‘Vikings’: Fans Weigh in on an Important Moment Involving Ragnar Lothbrok That Wasn’t Shown

In the series Vikings, there was one important moment in season 3 that wasn’t shown. It’s something some fans wanted to see, but were sadly left high and dry. Fans weighed in on the situation on Reddit, and we have the details.

Athelstan in ‘Vikings’

George Blagden
George Blagden | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Athelstan (George Blagden) is a former Saxon monk caught between two worlds. Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), the main character, abducts him as a slave in the first-ever raid on England at Lindisfarne in Northumbria. They become quite close over the years, graduating to best friends who are more like family. Athelstan can speak Ragnar’s language from years of traveling, and he teaches him many things and vice versa. Athelstan assimilates to his new surroundings, becoming a full-fledged Viking over time.

But he’s caught between two worlds as well as his religions, Christianity and paganism. He’s being pulled in two directions trying to determine what he believes, and he goes back and forth constantly. But in season 3, episode 6, after having a sign he believes is from God, Athelstan chooses to be a Christian again.

He does go to Ragnar and tells him that he’s “born again,” and he mentions that it’s probably best if he leaves, but Ragnar won’t have it, getting upset and saying he’s the only person he can trust. He promises to “protect” him, but he can’t.

Floki murders Athelstan

Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) is a boat builder and a close friend of Ragnar’s. He’s always been suspicious of Athelstan, calling him “priest” instead of by his name. He never really warms up to him, and he’s always the first to point out that he’s not one of them.

Floki has always been jealous of Athelstan’s friendship with Ragnar, and he watches Athelstan throw his arm ring out into the water after he makes his choice to be a Christian again. Floki then has a vision that he thinks is sent by the gods of a wooden statue bleeding. He takes it to mean that he must spill blood and make a sacrifice. While Athelstan is praying, Floki kills him with an ax in a shocking turn on events.

Ragnar doesn’t learn about his friend’s death on-screen

Travis Fimmel
Travis Fimmel | Vincent Sandoval/Getty Images

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Fans never get to see Ragnar finding Athelstan’s body or see his initial reaction to the whole thing. He’s only shown carrying Athelstan wrapped in cloth up to a mountain, where he buries him and makes a makeshift cross as a headstone. He’s extremely upset by the loss of his greatest friend, so it’s surprising that the moment of him learning of his death isn’t shown on-screen. He mourns his loss dearly, wearing Athelstan’s cross necklace from then on.

Fans weigh in on an important moment involving Ragnar Lothbrok that wasn’t shown

Six years ago, a fan posted about the situation that’s kept fans perplexed ever since. It’s strange to some that Ragnar finding Athelstan dead wasn’t shown, since they were so close, and Ragnar promised to “protect” him, which he failed to do. Fans weighed in on the situation.

“Wasn’t it weird they didn’t show Ragnar finding the body?” the post is titled on Reddit. “Am I the only one that found it weird that they cut from Athelstan being killed to Ragnar on his horse with the body? No discovery of the body or rage or anything like that? He said something like why did you have to die. He didn’t die he was murdered!”

Another fan says they were “surprised” the situation wasn’t shown too. But they bring up a point that the series doesn’t always show certain scenes other series might choose to include, such as Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) getting married. The fan goes on to add other examples as well.

“I was surprised they didn’t show that as well,” the fan said. “But I find this show in general often skips scenes which I feel like other shows would make a point to show. Bjorn’s wedding, for example. Also, Athelstan and Judith deciding to have sex and the stripping/making out prior to that. I don’t THINK we were shown Ragnar being told that his daughter was dead either. Aslaug finding out that her children fell into the ice and that Siggy was dead…”

A fan calls the “skipping ahead” to Ragnar burying Athelstan “jarring,” and we’d have to agree. There were important moments that could have been covered, especially Ragnar finding Athelstan and his initial reaction.

“Yeah, skipping ahead to the burial was jarring,” they said. “It all felt very abrupt.”

1 fan calls the omission a ‘brilliant choice’

However, some fans like how the situation was handled, even calling it a “brilliant choice.” “It was far more poignant to show it the way they did and not go with the obvious – brilliant choice,” the fan said.

Another fan agrees when it comes to the situation, saying it was “more powerful” to see Ragnar grieving after the fact. By the time Ragnar is shown after Athelstan’s death, the initial shock has worn off from the loss of Athelstan, but obviously, he’s devastated.

“I totally agree, it was so much more powerful watching him grieve alone quietly then to do some kind of huge melodramatic scene where he yells at everybody,” a fan pointed out.

Another viewer agrees that it “was a better way of doing it.” “I think this was a better way of doing it, higher emotional level,” they said.

One fan thinks we might not have gotten to see the scene because of “time constraints.” There is a lot that goes into the show, so it makes sense that not every single scene will be shown, including Ragnar finding Athelstan’s body.

“It’s possible we didn’t get to see Ragnar discovering the body right after Floki kills him because of time constraints…,” the fan said.

Fans have different opinions when it comes to the situation that was never shown of Ragnar finding Athelstan’s body and learning about his greatest friend’s death.