Vikings is a show that gets its women so very right that it never fails to send my shrivelled little feminist heart a-flutter with each new episode. I recently rewatched most of the series with my boyfriend, because the only way our relationship is going to survive is if we are equally invested before Season 3 comes out on February 19th. Which is exactly two weeks away. Which means that this is the perfect opportunity to vent some of my excitement by publishing a celebration of the ladies of Vikings that I’ve been sitting on for quite a while.
Before we begin, I want to point you towards Sophia McDougall’s excellent essay on the trope of the Strong Female Character. Her view is that it’s limiting and reductive to evaluate female characters solely on their strength; especially when “strength” almost always means “being able to swing a sword” or “being feisty and not taking bullshit”. This essay forms the basis of a lot of my thinking on what makes a good female character, and I would recommend it as background reading before we dive into Scandinavia circa 800 A.D. It’s also worth noting that when I refer to a Strong Female Character in this post, I’m referring to the trope as outlined in McDougall’s work.
And without further ado, I give you my thoughts on the ladies of Vikings. MAJOR SPOILERS FOR SEASONS 1 & 2 THROUGHOUT, so if you’re planning to watch the series and also need some excellent lady characters in your life, just take my word for it, go, go watch it right now, shoo!