Maude Hirst is Helga
Helga is the devoted lover-turned-wife of Floki. After several years together, Floki proposes marriage after he learns that Helga is carrying his child.
Helga is often seen with Floki, an eccentric boat builder who is also one of Ragnar’s closest friends. The two are lovers, though they are not in a committed relationship and will invite others to join them in bed. Nevertheless, the two seem fairly stable and have genuine affection for each other.
The second season enters with a clash as Lagertha learns of her husband Ragnar’s infidelity in the worst possible way – the woman, Princess Aslaug, arrives in Kattegat very pregnant. While Ragnar deals with his family (which ends in Lagertha and their son leaving), Floki and Helga continue their relationship, which appears stronger than ever as they appear to be living together on a secluded beach, outside of Kattegat.
The years pass and Aslaug has become Ragnar’s wife, producing several sons in the time since Lagertha left. Ragnar plots to return to England; he is, of course, joined by Floki. While there, Kattegat is attacked by Jarl Borg and taken over, though Ragnar’s family makes it out alive. When news reaches Ragnar, he and several men (Floki included), quickly head home, landing on a secluded beach that Floki and Helga call home. Helga is grateful to see Floki alive, though he says the gods must be angry with them as the journey was far from smooth.
Ragnar is able to take back Kattegat with the help of his former wife, Lagertha, who has since remarried. Several days later, Helga comes to tell her lover good news – she is pregnant with his child. Floki at first seems thrilled, but then realizes that the child with have a terrible father and laments over the news. Helga is understandably upset and she tries to persuade Floki that he will be a good father. Floki changes his mind and says it is good news. He proposes that they get married, which Helga happily agrees to. The joyous ceremony finally unites Helga and Floki together in marriage.
Not long after the marriage, Floki leaves with Ragnar on another England raid. Helga is heavily pregnant by this time; when Floki returns, she has given birth to a healthy baby girl. Helga seeks Floki out when he does not come to them – unbeknownst to her, King Horik is planning to kill Ragnar and his family, with the presumed help of Floki. Floki holds the child, which he names Angrboda, before demanding that Helga stay away from Kattegat. Though Helga is clearly upset that Floki will not return with her, she does not ask questions.
Helga has fallen into the role of a dutiful wife and mother. However, Floki complains their marriage makes him too happy; he needs something but isn’t quite sure what it is. She tells Floki that he may leave if he desires, but Floki does not want that either. He says she is too nice to him; she should be angry that he’s unhappy. Helga tells him that she is angry, but being angry would not help either of them.
Floki has always been known for being slightly eccentric, though his hatred for Athelstan and his god (or more, that Ragnar seems to favor Athelstan over himself) seem to push him further than ever before. He frightens Helga with his furvor, grabbing her by the neck, exclaiming that the gods have demanded a great sacrifice. Unbeknownst to Helga and the others, Floki deems the sacrifice to be Athelstan, who puts up no resistance.
After Athelstan’s death, Floki believes the gods have granted him the ability to build a great fleet for Ragnar so that they may take Paris. Helga is horrified to learn that Floki killed Athelstan, and runs away. He is unfazed and simply goes back to what he was doing.
Helga has since become close with Aslaug and Siggy; the three are often together while Ragnar, Floki and the other warriors are off fighting in other lands. Helga does join Floki in Paris, though his cold and erratic behavior has driven a wedge between the two. Ragnar’s miserable defeat, coupled with his growing interest in Christianity (culminating in his baptism), causes Floki to lose all respect for his leader. Helga will not so easily forgive her husband, however.
Maude Hirst is an English actress and producer, known for playing Helga on Vikings (2013), playing Kat Ashley The Tudors (2007) and Cash and Curry (2008). One of Hirst’s earliest roles was as Sophie in 2008’s Cash and Curry, a comedy about a crime gone wrong. She is the daughter of English television producer Michael Hirst, creator of Vikings, and older sister of Georgia Hirst, the actress who plays Torvi on Vikings.