‘Vikings’: Why Ragnar Lothbrok Admits to Aslaug He’s ‘Grateful’ to Her

Ragnar Lothbrok’s (Travis Fimmel) marriage to Princess Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) in Vikings wasn’t what you’d call a happy long-term commitment. Although they had some pleasantness in the beginning, it quickly fizzled out. Ragnar even disappears for a number of years before returning to Kattegat, where he was the king. But his return isn’t welcomed since he abandoned his people, and they’ve recently learned about the destroyed Viking settlement in Wessex that Ragnar hid from them. Set on revenge in England, Ragnar makes plans to return. But he speaks to his wife, Aslaug, one final time, first.

Ragnar Lothbrok and Aslaug in ‘Vikings’

Alyssa Sutherland in 'Vikings'
Alyssa Sutherland in ‘Vikings’ | Bernard Walsh/A+E Networks/History

Ragnar is married to Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) when he gets Aslaug, a princess from Götaland, pregnant. She eventually comes calling while pregnant with his son, Ubbe, and Ragnar tells Lagertha to accept her, which she can’t do. Lagertha divorces and leaves Ragnar, taking their son with her. Ragnar is distraught by the situation, but he takes Aslaug as his wife and they have a total of four sons together: Ubbe, Hvitserk, Sigurd, and Ivar.

Although cordial at first, there are problems pretty quickly between them, including Aslaug thinking Ragnar wants to sleep with another woman and general disinterest from Ragnar as time goes on. Aslaug thinks her husband doesn’t desire her anymore, and they both cheat on each other and grow out of love for one another. Aslaug even tries to keep Ragnar occupied so she can rule by herself, something she has her heart set on.

When Ragnar leaves for many years after the second attempt to raid Paris fails, Aslaug is in charge of Kattegat while he’s gone. When he comes back, she insists he come and speak with her, and she tells her son, Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen), to relay the message, as Ragnar hasn’t come to see her yet after being gone for years with his whereabouts unknown.

Why Ragnar admits to Aslaug he’s ‘grateful’ to her

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

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Ragnar goes to see his wife in season 4B, episode 2. As she’s taking the braids out of her hair while sitting down, Ragnar appears and stands behind her, touching her face and hair. He tells her he’s “grateful” to her for never turning their sons “against” him or manipulating their relationship in a negative way. It’s an emotional moment for Aslaug, and she cries throughout the short conversation.

“My wife,” Ragnar says. “And mother of my sons. We both know that love was not what brought us together. But you’ve endured me. You’ve suffered my words, and my neglect. Yet you never turned our sons against me. I am sure that there are times when you’ve hated me. But you never poisoned their minds, or stopped them from loving me. And for all of that, with all of my heart, I am grateful to you.”

Ragnar helps take out a braid in her hair and appears to kiss her head, even petting it. “Why are you saying this now?” she asks him.

“Because it needed to be said,” Ragnar replies. 

Ragnar finally tells Aslaug that he’s “grateful” to her, and it’s a nice moment between them. The two never have a conversation on camera again. They both die not long after with Ragnar being murdered in England as he intended in his own plan and Aslaug murdered by Lagertha