'Vikings': Fans Weigh in on Ragnar Lothbrok: 'The Man. The Legend. The Show'

In the series Vikings, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) is the main character from the beginning of the series until his untimely death in season 4B. A farmer by trade, he makes himself an earl and then a king. What do fans have to say about the man? We have the details.

Recap: From a farmer to the Earl of Kattegat

When we first meet Ragnar in season 1, he’s a calculating and intelligent farmer with a dream of sailing west. He defies Earl Haraldson (Gabriel Byrne), sailing west for the first time, carving his name into legend. Ragnar eventually fights the Earl after Haraldson tries to kill him, winning and becoming the new Earl of Kattegat and making raiding west the go-to thing.

Ragnar’s best friend is named Athelstan (George Blagden), a former Saxon monk whom he abducts in the first raid on England. He’s a big part of Ragnar’s life, and he teaches him many things. But Athelstan is killed by Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) in season 3, and Ragnar takes his death really hard.

Ragnar also has a wife named Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), who gives him two children. Ragnar cheats on her with Princess Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) after Lagertha has a miscarriage, and Aslaug ends up pregnant. Refusing to turn her away, Ragnar wants Lagertha to “accept” this new woman. But Lagertha can’t, and she leaves and divorces Ragnar. He marries Aslaug, and she has four sons for him named Ubbe, Hvitserk, Sigurd, and Ivar.

King Ragnar 

Curious by nature, Ragnar is open to new experiences and situations. Raids continue to happen to England, and Ragnar becomes King after killing King Horik (Donal Logue), someone who is supposed to be his ally who was planning to kill him.

Then Ragnar raids Paris in a successful attack, but the second attack is a failure with Rollo (Clive Standen), Ragnar’s brother, betraying him by allying himself with Paris and Emperor Charles (Lothaire Bluteau). When Ragnar returns to Kattegat, he leaves and abandons his people for a number of years.

He sacrifices himself to provoke his sons to seek revenge

Upon Ragnar’s return in season 4B, he’s decided to go back to Wessex, where they had a settlement that was destroyed. He wants revenge for King Ecbert (Linus Roache) destroying it, but no one seems to want to raid with him after learning about the settlement’s fate and Ragnar’s abandonment. But he bribes a number of warriors to get to Wessex with his son, Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen). 

Ragnar is killed by King Aelle (Ivan Kaye) of Northumbria after convincing Ecbert to hand him over to him to be killed. It’s all part of his plan, as he knows his sons will seek revenge for his death. He’s murdered when he’s thrown in a pit of snakes, dying from their venom. His sons do, in fact, get revenge for his death, and Ragnar’s plan comes to fruition.

Fans weigh in on Ragnar Lothbrok in ‘Vikings’

With such an important character, it makes sense that fans would have opinions about him. On Reddit three years ago, a fan titled a post, “Character Discussion: Ragnar Lothbrok!” Fans took the time to weigh in on the character, and they didn’t hold back. 

“I thought it only fitting after discussing all of his sons that we should move on to the man himself,” the post says. “Personally, my favorite character in anything I have ever experienced. His death was incredibly sad and has certainly created an irreversible change for the show. Travis Fimmel was a phenomenal actor and absolutely perfect for the role…”

Other fans have positive things to say about the larger-than-life character. One fan references his relationship with King Ecbert, someone who was Ragnar’s enemy at times and who acted like a friend at other times.

“Honestly one of the best characters on TV, him and Ecbert’s story is what made that show so brilliant,” the fan points out. “4×14 and 4×15, some of the best character interactions I’ve ever seen in anything…”

1 fan misses Ragnar

The show definitely changed with Ragnar’s death. His presence was missed by many. After Ragnar died, the show became about the lives of his sons, and although Ragnar is still mentioned, it doesn’t seem to feel like it used to.

“I very much miss Ragnar in this show,” a fan said. “It’s just not the same. I feel like he is the only one that might have been able to keep Ivar in line.”

A fan mentions an “empty feeling” that they get from the series with Ragnar’s demise, and that goes for “Athelstan’s death” as well. It’s always hard to deal with a beloved character’s death, especially when a show continues after the fact.

“I’ve had a very empty feeling from the show since Ragnar’s death, heck even since Athelstan’s death,” they mention. “The episodes just aren’t as provocative anymore without the complex relationships between Ragnar, Athelstan, Lagertha, and Ecbert. Floki appears more irrelevant as of late, and he too is suffering from Ragnar’s absence. Altogether though, the character that binds them all is Ragnar.”

A fan would like a spinoff about Ragnar’s life during the years he’s gone

One fan would like to see a spinoff of Ragnar after he left Kattegat in season 4. It’s unclear where he was or what he was doing, and it’s left up to interpretation. It would be nice to see that part of his life that’s still a mystery.

“Nothing but good to say about the character’s portrayal,” the fan said. “I would love for a spinoff exploring Ragnar’s life in between the Paris attack and his return to Kattegat.”

Other fans made comments like, “The man. The legend. The show,” and “The show ended with him imo.”

Fans have a lot of opinions when it comes to Ragnar Lothbrok, the legendary Viking in the hit series Vikings.

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