Let’s start off this edition of our CarterMatt Emmy Hopefuls article series with a significant dose of reality: Katheryn Winnick should have been a serious contender for a Primetime Emmy Award nomination long ago. For years now, she’s been flourishing in her role as Lagertha on Vikings, a History gem with a tremendous following but yet, little awards-show recognition to its name.
So what in the world is going on with this? Personally, we just don’t think that the Emmys have formed much of a habit when it comes to perceiving History as an awards-worthy network, even though it is and has been for some time. It’s producing battle scenes on Vikings that surpass almost any other on television — and then, you actually get into some of the performances. These are powerful, breathtaking looks into people who may be from a different time, but have the same touchstones, feelings, and innate qualities as anyone. The cast, led by Winnick, is able to masterfully take these people and forge a connection with them like no other.
So what makes Lagertha so memorable? It starts with her warrior qualities, but it ultimately stretches so far beyond that.
On the battlefield – Odds are Winnick does not spend the better part of her days traversing through the streets, sword in hand. Yet, you would almost think she does when watching her commitment to this role. She puts her all into it, working beautifully in order to ensure that every moment at war is believable and her fighting spirit is constant and present. The character may be a bit more broken now, but that spirit still hasn’t vanished.
Highs and lows – We have seen through season 5 a more vulnerable version of Lagertha than ever before. This is a woman who has seen so many she loves around her die, and it’s a trend that she cannot seem to escape no matter how badly she may want to. We’ve known this character through a particular lens, so trying to break that lens and establish something new is no easy feat. Yet, Winnick transformed Lagertha into a darker, haunted person through season 5, showing someone in hiding and someone at odds with her own sense of self. She was lost, though there was still an element of the person we remembered present in there.
The strategist – A part of the evolution of this character has been recognizing her own limitations. While Lagertha can still fight, she also has the wisdom of various conflicts, deaths, and wars. She knows perhaps more than she’s ever known before how to bob and weave, how to escape and conquer. We’re seeing some of that wisdom at work now.
Progression through time
Perhaps Winnick’s greatest feat as this character is finding a way to connect the various versions of Lagertha that we’ve seen with the one who exists within the show’s present day. While Vikings has lasted for a good five seasons so far, she’s played this character well beyond five or six years. She’s made the earlier version of Lagertha still reflected in the older one, while changing enough to make her into a new character. She can inspire fear, but also break your heart as you examine the cruelty of this world. She’s one of the most powerful beings in all of the Nordic world, but everyone has a breaking point, a moment that things change.
At present, we don’t quite know what else Winnick could do to prove to the Television Academy that she is a formidable force, a capable performer who is pouring every single once of heart into her work. We’re not sure that there has been a year that better showed off her range and capacity to make audiences feel. She may be decades and a continent away, but Lagertha is now a character you can hold close … but probably not too close, since she can still slice your head off.
Want to get some other Vikings news?
Then be sure to visit the link here right now! We’re DEFINITELY waiting for some season 6 premiere date news; hopefully, that is going to come over the next few weeks.
Do you want to see Katheryn Winnick win a Primetime Emmy Award for her role as Lagertha? Be sure to share in the comments, and remember to stay tuned for some other news. (Photo: History.)