While it is complicated to determine the exact dates of his birth and death, it is nevertheless possible that the semi-legendary Viking Ragnar Lothbrok lived between the year 750 and the year 850 AD .
Primarily known for being the originator of the Great Viking Army, Ragnar is also famous for his many conquests across Europe .
From birth to death, the great Viking warrior fought masterfully. And it is undoubtedly his courage and tenacity that made him the admirable and admired man he still is today.
Who is Ragnar Lothbrok ?
Ragnar Lothbrok is a semi-legendary Viking leader whose adventures are recounted in countless medieval Norse and Latin sources. Father of the famous Ivar le Boneless , Björn Côtes-de-Fer , Sigurd Eye-of-Serpent and Ubbe , Ragnar would have existed between the year 750 and the year 865 according to the texts.
Ragnar Lothbrok emerges as a mighty Viking, leading many conquests and attacks all over Europe. Around 845, the Viking chieftain appeared with his men in Paris, descending the stage. Over the years, he took the capital several times, devastated Rouen, burned monasteries and abbeys.
To find out more, discover this article: Who is Ragnar Lothbrok?
How did Ragnar die?
Accounts of Ragnar Lothbrok are diverse, and those dealing with his death as well. However, not everyone really agrees, and two versions regarding his end of life exist .
One of them, the least known, tells that the Viking chief succumbed to his wounds during an invasion of Paris.
The second, much more widespread, asserts that he was taken hostage by his sworn enemy, the king of Northumbria, and that he was thrown into a pit of serpents .
Ragnar Lothbrok, thrown into a pit of serpents by King Aella
During one of their voyages, around the year 865 , Ragnar Lothbrok and his men were shipwrecked on the shores of Northumbria . They survive there, but soon enough meet the Northumbrians against whom they have to do battle. Most of the Vikings lose their lives that day, and Ragnar's army is forced to suffer defeat.
Ragnar, still alive, is captured by the Northumbrians and brought to King Aella . His sworn enemy. The latter then immediately orders the murder of the Viking leader, and has him thrown into a pit of vipers . Bitten by poisonous snakes , Ragnar dies in pain.
The revenge of the sons of Ragnar after the death of their father
Just like their father, Ivar, Björn, Sigurd and Ubbe became great Vikings. So much so that they form a large army with which they win many battles. But the one and only battle that will have counted for the four brothers is indeed the one for which they will avenge their father .
When King Aella kills Ragnar, he dispatches messengers to tell the news to his sons. The latter hasten to land in England, but are first defeated by the men of the King of Northumbria .
All decide to return home, but Ivar stays and enters into negotiations with Aella. In vain. When the latter's brothers returned to Northumbria, about the year 865, they took York and the king .
The texts tell that the sons of Ragnar, to avenge the death of their father, subject King Aella to the torture of the "blood eagle ". The terrible Viking torture consists in excising the back of the victim and taking out the lungs in order to spread them like the wings of an eagle. Following the excruciating punishment, King Aella of Northumbria dies.
When and how does Ragnar die in the Vikings series?
Fans couldn't appreciate it any more, Ragnar Lothbrok saddened a lot of people when he died in season 4. In the episode "All Angels", the fifteenth of the season, he indeed says goodbye after having was thrown into King Aelle's snake pit.
True to true Norse legend, Ragnar's death comes after he is captured by his enemy in Northumbria. The Viking leader then suffered the many tortures of the king's soldiers: blows with a stick, branding, cutting a cross with a knife on his head.
After an insane amount of torture, Ragnar is thrown in the early morning into King Aelle's snake pit. He was bitten there several times and, hit by the deadly venom of the reptiles, ended up dying.
Ragnar's speech before his death in the Vikings series
For the final scene of Travis Fimmel, who plays Ragnar Lothbrok on screen, Michael Hirst and the writers wanted something special. Of taking. Just before dying, Ragnar then makes a speech : “ It fills me with joy to know that Odin is preparing for a feast. Soon I will be drinking mead horns. The Zero who enters Valhalla does not lament his death. I will not go trembling into Odin's palace. And there I will wait for my sons to join me, and when they have done so, I will revel in the tales of their triumphs (…) . »
But this speech was at the origin of a small disagreement between Travis Fimmel and Michael Hirst, who both laugh about it today. “ I hate speeches. It was a very nice speech but I didn't want Ragnar to say it. I argued with Michael Hirst about it ,” the actor said at the time. But this time around, the director of the hit series won the battle. “ The fact that he was so engaged, enraged, involved and proactive made his performance brilliant ,” he had confided at the end of season four. Fans of the series will certainly not forget Ragnar's last words on screen .
What does Travis Fimmel, who plays Ragnar, think of his departure from the series?
If he played Ragnar Lodbrok for four seasons, Travis Fimmel was actually supposed to leave the series at the end of the first season already .
It was therefore he who asked the director, Michael Hirst, to put an end to his adventure. “At first, I found my character too heroic , too good. It's hard to play someone who has no flaws . I was begging Michael Hirst to make me more horrible to improve me afterwards, ”explains the Australian actor to Entertainment Weekly. “You feel more when you're booed than applauded, I think. »
So after several dozen episodes, Travis Fimmel asks to let his character go. A difficult choice for the director who confided during an interview that, "in most series, when the main character dies, people stop following her". However, the fans did not let go of the episodes of the two seasons that followed , despite the absence of the flagship character of the series.