[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the latest episode of Vikings. Read at your own risk.]
Vikings fans are in mourning now after witnessing the death of Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) at the hands of Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) in Wednesday’s episode, and TV Guide has your exclusive first look at the famous shieldmaiden’s funeral in next week’s episode, “The Ice Maiden.”
In the preview clip above, Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) has arrived home to Kattegat just in time to attend Lagertha’s funeral. While the citizens prepare Lagertha’s body for her journey to Valhalla, Bjorn sits alone on the Kattegat beach and eulogizes his mother in an emotionally wrenching speech, tearfully declaring:
“I hoped the day would never come when I’d have to bid you farewell. You were always my strength, my guide. You taught me to go on no matter what. You taught me not to be afraid. And now I see that, like me, the Earth itself isn’t willing to let you go. But the gods call you home. They eagerly await your arrival in Valhalla, as does my father. I wish I could be there at your reunion, secretly in Odin’s glittering, gold, shielded hall surrounded by all the gods. You were already a legend, the greatest shield maiden of all time. A hero to thousands of women. But to me you will always be my mother, who bore me, who raised me, who protected and fought for me. And I swear I will fight for you now. I could not protect you in life, but I can punish your murderer after it. Farewell. I have loved you more than I have loved any other. Farewell, Lagertha. Farewell. I love you. I will miss you. I will avenge you.”
Next week’s episode will largely center on Lagertha’s funeral and promises to be an emotional experience for characters and viewers alike. In fact, when speaking with TV Guide about her character’s death, Katheryn Winnick revealed she was actually on set for the episode while preparing for her directorial debut on Episode 8 and it was such an overwhelming experience that she had to leave. “To see a prosthetic me lying there on the boat and all these hundreds of actors who are mourning over Lagertha, it was just so surreal. I felt like I was watching my own funeral,” Winnick said. “I actually had to leave. It was too emotionally hard for me to stay for that. So it was definitely something that I’ll always remember and cherish.”
Lagertha was one of the few original Vikings characters left on the series, and it’s hard to imagine the show without her (even if we all knew this day would come). Fortunately, we’ll all get a chance to work through some of these emotions and process this loss next week. And if the full episode is as moving as this sneak peek, we recommend having a box of tissues handy.
Vikings airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on History.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)