‘Vikings’: George Blagden Reveals Why Athelstan Questions His Faith

In the hit series Vikings, there have been a number of characters that begin to question their faith for a variety of reasons. Athelstan (George Blagden) is a Christian monk when he’s abducted as a slave but becomes Ragnar Lothbrok’s (Travis Fimmel) best friend along the way.

Athelstan constantly questions his faith throughout the series

George Blagden
George Blagden | Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Ovation TV

Athelstan is a monk when he is taken from his home at Lindisfarne and thrown into a Viking boat. He’s taken to an unknown world with completely different customs and beliefs. Of course, this starts to take a toll on him as time goes on. He starts to wonder about this new world he lives in, and he wants to be accepted, because who doesn’t?

Athelstan questions everything he’s ever known because things around him are now different. He sees a different side to the world now and it leads him to many confusing internal conversations with himself.

Athelstan comes full circle with his faith over time

RELATED: ‘Vikings’: Why Athelstan Was the Best Friend Ragnar Lothbrok Needed

Athelstan is deeply religious and intelligent. Over time, he lives with the Vikings and starts to see their sides to religion. He finds himself adopting the Viking culture and gods as his own, but he always has that doubt in the back of his mind that makes him think about his old god.

Athelstan eventually makes his way back to his original religion and finds peace among his surroundings. He throws away his sacred arm ring, which is a sign of things to come. While he prays, he is killed by Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) in a fit of rage. His death was coming for a long time because Floki was jealous of Athelstan and was always suspicious of him.

George Blagden reveals why Athelstan questions his faith

Back in 2013, Blagden spoke at WonderCon about his experiences on the series and Collider reported the questions and answers of a discussion with the actor. He was asked a variety of questions, including if there will be more of Athelstan questioning himself in the future. At the time, Athelstan was still alive in the series. Blagden says there will definitely be more of that since Athelstan finds himself in an “alien world” with a completely different outlook on everything, and that includes religion.

“Of course. He’s in this completely alien world, which most of the aspects of their society are completely the opposite of what he’s used to, from his religion, his culture,” Blagden revealed. “So every day, Athelstan is questioning his faith, who he is, whether he can survive here, and how on Earth he can fit in. It’ll just be more and more and more, as the show goes on, of questioning who he is. For an actor it’s amazing when you get to play a character who’s that complex and interesting to meet.”

It’s understandable why Athelstan starts to question his faith when he is thrust into an entirely new world with different customs and ways of doing things. Watching Athelstan’s journey play out has been a joy for fans.