Historical facts about Ragnar Lothbrok's sons can help predict who dies and who survives in the final season of 'Vikings'
Bjorn Ironside, Ubbe, Hvitserk and Ivar live to fight another day, but here's what history has to say about their deaths
History Channel's 'Vikings' does not mind killing its major characters ruthlessly. Take Ragnar Lothbrok's (Travis Fimmel) character for example. The leading man and star of the show, who was Odin's descendant, was killed off in season 4. This ultimately led to soaring anticipation when season 5 dropped in two installments last year. From the Seer (John Kavanagh) to Queen Judith (Sarah Greene), we lost integral characters in season 5 but Ragnar's sons and first wife, shieldmaiden Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), survived and will now make it to season 6, and fans are extremely worried for their plight.
Thank god for the fact that these characters are based on historical characters, and we can refer to history and legends to predict which one of Ragnar's sons dies and which one survives to rule Kattegat and beyond.
Ragnar's death that was depicted in season 4 of the show was historically accurate, at least according to the Saxo's legendary history, wherein he was captured by King Aelle and dumped in a pit to be killed by snakes. However, Sigurd Snake-in-the-eye's death was inaccurate since he was definitely not killed by his own brother, Ivar the Boneless. Sigurd either died of old age or was killed by King Aelle. So take the following predictions with a pinch of salt.
The much loved Bjorn Ironside, played by Alexander Ludwig, was indeed one of Ragnar's sons. The eldest of them all, Ironside is Lagertha's only living child in Micahel Hirst's story. Currently he rules Kattegat after ousting his despotic and villainous brother Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh Andersen). However, history has it that Ironside, named for being invincible in battles, emerged to be a legendary king of Sweden. He lived in the 9th century and is said to have been the first ruler of the Swedish Munsö dynasty. The record of his death comes from the earliest writers on the subject of the Norman conquest of England, William of Jumièges, who stated he died in Frisia, (a large part of modern-day Netherland) which also had an association with the invaders of England. So Bjorn Ironside may survive season 6 if he does not venture towards Frisia in the coming finale.
Bad news for Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø), as 'Vikings' season 6 is headed to Rus and that means his death is possible. According to the attested 'Tale of Ragnar's Sons,' Hvitserk, also known as Halfdan, pillaged with the Rus Vikings, and because he could not win against a large foe he was held captive.
On being asked how he wished to die, he decided to be burned alive at a stake of human remains. The trailer for season 6 released on January 31 confirms the death as well as the setting, when we see Hvitserk tied over a pit of fire, with bloodshot eyes and open wounds on his face.
The first son of Ragnar Lothbrok and Aslaug, Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith), was the one who materialized Ragnar's dream last season, uniting the Vikings and the Saxons to live harmoniously together. With his purpose fulfilled, he may be the next in line to be killed but fans believe that he is the only son who reminds fans of Ragnar Lothbrok. Known in several texts as the commander of the 'Great Army,' Ubbe is identified as the slain commander by the twelfth-century Estoire des Engleis.
The text specifies that Ubba was slain at "bois de Pene"—which may refer to Penselwood, near the Somerset–Wiltshire border—and buried in Devon within a mound called "Ubbelawe." In season 5, we saw Ubbe settle many Vikings in the Saxon land, but he found his way back to Kattegat after Bjorn took the throne of Kattegat. He will likely return to the Saxon land, which may spell his death.
Said to be born following the curse, Ivar's (Alex Høgh Andersen) basic story on Vikings has been historically accurate, but his villainy has been highly dramatized, despite known for his cunningness and smart tactics at war. As seen on 'Vikings,' Ivar's story on 'Tale of Ragnar Lodbrok,' narrates that Aslaug had told Ragnar to wait three nights before consummating their marriage after his return following a long separation.
When he succumbed to lust, Ivar was born boneless. In season 5, his villainy reached its zenith as he murdered many under his despotic rule of Kattegat and even killed his wife and her baby. The previous season also concluded with Ivar managing to escape after his brothers took back Kattegat from him. Ivar's death is what is going to take the plot forward in season 6, but the teaser shows how he raises an army after he lands in Rus. Ivar's death is recorded in the Fragmentary Annals of Ireland and the cause is said to be "a sudden and horrible disease." If that is the case in 'Vikings,' then looks like nobody can proudly claim that he/she killed Ivar the Boneless.