What Really Happened to Ragnar’s Sons in the Vikings?
Ragnar Lothbrok and his sons were among the legendary heroes from the Viking Age who were told tales by the Vikings, but what actually happened to the sons of the legendary Ragnar Lothbrok? Historical drama has been one of the TV genres with the most traction in recent years, and Michael Hirst’s Vikings has been one of the most well-liked shows in this category. In its six seasons since its History Channel debut in 2013, Vikings told some of the most important tales from the early Viking Age, most of them with a healthy dose of imagination.
As the series went on, the focus began to move to Ragnar’s sons and their own voyages and raids. Initially, Vikings chronicled the adventures of legendary Norse character Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) and his Viking brothers. When Ragnar died in Vikings season 4, his sons took over as the main characters and remained in charge of the show until its conclusion in December 2020. Björn, Ubbe, Hvitserk, Sigurd, and Ivar fought in numerous conflicts with one another and in the series, and they all met with various outcomes.
Although the historical accounts on which Vikings is based have been altered significantly, Ragnar’s sons were not exempt from these adjustments. The existence of Ragnar Lothbrok is still debated, hence it is still unknown if Björn, Ubbe, Hvitserk, Sigurd, and Ivar were his children or those of someone else. But in Vikings, all of Ragnar’s sons were actual people, and the majority of them were successful. Let’s start with Björn Ironside, a Norse Viking leader and Swedish king.
Unlike his tragic demise in Vikings, Björn is thought to have been the first king of the Swedish Munsö dynasty. According to the sagas, he was the son of Ragnar and Aslaugh (not Lagertha, as in the series), but there are no records on how he passed away.
Based on the actual Viking Ubba, who led the Great Heathen Army that invaded Anglo-Saxon England in the 860s, Ubbe was renowned as the prototypical Viking invader and opponent of Christianity, along with Ivar. Ubba, who commanded the Viking army, is thought to have perished in the Battle of Cynwit in 878. Based on three distinct historical and mythical figures—Hvitserk, Halfdan Ragnarsson, and Guthrum—is Vikings’ Hvitserk. It is thought that Hvitserk, a Viking leader and commander of the Great Heathen Army, either didn’t exist or is the same as Halfdan Ragnarsson because he appears in the Tale of Ragnar’s Sons.
Halfdan was the first Viking ruler of Northumbria, a candidate for the throne of Dublin, and it’s possible that he and Sigurd shared power in Denmark. In an attempt to seize the crown of Dublin, Halfdan Ragnarsson perished in the Battle of Strangford Lough in 877. King of East Anglia and one of the Great Summer Army’s commanders, Guthrum passed away in 890.
According to the sagas, Sigurd Snake-in-the-eye, a Danish king, was the son of Ragnar and Aslaug, much like the Vikings, and he passed away in 887. Sigurd’s cause of death is unknown, although it is certain that Ivar did not murder him in a fit of rage as shown in the series. Last but not least, the sagas also identify Ivar the Boneless as the son of Ragnar and Aslaug. He was a renowned Viking chieftain who attacked England and Ireland.
He is recognized, along with Ubba, as having led the Danes on their 869 return to East Anglia and as having put East Anglian king Edmund the Martyr to death. There are several theories as to how Ivar passed away; the most prevalent is that he succumbed to a terrible disease, but a mass grave found in England may indicate that Ivar, like the Vikings, passed away in battle.