‘Vikings’: How the Seer’s Prophecy About Ragnar Lothbrok in Paris Actually Comes True

In the hit series Vikings, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) becomes fixated on Paris after his best friend and a former Saxon monk, Athelstan (George Blagden), tells him about it. Athelstan once went to Paris, and it’s something he still remembers. When Ragnar hears about it, he instantly wants to go there. But he talks to the Seer first, who makes a prophecy in regards to the city in Francia. 

The Seer prophesies about how Ragnar Lothbrok can conquer Paris

Travis Fimmel in 'Vikings'
Travis Fimmel in ‘Vikings’ | Jonathan Hession/A+E Networks/History

Ragnar has heard a lot about Paris from Athelstan, and he sets his mind up about going there with a raiding party in season 3 of Vikings. But before making the decision official, he goes to see the Seer (John Kavanagh) to learn about his chances of a successful raid.

The Seer tells Ragnar that he’s seen the gates of Paris. And when Ragnar asks if he will “conquer Paris,” the Seer tells him, “I can see that not the living, but the dead will conquer Paris.” He also adds: “And I also see that the bear will be crowned by a Princess, which does not bode too well for you King Ragnar.”

Ragnar pretends to be dead in order to enter the gates of Paris

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Despite Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) killing Athelstan, Ragnar still chooses to attack the city he knows very little about. However, he does have Sinric (Frankie McCafferty), a wanderer who can speak both languages, helping him, and he does the communicating between the Vikings and the Parisians. 

The Vikings set about raiding Paris, and they try to attack the city in a variety of ways, including a double ambush on two fronts with wooden towers made by Floki. But everything fails, and Ragnar is even hurt in the fighting pretty badly when he jumps from the ramparts of the city. After that, everyone thinks he’s dying, but it’s all part of the plan.

Ragnar has the people of Paris baptize him as part of the deal for the Vikings to leave. But he pretends to have died, and he’s placed in a wooden casket and taken into the heart of Paris for a Christian burial after it became clear the Vikings won’t leave unless it happens. Even most of his fellow Vikings think he’s dead at the time. But he isn’t, and once inside the church, he springs up from his coffin and threatens the Emperor (Lothaire Bluteau) and kills a priest as well. He takes Princess Gisla (Morgane Polanski) hostage city before eventually letting her go, and the soldiers who accompanied him open the gates. His troops then enter the city, sacking it.

The Seer said that “the dead” would “conquer Paris,” and he was right. Ragnar pretending to play dead is what allowed him to raid the city. The element of surprise is on his side, and he caught the people of Paris off guard by still being alive. His name goes down as a legend after the attack in Francia.

But that isn’t the only prophecy that comes true

The Seer made another prophecy as well that the “bear will be crowned by a Princess.” He was talking about Rollo (Clive Standen), Ragnar’s brother, since he is sometimes called “the bear.”

The Seer also alludes to Rollo’s fate when he tells him, “A bear will marry a princess, and I can tell you that you will be present at the ceremony.”

Rollo stays behind in the winter camp in Paris when Ragnar is too weak from his injuries to oppose it. He then makes a deal with the emperor by promising to help fight his brother when they return. In exchange, he marries Gisla, the emperor’s daughter, and he’s made a Duke. He keeps his promise and fights against Ragnar and the Vikings in the second attack on Paris, which is a complete failure for Ragnar, as the Seer alluded to. When Ragnar returns to Kattegat after the raid, he leaves his home for many years.

The Seer’s prophecy about Ragnar in Paris is accurate in the end. His name becomes a legend after that despite his second failed attempt at raiding the city again.