Over the past few years, we've seen the rise of prominent female characters in films and television. It was a much-needed change that finally provided audiences with the female representation they'd been craving for decades. Several complex, flawed, strong female leads have finally conquered the place they deserved in movies and TV shows.
Amongst this string of characters arose Lagertha, the mother, warrior, and queen of fan-favorite show Vikings. In a male-dominated series, Katheryn Winnick's Lagertha was quick to win over the hearts of fans, and claim her rightful spot as one of the best developed female characters on TV. Lagertha's an icon and an inspiration, and over the years, she's faced challenges that irrevocably changed her. Here are some of her most badass moments.
10 When She Killed Aslaug
Hell hath no fury like a scorned woman. The moment when fans witnessed Ragnar betraying Lagertha was the moment when Ragnar stopped being perceived as the perfect human. These two were the love of each other's lives, but Ragnar had absolutely no problem cheating on her with Aslaug, and bringing the woman back with him.
It was heartbreaking for everyone who was a fan of the show, and even after Ragnar's death, the anger and sorrow still remained in Lagertha's heart. She always held on to it, and in the end, she got her revenge by killing Aslaug in good old Viking fashion.
9 When She Sacrificed An Earl To The Gods
Swedish Earl Jorgensen's appearance in Vikings was short but sweet. Back in the time when Ivar still hadn't revealed himself to be the absolute trainwreck of a human being that he was, and he was still alongside his brothers and Lagertha to avenge the murder of their father, Earl Jorgensen made an entrance to pledge his allegiance to Ragnar, his sons, and Lagertha.
Granted, he was the one who offered himself to be sacrificed to the Gods in order to ensure the victory of the Viking army against the Saxons, but Lagertha was the one who had the guts to actually stab him. She's no stranger to bloodshed, but always with a purpose.
8 When She Tortures Egil
While watching a show called Vikings, it's pretty obvious right off the bat that we'll be rooting for the Vikings. if we take a step back far enough, we might actually realize that they were often the bad guys. But, hey, the heart wants what it wants, and in the case of this show, it wants to see the Vikings come out victorious at all times.
Which is why fans take it pretty personally every time someone tries to attack them. Such was the case of Egil the Bastard, who launched an attack on Kattegat on behalf of King Harald. Needless to say, audiences got a kick out of it when Lagertha foiled his plan and tortured him for information like the badass she is.
7 When She Slept With King Ecbert
King Ecbert made for one heck of an antagonist in Vikings. Much like the best characters on the show, including Lagertha, he was extremely complex, and everyone kind of loved to hate him. His unlikely bond of respect and almost friendship with Ragnar was an unlikely one, but ultimately, his actions against the Vikings were enough to pit everyone against him.
For a brief time in Season 3, Lagertha and Ecbert have a relationship. However, Lagertha knows he is a selfish, ambitious man, and doesn't fall for his lovey-dovey act. It's empowering to see a woman freely enjoy her sexuality without strings attached, especially in a time like the one depicted in Vikings.
6 When She Joined The Anglo-Saxon Raids
One of the things most people love about Lagertha is how much of a badass warrior she is. Many attributed this to the fact that, in those times, women were allowed many more freedoms than they were in later centuries, but some of this seems to be nothing more than conjecture.
We're still extremely glad the show decided to depict her as such. Lagertha is allowed to be a mother and a wife, but also a fierce fighter - one of the best on the series, actually. A fantastic moment in Vikings was when she chose to leave Kattegat for a while and go raiding the Anglo-Saxon lands alongside the other Vikings. Who says a gal can't do it all?
5 When She Killed Earl Sigvard
Very few moments in Vikings brought us as much satisfaction as the scene when Lagertha finally had enough of her abusive, negligent, and outright disgusting second husband. Lagertha suffered a lot of tragedy and betrayal over the course of the years, but the woman has no quit in her!
When she stabbed Earl Sigvard in the eye in front of his people, she established herself as the new Earl. This was a glorious scene that was a long time coming, and once again defined Lagertha as an icon who wouldn't take her husband's abuse any longer.
4 When She Taught Rapists A Lesson
Unfortunately, rape has been happening since the dawn of times. While it's still an absolutely horrid thing we have to deal with and fight against today, women in the past were often victims of the crime, and there was nothing they could do about it. Vikings has often dealt with this topic, and Lagertha has been on the other end several times.
Back in the first episode of the first season, she is all alone when two men arrive and make their intentions towards her very clear. Once they threaten to kill her, she promptly states that they couldn't kill her "if [they] tried for a hundred years" and fights them fiercely, in an extremely visceral and satisfying moment.
3 When She Took The Throne
Some people find it a little weird that Lagertha calls Ivar a usurper, when in fact, he's actually the son of Ragnar and has a greater claim to the throne than he does. Her claim pretty much rests on the fact that she was Ragnar's first wife.
But Lagertha belongs on that throne. She is a fierce warrior, a smart politician, a just ruler, and her mental and physical strength are undeniable. When she finally took the crown and became the queen of Kattegat, everyone cheered, simply because she is so deserving of the title and she fought tooth and nail to get it.
2 When She Killed A Rapist
Lagertha has too much history with horrible rape scenarios in general. Over the years, she was faced with way too many moments, including the one we mentioned above. That time, though, she had enough mercy in her to allow the two monsters who tried to rape her to walk away with their lives.
The same can't be said for the moment she witnesses Knut raiding the English village and abusing the women who live there. She intervenes, and in a fit of rage, he tries to rape Lagertha as well. He is promptly stabbed and killed by Lagertha, in yet another satisfying scene.
1 When She Divorced Ragnar
Not only did Ragnar have the nerve to cheat on his wife, he also brought Aslaug, pregnant with his child, back to Kattegat. He went as far as suggesting that she and Lagertha could be sister-wives, something which Lagertha simply wasn't having.
Lagertha's decision to divorce the man she loved after he betrayed her so horribly showed just how strong she is, and how much respect she had for herself. Choosing to divorce your partner and walk away from a throne is something that demands a lot of character and strength of heart. Courage in battle is one thing, but this is quite another.