Bjorn Ironside (played by Alexander Ludwig) led the charge against the Rus in the midseason finale of Vikings season six.
The current ruler of Kattegat was dealt a severe blow, but Bjorn’s apparent demise still falls short of the tragedy of losing Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) a few episodes earlier.
In episode six, Death and the Serpent, a drunken Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) strikes Lagertha down after mistaking her for Bjorn’s half-brother and rival, Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen).
After one decisive blow, Lagertha’s long history on the series came to an end, and her death scene was accompanied by a sorrowful Viking funeral.
Katheryn Winnick has been best known for her performance as Lagertha since the first season of Vikings, alongside series lead Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel).
As well as providing some of the series’ most heartfelt moments, as a fierce shield-maiden Winnick faced considerable physical challenges throughout her six season tenure.
Although the Canadian star grew up with a martial arts background, Winnick admitted to Collider she had to work hard to keep up with the mostly-male cast of the first season.
She explained: “When I first got on set in Ireland, I was the only girl. I was surrounded by 14 Viking men and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this sounds and feels familiar.’”
She continued: “It was nice to be able to mirror that and get a chance to hang out with these guys, see them after work and on set, catch up with a Guinness, and also get a chance to work with them.”
However, the demanding physicality as well as Lagertha’s emotional journey throughout the series was not without its challenges.
Winnick added: “My character goes through a lot of conflict and struggle, as the series progresses.
“She also has to deal with the village and the other Vikings and her daughter, and other tragic things that happen. For me, it was definitely very challenging.”
“We got covered in mud and rain and blood, in some of the war scenes. This is definitely not a pretty role. If anything, it’s very raw and authentic and real.”
Lagertha may have met a grisly end midway through season six, though there is still speculation she will reunite with Bjorn and Ragnar in Valhalla by the end of the series.
Production remains delayed, but the History Channel is hopeful the epic Viking saga will conclude before the end of 2020.
Vikings seasons 1-6 are available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
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