Warning: This article contains spoilers for Vikings.
Love triangles never end well and that’s as true for television as it is in real life, as evidenced by the latest episode of Vikings, when the past and present love interests of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) encountered one another in “In the Uncertain Hour Before the Morning,” this week’s episode of Vikings. Actress Alyssa Sutherland, who plays Ragnar’s current wife, Queen Aslaug, found herself facing an uneven challenge from her husband’s first wife, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), in the episode and, as Alyssa now shares, the aftermath of that confrontation has opened up new opportunities for the Vikings star.
Alyssa Sutherland Reveals How A Vikings Death Opened Up A New Life
In this week’s episode of Vikings, Entertainment Tonight reveals that Sutherland’s Aslaug was shot in the back by Lagertha, ending Alyssa’s life in the Vikings universe. While the death may have been a shock to fans, Alyssa says that wasn’t the case for Aslaug, or for herself. Instead, she says the Vikings queen saw the end coming before that fatal blow was ever launched.
“I think she knows exactly what’s going to happen to her,” says Sutherland. “What’s left is how.”
For those who have missed this Vikings scene, Lagertha had just accepted Aslaug’s surrender and had granted her safe passage away from Kattegat, but, moments later, Lagertha launched an arrow into Aslaug’s back, fatally wounding her. While fans may be saddened to see Sutherland’s character come to an end, the Vikings actress says she couldn’t be more thrilled with the way her role came to an end.
Ms. Sutherland explains that she’s fully aware no role will last forever and, depending on one’s story arc, a character may meet his or her demise at any time. Alyssa knew that Aslaug would eventually be written off, adding that if she had to go, she couldn’t have asked for a better Vikings death.
“I sent [Vikings creator and writer] Michael [Hirst] an email immediately like, ‘My goodness, this is incredible, and I’m so thankful,'” said Sutherland.
Leaving Vikings Was “This Heartwarming Thing,” Says Alyssa Sutherland
The filming process is piecemeal in most cases, shooting a scene here and a scene there, but, as Ms. Sutherland tells The Hollywood Reporter, it just happened that her last day on the Vikings set was the same day they filmed her death scene. For that reason, it was more emotional than the Vikings actress was expecting. Alyssa says her very last shot was the scene that ended with her falling face forward into a puddle of mud.
While that scene is powerful enough in the context of that Vikings episode, Sutherland reveals that it was equally moving on the set.
“It was this incredible thing; there were so many people on set because we had all the extras in. It was this heartwarming thing, when you’re finished with a role and you’ve been there for years and know everyone so well… I’ve never had people cheer for me like that,” shares Ms. Sutherland.
“I’ve never done theater, I’ve never really performed in such a way and so to have all of those people start clapping and cheering for you is pretty moving.”
While emphasis can be placed on that final conflict as a theme of woman versus woman, Sutherland says that was never her main goal in the demise of her Vikings character. Instead, Alyssa communicated with Vikings showrunners and writers that she wanted to bring Aslaug to her darkest place. She wanted her to be unlikable as a ruler and committing vile acts usually reserved for male characters on television.
“I wanted her to be greedy and entitled and to not do it well and fair,” says Alyssa Sutherland of her Vikings character.
“I would prefer to think of it not as a woman against woman, ‘You stole my husband’ thing, but as a, ‘You’re not good enough to lead this town.'”
The next episode of Vikings airs on December 28 on The History Channel.
[Featured Image by The History Channel]