Last night’s Vikings season 6 episode proved itself to be one of the series’ most powerful, and it doesn’t take a whole lot of time in order to figure out why. This is an installment that brought forth the death of Lagertha, one of the series’ most important characters. Losing her is a significant loss to the series, but it is also unexpected. This is a character who was the subject of a prophecy many years ago from The Seer. It felt like this moment was inevitable, and it was largely going to be a function of how the writers wanted to present her passing onscreen and when.
In the end, Lagertha’s death came amidst an incredible episode, one that featured a lot of action and plenty of situations where the character could’ve lost her life. The one that finally took it involved Hvitserk and, in some ways, a case of mistaken identity.
Speaking by Variety, show executive producer Michael Hirst confirmed what some of his thought process was when it comes to making this move. There were a number of different components to it, but the top priority was ensuring that it was emotionally resonant and it also showed many of the character’s fans how important she was to the narrative:
What was most important to me was to make sure that Lagertha’s death was as significant and powerful as it could be and was in the right position in the show. It had to be a standalone moment because so often in the show Lagertha has been with the collective: She’s been in the army or she’s fought with her son. She was the queen of Kattegat. I wanted her to have her own story, and that’s why I took her into retirement and out of retirement because it put her in the most dangerous position. She was the most famous shield maiden in the world, she can’t really retire from being that. The idea then was to give a significant part of Season 6 to her story so she would own it. She has a huge fan club and for a lot of women, she is a role model. I was very aware of that. But because I’d helped shape her destiny, I felt that it was appropriate and we could work on these final themes. I wanted it to have as much impact as possible because there are other deaths coming down the line.
There were a number of people hoping that Lagertha would survive the series, but the reality we’ve discovered here is that Vikings is a show where this isn’t always possible. Characters die and, regrettably, some of them die in horrific ways. You just have to do your best in order to be prepared for them.
How are you feeling about Lagertha’s dead on Vikings, now that some time has passed?
Be sure to share in the comments, and stick around for some other news. (Photo: History.)
This article was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.