To Be a Queen

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I couldn’t wait. I’m talking about Vikings again.

If you read my blog last week, then you know very well about my love for the show Vikings and its main female lead, Lagertha. She won’t be the only woman I talk about in this post–there are many incredible ladies to admire in the series–but her character, and her reign as Queen, will be my biggest focus.

(And of course, it goes without saying, this post will be rife with spoilers!)

Lagertha had the heart of a warrior queen even when she was just a simple farmer at the beginning of Season 1. She protected and provided for her children, and she fought alongside her husband, Ragnar, as they discovered and invaded new lands.

cff092a702194432bf5fc1d74c123b73When Ragnar became an Earl, she would rule in his absence whenever he was gone raiding, and she used that power not only to benefit the community, but to help other women.

One thing you learn right away about Lagertha is that she uses her strength to protect and empower women who are not as strong. As capable as she is of putting a sword through someone’s heart, she is also merciful and compassionate.

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Even when Ragnar is unfaithful to her, going so far as to suggest that he be married to both of them, Lagertha sits at the same table with the other woman and handles the situation with grace.

Something I myself could not manage.

She doesn’t make a scene. She just quietly divorces him and leaves, taking her son with her. I was always amazed with the maturity of her decision. She does in fact get her revenge many years later, but her ability to stay calm and play the long game (a quality I admire with all my heart) is unmatched.

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Trying to do what was best for her young son, Lagertha gets remarried to a different Earl. Unfortunately, he is not a kind or sensible man, and she spends the next handful of years enduring his insults.

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But she is patient. Slow to anger. Because her child has food and a roof over his head. It is only when her son is old enough to go his own way that things change.

And finally, when her husband becomes physically abusive, she puts a knife into his eye.

05D1C6AE-E009-4121-868C-483D39319A1AOf all the events that take place in this show, Lagertha killing her second husband is still the most satisfying moment in the series. It’s a large part of why Season 2 remains my favorite to this day.

That’s the other wonderful thing about her. As gentle as she really is, when the need for violence arises, she is like a savage lioness, and only a fool would stand against her. To be ruthless in your own self-defense, or in the defense of your family, that speaks to me in a very deep and real way.

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Every time Lagertha gets knocked down, she rises again more powerful than she was before. She assumes the role of Earl after she rids herself of her abuser, and with that power, she enriches her people with spoils from other lands, and she helps establish a new settlement across the sea.

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Here she is in Season 4, surrounded by loyal shield-maidens, having just killed the man who betrayed and usurped her. He took her lands for himself while she was away; he even tried to have her son killed, yet still he expressed a love and desire for her. That’s his blood all over her wedding dress.

Little else needs to be said about that.

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She rules as an Earl for many prosperous years. And then, when she believes the time is right, she goes with her warriors back to where her story began. She dethrones Aslaug, Ragnar’s second wife (the other woman), and she makes herself Queen.

It’s the best part of Season 4b.

Lagertha goes on an incredible and difficult journey from farmer to queen. She faces terrible loss, heartache, and betrayal. But even when everything is stripped away, her dignity remains. She holds her head up, and she stares down the challenges in front of her.

fffae090a1ae5b4639496d4b803815d6And she empowers other women to do the same, all along the way.

It’s easy to see why I would be happy to be like her.

She isn’t the only woman who is special or strong in this show, of course. Lagertha also isn’t the only queen that we get to see. But even those who never reach that status are queens in my eyes.

From left to right, there is Torvi, who is understanding and unshakably loyal. Siggy–ambitious and clever. And Helga, who is gentle and long-suffering. Three shining examples of well-written and well-developed characters.

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Here’s Torvi breastfeeding her youngest child.

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And here she is on a warhorse, about to ride out into a massive battle.

Seeing women portrayed this way is such a big deal. Women who are fierce and soft and everything in between.

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It’s what every young girl deserves to see.

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As I have watched Lagertha face her destiny so bravely, I myself have become braver. And in turn, I hope that I lift up and encourage those who watch me.

That’s the whole point behind this blog. The Makings of a Queen. This is what it’s all been about. It doesn’t matter that I have no fame or lands or riches. My home is my kingdom, and I am the queen of my life.

And it’s the same for all of you, my readers.

Put on your crown. Sit on your throne. Own your space and your power. You are a queen the moment you start calling yourself one.

tumblr_ozjpbfqGWr1txsq03o1_1280And long may you reign.

Have a beautiful week.

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