More power was held by the Viking women compared to other women of that era. This is depicted very well in the series Vikings, where women characters are shown as being as important as their male counterparts.
Lagertha is the most important women of the series, but she isn’t the only viking lady of interest…
Let’s take a glimpse from the tales of a few of the key Viking women in the show.
Aslaug is the second wife of Ragnar Lothbrok. She is the mother of four of his sons, and also the former Queen of Kattegat.
Even though she has famous warrior parents Sigurd the Dragonslayer, was a king of Gautland and a scion of the Volsung clan (descendants of Odin)) and shieldmaiden Brynhildr, daughter to King Budli of the Svear (Swedes), she herself isn’t a warrior and says so many times. She however is believed to be a volva (“Seeress”), with a a gift to see the future through visions.
Aslaug promises Ragnar that she will provide him with the sons which the ancient seer prophesised for him. She remained true to her word, giving birth to Ubbe, Hvitserk, Sigurd, and Ivar.
Aslaug is in a constant confrontation with Lagertha, Ragnar's first wife, and a strong shieldmaiden, who has never forgiven her for stealing her husband from her using witchcraft.
In the end, Lagertha gets her revenge : When back with close companion Astrid and her army to conquer Kattegat, Aslaug is beaten and accepts defeat in return for a safe passage to go wherever she wants.
Lagertha seems to agree, and stands quietly aside while Aslaug passes and later puts an arrow in her back to become the Queen of Kattegat. Shooting her in the back is a way for Lagertha to treat Aslaug the way she was herself treated : "stabbed" in the back.
Aslaug is given proper funeral rites and her body is sent out to sea in a raft which is ceremoniously set on fire as per Viking tradition.
Aslaug is probably the most disliked character of Vikings, seen as a home wrecker as she “stole” Ragnar from his first wife Lagertha, This is even emphasised by the fact that Lagertha herself is an incredibly popular character.
Aslaug is seen for the last time in the episode "All His Angels", during Ragnar's flashbacks before his death at the hands of King Ælle.
Torvi is the former wife of Jarl Borg and is also a shield-maiden.
After the death of Jarl Borg at the hands of Ragnar, and the birth of their son Guthrum, Torvi marries the abusive Erlendur. Ultimately Torvi kills Erlendur and leaves for Kattegat with her third husband Bjorn Ironside, Lagertha’s son.
Torvi and Bjorn have two children together, a son, Hali, and a daughter called Asa. After calling her marriage off from Bjorn, Torvi marries Ubbe, Bjorn's younger half-brother, with whom she later becomes a christian upon King Alfred's request, in order to forge an alliance with the kingdom of Wessex . She has a son with Ubbe named Ragnar after Ubbe's father.
Torvi is a quiet yet powerful character. She is a true survivor, and always loyal to Lagertha. Lagertha fully trusts Torvi and made her her confident, and second in command.
Astrid is also a shield-maiden, Lagertha's ex lover and third in command in Lagertha's army.
She is depicted as a strong shield-maiden inspired by Lagertha. She's clever and gives the impression of being loyal to her Queen.
Astrid is resentful of Torvi as she is Lagertha's counsellor. While in Kattegat with Lagertha, Astrid gets kidnapped and forced to become the third wife of King Harald.
After marrying King Harald, she is assaulted and beaten up, and finds out she is pregnant. She doesn’t want to give birth to a baby born from a warrior different from Lagertha (She is also unsure if the baby is Harald’s baby or a result of the assault). She then asks her former lover Lagertha to kill her, which Lagertha painfully agrees to.
This is probably the hardest thing Lagertha had to do. It profoundly affected her and showed in her appearance : after killing Astrid, Lagertha aged all of a sudden and all her hair turned grey.
Astrid’s last episode on the show is in the episode Moments of Vision
Siggy is the cunning wife of Earl Haraldson. During her husband's reign, Siggy is portrayed as a dutiful wife.
Siggy and her husband lost two sons, and have one daughter, Thyri that later dies from the plague.
After her husband is overthrown and later killed by Ragnar, Siggy willingly asks to be Lagertha’s servant and later Aslaug’s. Even though she appears to have accepted her fate, she always tries everything she can to regain the status she formally had, so she built alliances with powerful characters, including Rollo and King Horik. However, Siggy remains madly in love with her husband until her dying breath, and longs to be reunited with him and her dead children.
Siggy is a complex character : she fights to regain her high positon, but somehow remains profoundly loyal to Ragnar and his family. She even dies drowning while saving Ragnar sons. As she slowly drowns in the icy water. she has a vision of her deceased daughter, prompting her to let go and she drifts into the water to rejoin her husband in Valhalla.
Helga is the loyal lover and then wife of Floki, Ragnar’s best friend and the genius boat builder who built Ragnar’s ships.
After several years together, Floki proposed her for marriage when he learned that Helga was carrying his precious child. They have a daughter, Angrboda, who three years later dies from a fever.
Her daughter's death profoundly affected Helga, and made her long for more children, something Floki wasn’t willing to give her. However, she remained loyal and loving to him.
Several years later, as Helga was on a raid with Floki to Moorish Spain, she saw a young girl who parents are killed by respectively king Harald and Halfdan named Tanaruz.
The girl is about the age her own daughter would have been and her maternal instincts make her take the decision to kidnap the newly orphaned girl and adopt her. This was something Floki wasn’t happy about, but he didn't stop her and they take Tanaruz with them.
Unfortunately, Tanaruz was never happy in Viking land, and never forgave Helga for kidnapping her and for being away from her country. Her hate for her was growing every day, until she ended up stabbing Helga and right after, killing herself.
Helga appears last in the episode The Reckoning.
Discover our tribute collection to Lagertha here