‘Vikings’: What Do Fans Really Think of Ragnar Lothbrok’s Greatest Friend?

In the history of Vikings, fans have seen a number of strong and important friendships, but the greatest of those is arguably the friendship between Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) and Athelstan (George Blagden). They meet and are instantly drawn to each other. Read on to learn what fans think of Ragnar’s greatest friend.

Athelstan meets Ragnar and becomes a part of the family

George Blagden
George Blagden | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Ragnar changes everything when he sails over to England and lands near Lindisfarne. He organizes the first-ever raid on England where he meets Athelstan, who is a monk at Lindisfarne. Ragnar takes Athelstan initially as a slave, but he quickly realizes who Athelstan is.

Ragnar chooses to take Athelstan to live with his family and they become best friends that are more like brothers. After that, it’s hard to separate them from each other. They raid together and Athelstan even teaches Ragnar how to speak his language, which comes in handy later on.

What do fans really think of Ragnar Lothbrok’s greatest friend?

Even though Athelstan meets his end in season 3 at the hands of Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård), fans still talk about him and his friendship with Ragnar. Athelstan brings out something great in Ragnar, and it’s interesting to see Athelstan grow into the person he becomes.

“A character I personally liked but sad about the way he left the show,” a Reddit user said about Athelstan. “My favorite scenes with him included Ragnar. Just seeing the trust Ragnar had for him and how he opened up to Athelstan about his feelings was nice to see. I also really enjoyed the progression from a scared English monk to a Viking warrior.”

Ragnar and Athelstan’s relationship is ‘the heart of the show’

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Athelstan changes Ragnar and after his death, Ragnar is never the same. Athelstan seemed to bring out the good in Ragnar and they are the greatest of friends. It was nice to see two people that are so different get along so well with each other. They learned a lot from their friendship and neither is ever the same after they meet.

“In some ways the moral center of the show,” a fan said about Athelstan. “His relationship with Ragnar was the heart of the show and when that disappeared it really hurt the show imo. Ragnar never really recovered from it as well.”

Fans like how Athelstan develops over the series

Athelstan goes from a monk to a Viking warrior and it’s a crazy turn of events. He becomes immersed in the Viking culture and customs and he accepts it as his own. He becomes Ragnar’s brother and they share their innermost thoughts together. Athelstan even chooses to leave Judith (Jennie Jacques) after falling for her to return to Kattegat with Ragnar.

“I like how his character developed. He came to Kattegat as a slave, and ended up as one of the most important people in Ragnar’s life,” a fan wrote.

Athelstan is always open to new ideas and to new religions. He sees different points of view and even after he dies, his influence lives on in many of the characters, especially with Ragnar.

“Easily the best character for me. He accepted many points of view, and was open to other religions,” a Reddit user said. “He was easily the hardest death for me, but I’m glad that his character still had influence long after he died.”

Athelstan goes through a number of changes and ends up finding his way back to his original religion of Christianity after so many years living amongst the Vikings “He changed quite a bit in the course of the show. Full circle,” a fan wrote.

Athelstan is a unique character in the hit series Vikings. Fans still praise him long after his death.