Historically and in the 2013 TV series, vikings, Ragnar Lothbrok had many children. At the beginning of the series, Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) is a farmer who dreams of traveling west to discover new lands to conquer. He is married to Lagertha (Katherine Winnick) and they have two children together: Bjorn and Jedda. After a great deal of resistance, Ragnar decided to sail west, where he and a small group of Vikings raided Northumbria. This raid would launch Ragnar into a new world of fame that would include becoming Earl of Kattegat and eventually King of Denmark.
Ragnar’s accomplishments will earn a huge amount of recognition, including those of Princess Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland). The two will start an affair that will explode in Ragnar’s face once she gets pregnant and decides to travel to Kattegat. Aslaug’s arrival will cause a rift between Lagertha and Ragnar, which will result in Lagertha leaving Kattegat and taking Bjorn with her. Together, Ragnar and Aslug will have four children: Obi, Hvitsk, Sigurd, and Ivar.
Due to Ragnar’s prestigious reputation among the Vikings, he guarantees his sons a fair share of admiration and jealousy throughout their lives. Some of Ragnar’s children were given nicknames that only raised their status among the Vikings. Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) earned the nickname “Ironside” as a poem for his iron skin. Many believed that due to Bjorn’s apparent indestructibility, he was protected by the gods. Shortly after his birth, his mother named Sigurd (David Linstrom) “Sygurd Snake in the Eye” because of his snake-like eye. Ivar (Alex Hogg Andersen) will also get a title. He was hailed “Ivar the Boneless” due to his disability which left his legs useless. Although not all of Ragnar’s sons have received traits, they all have traits that can make them the worst they can encounter on the battlefield.
One trait that all of the Ragnarson family have in common is that they are all skilled warriors. Only Bjorn, Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith) and Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) got the chance to train and learn from Ragnar before he vanished after their defeat in Paris. Instead of learning from Ragnar, Sigurd and Ivar were left to learn from their older brothers and various other Vikings warriors in Kattegat. No matter where they learned their skills, all of Ragnar’s children were tough forces on the battlefield. However, the most dangerous sons of Ragnar can be identified only in their disagreements.
As the eldest son of Ragnar and the only surviving child of Ragnar and the famous shield of Lagerta, Bjorn already has the makings of a great warrior. Both his parents are known for their actions during the battle, and their leadership outside of it. Like his father, Bjorn became an accomplished attacker and explorer, whom the Kattegat people eventually began to trust more than Ragnar. Bjorn’s exploits began to gain more fame than his father’s, and his reputation almost gave him the honor of being the first king of Norway. In death Bjorn proves that he deserves his iron title. After being stabbed by Ivar, Bjorn miraculously managed to ride out onto the battlefield and his body took several arrows. Ultimately, the ghostly spectacle frightens many within Ivar’s army so much that they flee.
In the midst of the series, Ragnar tells Bjorn that “power is given only to those who are willing to lower themselves to receive it.” While Bjorn shared Ragnar’s ambition and attitude toward ruling, neither of them wanted to become king. The burden of judgment was something that fell into their arms and caused them a great deal of unhappiness. It could be argued that Ubbe had a better head on his shoulders to rule. The best example of this is he and Bjorn’s stay in England, where Obie agrees to convert to Christianity to obtain the land promised to them by King Alfred. Aside from being an accomplished warrior, Ubbe is also incredibly responsible. Ubbe weighs the risks of every situation and unlike many others in his family, he is not above condescension. What’s wrong with that, however, is that Ubbe can sometimes find himself too confident.
Like his older brothers, Ivar shares some of Ragnar’s most compelling traits. Ivar shares Ragnar’s wits on and off the battlefield. After being ridiculed for his disability his whole life, Ivar turned his frustration into action. Ragnar says to Ivar, “Everyone will always underestimate you. You have to make them pay for it,” and that’s what Ivar does. Despite his disability which led many to render Ivar useless, he never gave up on the fight. In battle, he rides a chariot and when that doesn’t work, he uses his axes to kill his enemies.
Off the battlefield, Ivar leads out of fear rather than respect. Shortly after he and his brothers used the great pagan army to avenge King Ayl and King Ecbert, Ivar accidentally killed his brother Sigurd by throwing an ax in his stomach. After that he took control of the great pagan army and launched attacks all over England. Ivar becomes possessed by Kattegat as his power begins to make him feel untouchable, making him even more dangerous. After his child is born with bodily harm, unlike his father, Ivar leaves his child to die. When he discovers that his wife has betrayed him, he strangles her and leaves her body next to their son’s bones.
Ragnar has several children who all inherited parts of his famous personality. How they use the skills of both Ragnar and their mother is what makes them such unique characters despite coming from the same circumstances. Of all the Ragnarson family, Ivar the Boneless is easily the most dangerous. As strategic as he could be on and off the battlefield, his fury and violent rage had proven to blind him at times. The final scene that Ivar shares with Ragnar is credited as the true birth of Ivar the Boneless. Ragnar’s last words to his youngest son were “Be cruel,” and those who know Ivar, know that he takes these words seriously to become the strongest of Ragnarson.
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