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Spoiler alert: Details for the January 8 episode of Vikings Season 6 -- “Death and the Serpent” are discussed below! Proceed at your own risk!
Vikings fans had known how it would happen for a long time. The “who” had been the big question, though. Ivar remained a top (if obvious), suspect. In case you missed it, the legendary Lagertha was killed off during the latest episode of Season 6 entitled “Death and the Serpent.” The surprising twist happening in the final moments of the heart-pounding installment.
Following a brutal one-on-one battle with the bandit who murdered her grandson, Lagertha walked away victorious. It would be her last Vikings victory. Sadly, she also seemed to be mortally wounded by the time the fight ended. So, Lagertha headed back to Kattegat to see Bjorn again. Ragnar’s son Hvitserk (Ragnar’s son with his second wife Aslaug), saw her instead.
Hvitserk was under the influence of a potent cocktail of drugs. Convinced that Lagertha was Ivar, he stabbed her to death. Thus, making Hvitserk the son of Ragnar who killed Lagertha. The clue that Lagertha’s demise would come at one of their hands was revealed to Lagertha long ago on Vikings via The Seer. Was Hvitserk always supposed to be Lagertha’s killer? Vikings’ creator, Michael Hirst, told Variety:
Back when I had The Seer say that, I didn’t know which of the sons would kill her. If I had a strong inclination, it would of course have been Ivar. But the story kept evolving. There was always so much predictability in Ivar’s story and so many moments when it could have gone one way or the other. And it fascinated me that he continued to be a sort of free spirit where, there were occasions when he should have died and he didn’t die. There were occasions when I wasn’t quite sure what he was going to do. But when all the pieces fell in place, it seemed right to me. I was glad that it wasn’t Ivar. That was too predictable. I was glad that she wasn’t killed sort of deliberately. And I was glad that, she felt herself, that it was fate that she’d known all the time, that one of them that would kill her. So to that extent everything fell into place in the end. But for a long time I didn’t know. I was waiting myself to see what would happen.
I have to agree that Ivar would have been too predictable for Vikings to have made him the killer. As Season 6 continued, it became harder to tell who would eventually kill Lagertha. Her death had seemingly been confirmed, which meant it would be someone. Albeit, I had hoped it would happen much later in the season (aka the series finale).
As Vikings shifted, so did the identity of Lagertha’s killer. It was heavily hinted that Ivar would be the one to kill Lagertha earlier on. He had even sworn to Lagertha that he would be the one to do it to avenge his mother, Aslaug, who Lagertha had killed. Back when he was King of Kattegat, Ivar had even lied to his people claiming to have sacrificed Lagertha.
Fast forward to Vikings Season 6, and Ivar has been pushed off his throne by Lagertha’s son, Bjorn. Following his defeat last season, Ivar headed off to parts unknown, which ended up being Rus. Where he is currently residing with the malicious Prince Oleg. From the outset of the season, it seemed unlikely that Ivar would be capable of killing Lagertha.
He has been a world away, but Ivar’s reach is not to be underestimated. Hvitserk’s arc has been one drug-induced fever. Thus, making him one of the least likely of the Vikings suspects. Bjorn being at the very bottom considering his and Lagertha’s parental bond. He would have never knowingly hurt her, and Ubbe (Ragnar’s eldest son with Aslaug) has borne Lagertha no ill will.
Vikings has already released a clip of Bjorn saying goodbye to his mother at her funeral. From the sound of things, he is not aware that his younger brother accidentally killed Lagertha. Time will tell what further drama unfurls from the impactful episode. Will Ivar learn of Lagertha’s death in the next Vikings?