Heres your first look at the warrior/ shieldmaiden Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) from the fifth season of Vikings, premiering Nov. 29 on History.

There are lots of historians who disputed that women fought in the shield war, says Vikings creator Michael Hirst alluding to the Birka warrior Viking unearthed in the 19th century and recently proven to be a woman (via DNA testing).

Hirst says he cast Winnick partially because she was a black belt in Taekowndo [Lagertha] is a woman whos had two children and killed countless people, and Katheryn was utterly convincing from the get-go. Women had very important roles in Viking society, he says.

They could divorce, own property, fight. Its kind of wonderful to have the character of Lagertha validated in the show.