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The Real Reason Ragnar And Lagertha Ended Their Marriage On Vikings

Vikings is a show that has never feared to kill major characters and destroy fan-favorite relationships. The shining example of the History show's policy is, of course, the union between the show's first lead characters, Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) and Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick). Though Ragnar dreams of riches and adventures and Lagertha is an esteemed shield-maiden, their home is a humble farm and they're happy together. Unfortunately, life drives numerous wedges between them. Even before Ragnar famously dies in King Aelle's (Ivan Kaye) snakepit in season 4, they have been long apart, and their relationship can best be described as tumultuous. 

Before the first season was over, dark clouds start forming above Ragnar and Lagertha's marriage, as Ragnar cheats on his wife with Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland). Following this, in season 2, he attempts to take her as his second wife. This is too much for Lagertha, who decides to leave Ragnar and Kattegat behind. 

The decision to drive the show's power couple apart at such an early stage may seem like an odd move for some, especially because their lingering chemistry and family ties are present throughout the series. However, series creator Michael Hirst has revealed that there was a perfectly valid reason for breaking them up. 

Here's the real reason Ragnar and Lagertha ended their marriage on Vikings.

Ragnar and Lagertha's marriage had to end

In an interview with Cinema Blend, Hirst told that the early ending of Ragnar and Lagertha's marriage was far from premature — on the contrary, it was absolutely necessary. "The starting point of Vikings was a young farmer, who was happily married, with children, but who was frustrated by his lack of opportunity to sail and explore lands to the west of Scandinavia," he said. "That's when we first meet him. And soon, his ambitions begin to play out – but they bring with them inevitable and sometimes terrible consequences." 

One of these is, of course, the ending of Ragnar and Lagertha's days as a happy family, an era which Hirst points out was doomed from the beginning. "I couldn't have spent more time with Ragnar and Lagertha because, even at the point the story began, their domestic and rural idyll was over! It's not unusual to start a drama series at a tipping point, and that's what I did. The world was about to change, and Ragnar and Lagertha changed with it."

Still, despite the fact that necessity dictated the pair's separation so early in the series, they did — in a sense — remain the show's core couple. Ragnar and Lagertha's influence is woven throughout the fabric of Vikings, and in the first half of season 6, the show reminds viewers that they were never really apart. After Lagertha dies at the hands of a delusional Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø), she reunites with Ragnar in the afterlife, and both of them are wearing their humble farm clothes from the days they were the happiest. As such, even though Ragnar's actions and their piling adventures and responsibilities ultimately broke them up, there was always a connection.