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Katheryn Winnick says Lagertha is ready to have some fun on 'Vikings'

"Vikings" returns Thursday at 10 p.m. on History.Jonathan Hession, History

The world of "Vikings" is one filled with violence, unpredictability and the constant threat of mortality. It's also one in which Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) manages to thrive, despite the rarity of a woman being in a position of power. Last season saw her go from main character Ragnar's (Travis Fimmel) wife, to an abusive new marriage, to a position of authority as earl of her own territory. This season will surely see her face plenty of new challenges, so we asked Katheryn Winnick about what's ahead for her.

Where do we find Lagertha in Season 3?

She has a lot more conflicts and struggles, now being a woman in power, but she’s also a free woman and she doesn’t have a husband or an ex husband to worry about, or an abusive husband. She got rid of him, stabbed him in the eye, one of my favorite scenes. So you will see her in a different light, which was a lot of fun for me to play.

Do the men she rules over accept her as a leader?

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That’s yet to be discovered, to be seen. I feel like she feels like she has the right to be an earl. I think her intention is doing the right thing for her territory, and she’s such a moral character that I know that she will be a strong leader and is a strong leader. How others take her authority is the question. It’s probably very similar to women who are CEOs of companies today, and how to deal with a woman who is your boss. So that is something that will get explored a little bit.

Will there always be a hint of a romance between her and Ragnar, despite his marriage to Aslaug?

(laughs) I know the fans want to see us get back together for sure. Are you trying to get spoilers out of me?

Always.

We are Vikings. Ragnar is a very good looking man and always will be, and Princess Aslaug — I think Lagertha has a lot of respect for her and what she’s endured through her many children that she had to raise and is still raising and the struggles that she faces as the second wife to Ragnar. I think Lagertha really empathizes with her. Are you asking me if we’re all going to end up in bed? I’m not going to answer that.

I guess you can’t give that away quite yet.

I will tell you this. Lagertha definitely has some fun this season.

Does that have anything to do with Ben Robson, who joins the cast as Kalf?

Hey, they cast a good looking guy. Lagertha is a woman. I don’t know, maybe there’s something. You will see.

And it's her turn for a romance, right?

She hasn’t had that. And it was interesting for me to play. She gets a chance to explore her femininity in Season 3 and we haven’t seen a lighter side of Lagertha, and we will this season, which is nice. Which is actually completely different for me to play and very challenging, if not a little harder, because I usually like the intense stuff.

But we'll still see her on the battlefield, right?

Do I get to fight in this season? Yes. That’s when I feel I’m most at home, when I’m in the battlefields, as Katheryn and as Lagertha.

The show has a really active online fanbase. What's that like for you?

It’s a little surreal, to be honest with you. It’s overwhelming, especially the tattoos that people get of Lagertha’s face. It’s crazy. I get them at least once a week, someone tagging me on their latest tattoo of Lagertha and I’m thinking, wow, this is dedication, this is amazing! And on the other hand I’m thinking, I hope we don’t get canceled! You’re stuck with me for life! But I love it.

Do you hear from more men or women?

Both. It’s funny. I want to say it’s pretty split. I would think it would be more women, but there are a lot of men. Some of the social media is like, marry me! Or I want to find a woman like Lagertha, or I want my daughter to be like you, or like Lagertha’s character. A lot of men have really responded to a strong woman, which I feel is so amazing, and a lot of girls and women feel that they can relate to her as well, and that brings me so much pride and joy.

 
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