Lagertha, the divine warrior
The legend of Lagertha was told by Saxo, a Danish medieval monk and historian, author of The Danes’ Gesture, considered a masterpiece of medieval literature. In his writings, which are a considerable source on the history of Denmark and on Norse mythology, we learn that Lagertha was a skjaldmö, which means in Old Norse a warrior woman with a shield who inspired the myth of walkyria and which is similar to the Greek amazons.
Lagertha and its history are often affiliated with Thorgerd, a deity in Norse mythology. Its legend begins with the invasion of Norway by Frø, the king of Sweden, and the assassination of Synardus the Norwegian king. Frø places the women of the king’s family in a brothel to humiliate them and Ragnar Lothbrock takes revenge on this affront by launching an army against him. Within this army, we find women scorned and raped by the men of Frø who dressed as men to fight with Ragnar. Lagertha was the leader of this group of fighters and was a major force in Ragnar’s victory.
His courage and power impressed Ragnar who courted him. Out of pride, Lagertha will have a dog and a bear outside her house to challenge him, but Ragnar easily succeeds in overcoming the two animals and won Lagertha’s heart. Contrary to what is staged in the Vikings series by Michael Hirst, Lagertha had a son, Fridleif, and two daughters, according to legend. But their relationship did not last since Ragnar divorced to marry Thora Town-Hart, the daughter of the Swedish king Herrauðr. But their separation does not prevent Lagertha from supporting Ragnar during his battles in Norway, especially when Siward, another son of Ragnar, was injured.
Increasingly strong and independent, Lagertha does not hesitate to kill her new husband with a spearhead in order to reign without him. In Saxo’s writings, which are more mythical than real, Lagertha is described as a formidable warrior and is often equated with a deity who even has the power to fly. In other writings, Lagertha is likened to Thorgerd, a goddess married to the Norwegian leader Haakon. Nevertheless, Lagertha is, like Ragnar, a name that circulated a lot during the Danish medieval period and which inspired many legends but especially the character of the Vikings series. After six seasons, the character of Katheryn Winnick dies like a true warrior after a bloody fight.
Did you notice? The little details hidden in the Vikings series: