Old – The Characters
Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) – Ragnar Lothbrok is a restless young warrior and family man who longs to find and conquer new lands across the sea and claim the spoils as his own. Now he is an Earl, with more power than ever before, his desire to sail west and explore new kingdoms remains unquenchable. Ragnar feels a deep affinity with the Norse God Odin. This powerful deity is the god of warriors slain in battle and is also the god of curiosity.
Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) – Lagertha is the first wife of Ragnar Lothbrok. She is a strong shield-maiden and a force to be reckoned with. She fights in the shield-wall beside her husband and her brothers. She is independent and strong-willed both in protecting her family and accompanying Ragnar on some of his dangerous and daring raids.
Rollo (Clive Standen) – Rollo, Ragnar’s brother, is impulsive, wild, care-free and compulsive. Rollo is a fierce fighter who is often overshadowed by his brother. The relationship between Rollo and Ragnar is intense and always unpredictable. Ragnar can never be certain of his brother’s loyalty, but is always extremely grateful to receive it, for Rollo is a formidable warrior.
Athelstan (George Blagden) – Once a devout monk living a peaceful and humble life, Athelstan is spared by Ragnar after his monastery is pillaged by the Vikings. Although Ragnar takes Athelstan captive as a slave, he treats him well and eventually befriends him. As he lives amongst the Vikings, Athelstan learns that their culture is shockingly different from the Christian religion, from their attitude to their gods, to sex, and to sacrifice.
Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) – Bjorn Lothbrok is the son of Ragnar and Lagertha and the oldest of Ragnar’s many sons. Intelligent and determined, Bjorn loves and admires his father above all men. Following in Ragnar’s footsteps, Bjorn desires to test himself as a fighter as well as an explorer.
Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) – Floki is a genius ship builder and he designs and builds the prototype of the new generation of Viking ships which can sail across the open ocean but also up the shallowest of rivers. Without Floki, Ragnar would have never been able to fulfill his dreams of discovering new lands and new civilizations. A close and loyal friend of Ragnar’s, Floki is an entertaining yet dangerous jester.
Jarl Borg (Thorbjorn Harr) – Jarl Borg is the cunning and devious leader of Gotaland (modern day Sweden) who is involved in a land dispute with King Horik. Borg refuses to cede any of his land to King Horik, whom he considers to be a foreign king with no claim to anything. When Ragnar associates with King Horik, Jarl Borg manipulates Rollo, using his insecurities against his brother to his advantage and acquires him as a partner.
King Ecbert (Linus Roache) – King Ecbert is the ruler of Wessex, the largest of the five kingdoms in England with big plans to make it even larger. Unlike King Aelle of Northumbria, Ecbert is a sophisticated visionary, well versed in court life. Ecbert has always anticipated that he must someday face the Vikings and is prepared with strategies as to how they can be used to his advantage.
King Horik (Donal Logue) – King Horik is an important Scandinavian King and Viking ruler who is determined to have Earl Ragnar as an ally and supporter. He makes a deal with Ragnar Lothbrok in which the warrior will help defend his land from Jarl Borg, his advancing rival.
Princess Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) – Aslaug is the clever and beautiful daughter of the famed dragon slayer Sigurd and shield-maiden Brunhilde. Aslaug promises Ragnar that she will provide him with the sons which the ancient Seer prophesized for him. When she arrives in Kattegat, she brings with her something that surprises everyone- even Earl Ragnar.
Siggy (Jessalyn Gilsig) – Siggy is the shrewd widow of Earl Haraldson. After her husband was defeated and killed by Ragnar, Siggy is hired by Lagertha and serves his family. Siggy has lost her husband, all of her children and her authority in Kattegat but has not lost her desire for power.
The Seer (John Kavanagh) – The ancient seer is one of the most important figures in Viking life because the Vikings believe in fate and the Seers can read the runes and often translate the wishes of the gods.
Gyda (Ruby O’Leary) – Gyda was the daughter of Ragnar and Lagertha who was learning the ways of the Viking world from her powerful shieldmaiden mother. She is gentle and kind but brave, like her parents. She is very close to her mother. Unfortunately, Gyda perished during the plague. Her last words to Lagertha were that she must make a sacrifice to the gods so that Athelstan would be spared from the plague. He would rise from his sickbed to find out she had died.
Ragnar mourns her in the first episode of Season 2 sitting on the shore and speaking farewell words:
“Dear child, Gyda, you are not gone because you are always in my heart. They say that a man must love his sons more, but a man can be jealous of his sons, and his daughter can always be the light in his life.”
Thyri (Elinor Crawley) – Thyri was the daughter of Earl Haraldson and Siggy. In Season 1, Earl Haraldson offers her to Rollo in marriage in order to gain his testimony against Ragnar in his trial about the death of Knut, the Earl’s half brother. In the trial, Rollo doesn’t betray Ragnar. After that, Haraldson arranges Thyri’s marriage to Earl Bjarni for twenty pounds of silver, against the wishes of both his daughter and Siggy. Siggy saves her daughter from a bad marriage by stabbing Bjarni in front of the village, after the death of her husband, Earl Haraldson. Like Gyda, Thyri succumbs to the plague in Kattegat.
Porunn (Gaia Weiss) – Porunn is a former slave girl of Kattegat who Bjorn falls in love with. She wants to become a shieldmaiden like her idol, Lagertha. When Lagertha asks Porunn who she is to her son, Bjorn tells her that Porunn is a slave but he loves her. Aslaug releases her from slavery while Bjorn is away fighting in Wessex. When he returns, he expect their relationship to resume but she makes him first battle her. He does, reluctantly, and they make love.
Helga (Maude Hirst) – Originally, Helga is the devoted lover of Floki. After several years together, Floki proposes marriage after he learns that Helga is carrying his child. They marry and their daughter is born while Floki is in Wessex. She brings the child to meet her father and he wants to name her ‘Angrboda’ after the second wife of the god Loki. Floki then sends them both away for their safety due to the fact he knows King Horik plans to kill Ragnar and his family.
Princess Kwenthrith (Amy Bailey) – Kwenthrith is the young daughter of the late King Offa of Mercia and sister of the late Prince Kenelm. Rumors abound that the princess killed her brother, the heir, setting off a nasty civil war, and is herself one of the rival claimants to the throne of Mercia. King Ecbert seeks to ally himself with the princess, at least for the time being and suggests she hires the Vikings as mercenaries.
Earl Haraldson (Gabriel Byrne) – Earl Haraldson was the Viking chieftain of Kattegat before Ragnar Lothbrok.. He became embroiled in a struggle for power and glory with his successor before his death. The earl and his wife, Siggy, had one daughter, Thyri, and two sons, whose brutal murders hardened the earl. He grows paranoid of Ragnar’s threats to his power and responds by raiding Ragnar’s village and attempting to kill him. Ragnar survives and, when he finds out the earl holds Rollo captive and tortured him for Ragnar’s location, he challenges to a one-on-one battle. The earl is killed in the battle.