Vikings: A Shocking Theory Claims Ragnar Never Really Died

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In season four of Vikings, did Ragnar truly make it out of the pit of snakes? Though many hypotheses contend otherwise, was he indeed alive?

Although the show’s protagonist, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), passed away in season 4, there is a rumor that the legendary Ragnar never actually passed away. Vikings, a Michael Hirst production that chronicled the early Viking Age, starting with the Lindisfarne attack, has become one of the most watched historical dramas on television in recent years. However, it also made many liberties with its characters and events. Initially, Vikings chronicled the renowned Norse warrior Ragnar Lothbrok and his numerous journeys and raids alongside his Viking brothers. However, in season 4, the show underwent a significant overhaul.

In Vikings season 4, Ragnar met his demise. His sons Björn, Ubbe, Hvitserk, Sigurd, and Ivar then took control of the show until the final episode, leading viewers through a number of battles and conflicts that also tragically ended in their demise. Only Ubbe and Hvitserk managed to survive the entire run. Throughout Vikings seasons 5 and 6, Ragnar was still perceptible, and he reappeared in dreams and memories, but did he actually pass away? Based on a few factors surrounding his death and its immediate aftermath, some hypotheses contend that he never did.

In the Vikings, what happened to Ragnar Lothbrok?

Ragnar Lothbrok was a Viking farmer and warrior when viewers first encountered him in Vikings season 1, and he had ambitions to sail to remote regions of the earth and plunder the reputed riches of uncharted England. When Ragnar and shield maiden Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) got married, they had two kids: Björn, who grew up to be a fierce warrior, and Gyda, who passed away in season 1 from the plague while Ragnar was gone. The drama of Ragnar’s journey in Vikings started as soon as he met Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland), which caused his divorce from Lagertha in season 2, and it was only the start of an arc filled of betrayals, well planned schemes, and tragedy.

Ragnar met many allies but also many foes due to his many raids and his violent actions throughout these, which ultimately led to his demise. The siege of Paris, a conflict between Ragnar’s Viking army and King Charles the Bold’s Frankish soldiers, marked the beginning of Ragnar’s collapse in season 3. Ragnar scaled a tower during the fight and was thrown over the edge, experiencing a terrible fall that caused him to subsequently vomit, cough, and urinate blood.

When Ragnar ordered a second attack to murder his brother Rollo (Clive Standen) for betraying him, he and his army were destroyed. Ragnar utilized his condition to feign his death and infiltrate Paris, which was a successful plot as it allowed him and his army to enter the city. Ragnar was forced to leave for ten years as a result, and when he did return to Kattegat, he wasn’t received with open arms.

In Vikings season 4, Ragnar attempted suicide but was unsuccessful. After bidding farewell to the people who meant the most to him, he joined Ivar on a trip to England. Aethelwulf, the prince, gave the order to capture Ragnar and placed him in a cage after they had slaughtered the rest of their raiding group there.

Later, King Ecbert and the Viking warrior Ragnar had a conversation in which Ecbert was ordered to be killed; however, when Ecbert refused, Ragnar suggested he be given to King Aelle, explaining that if he did, his sons would seek vengeance on Aelle rather than him. However, Ragnar told Ivar to instruct his brothers to seek vengeance on Ecbert. In the end, Ecbert sent Ragnar to Aelle, who tormented him and slashed a cross across his forehead before dropping him into a pit of poisonous snakes to perish.

Rationale: Ragnar did not pass away in the pit of snakes

It was a daring decision for Vikings to take off its major character in the fourth season, and it’s the reason why there are so many ideas about Ragnar not passing away in the pit of snakes—some even contending that he planned his death all along. Ragnar was really prepared to withstand the pit of snakes throughout his protracted abduction, according to one Reddit user, and it was all because of Yidu and her enigmatic medication.

After the Siege of Paris, Aslaug, who had acquired Yidu as a slave, offered Ragnar medicines. Some viewers think that these drugs helped Ragnar prepare for his continuous encounters with snakes by exposing him to them. The Reddit poster adds that Ecbert and Aelle planned for him to be caught as part of their retaliation so that his sons would pursue them and exact revenge on them.

Another Redditor claims that Ragnar’s “absence of a body” is evidence that the legendary Viking hero did not pass away in the pit of snakes. The author makes the argument that he couldn’t have been swallowed by the snakes since his body would have been there when Björn and the others came and peered into the hole. The author continues, “Alfred handed Ragnar a little bottle of venom antidote when he was brought to Aelle, which helped him live.” As previously established, Ragnar only appeared in flashbacks and visions over the course of Vikings; if he had actually survived the pit of snakes, he would have undoubtedly returned at some time.

Where Was Ragnar if He Was Alive?

The main mystery surrounding the hypothesis that Ragnar survived the snake pit in Vikings season 4 is where he went next. Ecbert was pursued by Björn and his companions after Ragnar’s demise, and the defeated ruler ultimately committed suicide; if Ecbert had survived, Ragnar would not have turned back to him. Ragnar certainly didn’t return to Lagertha or Kattegat after the pit of snakes, and he killed Yidu in a fit of wrath, so he didn’t really have anybody to go back to while Lagertha tried to accept Ragnar’s passing. Ragnar would have had a terribly isolated existence if he hadn’t perished in the pit since he never went back to his friends or family.

What Happened To Ragnar Lothbrok, the Real?

Even though Vikings borrowed a lot of its characters and events from historical events, it also used a lot of artistic license for a variety of reasons, and even its main character wasn’t based on a real person. The narrative of Ragnar Lothbrok’s “actual” death differs since it is thought that three separate men—Viking chieftain Reginherus, King Horik I of Denmark (who was featured in the series), and King Regindfried—were the inspiration for the character. When considering the possibility that Ragnar is a composite of historical figures, it is possible that the “real” Ragnar was murdered (like Reginherus), killed in battle (like Horik), or was involved in an invasion attempt. The sagas in which Ragnar appears claim that he was defeated by English forces and thrown into a snake pit, which is very similar to what happened in Vikings (Reginfrid).