'Vikings' Final Season: Ragga Ragnars on Gunnhild's Bold Ending

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“Vikings” Season 6B unravels the final chapter of numerous characters, chief among them – Gunnhild – the noble and brave warrior wife of Bjorn Ironside. At his side, Gunnhild has endured betrayal, triumph, and heartbreak. The last episodes of the historical epic prove decisive for Ragga Ragnars’ beleaguered heroine. In this interview, Ragnars opens up about Gunnhild’s ending and more.

Eclectic Pop: How much of an influence do you think Lagertha had on Gunnhild?

Ragga Ragnars:

Everything. She was such a great ruler, warrior, and person. I think Gunnhild has definitely looked up to her and seen her as a role model in a big way. I know that when I got on “Vikings,” Katheryn [Winnick, Lagertha] welcomed me so well. It’s kind of happened like that in real life, too. I just look up to her. I really admire her, and that’s totally translated into our characters, too.

EP: If Bjorn had survived, do you think Gunnhild, Ingrid, and Bjorn’s plural marriage would have survived? 


I think so. [It’s] obviously not a modern, traditional way to go about it, but I do think there’s genuine love and affection between the three of them. And I think Gunnhild, being the type of woman that she is, definitely would have kept on going. Also, just because of who he was. 

He was this god-like man, and you just go with it for the status in that time. So, I think it would have actually worked. And I think that Ingrid and Gunnhild care about each other, and there’s genuine friendship there. So, I think so. Yeah.

EP: As the season progresses, Gunnhild makes a play to be queen of Kattegat. I was supporting her, and then Ingrid made a play for it. Is there a part of Gunnhild that kind of feels betrayed by that, in a sense?


I think a little bit, but I think she knows that she also has the merit to do it because she’s also a wife of Bjorn. So, she can’t really be I’m the one. And I think that Gunnhild doesn’t necessarily want the status, but she wants to be alive. She wants to do what’s right. So, she does. But, I don’t think that she wants it as much as Ingrid does. So, I think Gunnhild she’s not very upset that Ingrid makes a play for it, as well.

EP: Gotcha. Speaking on the note of Gunnhild having to deal with Bjorn and Ingrid. Bjorn ended up making some decisions, and he kind of expressed some regret there at the end. Do you think that Gunnhild ever felt entirely betrayed by Bjorn? Or because of how things were at the time, she took it in stride?


I don’t think so. I honestly think that she just knew who she was marrying and that they had this special relationship. That was the way that it was. And she wasn’t expecting him to change the way he was. So, I don’t think she felt betrayed. I just think she was marrying a man she knew what he was. That’s how he was. And she loved him anyway.

EP: Gunnhild, in the end, to me, becomes one of the most extraordinary women on this show. She put everyone, it seemed, above herself. Do you think she got the ending that she deserved or the one you wanted for her?


Well, in a way, yeah, because Valhalla is the end game for the Viking. It’s an end state of what they believe was their fate. I think that the ending for Gunnhild is one of her most purest, happiest things because she gets to go and be in Valhalla with the people that she loves, which includes Bjorn and Lagertha. I personally would have wanted to stay on and keep going, but her being able to control it herself is a very strong move because it shows how great of a warrior she is. 

Nobody’s going to strike her down in battle. She does this herself. And I think that that shows that she just doesn’t want to stay in this earthly realm and the way that it’s going because all the people that she cared about are gone, and she just wants to live with the Gods. So, I think her ending is pretty epic, I have to say.

EP: At that point in the story, it seemed like the show was setting up another kind of quadrangle triangle with Gunnhild, Ingrid, Erik, and then Harold. So, when you got to that point in the script where Gunnhild takes her life, how surprised were you?


I wasn’t surprised, actually. It kind of made sense to me when I was reading it because Erik kind of betrayed her. So, she would not have allowed that to happen any longer. She doesn’t want to marry Harold. I think that it’s either to just go and end it herself or live in a way that she just wouldn’t be true to herself. So, I think that’s a key point for Gunnhild’s exit, basically. 

And the whole triangle, and whole -- Erik and King Harold -- I think she just was feeling kind of torn because it’s obviously like a huge thing to end it yourself. Then again, she’s true to herself and wants to do the right thing for Bjorn and her. And I think that in the end, she does that.

EP: You’ve touched on the relationship that Gunnhild feels betrayed by Erik, and she does end up kind of pursuing a relationship with him. What do you think motivated that, in the end?


The relationship with Erik?

EP: Yes.


I think the loneliness and her husband died; she was just in such grief, and he was close to her husband. Erik was close to her husband, and I think they’ve always had this kind of tension between them, Erik and Gunnhild. She just needed a little love in her life after everything having happened, losing a child, losing Lagertha, and then losing her husband. I think that Erik, being so close to them, was the one that was there to give her some comfort.

EP: And I wish it kind of had worked out for them, but he wasn’t the one.


Yeah. I kind of wished that, too. He should have been a little better to her.

EP: One hundred percent.


Betraying her a little bit there. That would have been nice to see.

EP: Absolutely.


You can stream “Vikings” from the first season to the last on Amazon Prime Video. For more coverage, check out Eclectic Pop’s interviews with Ragga Ragnars’s co-stars Alex Hogh Andersen (Ivar), Alexander Ludwig (Bjorn), and the series creator, Michael Hirst.