‘Vikings’: What Happened To Ragnar and Lagertha’s Daughter, Gyda?

In the hit series Vikings, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) and Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) have a daughter named Gyda (Ruby O’Leary) in season 1. She’s a teenager when fans first meet her, and she’s extremely helpful and well behaved. What happens to Gyda? We have all the details about this character.

Who is Gyda in ‘Vikings’?

Gyda is the daughter of Ragnar and Lagertha, and she’s also Bjorn’s older sister in Vikings. She’s a background character that has a good amount of screen time in season 1 of the series. When we first meet her, she’s helping her mother catch eels in the water for the family. She’s extremely composed, and she helps out her family on the farm as well.

According to the character’s Fandom page, she is friendly with Athelstan (George Blagden), a monk who is abducted from Lindisfarne by her father in the first raid on England. 

“I don’t mind. I like the priest,” she admits to her parents when she’s told Athelstan will watch them while Gyda and Bjorn’s parents are off raiding.

What happened to Ragnar and Lagertha’s daughter, Gyda?

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

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Some time passes, and Ragnar becomes the Earl of Kattegat in the first season after fighting Earl Haraldosn (Gabriel Byrne) in combat and winning. A sickness causing fever comes to Kattegat while Ragnar is away on business for King Horik (Donal Logue). Gyda is one of the villagers that gets sick with the plague. Although some people recover, Gyda does not. 

She tells her mother that she’s “going to die,” but Lagertha insists she won’t. Even Athelstan is sick, and Gyda asks her mother to “pray to the gods” for him to recover.

However, Gyda dies in the night, and it’s a sad loss for Lagertha and the entire family. Many people also die, but Athelstan survives, and he’s upset by Gyda’s loss as well. Lagertha lights a pyre for her daughter, and it’s a heart-wrenching scene.

Ragnar says goodbye to his daughter

Travis Fimmel in 'Vikings'
Travis Fimmel in ‘Vikings’ | Jonathan Hession/A+E Networks/History

In the season 2 premiere, Ragnar goes down to the beach to talk to Gyda and say goodbye to her. He gives a moving speech, and it’s clear he is heartbroken by the loss of his first born. He wasn’t there when she died, and he’s still coming to terms with what happened.

“Gyda, I have come to say goodbye to you properly,” Ragnar says out loud. “I’ve been thinking about you. About when you were small. You were so lively you could run as swiftly as the wind. You were like quicksilver. But then before I knew it, you stopped running here and there and everywhere. And you became still. 12 years old, yet the stillness and the calm of a fine woman. What children you would have produced. What joy that would have brought to all of us.”

Ragnar tells his daughter that she’s “always” in his heart, and he says he knows she’s “with the gods.” He stays for a while hoping Gyda will “come and talk.” You can feel the pain and anguish in his voice and words, and the loss profoundly changes him.

“Dear child, Gyda. You are not gone because you are always in my heart,” Ragnar continues to say. “They say a man must love his sons more, but a man can be jealous of his sons. And his daughter can always be the light in his life. I know very well that you are with the gods, but I will wait here awhile and if you want to come and talk to me, then come and talk. And I’ll gently stroke your long and beautiful hair once again with my peasant hands.”

Gyda is mourned by her family and Athelstan. It’s truly a sad end, and a heartbreaking moment in Vikings history.