Vikings was initially focused on Ragnar Lothbrok and his travels, but how old was he at the beginning of the series and when he died?
During its first seasons, the lead character in Vikings was Ragnar Lothbrok, who went through a lot in four seasons, but how old was he at the beginning of the series and when he died? Created by Michael Hirst, Vikings made its debut on History Channel in 2013, and while it was initially planned to be a miniseries, it caught the attention of viewers and critics, and so it was renewed for a second season. Vikings came to an end with its sixth season, and in all those years, fans were witness to many conflicts, battles, betrayals, and deaths, including that of the lead character of the show.
Vikings initially followed legendary Norse figure Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) and his travels and raids alongside his Viking brothers, among those his real brother, Rollo (Clive Standen). As the series progressed, it began to shift its focus to Ragnar’s sons (Björn, Ubbe, Hvitserk, Sigurd, and Ivar), with the purpose of making them the protagonists, as Ragnar wasn’t going to be around forever. Ragnar met his fate in season 4 when he was thrown into a pit of venomous snakes under the orders of King Aelle. Over the course of four seasons, Ragnar went through all types of obstacles – from troubled relationships to wars and illness – yet he didn’t seem to age much. So, how old was he?
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As it happens in many TV shows, Vikings doesn’t explicitly say how old its main characters are, and in Ragnar’s case, it’s especially tricky to calculate his age as he might have not existed. Still, some pages dedicated to the show and the character list his birth year as 763 AD, and as the first season covers the Lindisfarne raid, considered as the starting point of the Viking era, an approximate age can be calculated. The Lindisfarne raid happened in 793, meaning that at the beginning of Vikings, Ragnar Lothbrok was 30 years old. Some viewers have taken Björn’s age in season 1 as a reference to calculate Ragnar’s age, as he’s said to have become a father at the age of 19, and Björn is 12 years old at the beginning of the series (listed as being born in 781), which fits with the previous calculation.
When it comes to how old Ragnar was when he died, everything gets a bit messy. It’s unknown which year Vikings season 4 is set in, and as Ragnar didn’t seem to age much throughout the series, fans get confused over his age. The “real” Ragnar might have died sometime between 852 and 856, which in the series would have made him 89-93 years old, which doesn’t seem possible. Taking into account that he had five sons and they were all grown-up by the time he died, many fans have calculated Ragnar was in his mid-fifties early-sixties when he was thrown into the pit of snakes, which is more believable than him being in his 80s.
Although the crew behind Vikings aim to be as historically accurate as possible, with big doses of drama to make it all more interesting, there are various inconsistencies in the show, and one of those is the ages of its main characters and how little they have aged, especially Ragnar and Lagertha. While Ragnar’s age is not something that would affect his arc in the series, it has certainly confused a lot of fans.
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