In the hit series Vikings, an eccentric boat builder named Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) is extremely close to Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), who becomes the Earl of Kattegat and then the King. He’s there by Ragnar’s side as he climbs the ranks and becomes the most famous Viking of their time. However, Ragnar has a dear friend that Floki shockingly kills. We have all the details about the situation in Vikings.
Floki is suspicious of Athelstan
Floki is a good friend to Ragnar, and he even makes him the ship they all use to sail over to England for the first raid on the country at Lindisfarne in season 1. But during the raid, Ragnar abducts a Saxon monk, Athelstan (George Blagden), that can speak their language. They become fast friends that are more like family despite Ragnar taking Athelstan as a slave at first. Floki is suspicious of Athelstan from the start, referring to him as “priest.”
Despite Floki’s suspicions, Athelstan adapts to his new life, becoming one of the Vikings, changing his hair and his clothes to fit into his new surroundings. Ragnar even gives him a sacred arm ring, but it isn’t enough to stop Floki’s feelings about Athelstan. He never really warms up to him and is always the first one to point out that he’s not one of them.
Floki shockingly killed someone close to Ragnar Lothbrok
Athelstan is constantly trying to find out where he fits, seeing elements of both of his worlds and religions. It’s a confusing time for him. But in season 3, Athelstan makes the choice to become a Christian again, even throwing away his arm ring into the water after believing he was given a sign. Floki watches Athelstan throw his arm ring away, and he spreads the news.
When Athelstan declares his religion to Ragnar, he’s told he can’t leave, and that Ragnar needs him, as he’s the only person he can trust. Ragnar promises to protect him, even though many are now suspicious of Athelstan.
Floki has always been jealous of Athelstan’s relationship with Ragnar, which just fuels the fire with what comes next. When Floki has a vision he thinks is sent by the gods of a wooden statue bleeding, he’s convinced that he must spill blood and make a sacrifice. While Athelstan prays, Floki kills him with an axe in season 3, episode 6.
Ragnar is devastated by the loss
Ragnar is never the same again after losing his closest friend. He carries his body up to the highest point he can get to, and buries him along with a makeshift cross for a headstone. Ragnar is extremely saddened by the loss, and he seems to know who did the deed and doesn’t punish him for some reason.
But after a successful raid on Paris, Ragnar is wounded, and his son, Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig), has Floki arrested for the murder of Athelstan after declaring that Ragnar said they went to Paris because of Athelstan.
Floki is at first kept chained to a post in the center of town, but eventually Ragnar has him placed in a cave with his arms bound out to the side and the constant drip of water on his head. His wife, Helga (Maude Hirst), has to keep a bowl over Floki’s head to keep the dripping from hitting him constantly. Their daughter also dies around this time as well, and it’s a hard time for them both.
But Ragnar has a vision that he thinks is of Athelstan, who washes his feet and says, “Mercy” three times. It’s because of this that he chooses to let Floki go, and he tells Helga that she’s “suffered enough,” freeing him.
Floki savagely killed Athelstan, and it’s something that has consequences for both Floki and Ragnar in Vikings.