Friday, January 13, 2017

The death of Ragnar Lodbrok and his sons' vengeance in the last episodes from season 4

When king Ælla of Northumbria learns of the pillaging army, he musters an overwhelming force and defeats Ragnar's army. Ragnar is dressed in a silken jacket which Aslaug had made and nothing can pierce it. Finally, he is taken prisoner and thrown into a snake pit. However, as the snakes do not bite him, the Englishmen take off his clothes and then the snakes kill him for good.

Ragnar's sons attack England but Ivar does not want to fight as the English army is too large; he fears they will lose and will have to go home again. Ivar, however, stays in England and asks Ælla for wergild, claiming that he can not go home without some compensation to show his brothers.

King Ælla of Northumbria (Ivan Kaye) photo: wikia
Ivar only asks for as much land as he can cover with an ox's hide. He cuts it into such a fine long string of hide that he can encircle an area large enough for a city. When this is done, he lays the foundations for a city which becomes York. He allies himself with all of England and finally all the chieftains in the region become loyal to Ivar and his brothers.

Then, Ivar tells his brothers to attack England. During the battle Ivar sides with his brothers and so do many of the English chieftains with their people, out of loyalty to Ivar. Ælla is taken captive and in revenge Ragnar's sons carve the blood eagle from him.

Ivar becomes king over north-eastern England which his forefathers owned (i.e. Ivar Vidfamne and Sigurd Ring), and he has two sons, Yngvar and Husto. They obey their father Ivar and torture king Edmund the Martyr and take his realm.

An 1857 painting by August Malmström depicting King Aella's messenger before Ragnar Lodbrok's sons. photo: wikipedia

Ragnar's sons pillage in England, Wales, France and Italy, until they come to the town of Luna in Italy. When they come back to Scandinavia, they divide the kingdom so that Björn Ironside has Uppsala and Sweden, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye has Zealand, Scania, Halland, Viken, Agder, all the way to Lindesnes and most of Oppland, and Hvitserk receives Reidgotaland (Jutland) and Wendland.

Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye marries king Ælla's daughter Blaeja and they have a son named Harthacnut, who succeeds his father as the king of Zealand, Scania and Halland, but Viken rebels and breaks loose. Harthacanute has a son named Gorm, who is big and strong but not as wise as his ancestors.

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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Wikipedia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

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