Lagertha has achieved her dream of ruling Kattegat once more, but it seems like things are going pear-shaped pretty fast. She may have secured the throne, but her future as queen isn't looking so positive.
It's hard work trying to rally ever man, woman and child — "wounded" or otherwise — to build fortifications for your thriving town, but it's a lot harder when the Seer has predicted your death at the hands of your ex's kids.
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Doomed To Fail
Ironically, Lagertha could have totally prevented her imminent downfall if she'd just thought out her plan to usurp Aslaug a little more thoroughly. Here's everything Lagertha did wrong during her attempt to take back Kattegat:
5. Implicating Margrethe
If Margrethe thought Ivar was a threat before, then she must be absolutely terrified now. She played a vital role in the murder of Ivar's beloved mother, and if Ivar finds out then she'll surely be subject to his unbridled wrath. If Lagertha thinks she can protect Margrethe, then she's seriously underestimating Ivar.
The fact that Lagertha basically used a slave girl for her own gain casts serious doubt over her character, particularly in regards to her reputation for helping to empower her fellow viking women. Putting Margrethe in harm's way may end up reflecting badly on the shieldmaiden.
4. Killing Aslaug
It's pretty obvious why Lagertha would want to kill Aslaug. Yes, Ragnar's selfish desires are largely to blame, but Aslaug certainly had no qualms with taking Lagertha's place as wife, as well as her home and title. Not to mention Lagertha's tendency to carry out very violent revenge against those who've wronged her in the past. It's kind of her thing.
Unfortunately, she made one crucial mistake when she promised Aslaug that she could leave Kattegat empty-handed, but alive. That arrow in the back was a real middle-finger to the home wrecker, and in Lagertha's eyes, the perfect punishment for taking everything she'd held dear.
However, it also served as a reminder of Lagertha's weakness. Time and time again she's been overcome by her rage and spite, and as much as revenge is an important thing for a viking, it throws her abilities as a leader into question. Worse yet, it's given the sons of Ragnar more than enough reason to kill her— a fate that Lagertha is now domed to, as she told Astrid:
"If they're going to kill me, you won't be able to stop them. No one will be able to stop them".
3. Taking A Title That Never Belonged To Her
Lagertha may have been justified in taking back her home, but was she right to take over Aslaug's title as queen? When Lagertha left Kattegat, Ragnar was only an Early. But since she's been gone, Ragnar succeeded in becoming King of Denmark, and Aslaug his queen. If Lagertha was never queen, is it right that she be awarded that noble title just because she wanted it? Once again, her motivations and actions are a little muddied, deeming her slightly unworthy of her new title in the eyes of both her people and Ragnar's sons.
2. Assuming She Would Rule Beside Ragnar
While she may have known that she wasn't exactly worthy to be queen, Lagertha's recent exchanges with Astrid revealed that she never expected to rule alone. When she found out that Ragnar had died, Lagertha's shock was more than just grief over losing the love of her life; It was the daunting realization that she was going to have to do the job alone. Which means that she'd probably assumed that Ragnar was going to return from his journey and rule beside her, just like old times.
Discussing her situation of "picking up the burden" of ruling, Lagertha confided in Astrid that her motivation to keep going was rooted in the overwhelming pressure to not disappoint:
"I think Ragnar is looking at me, and I can't disappoint him. Nor can I disappoint myself. Or you. Or Torvi. Or any of the shieldmaidens who have died fighting at my side. If I walked away now, what would they say about me in Valhalla?"
More importantly, Ragnar probably could have prevented his sons from harming Lagertha. Now that he's gone, she finds herself in an incredibly vulnerable position.
1. Holding Out Hope For Romance
Things are tough for Lagertha right now, but imagine being in Astrid's shoes. She thought she was going to be enjoying the good life as the new queen's partner, but it's suddenly become very obvious that Lagertha's heart still lies elsewhere: With Ragnar. And Lagertha isn't making any effort to hide it.
It's pretty obvious that Lagertha's takeover of Kattegat was motivated be her strong feelings for Ragnar. She had never stopped loving him, and she wanted to take back more than just her home— she wanted her old life back. But now that Ragnar is dead, her most important reason for returning to Kattegat is gone. Will she have the strength to go on without Ragnar by her side?
Will Queen Lagertha survive next week's episode of Vikings and help Kattegat flourish, or will Ragnar's sons carry out their own revenge?