‘Vikings’: Katheryn Winnick Reveals How She Really Sees Lagertha

In History’s Vikings, it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing Lagertha other than Katheryn Winnick. Fans are introduced to her in season 1 as the first wife of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), but she proves herself as so much more than that. Read on to learn how Winnick really sees Lagertha.

The first wife of Ragnar Lothbrok

Katheryn Winnick
Katheryn Winnick | Taylor Hill/Getty Images

In season 1, Lagertha is the wife of Ragnar and the mother of his children. When Ragnar cheats on Lagertha with Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) and gets her pregnant, Lagertha decides to leave and divorce him. Years later, Lagertha comes to Ragnar’s aid when his lands are taken away. Even though she feels betrayal and regret, she still feels she must help him.

From a farmer to the Queen of Kattegat

Lagertha’s parents were farmers, as were her and Ragnar in their humble beginnings. She makes her way from the earl of Hedeby to the Queen of Kattegat when she takes it from Queen Aslaug, her rival and the woman who essentially helped break up her marriage to Ragnar. She becomes the queen in her own right and takes back what she feels is rightfully hers: her home and pride.

Katheryn Winnick reveals how she really see Lagertha

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RELATED: ‘Vikings’: Why the Love Between Ragnar Lothbrok and Lagertha Never Ended

Collider spoke with Katheryn Winnick in 2013 about her role as Lagertha and how she sees her character. Lagertha is a strong and “fierce” warrior. She is apparently based on a real historical Viking figure, which makes sense.

“Lagertha is a fierce shield-maiden, and a shield-maiden is really a female warrior in the Dark Ages, or the Viking era,” Winnick revealed. “She’s based on a real Viking. Her role was to fight alongside with the men, during a shield wall, and her specific role was to plug up the holes in battle when the Vikings were falling.”

Lagertha is a strong woman in the Viking Age

Winnick says Michael Hirst knows how to accurately “write women” in a story, and he even worked with a historian to get facts correct about this unique time in history that was so long ago. Women in this society had “equal partnerships” with their spouses and it’s important to portray things accurately.

“The major thing that attracted me to this role was the fact that Michael Hirst wrote it, and he wrote every episode,” Winnick continued. “He knows how to write women, and he worked with a historian to try to get the facts. I trust in him to get who Lagertha was, as a person, and how women were portrayed in that society. Women were very strong and they held equal partnerships with their husbands. They were allowed to own land. They were allowed to divorce their husbands. They were allowed to fight alongside the other men on the frontline and be warriors, and not just young mothers.”