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Katheryn Winnick played Ragnar’s first wife Lagertha in the History channel period drama Vikings. She has recently spoken about her love for the role and why she took it on, but especially how she didn’t know that she would last six seasons on the show.
“I thought I was going to go a lot earlier, I’m not gonna lie,” she said in a recent interview.
“I definitely was ready to go earlier, only just because I think these are the Vikings times, the average life was maybe 40, and I was already pushing it with high 50s and 60s as a grandmother,” continued the actress.
In the interview with Collider, she recalled that series writer Michael Hirst “didn’t necessarily want me to go”.
“But there has to be a time where if I am gonna go, let’s write me something fantastic and amazing and I couldn’t ask for a better ending, ever.”
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Winnick’s character Lagertha was one of the many shocking deaths viewers saw in season six of Vikings.
However, her’s was expected since a prophecy saw her death at the hands of one of Ragnar’s (played by Travis Fimmel) sons.
During a series six episode, Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) was hallucinating as he had done for most of the season, and he stabbed Lagertha repeatedly until she died, thinking she was Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen).
Recalling the time when she first joined the show, Winnick said: “I had an idea that I was going to be there for the long haul.
“I did not know that my character was going to last till the end.”
“I read the first two episodes and being a huge fan of Michael Hirst, I got the chance to Skype with him, and have his story unfold in a way that he saw.
“He definitely saw multiple seasons and he was ready for it and planned for it.
“So I knew that it was going to go for a long time, but originally I was told a couple of years maybe three,” told the actress.
“I think I had five or six days after I got hired to get on a plane and move my entire life to Ireland, and I prepared for it, I really did,” she said.
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The Lagertha star went on to say that she knew the show was going to be special from her conversations with Hirst.
“I know the fans were really involved and were writing Michael Hirst letters and making sure I stayed on board. I think they even threatened him.
“But it was great to be able to tell this story even as a grandmother and wrinkly and definitely past her prime.”
While unexpected, Winnick is happy she stayed on the show for as long as she did.
She said of her experience: “As an actor that has been a creative experience for me, to have been able to dive into a full journey as Lagertha as a farmer and now as a grandmother.”
“You don’t have that opportunity very often. People are lucky as actors maybe once in their lifetime to have a role that is really monumental in their journey as an actor.
“I feel that playing Lagertha has been that for me and hopefully it won’t be the last, but I am really honoured to have been part of that.”
Winnick’s latest project is action thriller The Marksman opposite Liam Neeson, which is currently showing in theatres in the US.
She is also currently appearing in the ABC show Big Sky with Kylie Bunbury and Brian Geraghty.
Vikings season 6, part 2 is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
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