Recent headlines remind us that women have an uneven playing field in life. Let’s explore a few simple ideas for empowerment from Vikings’ Lagertha.

Lagertha is a shield maiden. She fights alongside men who underestimate her. She is a simple farmer, mother, and leader to her people. She experiences fertility issues, the threat of rape and a cheating husband. In short, she is a compilation of womankind.

It may be satisfying to gouge out the eyes of an abusive husband, castrate the men who conspire against you, or gut that fiancée who stole your earldom. But I suggest a milder approach than bathing in the blood of your enemies. Here are five ways to light the fire of your inner shield maiden.

Try a new look:

Lagertha changes her look constantly.

It’s cliché, but a new hairstyle and clothes can make you a whole new person.

  • Find a trusted hair stylist
  • Try on new styles at a department store. (There’s no need to buy anything)
  • Get a fresh look with a free makeover at a makeup counter


A mask or new persona is liberating. Many actors are shy, until they transform into a character who isn’t shy.

Even Lagertha pretended to be “Earl Ingstad”, when she knew her ex-husband would refuse her help.

  • Become your favorite fictional character (doesn’t have to be fancy)
  • Host a costume party
  • Attend a fan convention with a “No Tolerance” policy for harassment of cosplayers (fans are more than happy to share tips)

Martial arts or self defense training:

Wrestler Debbie in Glow said it best: “I’m using (my body) for me, and I feel like a goddamn superhero.” Even a small improvement in your coordination will improve your self-confidence.

Most martial arts studios offer free trials. If martial arts aren’t your cup of tea, try a Zumba class, hiking, or archery – anything to get moving.

Keep the hearth fire burning in your Great Hall:

When not fighting, shield maidens cooked, manufactured goods, and kept the communal hearth burning. Try a few of these ideas:

  • Learn about German “Gemutlichkeit” or Danish “Hyyge”
  • Try a new slow cooker recipe
  • Create an emergency kit for your family
  • Learn a craft
  • Set out milk and cookies for your kids


Travel broadens your horizons. Experience the world outside your little fjord, first hand. Hike the Andes with friends or explore the state next door by car. You may learn you prefer to rule over your home kingdom. But at least you’ll know for sure. And you’ll have sagas to tell future generations.

To learn more about Shieldmaidens, check out Vikings on History. Season 5 premiers November 29th!

Photo Source : History Vikings. Special thanks to: Mark & Kelly Miller, & Ken Brown  for use of their cosplay photos

Leslie Gayle

Leslie is a one time CPA, wife and mom of twins. She’s an over thinker who loves karate, thunder, and travel. Her sweatpants are yoga pants and she takes her coffee with milk.

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