History’s Vikings said goodbye to one of its original cast members during Thursday’s shocking episode.
Jessalyn Gilsig has played Vikings’ Siggy, a character who has morphed again and again over the course of its three-season run. Siggy has gone from being the wife of an earl to a servant; from grieving mother to seductive lover and political shaker; and from an ambitious social climber to the lone voice of reason in Kattegat with the warriors away. But her endless reinvention came to an end Thursday when Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) left her children behind to further explore the mysterious ways of The Wanderer (Kevin Durand). When Aslaug and Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) children ran away and slipped through the cracking ice, Siggy dove in after them and lost her own life.
After saving the boys, in a heartbreaking twist, Siggy saw her own deceased daughter and decided to give in to death’s grip, bidding farewell to the series as The Wanderer watched over her.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Gilsig to get her reaction on Siggy’s swan song.
How did you find out Siggy was being killed off?
In truth, I told them. I had some personal things in my life that I needed to be there for — some family things, which everybody has sometimes. So I approached [Vikings creator] Michael Hirst and said that it wasn’t going to be possible for me to continue living overseas in Ireland, and it was time for me to move on. He was incredible about it. It was really sad and difficult and an incredibly hard decision, as you can imagine. I told him at the end of season two, and he said he really wanted to take Siggy out, to give her proper closure. Of course I wanted to do the same, and so he came up with this storyline to end Siggy’s role in the series.
Before this, did you see her as the ultimate survivalist?
She’s certainly been challenged to go from a position of power to being resourceful enough to figure out how to survive in an environment that no longer recognizes status of her family. I think Michael did such an interesting thing by giving her a pretty complex back story from the beginning. She’d already lost two sons before the series begins, and then she loses her husband, then loses her daughter. So Siggy is a woman who is carrying an tremendous amount of grief, but who also has a very strong sense of self. Part of why I love Siggy so much is she doesn’t apologize for her presence, ever. She’s very confident in her experience and is actually incredibly frustrated by this new regime that seems sort of naïve. I think the evolution has been a sobering one. I always hoped that there would be one more time when we would sort of see Siggy laugh and be happy and feel free and maybe be relaxed. But it just wasn’t meant to be. This is a woman who doesn’t see a lot of opportunities for light moments as time goes on.