Monday, March 2, 2015

Woman of the Month: Lagertha

Lagertha from Vikings
So over the past three days I have gorged myself on the History Channel's Vikings. Marathoning twenty-one episodes (two-and-a-bit seasons in total) seemed like a good idea at the time, but now it's impossible to think about anything else.
And of course, the highlight of the show was Lagertha.
As one of the rare cases of a female character who seems to be totally beloved by all of fandom, Lagertha can be best summed up by King Ecbert's rapturous praise: "She is unlike any woman I have ever met. There are no Saxon women like her. A shield maiden. A warrior. A farmer. A mother. She is incredible."
And he's right. Lagertha is a loving mother and a fierce warrior; she accompanies the men on raids, divorces her first husband because she refuses the indignity of sharing him with another woman, kills her second husband when he becomes abusive, becomes jarl of his community and rides at the head of its army, displays consistent solidarity with other women (especially those that need her protection), leads her people to England to establish a new farming settlement, and currently has a powerful king completely smitten with her.
Pretty much everything she does is awesome. And it's awesome.  


  1. I also love how she is also being an inspiration to others in the village, Bjorns girlfriend in particular, prompting Aslaug to remark that "everyone wants to be like Lagertha"
    However all the women are pretty awesome in their own way
    I have wondered if the writers had planned for Lagertha to become such a wonderful character, or they've developed her in response to the audience reception.
    Kathryn Winnick herself seems to relish the part, and I know she was not at all keen on the abusive husband story - I do hope they don't make King Ecbert (who's been just a little creepy in his smitteness) follow the same line, however I think she'll deal with him wonderfully if she has too.

  2. That's interesting Kathryn Winnick wasn't a fan of the abusive husband storyline - I admit that I was initially a little disappointed that (in the first season) a lot of her definitive scenes involved her fighting off random rapists. Because what else did kickass women do back then but repeatedly thwart rape attempts?

    Thankfully the writers have gotten their bearings since then, and they're doing pretty well with all the female characters. I especially liked the subversion of Siggy being set up as the "turncoat woman", only for her to remain loyal to Ragnar, and the recent shared dream of Aslaug/Siggy/Helga.

    And in terms of the fandom, I think this is the very first one that has a major following for a slash pairing (Ragnar/Athelstan) that DOESN'T feel the need to relentlessly bash the potential female threat (Lagertha). I think that early scene of the proposition (you know the one) worked wonders in keeping the balance between the three of them.

    That said, Aslaug gets a bit of a pounding (my two cents: she did a bad thing but is not a bad person), and I can already hear the pitchforks being sharpened for poor Judith (even though Athelstan/Judith DID come a bit out of nowhere).