‘Vikings’: Why Ragnar Lothbrok Really Tries to Take His Own Life

In the series Vikings, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) is the main character on a quest to make a name for himself. After his defeat in Paris, he returns to Kattegat a broken man. He ends up disappearing for a number of years before returning to seek revenge. Read on to learn about why he tries to take his own life.

Ragnar returns and doesn’t find a lot of support

Travis Fimmel
Travis Fimmel | Vincent Sandoval/Getty Images

After suffering a staggering blow in Paris, Ragnar leaves his life behind for a number of years. He basically abandons his family and everything he’s ever known. Many years later, he chooses to return to Kattegat looking for help returning to Wessex for revenge.

Why Ragnar Lothbrok tries to take his own life

Of course, Ragnar doesn’t find a lot of support initially. The people can barely look at him and the ones that do openly curse him. Even his own sons are disgusted with him. It’s all just too much for him when he realizes he isn’t going to get any support in his goal to get revenge for the settlement in Wessex.

Ragnar decides to kill himself and he ties a rope up to a tree to form a noose and lets the horse go. He struggles there for a moment to breathe before a bunch of ravens land on the tree and one cuts him down with its beak and he falls to the ground. This is surely a sign that Ragnar must choose another path, and he decides to go back to Wessex by sacrificing himself.

A plan comes together

Ragnar decides to get his son Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh Andersen) to go with him to Wessex along with a skeleton crew of people who only embark on the journey because Ragnar bribes them with treasure.

When they finally get to Wessex, Ragnar and Ivar kill the rest of their party and the two go looking for King Ecbert (Linus Roache). Ragnar knows that they won’t see just two men as a threat. In fact, Ecbert seems pleased to see him and doesn’t want to kill him when Ragnar insists it must be done.

Ragnar then gets Ecbert to promise to hand him over to King Aelle (Ivan Kaye) of Northumbria to die and let his son Ivar return home. Ivar then carries the story of his father’s death to his brothers and they get revenge for their father.

Ragnar’s death leads to his revenge in the end

Ragnar Lothbrok planned out his own death because he knows that anything else won’t be enough to get his sons and his people to come to England for revenge. With his death at the hands of Aelle, he ushers in a new era with the Great Heathen Army. Ragnar’s sons get revenge for their father and have both of the kings killed for it.

If Ragnar hadn’t survived his initial suicide attempt, his goal to get revenge wouldn’t have been realized by his sons. He knew that he had to be killed by Ecbert and Aelle to get his sons to see his ultimate goal realized.