‘Vikings’: The Real Reason Rollo Reacted in Shocking Ways Towards Ragnar Lothbrok’s Sons

Rollo (Clive Standen) was a drunken fool for a while before he became a formidable force backed by the armies of Francia. He spent a good majority of his life trying to find a way out of his brother Ragnar Lothbrok’s (Travis Fimmel) shadow throughout the series Vikings. Eventually, he finds a way but only through betraying his brother one final time and everything he’s ever known.

Rollo is searching for a way of feeling better about his choice to betray his brother and his world. His connection to the sons of Ragnar is undeniable and he is arguably looking for a way to make amends for his actions.

Rollo chooses sides

Clive Standen
Clive Standen | Daniel Zuchnik/FilmMagic

Rollo becomes Duke by seizing an opportunity. He finds himself left in Francia with the camp and is approached by Emperor Charles (Lothaire Bluteau) to betray his brother and choose a life as a noble lord and the husband of Princess Gisla (Morgane Polanski). He chooses a new life and kills everyone left in the Viking camp with his soldiers.

Rollo goes raiding with Bjorn Ironside

His first real strange encounter with a son of Ragnar face to face after the Vikings’ failed attempt to raid Paris again comes when Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig) decides to travel and raid new places. He must venture along the coast of Rollo’s territory which Rollo allows as long as he can raid alongside them. The Mediterranean Raid is considered a successful one, and Rollo gets a taste of his old Viking life. He clearly misses his adventures in a lot of ways and relishes the time spent with Bjorn, even though his wife Gisla is truly angry about the whole thing.

He helps Ivar the Boneless and Hvitserk

Rollo soon finds himself faced with a choice between the sons of Ragnar. He decides to offer assistance to Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh Andersen) in his takedown of Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick). It’s a shocking turn of events that begs to question why Rollo would betray Lagertha and Bjorn. It could be because he felt a connection with Hvitserk.

Standen, who plays Rollo, spoke to ET Canada about Rollo’s shocking decision. “He sees Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) in himself and he needs to give him these soldiers and his boats so Hvitserk can go back to Ivar, this brother that is so like Ragnar,” Standen explained. “He is giving him a chance to shine and make himself famous.”

Rollo offers assistance to Lagertha and Bjorn

After Lagertha loses the kingdom of Kattegat and her crown, Rollo returns to offer his assistance to her and her son Bjorn. Rollo agrees to give them safe passage to Francia with him where they can live in safety. Lagertha asks him why he would do this now after he helped Ivar take back Kattegat. Rollo clearly feels that Bjorn could be his son so he’s willing to help them escape Ivar while at the same time exploiting the benefits from a relationship with Kattegat.

“You know I have always loved you, Lagertha, and that Bjorn is my son,” Rollo says to Lagertha. Lagertha denies that Bjorn could be his son, and refuses his help. Rollo even confronts Bjorn about things and he isn’t exactly convinced either. “I have heard something to that effect,” Bjorn says to him. “But rumors are a doubtful truth.”

“We had a very special relationship together when you were a child,” Rollo tells him. “It was if you knew.”

“You may be my father, but then again you may not,” Bjorn says. “At the time of my conception, you may have been laying with my mother, but then again, so was Ragnar. So, who do I look most like? Who do I resemble most in spirit and principle? Now that is of most importance. And for that, undoubtedly, Ragnar.”

Rollo may have betrayed his brother Ragnar on more than one occasion, but he’s tried in his own twisted way to make some sort of amends with the remaining sons. Hopefully, Rollo will be back for the final season of Vikings before it’s all over.