Vikings finally ended with the sixth season and there have been mixed reactions online about the fate of various characters in the show. According to most fans, the death of Ragnar Lothbrok was the end of the best part of History’s Vikings. However, Ragnar’s death wasn’t the last significant even in the show. Vikings was very unpredictable because everyone could die at any time and every death changed the fate of other characters. Here is a look at the 10 most significant deaths that totally changed the direction of the show.
Ragnar was always bound to become the ruler of Kattegat but he was just a farmer and had no influence over the people of Kattegat. When he returned from his first raid of England, Earl Haraldson bullied him by taking away his loot making Ragnar look small. Then came the unforgivable attack on Ragnar’s family in retaliation for the death of Haraldson’s brother. It was the first time Ragnar decided to be in charge of his own fate. He chose to fight for the future of his family by fighting in a single combat against the Jarl he obviously respected. Haraldson’s death was officially the beginning of Vikings.
No one could imagine that Torvi would outlive Borg in the show when you looked at the couple in the first season. Jarl Borg seemed like a smart powerful man that would pose a significant threat to Ragnar’s rise to power. When Rollo betrayed Ragnar and joined forces with Jarl Borg, it seemed like the second season would see less success from Ragnar than expected. Events turned against the bold Earl, but it was also the begging of Ragnar’s transformation. Ragnar showed little concern for Borg’s family as he performed the Blood Eagle on Jarl Borg. He seemed to have lost the human part of himself after executing Borg.
Gayda was one of the least appreciated characters in Vikings. Se was Ragnar’s daughter and Bjorn’s sister that nobody seemed to care much about except Lagertha. When she died during the plague, Lagertha was very heartbroken. It also coincided with Lagertha’s miscarriage which pushed the Viking power couple further apart. It is fair to say that Gayda’s death caused the split that led to Ragnar sleeping with Aslaug.
It was a miracle that Ragnar’s alliance with King Horik lasted as long as it did. Horik was always afraid of Ragnar and wanted to do away with him but he couldn’t afford it. Ragnar was also ambitious but not to usurp power from his king. Then came Horik’s betrayal and Floki’s exceptional show of loyalty that revealed to Ragnar that his fate and that of his people was always at stake as long as he continued to follow other people. Horik’s death was the final transition to maturity that Ragnar always needed. After becoming king, Ragnar became less considerate of other people’s opinion which contributed to his deterioration.
Ragnar Lothbrok; The man who achieved so much during his lifetime only to die abandoned and in pain like a nobody. It was proof that no one in Vikings was indispensable. Ragnar Lothbrok made many mistakes but he didn’t deserve to die the way he did. His death was the turning point for Ivar who decided that he wanted to have a greater legacy than that of his father. Ragnar dying in England also wrote the death sentence for the two English kings and also acted as the uniting mission that brought together all of Ragnar’s sons for once. Most fans agreed that the show lost its juice when Ragnar died.
King Ecbert, the shrewd king of Wessex was one of the most interesting characters in the show. While he wasn’t the best of kings, he kept things together in England just like Ragnar did in Kattegat. He united Wessex and Mercia under one crown and prepared the way for Alfred to become the future king of Wessex. However, Wessex was not nearly prepared for the transition when he died. He left Wessex and the rest of England vulnerable to the attacks by Ragnar’s sons which helped Ivar become so powerful. The period between Ecbert’s death and Alfred’s final victory was the worst time for the Saxons in the show.
Aethelwulf was better than his father in the moral viewpoint but not as a king. He was probably the worst Saxon king in the show considering the fact that Aelle managed to beat the Vikings at least once. Ivar fooled him multiple times and he failed to listen to Haehmund’s advice when it would have saved everyone. Being young as he was, it was sad to imagine that the fate of the Saxons depended on him for the rest of the show. His sudden death was sad but a welcome relief because it finally paved way for Alfred to become the king that Alfred so desperately needed.
Aslaug gave Ragnar the sons he needed but she never earned her place as the queen of Kattegat. The first time that Ragnar left her in charge, she fell prey to the liar Harbard and almost got her sons killed. She was still the mother of Ragnar’s children. When Ragnar died, Ragnar’s family would have remained united as long as Lagertha left Aslaug to keep the throne, even if she didn’t deserve it. Lagertha chose to kill her instead and that was the breaking point for Ivar and Hvitserk. It created the rift that caused all the death from the Ivar vs Bjorn wars.
Bjorn Ironside proved himself as the true son of Ragnar when he managed to retake Kattegat from Ivar and lead the efforts to the formation of a single kingdom out of the quarrelling villages in Norway. Bjorn was the sane leader that the Vikings needed and he would have made a perfect king for Norway if Ivar hadn’t killed him. When he died, Kattegat was left at the mercy of weak leaders like Harald and later Ingrid. Bjorn’s death officially marked the end of the dominance of the Lothbrok family over Kattegat.
Ivar the boneless turned into the monster that everyone predicted immediately after Ragnar’s death. He was still Ragnar’s son and there was this hope that he would change his ways and probably make a better king than Ragnar and Bjorn but he only became worse as time went by. When he finally accepted to die in the final battle in Wessex, it was clear that the show had finally redeemed the family of Ragnar Lothbrok. His death didn’t provide the justice that the show needed to bring but it was the beginning of peace on both sides of the Atlantic.