Since watching History Channel’s Vikings, I have developed a huge interest in the era and particularly the history surrounding the man that is Ragnar Lothbrok.
Ragnar Lothbrok, or Ragnar Lodbrok in Old Norse spelling was a legendary Norse war hero and ruler. Most historians believe that he was in fact a work of fiction, The historical accounts of Ragnar largely exist in the Norse sagas and poetry and he is indeed a figure of legend. It is uncertain whether or not Ragnar existed and fathered such legendary figures as Bjorn Ironside and Sigurd Snake-In-The-Eye – whilst these men are historical figures it is unknown whether Ragnar was actually their father.
Whether or not he was a real person, the fact that his tales exist within the sagas is interesting enough and I am glad that Vikings has chosen to portray him in their show. Within both the show and the sagas, Ragnar was married three times. First to the Shield-Maiden Lagertha (portrayed in the show by Katheryn Winnick), Thora Town-Hart and the Princess Aslaug. According to legend, Ragnar eventually became King before being captured by King Aelle of Northumbria and executed by being thrown into a pit of snakes.
Ragnar’s story, whether true or not, is highly interesting and I am hoping to read much more into his ‘life’ when I finally receive the sagas that I have ordered. Keep an eye out for more on this interesting man.