Vikings’ Katheryn Winnick On Why Lagertha is Drawn to Heahmund

Jonathan Hession / HISTORY
Jonathan Hession / HISTORY

She’s broken, beaten down and has lost everything. The Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) that we are seeing on this season of Vikings is unlike any Lagertha we have seen in the past. She is a woman who suffered a huge defeat at the hands of Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen) and who so far this season, which airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on History, seems to be quite lost and without a home. For now, Lagertha has joined son Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) in accompanying Heahmund (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) to Wessex in an attempt to get back in King Alfred’s (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) good graces. Since Ragnar, Lagertha hasn’t really trusted anyone, but the tides may have changed.

“Lagertha has lost everything at the beginning of this season,” Winnick tells The TV Junkies of her character’s mindset at the start of Season 5B. “She’s lost her kingdom, Kattegat and family members,” and may be why she’s willing to make sacrifices for a complicated relationship with Heahmund. With his quest to now be reinstated as Bishop, Heahmund cannot have a relationship with Lagertha. So would she be willing to keep their relationship a secret and stay hidden in the shadows?

Vikings’ fans know that Lagertha wouldn’t consider this for just anyone, and Heahmund is just the type of character needed to come along and pose such a challenge for her. Winnick completely agrees saying “she’s a very strong person and needed a strong costar.” She went on to explain that Vikings creator Michael Hirst had worked with Rhys Meyers on The Tudors and they had a very strong working relationship. That’s why Hirst thought “he would be a great addition to our Vikings family,” and it’s one that Winnick definitely agrees with. “Jonathan is extremely talented and a very giving actor. He’s very complex and that complexity shows in his character.”

Jonathan Hession / HISTORY
Jonathan Hession / HISTORY

Rhys Meyers then brings that talent to a character that gives Lagertha something she needs at this stage of her life. “Lagertha isn’t necessarily able to trust many people, but with where she’s at in her personal life, has some common ground with him,” Winnick explains. “They are both tormented and trying to ask what the meaning of life is, while redefining what’s next. They share that common ground.”

Whether or not that common ground will be enough for Lagertha and Heahmund remains to be seen as things progress this season. For now, she’s just arrived with Bjorn and others in Wessex, eagerly awaiting whether or not Heahmund will be able to persuade King Alfred into seeing how valuable having them fight on his side could be. While Heahmund may be a challenge and great counterpoint to Lagertha, it’s still up in the air whether or not she’s willing to stand by his side in secret.

 

What do you think of Lagertha and Heahmund’s relationship? Add your thoughts below.

Vikings airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on History.