Skip to main content

Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh Andersen) has earned a reputation for being ruthless, cunning, and above all, intelligent. He’s definitely had his moments of clarity, but he’s also been known to get a little emotional about things. So, do fans think Ivar is the most intelligent of Ragnar Lothbrok’s (Travis Fimmel) sons? Read on to find out. There are spoilers ahead.

Ivar is smart, but he’s been outsmarted before

Alex Høgh Andersen
Alex Høgh Andersen | Phillip Massey/Getty Images

Ivar may be intelligent, but he’s not smart enough to see the traitor next to him. It was Freydis (Alicia Agneson), his wife, who betrays Ivar to his brothers. They are able to come in and reclaim Kattegat thanks to her. Ivar, in a fit of rage, kills her for her efforts. He lets his anger and rage get the best of him numerous times.

If Ivar wasn’t so angry, he could achieve even more. Or he could channel the rage into something constructive. “Ivar is a genius tactician for his age,” a Reddit user explained. “He’s made ‘bad life choices’ due to his anger. He excels most when he is in battle because he can unleash all his anger in an intelligent way,” a Reddit user explained.

Ivar’s intelligence is ‘exaggerated’

Numerous fans think Ivar’s intelligence is just exaggerated when compared to his other brothers. They are all sons of Ragnar, after all. “I think Ivar’s intelligence is greatly exaggerated regarding his brothers,” another user said.

He underestimates his brothers

After everything that’s happened to Ivar, he’s sure to be more than a little humble now. Maybe he can find common ground with his brothers after suffering defeat and humiliation.

“Ivar has proven to be pretty smart. He does underestimate his brothers who are definitely smarter than he gives them credit for though,” a user chimed in. “I think that Ivar will appreciate his brothers more now that he has been humbled a bit but he does deserve some of the praise.”

Ivar may ‘impress’ but he isn’t fully there

Another Reddit user had a very wise remark about the kind of man Ivar is. “Ivar’s like a cast-iron prince who only got one side of the mold,” the Reddit user began. “If you take him at face value, as a sort of unconventional general, he may impress, but spin him round and there’s no real man there. He didn’t get the rest of the package.”

Why is Ivar not considered whole in this way? It could have a lot to do with the way he was raised. He didn’t have Ragnar there as the conventional father type, but instead he had to take what he was given. He learned from those around him unfortunately.

“That’s partly because Ragnar was alienated from him when he was a boy and Aslaug gave his education over to Floki,” the Reddit user continued. “But mostly because he’s born bad. All he’s got inside is what he scrabbled together from the crap Aslaug and Floki gave him. And that’s how he deals with other people. As a leader, he’s even less effective all round than Floki turns out to be. He just invites disloyalty and desertion. Compare that to the loyalty Ragnar got when Horik tried to unseat him. First, you strengthen your ties with people, then you look for their freely given loyalty.”

It seems Ivar may be smart, but not as intelligent as some may think. He’s flawed like everyone, but he lets it get the best of him. If he could just channel the anger and rage, he could become a great man.