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The Shieldmaidens of History (Protecting the Innocent from Anachronisms) welcome you back to our series on the History Channel show Vikings. 

146a6-lissa-bryanHistorical fiction author Lissa Bryan is with me again to discuss the historical aspects of the show. Lissa has written a fantastic historical fiction story of her own, and she is an amazing historian and storyteller. (You can read my review of her Tudor love story, Under These Restless Skies here on my site.)

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Heillir! We—Lissa Bryan and Sandi Layne—are two historical fiction authors with a serious thing for Vikings. And for VIKINGS, the amazing series that is going to begin its fourth season on HISTORY CHANNEL.

Follow us on twitter, #ShieldGeeks, at 8pm Eastern for the next week as we talk about the main characters of the show, including special features for Thorsdays, er, Thursdays, as well as We Ship It day on the 14th and even a Favorite Dead Character feature.

Then, on February 18th, VIKINGS, Season Four will begin and Sandi and I will be live-tweeting during each episode, as has been our custom since Season One. We’ll follow up with a more detailed discussion on our websites the following day.

One of the most awesome and well-rounded characters anywhere, Lagertha (played with brilliant authenticity by Katheryn Winnick) is a huge fan-favorite of the VIKINGS show in general.

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And what’s not to love? We are introduced in Season One to a beautiful, loyal, fierce shieldmaiden wife-and-mom who is strong enough to defend her home and adventurous enough to invite Athelstan into intimacy with her and her husband.

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Her sexual confidence is certainly part of her allure for both the men in the show as well as the character’s fans out here in the fandom.

But even moreso, I think, is Lagertha’s role as warrior.

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She’s an unflinching warrior of renown, the leader of the shieldmaidens in her realm, and she takes no prisoners.

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And thought it might seem unconventional, she has nothing but the admiration of all who know her.

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She’s also the mother of a son and daughter and provides both of them with a model of all the virtues of her world.

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But her talents were not only martial. We also saw her teaching her daughter how to fish …

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…and weave. (Though that particular lesson was interrupted by some ruffians who needed thrashing.)

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She also ruled Kattegat quite capably, dispensing judgement and wisdom from the jarl’s seat while Ragnar was off raiding.

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The most significant unhappiness for her, though, comes when she cannot bear Ragnar, her beloved husband, another living son.

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And he desires one. And he finds a princess to bear them, which is something Lagertha cannot live with, so she leaves him.

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And let it be said, that she did so publicly in the proper legal manner of her time and culture, which I totally appreciated.

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She becomes the wife of a selfish jarl in another region, but she gathers her own partisans there, as well, eventually becoming a jarl in her own right.

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This makes her an equal to Ragnar, after a fashion, which is a delight to see.

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Her strength and beauty are noted by many, and she takes on lovers who think that makes them important – but it really doesn’t.

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Lagertha doesn’t ever require a man to give her countenance. She brings her own and she does it with style.

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I very much look forward to what is in store for her as the VIKINGS story spreads to Paris and beyond.


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What are your thoughts? Join Lissa Bryan and me, Sandi, tonight as we chat at 8PM EST on Twitter about Lagertha and what the series might have in store for her. Use the hashtag #ShieldGeeks to join in the fun!


  1. Angelyn · February 11, 2016

    Probably the best-developed character of the series. I think that’s because the writers have made her realistic by giving her plenty of conflict to resolve on her own, without the legal and physical powers a man would have.

    • Sandi · February 11, 2016

      She really is a wonderfully crafted character. I think you’re spot on.

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