Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't yet watched the latest episode of Vikings.
The latest episode of Vikings, "In the Uncertain Hour Before the Morning," finally gave Katheryn Winnick's Lagertha the chance to get revenge on Alyssa Sutherland's Queen Aslaug for destroying her marriage to King Ragnar and, subsequently, everything else that was good about her life. In as shocking a moment as any Vikings has given us, Lagertha chose not to allow Aslaug to gain safe passage following her self-renouncing, and the vengeful shield-maiden put an arrow right in her target's back. While that scene was most certainly not amusing, the way Sutherland found out about her character's fate is worth a chuckle.
One of the producers told me --- he approached me on set one day and asked me to take a little walk. I made a joke, 'Why, am I getting killed?' and he just kind of looked at me and didn't say anything. I went, 'Oh, wow --- I'm getting killed!' So we went for a walk and he told me I was going to be gone. We were in the middle of filming Episode 9 or 10 at the time. I had a little bit of notice; it was right before we went on hiatus in the midst of Season 4.
No one likes to go into a "special" conversations with an employer, although most jobs don't come with the threat that one's job persona will be murdered. Actors on shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead are always conscious that their next conversation may be the one in which their fates are sealed, and Alyssa Sutherland clearly had that mindset on the day when she talked to that producer. Sucks that her joke wasn't much of a punchline.
For what it's worth, though, Alyssa Sutherland doesn't sound like she was all that upset about getting the news at the time, which was over a year ago at this point. The actress told THR that she didn't actually expect Aslaug to live beyond Season 2, and she again had ominous thoughts about her time on the show after an early scene in Season 4 when the Seer told her character Kattegat would have a woman ruler. So Sutherland was basically prepped to get that producer's info bomb.
Plus, Aslaug's death seems to have come at just the right time for the actress. After saying any possible comeback for Aslaug would need to be quick and involve Ivar, Alyssa Sutherland explained why she's okay with leaving Vikings.
I was ready for Aslaug to be done. Professionally, you're in a role for many years and you kind of start itching for something new and you want a new challenge. I loved my experience with Vikings, it was so great for me personally and professionally, but you start getting itchy feet and so I'm OK if she's never seen again. At the same time, there wasn't really much more for Aslaug to do. She'd had her sons and fulfilled everything that she needed to do, just as she says in that last scene. She looks at the Seer and the Seer nods to her... I was done and Aslaug was ready to be put to bed as well. I'm not sure where else she could have gone.
Sutherland might be happy to leave, but we'll still miss her. Vikings will very likely have a brand new form of revenge sitting front and center, as Aslaug's four sons will all definitely be inspired to give Lagertha some of her own pointy medicine, especially for shooting their mother in the back. Insult to injury is not something that Vikings characters handle with limp-wristed timidity.
Find out what'll happen next when Vikings airs Wednesday nights on History. To see what else is coming on the TV horizon, check out our midseason premiere schedule.