Gearing up for #VIKINGS ! Character Discussion: #Aslaug

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The Shieldmaidens of History (Protecting the Innocent from Anachronisms) welcome you back to our series on the History Channel show Vikings. 

Historical fiction author Sandi Layne is with me again to discuss the historical aspects of the show. Sandi has written her own series on Vikings, both well-written and carefully researched. (You can read my review of the third book in the trilogy, Éire's Devil Kinghere.)

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Heillir! We—Lissa Bryan and Sandi Layne—are two historical fiction authors with a serious thing for Vikings. And for VIKINGS, the amazing series that is going to begin its fourth season on HISTORY CHANNEL.

Follow us on twitter, #ShieldGeeks, at 8pm Eastern for the next seventeen days as we talk about the main characters of the show, including special features for Thorsdays, er, Thursdays, as well as We Ship It day on the 14th and even a Favorite Dead Character feature.

Then, on February 18th, VIKINGS, Season Four will begin and Sandi and I will be live-tweeting during each episode, as has been our custom since Season One. We’ll follow up with a more detailed discussion on our websites the following day.

We are SO excited! So, Warriors and Shieldmaidens all, get your weapons and armor ready, because it’s going to be an amazing season!

Today we're going to be discussing Ragnar's controversial second wife, Aslaug


Princess of Legend, Daughter of the legendary Brynhildr and Sigurd, Aslaug is the fabled and fecund second wife of Ragnar Lo∂brok.

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She is portrayed by the stately and striking Alyssa Sutherland, who brings the perfect air to a character initially roundly despised by many fans.

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Sutherland, though, is amazing as a woman of strength and power in the show and I’m looking forward to seeing what is in store for her as her husband’s role grows in the wider world.

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Aslaug was introduced in Season One. She appeared in Ragnar’s life when he was away from Lagertha (whom he clearly loved, even if he was disappointed over the recent loss of a pregnancy).

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She is gifted with the Sight, it would seem. She would be considered a völva - a seeress who has visions.

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Ragnar was definitely attracted—much to his son’s disgust—and before we knew it, Aslaug sailed up to Kattegat, pregnant with Jarl Ragnar’s child.

Her time at Kattegat has been at times very hard on her. She supplanted the popular and mighty Lagertha in a place that, to the princess, seemed quite primitive and dirty.
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She’s borne sons for her husband without possessing the entirety of his heart, and she has often been considered an interloper during her years in Kattegat.

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Aslaug might have others issues. She had an affair with a mysterious stranger called Harbard (whom Floki thought might be Odin in disguise.)

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She tried to seduce her husband on his last visit, but he rebuffed her advances.  There might be a Little Stranger on the way and Ragnar would know the baby couldn't be his.

But now, her husband is King, as we begin the fourth season. I’m thinking her earlier life will be of great assistance as their life changes.

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The series hasn't yet explored Aslaug's childhood as it's described in the Sagas. It would add some depth and dimension to her character, and explain some of her very-understandable fears of instability and abandonment. She's built the kind of loving home for her children that she never had... but will she be able to shield them from the storm that's coming?

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What are your thoughts? Join Sandi and me, Lissa Bryan, tonight as we chat at 8PM EST on Twitter about Aslaug and what the series might have in store for her. Use the hashtag #ShieldGeeks to join in the fun!

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