Warning: Spoilers for the January 8, 2020 episode of Vikings Season 6 entitled “Death and the Serpent” are discussed below! Do not read further unless you are ready to be spoiled!
Vikings delivered a game-changing death in an early-season shocker that will ripple throughout the remainder of the series. Fans had known that Lagertha’s end would come eventually and with the culprit being among a small list of suspects. Lagertha has now successfully fought her last major battle against the man who murdered her grandson.
Mortally wounded, Lagertha headed back to Kattegat in hopes of seeing Bjorn one last time. Bjorn had not returned, and she was instead met by another son of Ragnar, Hvitserk. High and hallucinating, Hvitserk believed Lagertha was Ivar and stabbed to her to death. The fulfilled prophecy leading to Lagertha’s early exit from Vikings Season 6.
For “Death and the Serpent,” Vikings primarily split its focus between two significant storylines – Lagertha’s, and her son, Bjorn’s. Ivar’s story in Rus also weaved in and out. Looking back, it seemed to be a sign that something meaningful was about to happen. Vikings’ creator, Michael Hirst, reflected on servicing Lagertha’s ardent fanbase with her exit story, telling Variety:
Vikings did not tip its hand by making it seem as though this would be the end of Lagertha by giving her a standalone episode. That would have given the audience too great of a sense of what was coming. In my opinion, Michael Hirst did a great job of giving Lagertha a solo moment that felt hers entirely without sacrificing the suspense of a climactic plot.
As Michael Hirst points out, Lagertha got a significant storyline on Vikings leading up to her death. She put down her shield in the Season 6 premiere and attempted to return to her former life as a farmer. Lagertha also got a chance to bond with her grandchildren, only to be forced out of retirement by the bandits that Bjorn branded and banished.
It has been clear that Vikings was setting Lagertha up for something huge, considering the trajectory of her arc this season. As someone who knew that her death would eventually come at the hands of one of Ragnar’s sons, I did not expect her to die in the battle with the bandit. So, I was a little surprised when she was mortally wounded during it.
While Hvitserk dealt a death blow, it was clear that Lagertha’s fate was already sealed when she arrived in Kattegat. Hence, Vikings succeeded in giving Lagertha an incredibly impactful death, as it was unexpected, to say the least, despite a seeming confirmation. Where does Season 6 go from here? Stay tuned.
Find out what happens after Lagertha’s death when new episodes of Vikings air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on History. The drama’s Season 6 return is one of this winter's premieres.
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Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.