'Vikings': Why Hvitserk, son of Ragnar Lothbrok, deserves his own storyline
So far, we have only seen Hvitserk alongside his brothers, but a time may come soon where his darkness overshadows that of Ivar, as cited by the creator himself
Rollo was always overshadowed by his brother Ragnar Lothbrok, the protagonist of 'Vikings', till the time of his death in season 4. Now that Ragnar's many sons are the protagonists in season 5, it is evident that Hvitserk is a kind of a 'Rollo' compared to all his brother - Bjorn Ironside, Ubbe and Ivar the Boneless.
Starting right from season 2, where Hvitserk was introduced, until now in season 5, he has been seen only alongside his brothers, especially Ubbe and now Ivar. At the beginning of season 5, he left Ubbe's side to join his rather evil brother. By the time we have sailed to the current episode, Ivar has already humiliated Hvitserk and even teased him to be sacrificed.
The lack of his character development has been frustrating to fans, who took to social media and online platforms to discuss his potential especially because part one of season 5 looked promising. When Hvitserk chose to go with Ivar instead of Ubbe, fans pointed out it was the first time he stood for himself and took that as a sign of Hvitserk breaking away from his brother's shadow.
However, that did not last long since he fled one brother's shadow only to fall under another's. Even when he announced that he is nobody's dog, Ivar mocked him by making a barking sound. But let's not forget he is one of the best Viking warriors ever known. He swiftly prances, slaughters and triumphs even in the goriest of battlegrounds, recall the combat with King Aethelwulf and Guthrum, where he emerged victorious.
When introducing his character Michael Hirst, was clear to note that on the surface Hvitserk appears to be the "pleasantest of the son, but is actually, very dark." Ardent fans who have delved into Hvitserk's character figured that out when his hatred for Ragnar spewed in season 4 and he declared to his brothers he would kill their father if he ever returned home.
But eventually when he does come home and provokes Hvitserk to kill, he does not move. He is, however, not without ambition. Marco Ilsø, who plays the Hvitserk, said in an interview with the History Channel that Hvitserk wants what Ragnar had, not in terms of legacy, but territory. In season 5A, when Ivar put a knife to Hvitserk’s throat when talking about his impotency, fans stated Hvitserk is only using Ivar for his own ambitions since Ivar is "boneless."
There is a bit of Ubbe in him, a bit of Bjorn, who he deeply adores and a bit of Ivar, with all the underlying darkness the apparent light-hearted character carries. Despite the bond Hvitserk and Ubbe share, or once- shared, Ivar's influence made him despise Ubbe for his inefficient decision-making skills as well as for dominating him throughout the years.
When Ubbe takes Hvitserk to negotiate with the Saxons in spite of Ivar suggesting otherwise, they end up getting humiliated in front of their people as well as the Saxons, so Hvitserk completely stops respecting Ubbe, his role model for all these years. But there is a conflict in him because ever since he jumped boat to side with Ivar, he has been questioning if he did the right thing or not.
Hvitserk has an impressive fan base who are rooting for him to be his own man this season. A Reddit user commented that even though there isn't much character development in Hvitserk, he is the most preferred because of the importance he renders to other characters, namely Lagertha, Bjorn, Torvi, and Ubbe.
Had he not killed Guthrum, the same holds true. The only thing keeping him from being a major character is his "goodness." Pointing out the difference between Ivar and Hvitserk, another user commented that he is less cruel and less smart, so that must be the reason why he is still lurking in the shadows.
However, fans are hoping for a major twist in the finale since Hvitserk has suffered enough a humiliation under Ivar, and the recent tease of him being sacrificed while Ivar proclaiming his own godhood may have provoked Hvitserk to turn against Ivar the Boneless.
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Out of several fan theories, one affirms Hvitserk will eventually team up with Bjorn, Lagertha, and Ubbe, as suggested in the 5B trailer, and win Kattegat back from Ivar. For those who question why Hvitserk will team up with Lagertha, the one responsible for the death of his mother, Aslaug, fans have argued that the show has already established itself as one that cares more about ruling than revenge.
Hvitserk's character arc needs to come soon, and since he shines the most on battlegrounds, are we happy that war is coming?