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Vikings star Katheryn Winnick opens up on being ‘put through the wringer’ as Lagertha

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Katheryn Winnick became a star after portraying iconic shieldmaiden Lagertha for just over five seasons of international hit Vikings. Before the series finally concludes on History and Amazon Prime Video, the legendary actress has opened up about her character’s toughest moments.

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Lagertha (played by Katheryn Winnick) has gone through one of the most stunning character progressions in Vikings’ history.

Beginning the series as a simple farmer and wife of Viking warrior Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), the Norse queen became a force to be reckoned with when she started to train as a shieldmaiden. 

Since then, she has struggled with losing her husband and trying to control her sons’ constant infighting, but has never lost her fearsome streak on the battlefield. 

Sadly, fans had to say goodbye to Lagertha in the first half of season six.

Her death at the hand of Ragnar’s son Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) during one of his blind rages rang in the new year with one of Vikings’ most heartbreaking moments. 

Now, during ongoing delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, viewers are still waiting to see if Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig) can defend the shores of Vestfold without his mother by his side. 

It’s hoped the series will conclude its sixth and final season before the end of the year, but the History Channel has yet to confirm a release date.

In the meantime, Katheryn Winnick has offered a refresher on her character’s journey before Lagertha reached her end in episode six.

As well as praising the stellar writing for her character in a behind-the-scenes look at season six, Winnick admitted the series often demanded a lot from her.

She revealed: “Michael Hirst our show creator has definitely put me through the wringer, in the best way possible. 

“Never left me too comfortable in the character too long, and always switching it up with different conflicts.”

Though Winnick has since landed roles in feature films and other fantasy series, Lagertha remains by far her most enduring role.

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After nearly five and a half seasons of character development, it’s no surprise her performance proved equal parts challenging and rewarding.

Showrunner and historian Michael Hirst added: “It was a journey for Katheryn and for me and I felt all the time that I had to put her in more and more challenging circumstances.”

In contrast to other historical shows, Vikings broke ground when it began in 2013 by placing its female warriors front and centre alongside the male soldiers. 

Previously, Winnick has confessed many of the series’ demanding fight sequences were extremely tough, but she never lost her nerve when it came to stepping up and donning Lagertha’s battle armour.

The star continued: “Lagertha has evolved. From the beginning she was a farmer, shieldmaiden, loving wife, to a queen who went raiding to someone who lost her husband, had to kill a few guys. 

She’s had such a huge arc then lost it all and went mad in the last season. It’s a very interesting character to be able to share so many different dynamics on television. 

“And you have the liberty to do that on this show after so many years.”

Unfortunately, Lagertha’s captivating came to an abrupt end earlier this year, but it’s rumoured both herself and co-star Travis Fimmel could return for one last cameo appearance in Valhalla. 

Vikings season 6 continues in 2020 on History and Amazon Prime Video.

Vikings: Season 6 Vol. 1 on Blu-Ray and DVD October 19, 2020.

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