‘Vikings’: How Kalf Betrays Lagertha

In the hit series Vikings, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) is betrayed many times. Kalf (Ben Robson), whom she thought she could trust, ends up betraying her in season 3, and it’s something she never truly gets over. We have the details about what Kalf does and how Lagertha responds.

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

Kalf is a man from Hedeby in ‘Vikings’

In season 2, Lagertha becomes the Earl of Hedeby after she stabs her abusive husband, Earl Sigvard (Morten Suurballe), in the eye when he tries to expose her chest. Einar (Steve Wall), a man who desires Lagertha, kills the Earl, who was his uncle. Lagertha then takes Sigvard’s place as the Earl.

When season 3 comes along, Lagertha has made an ally in Kalf, who has made himself “almost indispensable” to her as she claims. He helps her run things smoothly in Hedeby, and she even asks him why he doesn’t propose marriage between them. But he says he can only give her “a capable head.” 

How Kalf betrays Lagertha


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

Together with Einar, who has grown to hate Lagertha but also loves her, Kalf usurps the earldom from Lagertha when she’s away in Wessex and he’s left in charge. Einar had been trying to put his family back in power, and Kalf, who acts like he’s going to execute him, spares Einar, and they work together for their mutual benefit. Kalf becomes the Earl of Hedeby with the support of Einar’s family, and he doesn’t seem to have any remorse for it either.

When Lagertha returns to Kattegat, she learns about the betrayal, and she convinces her ex-husband, King Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), to go to Hedeby with her to talk to Kalf. She hopes she can get her lands back, but Ragnar is no help, and he actually offers Kalf a spot raiding with them to Paris.

Lagertha takes Hedeby back

Although Lagertha is angry because of the betrayal from Kalf, they eventually form an attachment and become lovers after he saves her from being killed in Paris. But she warns him that she’ll never “forgive” him and that she’ll kill him eventually. Kalf obviously doesn’t think she’s serious, but it comes back to bite him.

In season 4, Kalf even tells everyone that they will rule Hedeby together, which Einar can’t accept. A trap is set for Einar, who thinks a vote is to decide if Lagertha must leave Hedeby. However, it’s all part of the plan, and Einar’s supporters are killed. While Einar is dying from an arrow in the throat, Lagertha herself cuts off his genitals.

Later, Lagertha tells Kalf that she’s pregnant, and he asks her to marry him. On the day of their wedding, Lagertha stabs Kalf, killing him, and she is proclaimed the sole ruler of Hedeby. She takes back her place as Earl, but she has a miscarriage.

Although Lagertha was betrayed by Kalf, she gets her earldom back in the most violent way. She stays the Earl of Hedeby until she takes Kattegat back many years later, then becoming the Queen of Kattegat. This isn’t the first of the betrayals Lagertha faces, and it won’t be the last either.