- “This was going to be the most exciting voyage of our lives. I have dreamed of it many times and in our dreams we are always together.”
- — Lagertha to Ragnar when he does not allow her to join him on a raid to England.
Ragertha is the het ship between Ragnar Lothbrok and Lagertha from the Vikings fandom.
Ragnar Lothbrok and Lagertha shared a deep relationship that defined their entire lives. How the two met is unclear, but it is alleged that Ragnar, whilst on his way to confess his love to her, had to spear a bear and strangle a hound in order to reach her. Lagertha, impressed, agreed to marry him. At the beginning of the series they shared a loving marriage whilst living on a farm together with their two children. Despite the collapse of their relationship, and both sharing numerous lovers since they divorced, the love they had for each other remained strong right up until the very end of their lives.
During the early stages of their relationship they loved each other deeply and Lagertha wished to be by Ragnar’s side as much as possible, both in and out of battle. She was annoyed when he rejected her request to join him on a raid to England and showed to be overjoyed when he eventually invited her the next time he went. They seemingly share an open relationship when it comes to sex, as they both invited Athelstan, a monk that Ragnar had enslaved, to join them but he refused. Ragnar is protective of Lagertha and, after discovering she had killed a man who was a close confidant of the Earl of Kattegat, their homeland, after he tried to rape her, he took the blame knowing it would get him executed. During the trial Lagertha cursed the Earl for his conduct towards Ragnar and hoped that Thor would strike him dead. She watched on with great worry as Ragnar fought, and eventually won, against the Earl.
Once Ragnar became Earl the two continued having a loving relationship. However, once their daughter died and Lagertha had a miscarriage, denying Ragnar a son, he becomes disillusioned with her. Their relationship begins to fall apart when he, after being told by the Seer that he would have four more sons, started a relationship with a woman named Aslaug. This infuriated Lagertha and she makes him promise not to see her again. However, when Ragnar discovers she is pregnant with his child, partly fulfilling the Seer’s prophecy, he brings her to Kattegat and proposed the idea of him being married to both of them. Lagertha, feeling humiliated, divorced Ragnar and left with their son where she would remarry to another Earl, leaving Ragnar heartbroken at losing her.
Despite the fact their marriage, and relationship, crumbled, the two still cared for each other and were willing to help one another out. Lagertha, after attempting to discuss the matter with her new husband, chose to aid Ragnar in his efforts to reclaim Kattegat from Jarl Borg and, once she herself became Earl, chose to join him in his efforts to establish a colony in Wessex. The two maintained a relationship that was strictly that of an alliance, with Lagertha expecting to be treated as an equal to Ragnar, however, his hubris and intuition encouraged him to not take her seriously. He still cared for her, however, as he tried to discourage her from fighting whilst pregnant, but she chose not to listen as the Seer prophesied she would not have another baby. When Lagertha miscarried again he held her tightly to console her in her grief. Later, when talking to the Seer before being executed, he expressed great anger towards him for his indirect role in Lagertha’s miscarriage by giving her the impression that she would lose the child no matter what she did, thus making her recklessly put her unborn baby in danger that led her to miscarry.
Although he still cared for her, Ragnar was not above using her to strengthen his own position. When he became King of Denmark, and thus ruled over Lagertha, he refused to aid her in reclaiming her position as Earl after she was usurped by Kalf, as he believed he would be useful in raiding Paris. During the raid of Paris he looked to cement his authority over Lagertha and the others by allowing her to take charge in devising a plan to infiltrate the city of Paris, knowing full well she would fail. This allowed him to remove any legitimacy she had to challenge him on his ideas or strategies. He also chose not to inform her that he had faked his own death as part of a plan to get inside Paris, which appeared to upset her as she thought he had genuinely died. When he discovered that the settlement he had established in England, with the help of Lagertha, had failed due to King Ecbert’s betrayal he chose not to tell anyone, including Lagertha, as it would weaken his rule over his people.
After the breakdown of their marriage, it is made clear that Ragnar still loved Lagertha. When he reunited with her for the first time since she divorced him he admitted to the Seer that he still loves her and wished for her to stay with him in Kattegat. He eventually asks her to stay with him but she refuses, as she has an obligation to return to her new husband. Ragnar clearly comes to regret losing the life he had with Lagertha before he became Earl, as that was when he was truly happy. This was shown when, whilst riding down a river to raid Paris, he begins to hallucinate and looks to the riverbank to see his old farm house with Lagertha waiting for him, alongside their son and daughter, as well as Athelstan, as she waves for him to come to her. He looks away before looking back, hoping it was real, but found it was not. Later, when he visits Lagertha after ten years, he openly states his regret for not staying on the farm with her. He also hopes that she can forgive him for his many bad choices and mistakes regarding their relationship. She seemingly decides to forgive him and kisses him for the final time, completely unaware that Ragnar intends to die soon.
Lagertha also still loved Ragnar, despite everything that had happened. When she was under the impression he had died, she visited his coffin and admitted that she never stopped loving him. She expressed worry that she would not be reunited with him in Valhalla due to his recent conversion to Christianity, but believed that Odin would storm the gates of heaven to get him back so she could continue drinking, fighting and loving him in the afterlife. When Harald expressed doubt over Ragnar’s genius, Lagertha scolded him and warned that he should be careful how he talks of Ragnar in her presence. When her lover, Astrid, questioned if she is sure about not going with Ragnar to England, she tells her that she is never quite sure of her feelings for him, as she is constantly caught between wanting him and not wanting him. Later, Lagertha confronts Aslaug and coldly tells her that she will never forgive her for taking Ragnar away. Eventually, after she becomes Queen of Kattegat, she kills Aslaug as a final act of vengeance for destroying her marriage with Ragnar. When Ragnar was executed by King Aelle in England, Lagertha becomes distraught and is left in-denial. In the middle of the night she wakes up and believes she can see Ragnar, who has come to visit her from the afterlife. She tears up and is relieved he can enjoy Valhalla, but begs him not to forget her, to haunt her and not to leave her side.
Following Ragnar’s death, and her ascension as Queen of Kattegat, she plays a major role in the civil war that breaks out among the numerous sons of Ragnar, and earned the deep hatred of Ivar, his youngest son, for killing his mother, Aslaug. Lagertha admits that she believes Ragnar is watching over her and thus she cannot disappoint him. At one point she goes through a mental breakdown from having to kill her lover, Astrid, and losing Headmund. During her breakdown, she hallucinates and witnesses Ragnar’s death at the hands of King Aelle and cries out for him whilst Judith tries to console her. She eventually recovers and crowns her and Ragnar’s son, Bjorn, King of Kattegat. When she is killed by Hvitserk, another son of Ragnar, she accepts her death as she expresses that she will finally be reunited with him in Valhalla. During her funeral, she is shown falling into the river and slowly reverts back from Queen, to Earl, to Shield-maiden and to farmer before falling to Ragnar’s side, confirming she has been reunited with him in Valhalla.
- “Lagertha: Ragnar… I knew you would come my love. Enjoy Valhalla, you deserve it. But don’t forget me. Haunt me. Don’t leave me.”
- — Lagertha to Ragnar when she sees his ghost.
- “Ragnar: Take care today.
Lagertha: I was just going to say the same thing to you my love.”
- — Ragnar and Lagertha reassure each other before going into battle.
- “Lagertha: Who knows, Ragnar, what the gods have in store for us. But this, I can never imagine. If you have gone to Heaven, then we will never meet again. And yet, I think Odin will ride like the wind and rescue you, and take you to Valhalla where you belong, my own sweet Ragnar. And there, there we shall meet again, and fight and drink and… love one another.”
- — Lagertha when under the impression that Ragnar has died.
- “Ragnar: In my mind, I wish I never left that farm. Forgive me for all of my faults, all of my failings.”
- — Ragnar admits to Lagertha he regrets his decisions that led to their relationship failing.
- “Lagertha: Tonight I’ll sit with my beloved Ragnar in the halls of the Gods.”
- — Lagertha to Hvitserk as she is dying.
The pairing is extremely popular among the fanbase which is boosted by the sheer popularity of both Ragnar and Lagertha. Their rival pairing is Ragnar and Aslaug but this is not as popular as Ragertha.
Fans frequently asked if the pair would get back together whenever people associated with the show attended panels to answer questions.
Such is the popularity of the pairing that some fans have even expressed hope that the actors for Ragnar and Lagertha, Travis Fimmel and Katheryn Winnick, get into a relationship in real life.
- Both Ragnar and Lagertha are alleged to have existed in real life as part of Nordic folklore. Whilst the existence of Lagertha is probable, Ragnar is much more dubious.
- The show has taken liberty with the historical accuracy of their relationship, as although Lagertha was his first wife, Ragnar's son, Bjorn, was not the son of Lagertha but instead the son of Aslaug, Ragnar's second wife.
- When Ragnar declared his love for Lagertha, the story claims that he had to spear a bear and strangle a hound to reach her. Allegedly, the bear in this story was his brother, Rollo, who also had a relationship with Lagertha and wished to marry her as well.
- It is implied in the series that Bjorn might actually be Rollo's son, rather than Ragnar's.
- In the US release of the episode, All His Angels, the scene where Ragnar talks to the Seer about Lagertha's miscarriage is cut.