ET ONLINE – ***SPOILER ALERT!! If you haven’t watched Wednesday’s episode of Vikings, do not read!!
And with that, it’s time to bid farewell to Queen Aslaug.
Vikings said goodbye to Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) second wife on Wednesday’s episode, titled “In the Uncertain Hour Before the Morning,” after she was shot in the back — yup, you read that right — by Ragnar’s first love, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick).
ET recently hopped on the phone with Aslaug herself, Alyssa Sutherland, who revealed that while her death might have left us with our mouths gaping open, Aslaug pretty much knew it was coming.
“She knows she’s done,” Sutherland said of Aslaug’s thoughts just before her death. “I think she knows exactly what’s going to happen to her. What’s left is how.”
How is right! Audiences watched Aslaug deliver one last “dig,” in Sutherland’s words, to Ragnar’s former wife, as Lagertha agreed to Aslaug’s surrender and request for safe passage out of Kattegat — only to shoot an arrow into her back the moment she turned to leave. While the move might have been built up by “20 years of history” — Lagertha told Aslaug she’ll never forgive her just the episode before — it’s still a literal stab in the back. Turns out, Sutherland couldn’t be more pleased with the result.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – [Warning: This story contains spoilers from last Wednesday’s episode of Vikings, “In the Uncertain Hour Before the Morning.”]
It took a few decades, but Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) finally got her revenge on History’s Vikings. After losing her husband Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) and her entire world to the princess Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) way back in the show’s second season, Lagertha has spent many years plotting her moves and building herself up as a female leader in the Viking world.
But it was on Wednesday night’s hour that Lagertha took her biggest move of all, when she stormed back into Kattegat while Ragnar and her son Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) were away. Once there, she shot her nemesis in the back with an arrow, despite Aslaug attempting to bargain her way to safe passage by reminding Lagertha that her four sons, including the mentally unhinged Ivar (Alex Hogh), would avenge her death.
“Aslaug took away Lagertha’s husband, love, belief, future, everything. And so she was always bound to do something about it,” showrunner Michael Hirst tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Lagertha wouldn’t be Lagertha unless she did that. And by doing it of course she challenges the gods because she knows that revenge is basic to Viking society, and the sons of Aslaug will be damned to try and avenge their mother. So she makes this huge decision, but it’s a decision to kill that was based on her love for Ragnar.”
To break down the behind-the-scenes events leading up to Aslaug’s final days and to find out more about the tumultuous Aslaug-Ragnar relationship, THR caught up with Sutherland. Here the model and actress talks about how she was “ready for Aslaug to be done,” whether she’d ever return to the show and her next project, Spike’s The Mist.
Did you always know that Aslaug’s days were numbered?
December 22, 2016: In The Uncertain Hour Before the Morning (Season 4 Episode 14)
Katheryn Winnick (Lagertha), Georgia Hirst (Torvi) and three Viking shield-maidens join Nick Hodges.
EW – Vikings recap: ‘In the Uncertain Hour Before the Morning’
Season 4, Ep. 14 | Aired Dec 21
Queen Aslaug is queen no more. She knows this, she has no escape plan; she walks into the town square knowing her time has come to an end. There is a freedom to knowing you will never be free again. The Queen looks amused by her invader. “How strange, Lagertha, that you should play the usurper. One woman against another.” Aslaug knows Lagertha values herself as a powerful woman in this world of powerful men — knows that, at this moment of triumph, it will darken Lagertha’s soul just a little bit, the implication she has broken her own rule.
“I was never the usurper,” says Lagertha. “Always the usurped.” Aslaug took Lagertha’s husband, her world, her happiness. “You’re a witch,” Lagertha says. “You bewitched him.” Perhaps she believes that; perhaps it is an easy justification, a way to establish herself as the force of moral right. Aslaug smiles. She did not bewitch Ragnar, but she knows he is dead. “In my dream, his boats were sunk in a storm,” says Aslaug.
She will not fight. She knows she would not win. Aslaug has never been a warrior. Yet, she has raised warriors. “I have fulfilled my destiny,” she says. “The gods foretold Ragnar would have many sons. I have given him those sons. I am as much a part of his saga, Lagertha, as you are.” It is another gambit, a way of snatching some greater victories from the jaws of this mortal defeat. Lagertha may defeat Aslaug. But they will be history soon, are already history; the legends have already formed about Ragnar and Aslaug and Lagertha and their ilk. Aslaug asks only for safe passage. She promises Lagertha will have Kattegat and she promises she will not demand her sons seek vengeance. It will be a peaceful transition of power.
“I understand,” says Lagertha. What does that mean? What message is she receiving from Aslaug? Does she know that, in some strange way, this great day of victory has not been wholly victorious? Does she sense this woman whom she always doubted — this usurper, this alleged witch, this poor excuse for a monarch — has hidden depths to her personality? Does she suddenly recognize, in Aslaug, a warrior?
Aslaug turns her back and prepares to leave her life behind. And then her life is taken and a smile crosses her face. An arrow in the back and a great funeral pyre for the woman who made warriors, for she who never gave up the old faith. She is in the saga forever now, even if her time in this story has come to an end. What future has she cursed Lagertha, too?