…and it’s one that’s…in the history books, and it is something that you wouldn’t expect and it is definitely epic. It’s powerful. It’s a battle and you will see deaths, unexpected deaths. You will see challenges within the fight. You will see personal relationships getting tested when they confront their enemies in the battlefield.” She also admitted that she loves “being a Viking…because it’s raw and it’s real”. And to be honest, that’s also why I personally love the show.
As for why I love Lagertha, well, Winnick explained that perfectly, too. Lagertha “is constantly getting challenged in her moral compass…[that] is what keeps her honest and…keeps her who she is…She is formidable, she is strong, but she is also a woman. She is allowed to be vulnerable, she is allowed to be feminist. She is allowed not to have her (shit) together at times, and that’s what makes [her] so real and fantastic. It’s not just the strengths of her character as a warrior but her strength, her personality, and her strong sense of will.”
Last but not least, I’m really glad that Katheryn Winnick brought up the shirt that she designed to raise money for women in film – it features Lagertha and the words “Wake Up, Kick Ass, Repeat”. I know I can’t wait to snag one of these shirts!
Check out Katheryn Winnick’s IMDB page for more information about her past, current, and future projects, and don’t forget that Vikings returns to the History channel on Wednesday, November 30th at 9 PM EST.
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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