The History Of The Vikings: How Many Wives Did Ragnar Have?

Travis Fimmel as Ragnar Lothbrok in History Channel's 'Vikings'

[Image via History Channel]

Have you been watching History Channel’s Vikings and wondering about the main character of Ragnar Lothbrok? In particular, have you been wondering about his wives?

In the television series, Ragnar has two wives, Lagertha and Aslaug. Lagertha is a fierce shield maiden and Aslaug is the princess daughter of the shield maiden Brynhildr. However, the history books place Ragnar Lodbrok with one more wife and several other mistresses. So, who were these women?

SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses History Channel’s Vikings. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.

History Channel's Vikings,' Season 5, premiere, Episode 1, The Departed, Queen Lagertha

[Image via Jonathan Hession/History Channel]

LAGERTHA

For fans of the TV show, Vikings, Lagertha is probably the most loved wife of Ragnar. She is an independent shield maiden who rose to fame along with Ragnar as they became the rulers in Kattegat. However, in the only Viking story that involves Lagertha, this wife was actually a noblewoman who was put into a life of prostitution before meeting Ragnar.

In the ninth book of the Gesta Danorum (also known as the History of the Danes or the Danish History Books) by Saxo Grammaticus, when Ragnar’s father, Sigurd, was killed by a man called Fro, the new king placed all the womenfolk into prostitution to deliver them into “public outrage.” Hearing of this, Ragnar was immediately drawn into conflict with Fro and many of the women in captivity dressed as men and joined Ragnar’s side, Lagertha among them. In fact, at one point after the battle, Ragnar deems the fight was won thanks to Lagertha and her warrior skills. If you ever wondered if shield maidens were real, this is a good indication that perhaps they were according to the Viking myths.

So, after Ragnar found out about Lagertha, he attempted to woo her. Lagertha, however, set a bear and a dog outside her home that Ragnar had to defeat before they could be wed. Needless to say, Ragnar was victorious. After they married, Lagertha gave birth to two daughters and a son before Ragnar decided he was tired of her and put her aside in order to pursue his next wife, Thora.

However, their story doesn’t end there. Later on, when Ragnar is involved in conflict over his land and title, he calls on Lagertha for her assistance. At this point, Lagertha is married to someone else. However, the Gesta Danorum notes that Lagertha helps Ragnar out because she is still in love with him. It is unclear whether Ragnar still has feelings for her or what her new husband thinks about Lagertha’s involvement with her ex-husband’s mess.

After she assists Ragnar and helps him to reclaim his title, Lagertha returns home and kills her current husband. She then decides to rule on his behalf, much as she does when she kills Kalf in the television series and takes over his earldom.

If you want to explore Lagertha’s story in greater detail, you can do so via my book, Vikings: The Truth about Lagertha and Ragnar.

Thora Townhart and Ragnar

[Image via
Jenny Nyström (1854–1946) | Public domain | Wikimedia Commons]

THORA

After “changing his love” for Lagertha, Ragnar sets his sights on Thora, who is the daughter of King Herodd. Thora has been spoiled by her father and, as a result of this, has created a monster out of a heather snake.

Ragnar sets about working out how to kill this menace because King Herodd has offered the man who does this Thora’s hand in marriage. Many men are killed in the process and Ragnar learns much from them.

There are varying accounts of what Ragnar does but, basically, he dons some shaggy pants that he has tarred. These pants may have also been covered in sand or accompanied with a dress that he has wet and frozen for extra protection. Ragnar then sets about attacking the snake. Using not only these pants but also his shield as protection, he slays the snake and wins Thora’s hand.

When Thora’s father sees Ragnar’s attire, he gives him the nickname, Lodbrok, which pretty much translates to “hairy pants.”

After this point, Ragnar and Thora are married and they have two sons. Depending on the source, these boys names are Radbard and Dunwat or Eirik and Agnar.

After some amount of time, Thora dies and Ragnar is devastated. He takes to raiding to help ease the pain of losing Thora.

Alyssa Sutherland stars as Aslaug in History Channel's 'Vikings'

[Image via History Channel]

ASLAUG

Fans of History Channel’s Vikings usually have a strong opinion of Aslaug thanks to the fact she ruined Lagertha and Ragnar’s marriage. In the sagas, however, Aslaug and Lagertha’s story never crosses. Ragnar comes across her after Thora dies.

Aslaug is the daughter of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer and Brynhildr the shield maiden. However, thanks to a lot of conflict that results in the death of her parents, Aslaug ends up in the care of Heimir. He is concerned about her safety so hides her in a harp case and pretends he is a beggar in order to conceal their identities.

When Ragnar finds her, she is living under the care of Grima and Aki after they have killed Heimir, so he assumes Aslaug is a peasant. She does not correct this assumption.

Much like it occurred in the television series, Ragnar and Aslaug marry after Aslaug interprets his riddle and appears to him neither clad nor unclad, neither sated or hungry, and neither alone nor in company. They go on to have many sons, once again, just like in Vikings. However, unlike the series, Bjorn Ironside is actually her son and not Lagertha’s.

When Ragnar travels to England under the folly of becoming more famous than his sons, he is captured by King Aelle and thrown into a pit of snakes. Aslaug had seen that something horrible would befall Ragnar in England so had sent him off with a magical shirt that was blessed by the gods. So long as Ragnar wore this item, no harm would come to him. It didn’t take long for Aelle to work out the shirt was keeping Ragnar alive so ordered it removed. As soon as this was done, Ragnar died.

Aslaug’s story will be explored in more detail in my upcoming book, Vikings: The Truth about Aslaug and Ragnar.

THE OTHER WOMEN

While three women have been attributed to marrying Ragnar according to historical manuscripts, there are other women also that he was involved with.

Swanloga was a woman listed as his wife in the Gesta Danorum. However, it is possible this woman is Aslaug or Thora under a different name.

Ingibjorg was the daughter of King Eystein, a friend of Ragnar. When visiting Eystein, Ragnar becomes betrothed to Ingibjorg as those around him think Aslaug is below his standing. When Ragnar returns home, Aslaug confronts him about this betrothal and reveals her true identity to Ragnar.

Aslaug tells him if the child she is now carrying bears the symbol of a snake in his eye, then it will be proof that she really is the daughter of Sigurd and Brynhildr. When Sigurd is born, this turns out to be true and Ragnar breaks off his betrothal to Ingibjorg. This causes a rift between him and King Eystein.

Ubbe’s mother is an unnamed woman born to a man called Esbern. Ragnar dresses up as a woman in order to gain access to her chamber. This tryst results in the conception of Ubbe.

If you want to find out more about Ragnar and the women who loved him, why not check out my new book!

Ragnar and the Women Who Loved Him Rachel Tsoumbakos

RAGNAR AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVED HIM
(Viking Secrets series)

Release date: October 12, 2017
Genre/s: Historical fiction, Vikings, Nonfiction
Available: Amazon
Kindle Price: $0.99

BLURB

The famous Viking, Ragnar Lodbrok, accomplished many great deeds according to the Viking Sagas associated with him. However, for many, it is his personal life, and the women who loved him that garners the most interest. So, who were these women and why did they love him?

Find out:

*Who the Vikings were
*Who Ragnar was
*How many wives he really had
*Who his other lovers and mistresses were
*Which of his famous sons were attributed to each woman
*Which historical texts tell Ragnar’s story


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Romance Book Fair: Who Wants A New Book Boyfriend And A Bargain?

The short answer to that is: We all do!

The Romance Book Fair runs from 19-22 October and features a pile of bargain books that are $3 or less.

That’s right, you can find your new book boyfriend for less than $3!

Romance Book Fair 'Vikings: The Truth About Lagertha And Ragnar'

Clicking on the image above will take you straight to the Romance Book Fair.

But, before you do that, there’s more you need to know. It wouldn’t be a book fair without a giveaway as well as a bargain (and a new boyfriend). Along with the chance to fall in love with someone new, there is a $50 Amazon gift card on offer as well.

So, make sure you head on over to the website and check out all that is on offer. But, don’t forget to scroll to the very bottom of the page there and enter the giveaway as well.

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#Manspiration Blog Hop And Giveaway: How Ragnar Helped Shape Lagertha’s Story

#Manspiration Blog Hop Vikings The Truth about Lagertha and Ragnar

So, who needs some manspiration? How about some free historical romance novels? Well, you have come to the right place for both!

When I started my research about the Viking figure, Lagertha, there was one other Viking who always stood out in her story: Ragnar. You cannot tell the story of Lagertha without also telling a great portion of Ragnar’s story as well.

As a result of this, Ragnar Lothbrok from History Channel’s Vikings inadvertently became my manspiration for Lagertha’s story.

Ragnar, played by Aussie actor, Travis Fimmel, is inspiration enough, thanks to his wonderful portrayal of Ragnar in the History Channel series. His performance manages to make the audience fall in love with a leader of a culture that was previously considered nothing more than a bunch of bloodthirsty thugs.

#Manpiration History Channel's 'Vikings,' Travis Fimmel as Ragnar Lothbrok, Vikings The Truth About Lagertha and Ragnar

[Image via History Channel]

But, there is more to the character than just what is portrayed in Vikings. The historical character of Ragnar Lodbrok (or Ragnar Sigurdsson) made women fall in love with him — and managed to keep their affection, even after their relationships ended.

Lagertha fell for his charms not long after he rescued her from a life of prostitution. She didn’t fall without a fight, however. She placed dangerous beasts outside her house and Ragnar had to fight his way through. When he was successful in this task, they married.

For many years, the pair were happy. Later on, though, Ragnar divorced Lagertha and began his pursuit of Thora.

Then, when Ragnar needed help in a battle, even though he had divorced her, Lagertha still supported him thanks to her unrequited love.

#Manpiration History Channel's 'Vikings,' Ragnar Lothbrok, Travis Fimmel, Lagertha, Katheryn Winnick. Vikings: The Truth About Lagertha And Ragnar

[Image via History Channel]

But, this is not the first time Ragnar has had a profound effect on one of his wives. When he married Aslaug, she loved him so much, she commissioned a magical shirt for him to wear. And, it almost saved his life from King Aelle and his snake pit. If Aelle hadn’t requested the removal of the shirt, Ragnar would have likely lived to fight another day — well, according to the Viking sagas, anyway.

Ragnar, in the sagas, was a character that managed to always rally people to his side, whether it be women or leaders. In fact, when Ragnar was made king at a very early age, people were already turning to him for his sage advice.

#Manpiration History Channel's 'Vikings,' Ragnar Lothbrok played by Travis Fimmel, Vikings: The Truth About Lagertha And Ragnar

[Image via History Channel]

And, it was this aspect that I saw in Travis Fimmel’s portrayal of Ragnar, in the relationships with those around him, that I found true inspiration in regard to this character. Because, let’s face it, in the sagas Ragnar could be considered a womaniser, and his character had to be brought to light in my book in a fashion akin to the way Travis Fimmel bought Ragnar to life in History Channel’s Vikings.

So, who is your manspiration? Let me know by commenting below!

All comments will be entered into the draw to win eCopies of the following books. Entries close in two weeks and a winner drawn on October 24. Good luck! 🙂

Manspiration Blog Hop eBook Covers

If you want to find out who the next manspiration is in this blog hop, you need to head on over to Ellie St. Clair‘s website now.

Enjoy!

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#Manpiration History Channel's 'Vikings,' Lagertha, Katheryn Winnick, Ragnar Lothbrok, Travis Fimmel, The Truth About Lagertha and Ragnar

[Image via History Channel]

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EVENT: Join Me At The “Love & Warfare Series Launch and Books, Books, Books” Event

Love and Warfare Series Launch and Books, Books, Books, Vikings The Truth About Lagertha And Ragnar

It is less than a month until Vikings: The Truth about Lagertha and Ragnar is released, can you believe it? In the midst of organising the launch day event, advertising and early reviews, I have even had time to start planning the next book in the Viking Secrets series, Vikings: The Truth About Aslaug and Ragnar.

Of course, considering November is NaNoWriMo, this is to be expected. With October just around the corner, it is nearly time to settle in and start researching absolutely everything I can find about Aslaug and the Viking Age.

Until then, however, I will be focusing on the launch of Vikings: The Truth about Lagertha and Ragnar. So, why not join me to help celebrate this and some other awesome historical fiction and historical romance books that are also being released around the same time.

Anne Evans is hosting the Love & Warfare Series Launch and Books, Books, Books event on Facebook to celebrate the official launch of her latest historical series, Love and Warfare. This event will be held online on September 30. I will be helping to co-host the event at 7 p.m. MST.

Along with Anne and myself, there will be plenty of other authors who will be sharing their work. So, why not head on over to the event page now and join up.

Some of the historical eras and other genres covered during this event include:

  • Viking Age
  • Ancient Rome
  • Western & Frontier
  • Early American History
  • Romance
  • Time Travel Romance
  • Inspirational
  • Historical Religion
  • Christian
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Historical Fantasy
  • Suspense
  • 14th Century England
  • 1930s
  • Cozy Mystery

As you can see, there are plenty of historical eras to chose from and I am confident you will be able to find something to suit your historical fiction needs as well as a few extras from other genres.

For the list of authors participating and their scheduled times, see below.

7am MST
Kathy Rouser
Assaph Mehr
Sharmane Riley Mccoy
8 am MST
Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar
Janet Palmer Grunst
Ann Cooper McCauley
Carol Brown
9am MST
Stephanie Natasha Carter
Kristen Joy Wilks
Jennifer Rosbrugh (Historical Sewing with Jennifer Rosbrugh)
10 AM MST
Amanda Jones Hettinger
Tanya Eavenson
Linda Glaz (Author and Agent)

11am MST
Barbara Haropolous
Hillary Wallace
Hope Toler Dougherty
12 pm MST
Rachel Trautmiller
Heather Frey Blanton
1 pm MST
Mallorie Knight
Elaine W. Stock
Angela Hembree Dolbear
2 pm MST
Cindy Flores Martinez (2-2:30)
Robin Elizabeth Mason
DeAnna Julie Dodson (2:30-3)
3 pm MST
Marilyn Turk
Patricia Carroll
Alana Terry
4 pm MST
Cindy Tomamichel
Derinda Babcock
5 pm MST
Colleen Scott
6pm MST
April Gardner (6-6:30)
Elaine Manders
Allison Bruning
7pm MST
Denise O’Hagan
Rachel Tsoumbakos
PS Broaddus
8 pm MST
Karla Reisch Akins
Jill Richardson
Abigail Cossette Ryan
9 pm MST
Rosalie Gilbert

I can’t wait to see you all there! And, remember, events like these are always better when you bring a friend, so don’t forget to share the event page.

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August Book Fair: Snag A $0.99-2.99 Book Bargain!

August book Fair Event image Vikings The Truth About Lagertha And Ragnar by Rachel Tsoumbakos

Are you itching for a book bargain at the moment? Then why not check out the August Book Fair? All books are on sale from 99 cents up to $2.99 — but only for three days!

Yes, my book will be there, so if you haven’t reserved your copy of Vikings: The Truth About Lagertha And Ragnar, now is definitely the time to do it. However, if historical fiction is not your thing, this event will feature 100 books across a wide range of fiction genres.

The genres included during the sale include: Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance/SciFi romance, Romance & Women’s Fiction. Young Adult, SciFi & Dystopian, Mystery, Thriller, and Horror. So, as you can see, there really is a bargain for everyone!

You can check out the full list of discounted books available here.

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