Vikings saw the great Ragnar Lothbrok go from a farmer to a legendary warrior, and at one point, he was also the king of Kattegat – and to get to that, he had to go through some battles and kill some enemies. Historical dramas have gained a lot of attention in recent years, and one of the most recent and successful TV series from this branch is Vikings, created by Michael Hirst. Over the course of six seasons, Vikings covered the early years of the Viking Age and saw its main characters go through a number of betrayals and battles, but they also enjoyed a lot of success, though this was often achieved through violent means.
Vikings initially followed legendary Norse figure Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) and his travels and raids alongside his Viking brothers, from the beginning of the Viking Age (marked by the Lindisfarne raid, shown in season 1) onward. As the series progressed, Vikings shifted its focus to Ragnar’s sons – Björn, Ubbe, Hvitserk, Sigurd, and Ivar – and their own travels, with them taking the lead of the series after Ragnar’s death in season 4. Still, Ragnar’s legacy continued to be felt until the series’ final episode, and many of his accomplishments continued to be talked about in the series and among viewers.
When the audience met Ragnar Lothbrok in Vikings season 1, he was a farmer living in Kattegat with his wife, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), and their children Gyda and Björn, and he was also a fearless warrior who dreamed of sailing across the ocean to raid the west, as he was sure there were great riches on the other side of the world. These plans clashed with those of Haraldson (Gabriel Byrne), Earl of Kattegat at the time, and that was the beginning of Ragnar’s road to the throne of Kattegat.
Vikings: Was Ragnar A Good King?
Ragnar comes back to Kattegat after a 10-year-absence in Vikings
In Vikings season 1, Haraldson saw Ragnar as a threat due to his plans of raiding unknown lands and more, so he launched an attack on Ragnar’s farm. Although Ragnar fought to defend his house and family, he was severely wounded, and so he and his family fled and hid at Floki’s (Gustaf Skarsgård) house. There he learned that Haraldson had captured his brother, Rollo (Clive Standen), and was torturing him for information, so Ragnar decided to challenge Haraldson to a duel. After a short fight, Ragnar killed Haraldson and became Kattegat’s new Earl. It didn’t take long for Ragnar to go from Earl to the king of Kattegat, but the transition required even more battles and deaths. After initially being allies, Ragnar’s relationship with king Horik took a turn, and the latter started planning to kill Ragnar and his entire family.
Horik tried to recruit Floki to kill Ragnar, but first, he had to prove himself to him by killing Torstein (Jefferson Hall). However, Floki was a lot smarter (and more loyal) than Horik and he revealed the king’s plans to Ragnar, as did Siggy (Jessalyn Gilsig) after Horik tried to get her to kill Ragnar’s children. When Horik launched his attack on Kattegat and his plan to kill Ragnar and company, he learned that Floki betrayed his plan and was on Ragnar’s side, and so Horik, his men, and his family (except for his son), were killed, leading Ragnar to take the title of King of Kattegat. As Kattegat’s ruler, Ragnar deeply cared about his people, was ambitious (which was not just for his and his family’s benefit but that of his people as well), and didn’t hesitate to fight all the battles that had to be fought, unlike other kings in Vikings who stayed as far away from the battlefield as possible.