‘Vikings’: Did Jarl Borg Deserve His Fate? — Fans Weigh In

There have been numerous misunderstood characters on the series Vikings and one of them is certainly Jarl Borg (Thorbjørn Harr). He was a Jarl from Gotaland that came into contact with Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) when King Horik (Donal Logue) asked Ragnar to speak with him. Did Borg deserve the ultimate fate he received? Read on to learn what fans say about the situation.

A dispute for the ages

Thorbjorn Harr
Thorbjorn Harr | Stefania D’Alessandro/WireImage

Ragnar gets involved on Horik’s behalf due to some disputed lands between himself and Jarl Borg. Borg convinces Rollo (Clive Standen) to fight his brother Ragnar and a battle plays out between Horik and Ragnar’s men against Borg’s men with Rollo. Eventually, Rollo surrenders and Borg and Horik come to an understanding.

Years later, Jarl Borg shows up to raid with Ragnar and Horik and he’s turned away. When Ragnar is gone raiding, Borg attacks Kattegat and takes it over for himself. Eventually, Ragnar gets his home back, but not before deciding that he would pay Borg back for what he did.

Enticed by the prospect of raiding, Borg returns to Kattegat one more time, but he ends up being blood-eagled by Ragnar for his treachery. It’s a truly gruesome death and fans are conflicted about whether Borg deserved his fate.

Some fans think Jarl Borg ‘only wanted to raid’

“Horik and Ragnar made a deal of raiding together with Jarl Borg then they back out of it at the last second,” a Reddit user explained. “Horik and Ragnar were in the wrong for breaking the deal. Jarl Borg attacks Kattegat and Ragnar eventually takes it back. Horik and Ragnar then ask Borg to join them in raiding again but Ragnar tricks and executes Borg by blood eagle. Jarl Borg was wronged twice and only wanted to raid with them but somehow he’s seen as a villain.”

Borg should have attacked King Horik, not Ragnar Lothbrok

Other fans think Jarl Borg should have taken his issue with Horik, not Ragnar, who was just doing Horik’s bidding. “Borg’s beef was really never with Ragnar but Horik instead,” another Reddit user wrote. “He should have attacked Denmark not Kattegat. I don’t feel his attack on Kattegat was justified and because he killed many of Ragnar’s people and drove Ragnar’s family out of their home, he did deserve the blood eagle.”

Viewers think Jarl Borg couldn’t be trusted and had to be dealt with

Ragnar would never feel safe again had he not done something about Borg. He already left once and Jarl Borg took over his home, so of course he wanted revenge according to some fans.

“Yes Horik and Ragnar were in the wrong, and when Borg retaliated by taking Kattegat while Ragnar was gone they saw how Borg acts in the face of other’s weakness,” a user said. “Borg could not be trusted at all in the future because he attacked when Kattegat was weak. Something had to be done or else Ragnar would never feel safe leaving home again with the ever-looming threat of Borg over his head.”

Fans say he isn’t a villain

Some viewers don’t see Borg as a villain at all and don’t think he’s really seen by others as one in the show. He’s still talked about and clearly respected to some degree even after what happened between himself and Ragnar.

“I would say he isn’t really seen as a villain,” a Reddit user contemplated. “People still talk about him with respect as far as season 5. Sure Ragnar didn’t like him but that was cause he tried to kill Ragnar’s family. Honestly I think that was the only reason Ragnar killed him.”

Viewers have mixed feelings about Jarl Borg and his actions. Did he deserve his fate? That’s clearly debatable to hear fans tell it.