‘Vikings’: Aslaug Makes a Choice That Changes Her Life Forever
Who is Aslaug in ‘Vikings’?
Aslaug is a princess from Götaland that’s extremely smart and cunning. Her parents are famous in the Viking world. Her mother was the famous shield maiden Brunhilde, and her father was Sigurd, a man who supposedly killed the dragon Fafnir.
Aslaug is considered a völva or a seeress. She has premonitions of the future, and it happens throughout the series on more than one occasion.
She becomes the wife of Earl Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) in season 2 and goes on to have many sons with him.
How does Aslaug meet Ragnar Lothbrok?
In season 1, episode 9, Ragnar is on business in Götaland for King Horik (Donal Logue) in regards to some disputed land with Jarl Borg (Thorbjørn Harr). While waiting for the return of his friend Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård), who went to speak to Horik about negotiations, Ragnar travels to see the famous ash tree in the area at the suggestion of Borg.
On his way there, his friends Arne (Tadhg Murphy) and Torstein (Jefferson Hall), who are hunting, come upon Aslaug bathing in some water. Her warriors stop them, and Torstein even gets his cheek cut. Aslaug learns they are with Ragnar Lothbrok, and she mentions that he owes her an apology.
Ragnar then hears about the situation from his two friends, and he requests for Aslaug to join them “neither dressed nor undressed,” adding, “neither hungry nor full, neither in company nor alone.” Aslaug comes calling dressed in a fishing net with a half-eaten apple and a dog, which intrigues Ragnar. He is attracted to Aslaug, and she is to him. They get close during their time together, and they travel to the ash tree.
Ragnar is hung up on a prophecy
Ragnar is married to Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), but that doesn’t seem to matter to him. He’s hung up on a prophecy told to him by the Seer (John Kavanagh), someone who is believed to be able to see the future and talk to the gods. He was promised that he would have many sons, and he’s fixated on that goal. His wife had a miscarriage, which prompts Ragnar to wonder who will have the sons he was promised despite his wife already giving him two healthy children. It’s probably part of the reason why he’s so drawn to Aslaug.
Aslaug makes a choice that changes her life forever
With both parties attracted to the other, Ragnar and Aslaug end up sleeping together. She then tells him that she’s pregnant and asks, “Did the Seer not promise you more sons?” Despite what happens between them, Ragnar eventually goes back home to Kattegat. Lagertha learns a little about what happened from her son, Bjorn (Nathan O’Toole), who accompanied his father. Ragnar promises to never see Aslaug again, but that isn’t in his control.
Aslaug makes a choice to go to Kattegat months later while heavily pregnant and protected by her warriors in season 2, episode 1. It’s unclear if she already knew Ragnar was married, but it’s a good possibility because she met his son already. She could have stayed in Götaland, but she chooses to go to Ragnar before giving birth. Considering her cunning and intellect, she probably had a plan in place to push out Lagertha from the picture, and it works.
Lagertha learns Aslaug is pregnant, and Ragnar mentions the idea of him being married to them both. Aslaug pretends to go along with it, saying she knows of similar situations. But considering her jealousy later on, she is just playing the game to get what she wants. Ragnar tells his wife that she must “accept” Aslaug as he can’t turn her away since she’s having his child.
So Lagertha divorces her husband, and her son goes with her away from Kattegat. Her life and her son’s life change instantly, and it’s something she never forgives Aslaug for. Ragnar on the other hand loses a wife, but gains another.
Aslaug gets what she intended – she marries Ragnar, and they end up having four children together – Ubbe, Hvitserk, Sigurd, and Ivar. Her choice to go to Kattegat changes her life forever, as she was a Princess in Götaland before, and she never leaves Kattegat after she arrives. She becomes Ragnar’s wife and sets in place her entire future by coming to Kattegat, carving out a whole new life just by coming to see him.
Despite them having multiple children, the marriage isn’t happy for long. Aslaug is already thinking he wants to sleep with another woman in season 2, and Ragnar starts to pull away from her. She feels undesired, and they both cheat on each other and grow out of love. Aslaug ends up liking power and ruling more than her husband, and she tries to keep him preoccupied so she can rule. Even though the marriage falls apart, they stay married to each other.