Just the title of Vikings stirs up thoughts of tough combat and big, strong men. The History Channel series is a historical drama was filmed in Ireland and was first started in 2013 as a tribute to arguably some of history's finest warriors and land conquerors, the Vikings.
It was from the beginning a huge success. What audiences cherish most about the show is its historical accuracy, action-packed episodes… then, the more poignant parts. The show is filled with heart-moving moments, many of these breaking fans hearts and stirring up emotions which will be remembered years to come. Here are 10 ways the series Vikings broke fans’ hearts.
10 Ragnar rejects Magnus
This has to be one of the most heartbreaking storylines in the series. Ragnar first rejects Magnus, and then Aethelwulf throws him out. Fans were probably left with a lump in their throat when Magnus begged Aethelwulf to let him stay, with Aethelwulf being the only dad he had even known.
In this painful, heart-rending sequence of events, Magnus hugs Aethelwulf, his father figure, before being thrown to the ground and subsequently threatened with death.
9 Lagertha's warnings
One of the saddest moments in the series is when Lagertha takes her grandson, A.J, to the grave she has consecrated to Kalf (whom she murdered) and tells him that the people closest to him might betray him.
She kneels down while she offers her advice on life, telling him to keep his friends close, as some might die early, and others might turn against him. What should have been a special moment between grandmother and grandson was just a little bit heart-breaking and uncalled for, especially considering the setting.
8 The fall of Athelstan
It's true, viewers certainly have to expect bloodshed and a narrative of guts and glory in a series about the Vikings. Still, who didn't feel their heartbreak when Athelstan was shockingly murdered by Floki.
This was perhaps Travis Fimmel's finest moment as Ragnar. As a distraught friend, he carried the body of Athelstan and buried him privately. Following this, he gave his friend an emotional send off, weeping and heartbroken by his loss.
7 The death of Ragnar
Ragnar's death surely comes not just as a shock but with a measure of heartbreak for viewers. The Viking returned from exile a changed man, showing himself as capable of tremendous feats.
Then he was dropped into a pit full of snakes, wanting to die on his terms. He was at peace, knowing he would live on through his sons. Still, viewers hearts broke when the beloved character died in such a manner.
6 Ragnar learns of his daughter's death
The writers of the History Channel series really knew how to draw a tear or two – or many – from viewers. Many fans recall one of the most poignant, saddest moments as being when Ragnar returned home to receive the news his daughter had died.
This in itself was heartbreaking news, but the hero’s response drew further tears. He went to sit alone on the beach, to talk to her for a while. Goes to show, even the strong and tough need time alone, to cry.
5 Loss of love
The gradual loss of love and the coldness in Ragnar and Aslaug's marriage might have left fans broken-hearted. In one scene, the coldness in their marriage becomes all too evident when Ragnar wants to take his sons on a raid to Paris and Aslaug interjects, saying they are too young.
His response to her is that the boys are safer with him than when he left them with her, the previous time. For fans, this loss of love in their union came with a measure of heartache.
Nostalgic moments often bring tears, even if such moments transpire on the silver screen. Viewers of Vikings would have experienced many of these moments of remembrance with the series’ characters.
One of the nostalgic scenes which left hearts aching was Ragnar remembering his childhood in Season 4. In an episode entitled, ‘What Might Have Been’, he remembers his family: young Bjorn, his wife, Lagertha, and the others. This has been called one of the most powerful, saddest scenes of the series.
3 Begging for support
Viewers of the series and especially fans of Emperor Charles were probably not too thrilled by the scene in which the emperor begged Rollo to support him. This is not the kind of thing an emperor should ever have to do.
This was a heart-breaking scene in terms of not just touching fans’ hearts but also making one question one’s loyalty and admiration of the emperor. Him pleading for loyalty was not just misplaced but sad in a sense that it would seem the emperor had lost all confidence and control of his own life and circumstances.
2 Rollo's betrayal
It's a hard lesson for fans to learn - but sooner or later, viewers of the series have to face the fact that Rollo tends to betray others. In fact, his leaning is towards betrayal, and this betrayal leaves destruction and broken hearts in its wake.
In the episode, What Might Have Been, Rollo's treacherous actions leave Ragnar punching at the mast of his ship out of sheer anger and frustration. Still, it's better that Rollo is exposed for who he is than that his darker qualities and cold heart remain undetected.
1 Torstein's death