Ivar is the fourth and last son of Ragnar and Aslaug with a selfish and ambitious personality that leads him to have a story full of mysteries.
Ivar Ragnarsson, also known as Ivar “The Boneless”, was considered one of the weakest kings in Vikings. His ambitious personality led him to make drastic decisions and develop his traits in unique and interesting ways with his intentions not being always clear.
Nevertheless, Ivar is the character that changed the most throughout the whole series, as Hvitserk later acknowledges, and his ups and downs led to him having some secrets and mysteries regarding his personality and history that many fans don’t know about and that are only covertly implied at times throughout the story.
Regrets Killing Sigurd And Bjorn
Although Ivar ruthlessly kills both Sigurd and Bjorn, it is ambiguous whether he actually regrets it or not, and based on his personality, most fans would argue that he doesn’t even care. Nevertheless, when he killed Sigurd because he insulted him, Ivar appears to cry in remorse.
Similarly, although he didn’t have a different option with Bjorn, he seems to regret killing him based on his facial expression afterward as well as their previous connection in the series where Ivar held Bjorn in high regard.
Proved A Prophecy Wrong
In the world of Vikings, whenever something is prophesized, it usually comes true sooner or later. Nevertheless, when Ivar decided to sail with Ragnar to England, his mother, Queen Aslaug, prophesized that Ivar would die in a storm.
Despite that, Ivar decided to go with Ragnar and regardless of the storm, managed to stay alive, reach England, and even return home safe and sound. It is one of the few times that a Viking manages to prove a prophecy wrong and it is considered one of Ivar’s best decisions in the series.
He Could Have Killed All His Brothers
Despite Ivar showing some remorse after killing Bjorn and Sigurd, and even showing that his personality changed towards the end, it can be argued that he would have also killed both Ubbe and Hvitserk if he was given a good reason.
Other than the finale, where he selflessly saved Hvitserk, his personality throughout the series is described as hot-tempered. Especially if insulted, Ivar acts first and thinks later, and if Ubbe or Hvitserk were to insult him in an unlucky moment, Ivar could have killed both of them.
Historically Accurate Character
Ivar is one of the few characters in Vikings whose story fits perfectly with the actual historical data. He is known in history as one of the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok who sought conquest and power over plunder and loot.
Ivar the Boneless became famous because of his raids on the British Isles, and most especially as a leading member of the Great Heathen Army. The only thing that is historically unknown is his early years and the series had to fill in.
Two Arm Rings
Ivar is the only character in Vikings who is seen in one scene wearing two arm rings. Specifically, this is seen in 5×15, and it can be hard to notice or understand why that happens. However, going one season back to 4×15 it can be seen that Ragnar is the one who gives him the second arm ring before they part ways and Ragnar is left to die in England.
This is when Ragnar says one of his best quotes to Ivar: “Everyone will always underestimate you… make them pay for it”. When Ivar returns home, the ring is not mentioned at all, only to be seen one whole season later.
Survived Against Fate
Ivar was born with severe weakness in his bones and according to the Viking culture, weak babies should be thrown away as they will only take from the town’s food supply without being able to provide anything (similar to the Ancient Spartan culture). His fate was sealed as he was Ragnar’s punishment for ignoring Aslaug’s warnings.
Nevertheless, Aslaug did her best to protect him, while Ragnar couldn’t bring himself to kill him. On top of that, Odin seemed to help him with his weakness when he visited him transformed as Harbard and Ivar’s inevitably terrible fate eventually became more hopeful, even leading to him becoming King.
Snake Tattoo – Hvitserk’s Vision
During early season 5 of the series, Ivar decides to get a big snake tattoo on his back. This seems to inspire Hvitserk’s visions in season 6 where he pictures Ivar as a serpent in one of the cases in the series where friends become enemies.
When Hvitserk decides to chase the serpent and manages to stab it, he ends up actually stabbing Lagertha, something that he feels terrible for doing. Nevertheless, Hvitserk’s visions are, to some extent, inspired by Ivar’s previous tattoo.
The Actor, Alex Høgh Anderson, Crawled For Weeks Before Scenes
In Vikings, Ivar was played by Alex Høgh Anderson, who is able-bodied. However, in order to be spot on in his performance, the actor mentioned that he crawled around for weeks in his hotel room just to find a way to support his upper body weight on his hands.
He was crawling non-spot until his body hurt and even talked to a doctor about his character’s condition in order to be able to resemble it with perfect detail.
Inspired By Mary’s Christian Story
Although Ivar remained faithful to the Norse gods, when he heard about Mary’s birth despite her virginity from Bishop Heahmund, he was actually inspired by it. This led him to believe that Baldur, the child carried by Freydis, was his son, despite Ivar being incapable of impregnating her due to his weakness. Although Baldur doesn’t survive long (due to Ivar’s actions), Ivar still believed him to be his child, inspired by Mary’s story.
Cain And Abel With Sigurd
Many fans believe that Ivar’s and Sigurd’s story resembles the biblical story of Cain and Abel with Ivar being Cain and Sigurd Abel. Similar to Abel, Sigurd was more favored by the gods compared to Ivar who was born with a severe weakness. Because of that, and other reasons, Cain and Ivar killed Abel and Sigurd respectively. Cain was forced to wander as a punishment, and similarly, Ivar lost his right as a King and traveled around until his death.
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