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Why Alyssa Sutherland Left Vikings After Season 4

Vikings Aslaug and Ragnar

Many characters have come and gone on Vikings, and Aslaug actress Alyssa Sutherland was one of them. Over the course of five seasons, Vikings has had a number of controversial characters, such as Aslaug, Ragnar Lothbrok’s second wife and mother of his legendary sons Ubbe, Hvitserk, Sigurd, and Ivar.

Vikings initially focused on the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok, a legendary Norse hero who is said to have been a descendant of Odin, and his Viking brothers. Ragnar’s main role in season 1 set the ground for the subsequent seasons to focus on his sons' travels, especially after Ragnar ascended to Valhalla in season 4. However, Ragnar wasn’t the only character from season 1 that met his fate in season 4 – his wife, Aslaug, also died in that season, although in very different circumstances.

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Related: Why Travis Fimmel Left Vikings

Aslaug had a big presence in Vikings, and as it happens with all TV series every time an important character dies, viewers can’t help but wonder if something happened behind-the-scenes that made the writers kill a certain character. It turns out, the controversy surrounding Aslaug was a contributing factor in her death because there was simply nothing else they could do with her within the story the writers and producers were trying to tell. And so, Sutherland ended up leaving Vikings in season 4 along with her on-show husband.

Alyssa Sutherland Was Waiting For Aslaug To Die

Vikings Aslaug Alyssa Sutherland

In an interview with EW, Sutherland shared that she had been waiting for Aslaug’s death since she joined the series. Aslaug was quite a controversial character from the very beginning: she met Ragnar after two of his men spied on her while she was bathing. Aslaug demanded an apology from their Earl, and soon after meeting him, they became lovers. Aslaug turned out to be the one who was going to give him many sons, as the prophecy said. Sutherland went on to explain that she was told about Aslaug’s death while filming season 4’s episodes 9 and 10, and that because she was introduced in “such a controversial way, the only thing to do with her was to get rid of her at some point”.

Aslaug died in Vikings season 4, episode 14, “In The Uncertain Hour Before the Morning”, just one episode before Ragnar’s death. After Lagertha conquered Kattegat, Aslaug accepted her defeat under the condition that she be given safe passage to leave. Lagertha agreed, but as Aslaug left, she killed her with an arrow. Sutherland added that she felt Aslaug knew she wasn’t going to make it out of Kattegat alive, and purposefully instigated Lagertha – which makes sense as Aslaug herself said she had “fulfilled her destiny” as she gave Ragnar many sons. Unlike other actors who left due to personal reasons, Alyssa Sutherland’s time in Vikings had an expiration date of which she was aware, and Aslaug was given an unforgettable final scene next to her enemy.

Next: Vikings True Story: How Much Was Real (& What The TV Show Changed)

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