As Vikings fans will recall, Lagertha went missing following the battle against Harald. The promo for Vikings‘ next episode, entitled “Balder,” shows a brief glimpse of the character. The thing is, she is not doing so well. See for yourself in the Season 5B promo below:
It was a blink-and-you-missed-it cameo from the famous shield-maiden and former Queen of Kattegat. Lagertha is barely recognizable in the promo. Her long hair appears to have been sheared off, and her eyes seem filled with fear.
Lagertha can be seen shaking as Judith calls out to her. Alfred’s mother appears to be in disbelief over Lagertha’s shattered state. She even asks “Lagertha, is that you?” Seeming to be taken aback by the sight of her.
Vikings viewers have seen Lagertha in a state of seeming shock before. Her hair turned silver following Ivar’s defeat of her in the midseason finale of Season 5. This is different though. Lagertha appears shattered, potentially having suffered a breakdown of some sort.
It is not hard to imagine why. She has suffered a slew of personal losses in the not so distant past. Lagertha lost her home/kingdom to Ivar, something she seemed resolute to survive, and in some ways, thrive, in the aftermath of. She, Bjorn, Ubbe, and Torvi took her beloved lover, Heahmund’s, advice and went to Wessex.
Heahmund may have been the key to holding her together though. Lagertha witnessed him being killed on the battlefield while they were both fighting for Wessex. That caused her to disappear shortly afterward. Bjorn looked for her before deciding to leave Wessex without her.
Lagertha’s son would be shocked to see the shape she is in during the promo. It is sad he did not spend longer trying to find her. Although to be fair, it is unclear how much time passed from the beginning of his search to the end.
So, what does this mean for Vikings? Will Lagertha recover? Was Heahmund’s death enough to push her over an abyss from which she can never return? Lagertha has endured so much that it stands to reason that there must be a line somewhere.
The parallels of Ragnar and Lagertha both disappearing after suffering traumatic losses is not lost on this viewer. They were kindred spirits in many ways. The bad news is that Ragnar did not live much longer after his return.
Whether Lagertha is near her death is certainly cause for concern to her fans. Her portrayer, Katheryn Winnick, previously teased that Lagertha needed time to figure things out. So, maybe she is just cold in the promo, and she is doing better than she seems.