‘Vikings’: Who Is Earl Ingstad?

In the history of the hit series Vikings, fans might have heard of Earl Ingstad, but who exactly is Ingstad? We have all the details to know about the nickname of a popular character.

Who is Earl Ingstad in ‘Vikings’? 

The 'Vikings' ship at San Diego Comic Con 2017
The ‘Vikings’ ship at San Diego Comic Con 2017 | Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for HISTORY

Earl Ingstad is another name for Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), the main character Earl Ragnar Lothbrok’s (Travis Fimmel) ex-wife. She’s an extremely popular character over the course of the series, and she makes her own way in the world, eventually becoming the Queen of Kattegat. A fierce shield-maiden, she’s highly respected and beloved, and it doesn’t change even after her untimely death in season 6.

Lagertha is first called “Earl Ingstad” in season 2 after Ragnar spreads the word that he’s looking for people to raid with him to England. But just how does Lagertha become Earl Ingstad? She’s married to Earl Sigvard (Morten Suurballe) of Hedeby in season 2. He’s abusive, and he has people beat her up while she’s in her room at night. When he is about to rip her shirt to expose her chest in front of everyone, Lagertha stabs him in the eye. Sigvard’s own nephew, Einar (Steve Wall), who is attracted to Lagertha, kills him for her.

She’s then proclaimed the Earl of Hedeby, and when she learns of Ragnar’s desire for an ally to go raiding with himself and King Horik (Donal Logue) to Wessex, she answers the call. One of her subjects, who insists Earl Ingstad has warriors and ships, goes to see Ragnar. He makes it seem like Ingstad is a man, saying “he did not want to waste the journey” when asked why he isn’t with him.

Ragnar meets Earl Ingstad

Katheryn Winnick in 'Vikings'
Katheryn Winnick in ‘Vikings’ | Jonathan Hession/A+E Networks/History

RELATED: ‘Vikings’: The Subtle Way Ragnar Lothbrok Once Tried to Get Lagertha Back

In season 2, episode 7, Ingstad has arrived to properly meet Ragnar, but she chooses to wait for him out in the woods, which really makes an entrance. Ragnar rides his horse out to the forest with other riders who accompany him. A man waits for him, and Ragnar walks his horse over, asking, “Earl Ingstad?”

But just then, Lagertha appears on a horse from behind a nearby tree. She smiles, and her other warriors come out. Ragnar sighs and says her new name again, leading his horse to walk around near Lagertha saying, “You bear a strong resemblance to my ex-wife.”

Lagertha uses the nickname as a way to get Ragnar to meet with her, thinking he might have dismissed her otherwise. “If I had given you my true name, you might have turned me away,” Lagertha explains, staying in the same place with her horse. He circles her with his own horse, and Lagertha asks how their son, Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), is. 

“He is happy,” Ragnar says. “He is looking forward to going to England.”

“As am I,” she replies. 

He asks if she’s “truly an Earl,” to which Lagertha says, “Yes. We are equal.” She smiles, saying, “I’m sure this is difficult for you.”

“It is not difficult at all,” he insists. He then asks about how many ships she has, and she reveals she has four with “over a hundred warriors.” 

“So will you accept me as an ally?” she asks him.

Ragnar, of course, has a smart comment. “That depends,” he adds, and Lagertha inquires further. “I have been betrayed by Earls before,” Ragnar explains. “So if you are really Earl Ingstad, then it’s a no.” Lagertha moves her horse closer to him and he says, “But if you’re still the Lagertha I remember, then it is a yes.” He smirks after the remark.

They ride their horses back to Kattegat together, and Ragnar says her nickname again. “Earl Ingstad.” Lagertha laughs, and they become allies, going to Wessex together and fighting. But the Vikings eventually come to an agreement with the King of Wessex, Ecbert (Linus Roache), and they establish a settlement there, which Lagertha helps out with. However, it’s destroyed by King Ecbert, the same man who gave it to them.