Vikings' Katheryn Winnick Says One Major Character Was Originally Left Out Of The Funeral Scene

Vikings Katheryn Winnick Lagertha History
(Image credit: Jonathan Hession / History)

Spoiler Warning: Details for last week’s episode of Vikings Season 6 and that major death are discussed below!

Ever since Vikings killed off that significant character in last week’s episode, an epic funeral has been in the offing. Sadly, I am talking about the one for Katheryn Winnick’s Lagertha. After a lot of speculation and that dire prophecy, the legendary Viking’s time came to an end.

Lagertha seemed to be mortally wounded in that big battle before definitely getting killed by Ragnar and Aslaug’s hallucinating son, Hvitserk. He thought Lagertha was Ivar. While Vikings will say goodbye to Lagertha with a major funeral, one integral character was initially left out of the momentous occasion.

As revealed in an already released clip from the Vikings episode airing tonight (January 15), Bjorn will arrive to eulogize his mother. Surprisingly, Bjorn’s poignant speech almost did not happen, according to Katheryn Winnick. Yes, you read that right! On Bjorn’s original absence, Winnick told TVLine:

Originally, he was not written to be a part of my funeral, believe it or not. He had no speech, nothing. It was so important for his arc, especially because of where he’s going to go.

No, you are not the only one entirely shocked by this reveal. Bjorn had (presumably) been far away from Kattegat when the Vikings episode that contained Lagertha’s death ended. He had been off trying to get elected the first King of Norway. That did not happen, and his speech at his mother’s funeral almost did not either.

Bjorn was last seen on Vikings fleeing for his life after an assassination attempt by King Harald’s people. Thanks to a new character, Bjorn was rescued and set about making his way back to Kattegat. Logistically, I can see where it would be tough to explain Bjorn’s quick travel time. This is Lagertha’s funeral we are talking about, though. They shared an incredible bond, so I can forgive some speedier travel.

A History rep confirmed to TVLine that Vikings’ creator, Michael Hirst, originally played with different things before realizing Bjorn had to be at Lagertha’s funeral. Hence, Bjorn ultimately making that emotional speech about his mother. Lagertha’s death is impactful for the canvas as a whole, but especially to Bjorn.

I am surprised that there was a scenario in play at one point that did not include Bjorn’s involvement with Lagertha’s funeral. However, I am equally relieved that Vikings’ creator ended up realizing that Bjorn had to be a part of it. Considering the bitter circumstances of Lagertha’s death, it would have been further salt in the wound for Bjorn not to be there for her funeral.

News of the evolving state of Bjorn’s status at Lagertha’s funeral comes as Vikings’ creator also acknowledged the changes to who would kill Lagertha. Earlier in the series, the omnipotent Seer had told Lagertha that one of Ragnar’s sons would cause her death. At one point, Michael Hirst acknowledged considering Ivar to be the guilty party before settling on Hvitserk as the killer.

In the end, this Vikings viewer believes that the show made the right call in making her killer Hvitserk and including Bjorn in Lagertha’s funeral. Her having a sendoff without him is next to impossible to imagine. Their bond has been one of the most prevalent dynamics of the show as they have supported each other through the seasons.

A final farewell without Bjorn would be unconscionable. It would have added yet another tragic layer to Bjorn’s story moving forward. Interestingly, Katheryn Winnick mentions the importance of Bjorn’s involvement in Lagertha’s funeral regarding his future story. What does it mean? Stay tuned!

See how Vikings sends Lagertha off in that major funeral when new episodes of Season 6 air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on History. The return of the historical drama for Season 6 is one of this winter's premieres.

Britt Lawrence

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.