“Vikings” Season 4 is closing in now that “Game of Thrones” Season 6 is now over. Ragnar and his family have changed drastically from the time skip and his rule is now being challenged by both his wives and his sons.
But who is Ragnar Lothbrok? Does “Vikings” really depict the legendary chieftain as accurately as possible? We look at the records regarding this figure and separate the man from the myth.
Ragnar from Vikings season 4 is no longer the man we know from the beginning of the series. He was a pioneer, a just ruler, now he is an eccentric drug-reliant king who has abandoned his throne.
The Ragnar Lothbrok Of History
Ragnar Lothbrok is a legendary Scandinavian ruler mentioned in several sagas as well as Norse poetry. He was the scourge of Frankia and England frequently raiding these areas and antagonizing their rulers.
Most notable of these was King Ælla of Northumbria who executed the chieftain by throwing him into a pit of snakes. He was later executed by Ragnar’s sons by Blood Eagle, the same way Jarl Borg was executed in the series.
Another account regarding his death is that he died from cholera and his wounds sustained from his failed invasion of Paris. While the series did depict the Paris invasions, Ragnar survived not one but two times.
He married three times shieldmaiden Lagertha being the first, a noblewoman named Þóra Borgarhjǫrtr, and lastly to Princess Aslaug. Unlike the series that depicted Ragnar as humble in origin, he is said to be a relative of Danish king Gudfred and son of the Swedish king Sigurd Hring.
His sons Ivar the Boneless, Björn Ironside, Halfdan Ragnarsson, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye, and Ubba/Ubbe were actual historical figures. They lead the great heathen army that invaded Northumbria and executed King Ælla as revenge for their father.
Will the fate of the mythical Ragnar Lothbrok reveal Ragnar’s fate in “Vikings” Season 4? Find out when the series returns this summer.