Alyssa Sutherland is Aslaug
Queen Aslaug is the clever and beautiful daughter of the famed dragon slayer Sigurd and shield-maiden Brunhilde. Aslaug promised Ragnar that she would provide him with the sons which the ancient Seer prophesized for him–and she delivered.
Aslaug is the second wife of Ragnar Lothbrok and the mother of his younger children. Aslaug has a “gift”: like a völva, Aslaug is some form of a seeress who sees the future through visions or prophecies.
Ragnar, distressed and upset over the loss of his son with Lagertha due to a miscarriage, takes a pilgrimage to Uppsala, hoping to seek answers from the gods. Ragnar also begins to wonder who will be the mother of the many sons the gods promised him if it wasn’t his wife Lagertha, who appears unable to give him anymore children.
Acting upon the wishes of King Horik, Ragnar and a small party of his followers travel to Gotaland (modern day Sweden) to resolve a land dispute. While there, two of Ragnar’s men, Arne and Torstein, stumble upon the beautiful and clever Aslaug. The men are reprimanded by a group of shield maidens, and Aslaug demands an apology from their Earl on their behalf.
Intrigued, Ragnar sees her as a challenge the gods have given him. Interested less in her beauty and more in her wit, Ragnar agrees to meet with her if she comes to them “neither dressed nor undressed, neither hungry nor full, and neither in company nor alone.” Aslaug obliges, arriving dressed in a net, biting an apple, and with only a dog as a companion. Impressed by her ingenuity, Ragnar fulfills his end in the bargain and apologizes.
Smitten with each other, the two soon become lovers, much to the chagrin of his son Bjorn, who has travelled with his father and is intensely loyal to his mother. Short thereafter Aslaug tells Ragnar that she is carrying his child, and after asking Odin what he should do, he goes to visit her in her room. Bjorn almost stops him, but doesn’t when he sees a raven in the window, which throughout the season has foretold the beginning of an important event.
Ragnar returns to Lagertha and admits his affair with Aslaug. Though clearly upset, Lagertha decides to set aside her anger. This changes, however, when the heavily pregnant Aslaug arrives in Kattegat. The two women, understandably, do not get along. Ragnar suggests that the he could be married to both Lagertha and Aslaug; Lagertha is insulted and, with Bjorn, decides to leave instead.
Four years after, Aslaug is living comfortably with Ragnar, having given birth to two sons, and pregnant with a third. Aslaug becomes suspicious when Ragnar starts a conversation with a new, young servant girl. Aslaug later warns the girl to be careful with whom she is familiar.
Later that night, Aslaug confronts Ragnar, claiming that he wants to sleep with the servant, amongst other women, which he denies. Aslaug then claims to be a völva. To convince Ragnar, she prophesizes that their next son will bear the image of the dragon Fafnir in his eye.
While Ragnar and his men raid England, Aslaug has given birth to a healthy son she named Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye, after her father. As she had prophesized, the child bore the image of Fafnir in his eye.
Ragnar sets his sights on England once more and sets off to raid the country, leaving Aslaug to care for their children. While away, Jarl Borg invades Kattegat in revenge – Aslaug and her children, as well as Siggy and Rollo, manage to escape into the countryside. Aslaug is extremely unhappy about her new living conditions, saying the filth is bad for her children.
Word soon reaches Ragnar of Jarl Borg’s invasion and he immediately heads back home, glad to find his wife safe. He is able to sneak into Kattegat with the help of Lagertha, who has brought both warriors and their son, Bjorn, and destroy their grain stores, thus pushing Jarl Borg out. Ragnar is thrilled to see his son again, but is conflicted about seeing Lagertha – he later tells the seer he wants both women. Lagertha, married to an Earl elsewhere, returns home, though her son remains in Kattegat. Aslaug and Lagertha exchange farewells and appear to harbor no resentment towards each other.
Not long after taking over Kattegat, Aslaug finds her self pregnant once more. She warned Ragnar not to force himself upon her for three days after his return or the child would be a monster. After a particularly difficult pregnancy and a birth that nearly killed both mother and child, Aslaug deliveries of a another son. As prophesied, the child is deformed.
Ragnar tells Aslaug that their son should be killed, as he won’t live long with a deformity, though he is clearly upset at the thought. Aslaug refuses and although Ragnar steals the child away, he is unable to kill him. They name him Ivar, though others in the village are starting to whisper about the new child and what may be wrong with him.
Ragnar and his warriors prepare to depart for Wessex, returning to claim land that was promised to them by King Ecbert. Aslaug is unhappy; she believes that Ragnar is not in love with her anymore. She remains in Kattegat with Siggy and Helga.
Aslaug, Helga and Siggy spend the days together caring for the children. While strolling in the market, Helga starts speaking of a strange dream she had, about a stranger. Aslaug and Siggy reveal they have had the same dream. Helga asks if Siggy knows what it meant but she says she does not know.
Sometime later, a mysterious man appears before Helga, injured and asking for a place to stay. He reveals his name to be Harbard, a wanderer who injured his hand. He tells the women he literally ‘sings for his meal’ and is a capable story teller. He proves this later at dinner by recounting a fascinating tale which he claims to have witnessed. Though Siggy is suspicious of him, Aslaug grows increasingly interested. Her interest grows when Harbard is able to stop Ivar’s suffering, calming the child like no other can. Her interest leads to love – or at least love-making. Siggy and Helga are well aware of where Aslaug is going; she leaves the children in the care of Siggy.
While she is away, however, two of her sons walk over the frozen lake and accidentally fall in. Siggy is able to pull the boys from the water, but dies in the process.
Upon Ragnar’s return, Aslaug is questioned as to why she was not caring for their sons. He is highly suspicious of her story, enough so that he even refrains from making love to her. Aslaug is angry and asks if he had too much of it in England.
Alyssa first appeared in several independent films including The Fortune Theory, Don’t Look Up, and Day on Fire with Olympia Dukakis which screened at the Toronto and Berlin Film Festivals. On the small screen, Alyssa has appeared on NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims” Unit and Fox’s “New Amsterdam”.
A native of Brisbane, Australia, Alyssa began modeling at the age 15 and soon after appeared on her first of multiple Vogue Australia covers. Alyssa then moved to New York where she continued modeling and appeared in campaigns for Calvin Klein, Chanel, Ralph Lauren and Bulgari, among others. She has been photographed by some of the world’s leading photographers including Herb Ritts, Steven Miesel, Bruce Weber and Ellen von Unwerth. In addition, Alyssa has appeared in dozens of international magazines including “Vogue”, “Elle”, “Marie Claire”, “Harper’s Bazaar” and “Glamour”.
Alyssa currently resides in Los Angeles, California.