Lagertha of Kattegat is no more.
The best shield maiden and all-round best female character on TV was killed off during Vikings Season 6 Episode 6, and she leaves behind a world that has been changed forever.
If you watch Vikings online, you know Lagertha's storyline has gradually been winding down to the point she gave up her fighting days to live a tranquil farm life.
Her poignant, final arc has been very organic to the storyline, and there's a lot of satisfaction in the direction of her arc.
"Death and the Serpent" dramatically concludes her story, but she made every moment of it count.
The battle with Whitehair was brutal, but Lagertha fought well and had a well-choreographed plan to make the bandits run for their lives.
There are so many things we can say about Lagertha, but she was a crafty warrior who knew how to survive.
There was no way she could have contended with Hvitserk when he was hallucinating that she was the serpent that's been terrorizing him.
Unsurprisingly, Lagertha was ready to die.
She knew her fate and was well-aware that she would be taken down by one of Ragnar's sons. It's harrowing to think that a son of the man she worshipped was the one to end her life.
It is what they foretold. I will be killed by a son of Ragnar. I could not escape it, nor could you.Lagertha
You would think she would have been surprised after being stabbed, but she recognized that everything that has been said was coming true, and just like that, her entire arc was fulfilled.
It was a shock Lagertha even made it as far as the walls of Kattegat. The cut on her abdomen was ferocious, and it seemed like she was going to slowly die out as the episode progressed.
There's a lot to suggest that Lagertha knew she was about to meet her maker, and leaving Gunnhild behind at the village backs that up.
Gunnhild was pregnant and injured, but leaving her at a place that could be attacked again seemed a bit out there.
It's a shame Lagertha never got to warn Ubbe and Torvi, who were comfortly inside Kattegat listening to songs about the shield maiden as her life was taken mere yards away from them.
I am a shield maiden. I know how to fight. I have fought all my life, but I have never seen anything like what you just did. If I didn’t worship you before Lagertha, I certainly do now. May the Gods and all of their wisdom keep you alive for all of our sakes.Gunnhild
How will they react when they find the body? There are so many questions as we head into Vikings Season 6 Episode 7, and there's a good chance Hvitserk will be able to weed his way out of his predicament.
He's the only one in Kattegat who has been unpredictable, and Ubbe will be livid that he didn't kill him when he had the chance. If someone else comes forward with the theory Lagertha had about her fate, then it could save Hvitserk.
But will he be able to live his life knowing he murdered Lagertha? That in itself is a big feat, and he will be praised by some and hated by others. Now that he's killed Lagertha, he may well return to his life pre-drugs, but there's no telling what's coming for him.
The election result was shocking, primarily because when we left Vikings Season 6 Episode 5, Bjorn was well and truly in the lead, and King Olaf's plan was working.
Bandit: Lagertha. Shield Maiden. Queen of Kattegat. Your son banished me, took away everything I had. My family, my pride, my identity. He thought i would just crawl away to the forest and die like some animal. That is not my way. I fought for Ivar but in other circumstances, I would have fought for Bjorn or for you. I am Viking. Bjorn did this to me. I can never get rid of it, but now I can win back my self respect. I can kill you, Lagertha, the most famous shield maiden in all the world. And I will.
Lagertha: My son didn’t brand you for being loyal to Ivar. He branded you for being disloyal to Ragnar and everything Ragnar stood for, and if I have to die for what Ragnar and I believed in, it is worth it.
Bandit: Good, then be prepared.
With Harald becoming the ruler of all of Norway, it changes things up significantly. He's already making big news despite his rapport with Bjorn.
Putting the kill order on Bjorn was a ballsy move, but many people hate anyone associated with Ragnar. The outlaw swooping in to save Bjorn was a turning point, but it could have been a ruse to lead Bjorn into a false sense of security.
With Harald the leader of all of Norway, it means Bjorn's role has greatly diminished. The people of Kattegat will probably continue to follow him until the bitter end, but he would be doing them a disservice by having them follow him.
They're woefully outnumbered to the point that any potential battle would be lost in minutes.
Here's a theory I never thought I would think would be possible: What if Ivar returns with an army after manipulating Igor enough to save everyone? Everyone hates Ivar for sure, but this could provide him with a redemption arc.
Harald: Tonight, we will feast together, all of us. I hope you will join us. I will need your advice and your experience and your strength in the months and the years to come.
Bjorn: I’ll be there.
Harald: Thank you, thank you all. Tonight, there is a grand feast.
It's not like he's ever going to get anything from Oleg. Oleg is all about the theatrics, and that's why he and Katia had sex on the table before Ivar's eyes. It's like Oleg is testing Ivar to see how far he can push him.
Little does Oleg know that Ivar is the one playing him and probably holds all of the power. It's difficult to assess who is playing who, but it's obvious Ivar is only friends with Igor to get power.
Saving Dir was just the tip of the iceberg, but it remains to be seen what Oleg really wants with Ivar. There has to be a reason he's keeping him alive.
That will be one of the driving forces of the final episodes. It's interesting to think about who might be the ruler when all is said and done.
What did you think of Lagertha's death? Are you stunned? What will Hvitserk do now that he's killed her? Is Bjorn safe?
Hit the comments.
Vikings continues Wednesdays on History.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.