Vikings: 10 best Ragnar quotes, ranked
In the fictionalized world of Vikings, Ragnar Lothbrok is probably sitting somewhere in Valhalla right now, having dinner with Odin and catching up with Gyda. Due to some of the decisions he makes, the protagonist of the first series doesn’t live long enough to become an old man. However, he had a pretty hectic life before his death.
Ragnar does a lot of immature things such as disappearing for years as well as evil things such as drowning Yidu, but there is never any doubt about his general intelligence. The former Earl is brighter than the rest and this is often seen in his speech. Even in his last moments on earth, he makes sure he doesn’t leave until he drops a few lines.
ten “I hope that one day our gods can become friends.”
After capturing Athelstan, King Ecbert keeps the priest by his side, even sending him to Ragnar to negotiate peace. He and Ragnar, who formed a surprising friendship at the time, have a heart-to-heart conversation about their gods. Ragnar wonders what the climate would be like if the gods of different religions loved each other
In addition to being a tête-à-tête between friends, the meeting of Ragnar and Athelstan triggers events that lead to a truce between two warring factions. Ragnar’s words, on the other hand, highlight endless religious conflicts. What if the god also shook hands? What if they had a special bond like that of the two friends? Ragnar’s wish is important since religion is the source of a lot of animosity in the series.
9 “Power is only given to those who are willing to stoop to pick it up.”
The rift between Ragnar and Bjorn’s desires becomes clear when Ragnar expresses his desire to return to Wessex so that he can claim the land Ecbert promised him. Björn does not share these dreams. As the two watch Kattegat from afar, Bjorn expresses his desire to fight and be powerful. Ragnar warns him.
Ambition can be blinding and deceptive, Bjorn’s overzealousness bites him when he goes on an expedition to the Mediterranean and has a pretty hellish encounter with Emir Ziyadat. The same lust for power also leads him to align himself with Ragnar against the Rus army, which almost kills him.
8 “I will gently stroke your long, beautiful hair once more with my peasant hands.”
Lagertha shows no emotion when Gyda succumbs to the plague but Ragnar is deeply saddened. Sitting alone on the shore where Gyda’s funeral pyre has been placed, he speaks to his soul. He invites her to appear to him in case she needs to speak, promising to stroke her hair if she does.
Like most viewers, Ragnar wonders what life would be like if Gyda becomes an adult. All of Ragnar’s sons turn out to be great individuals and it feels like Gyda would be a supercharged version of Lagertha. By confessing to Gyda that she is the only one he has ever loved, Ragnar resigns himself to becoming a part-time parent. He won’t try with his sons because his heart isn’t there.
7 “Yes, I made mistakes. Life didn’t come with instructions.”
Ragnar is by no means a perfect man and after saying these words to Aslaug, viewers can kind of identify with him. His flaws are very visible in the way he treats his wives. He cheats on Lagertha with Aslaug and also abandons his people.
Although Ragnar’s words are true, they are a way for him to justify his sins. Throughout the series, he makes a habit of giving a reason for every bad thing he does. He’s even daring enough to pull the “I can explain!” card after being missing for ten years. Life did not indeed come with instructions, but mistakes should also be minimized.
6 “If I were him, I would worry less about the gods and more about the fury of a patient man.”
Floki fails miserably in his efforts to get through the gates of Paris. He accuses the gods of having let him down. Speaking to a dead Athelstan, Ragnar hints that he failed Floki to look like a poor strategist. Floki had just killed Athelstan, Ragnar’s friend, and Ragnar was angry.
Ragnar’s words at this moment accentuate his loyalty. He has known Floki for a long time. Without Floki, he would not have managed to sail west for the first time. But with Athelstan, he had a special bond. Floki’s murder of Athelstan can never suit him.
5 “Who wants to be king?”
Ragnar’s mind fills with despair when he loses the Battle of Paris. He disappeared from Kattegat for ten years to present himself as if he had never left. He challenges his sons Ivar, Sigurd, Ubbe, and Hvitserk to kill him so they can take the throne.
Towards the end of his life, Ragnar becomes desperate and resigned. He is no longer willing to try to do things right. To challenge his sons to a duel is an unnecessary task. None of them will dare to kill him. They might hate him, but not that bad.
4 “Odin gave his eye for knowledge, but I would give more.”
Ragnar’s feud with Earl Haraldson begins with a case of insubordination. The Earl wants the Viking raiders to return east because it is safe. Ragnar believes in going west because he thinks there is greater wealth there. So he summons the looters and tells them that they are going to become thugs anyway and go west. He is ready to risk.
With his words, Ragnar hints that he will be more daring than Haraldson if he ever becomes the ruler. He won’t play it safe. As the show progresses, it stays true to those words: befriending monks, plundering more land, and studying different cultures.
3 “On this occasion, the silver thread is split, the golden cup is broken, and the bucket is broken in the spring.”
Ragnar suggests to raid the West with King Horik and Jarl Borg but is forced to cut Borg because Horik doesn’t trust him. Ragnar certainly has the perfect medium to break the news to Borg. Instead of simply explaining why he made this decision, he becomes poetic about it, stating that even though their deal was as precious as a thread of silver and a cup of gold, it must come to an end.
This is Ragnar at his arrogant best. He thinks he owes Borg no explanation. Decisions have to be made and people have to understand. This method of managing associates does not work too well for him in the future since he will fall out with Ecbert later by doing the same.
2 “My death comes without excuses!”
While at the mercy of King Aelle, Ragnar refuses to apologize for his past actions. He gives a short monologue on how happy he is to finally go to Valhalla. Left with nothing else to do with the man, Aelle drops Ragnar into a snake pit.
Ragnar is decisive and he remains so even in the last moments of life. He’s always been a firm decision maker and that’s not going to change because Aelle asked for it. Like other Viking warriors, Ragnar wants to go to Valhalla. Apologizing will mean missing heaven.
1 “Everyone will always underestimate you … Make them pay for it.”
Ivar insists on dying with Ragnar when he finds out that King Ecbert handed his father over to King Aelle to be killed. Ragnar asks him to drop this thought. He tells Ivar that his anger is his trump card and that he will always have the advantage over his enemies because they will always underestimate him.
This passing moment of the torch also serves as a constant driving force that drives Ivar throughout Ragnar’s death. He becomes a fierce, albeit tyrannical, ruler. After all, her father told her to “make them pay”. In all of his appearances on the battlefield, he fights harder than anyone.
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