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Jarl Sigvard is the Earl of Hedeby, and the second husband of Lagertha. He frequently got drunk and his outbursts made many of his subjects uncomfortable.


Biography

Season 2

Sigvard is domineering, abusive, brutal, and ill-tempered. He often asserts what he sees as his power and ownership over Lagertha as his wife. He would beat her when she talked back to him. Sigvard and Bjorn do not get along either. Sigvard takes pleasure in insulting and humiliating Bjorn in front of others. He would then blame Bjorn, saying he started the conflict by not accepting him as his father and showing him the love he deserved. Lagertha asserts that Sigvard has no love for anyone but himself. Sigvard also generally dislikes talking about Ragnar, possibly due to an inferiority complex.

One night at dinner, Sigvard questions why Bjorn is so sullen. Bjorn has just found out that Sigvard is beating his mother. Sigvard mockingly suggests they should raid a neighboring earldom so Bjorn can prove his strength and manhood. Instead, Bjorn asks for Sigvard's permission to go out into the woods to "learn the essentials of life." Sigvard replies that he will not risk his reputation by allowing his stepson to possibly starve in the wilderness.

When Lagertha returns to Hedeby after successfully helping Ragnar drive Jarl Borg out of Kattegat, Sigvard openly berates her for leaving without his permission. He is also unhappy that Bjorn has decided to stay in Kattegat with Ragnar. After accusing her of still being in love with Ragnar, he tells her to sleep alone that night, and that he's made, "other arrangements." That night he sends some of his men to beat her up and possibly rape her.

At a feast in his hall, he drunkenly claims that the bruised and battered Lagertha has the most beautiful breasts of any woman in the world and that they are like the goddess Freyja's breasts. To further demean and humiliate her, Sigvard rips her dress open to show his people Lagertha's breasts. Having had enough, Lagertha grabs a knife and stabs out one of Sigvard's eyes. Screaming in pain, Sigvard falls to his knees. With the hall in shock, and before anyone knows what to do, his nephew, Einar, draws his sword and approaches. It seems like Einar is going to try and kill Lagertha. Instead, Einar beheads Sigvard, sending the Earl's head rolling onto the rough, wooden floor. Few protest the murder.

Trivia

  • As the apparent Earl of Hedeby, Sigvard ruled over one of the more important commercial centres in all of Scandinavia. Hedeby (also known as Haithabu in German) lies a short distance from the Treene River, which flows into the North Sea. The Treene itself is a tributary of the Eider River, which itself flows closely toward the Baltic shoreline. Hedeby was also very close to the Danevirke, the line of defensive earthworks, strengthened under the directive of King Gudfred (father of Horik), which served to define the boundary between Denmark and Saxony, which was then under the rule of the Christian Franks who posed a danger to the Danes.
  • Hedeby was in Jutland and so Earl Sigvard and his people would have been Jutes, who had become merged with the rising Danish kingdom prior to the Viking Age. The Jutes were among the North Germanic tribes who previously took part in the migrations to Britain.

Appearances

Season two appearances
Brother's War Invasion Treachery Eye For an Eye Answers in Blood
Unforgiven Blood Eagle Boneless The Choice The Lord's Prayer