Outside of Game Of Thrones, there isn’t a single series that offers up such an impressive cast of brutal warriors than the History Channel series, Vikings. The show made a name for itself early on with it’s impressively choreographed fight scenes. It also pushed the boundaries of what one could do on television time and time again.
The real-life stories of the Vikings coming to Britain was a pretty brutal one. The show proved time and time again that it would not falter in its task to show a fairly accurate depiction of just how bloody and vicious the lives of these warriors were. Whether it was one of the many now-famous battle sequences, the surprise betrayals, or the outstanding Blood Eagle scene, the makers of the series have shown that they will constantly push for bolder television than anything previously seen on the network.
While the fifth season is quickly approaching its end (and the series itself soon after) it’s still worth going back over the series to get another look at all the amazing battles and outstanding characters the show has produced throughout the years. The show used its fantastic cast of characters to portray the harsh world it’s set in. Characters like Ragnar, Rollo, Bjorn, and Lagertha battled their way through the seasons of the show, leaving hundreds of bodies in their wake. Other characters weren’t so formidable. While power and skill with a weapon certainly are essential for a warrior, a cunning mind can also change the course of a battle. If only some of the characters had realized this, they may have fared better.
Here is Every Major Character In Vikings Ranked By Strength.
Ragnar was one of the most impressive Vikings whoever came on the show. It’s no surprise that his sons would go on to be impressive in their own rights. They became explorers, warriors, kings, and a would-be God. Instead of being eclipsed by their father’s legacy, they used it as a jumping off point for their own impressive feats.
And then there’s Sigurd. He’s by far the least impressive of the sons of Ragnar, and one of the least impressive Vikings in the series. Fighting wasn’t nearly as dear to him as it was his brothers. He wasn’t even all that interested in avenging his mother. Regardless, his life ends faster than all the other sons. He taunts Ivar into throwing an ax his chest.
Hvitserk isn’t the Sigurd of the family but he’s often the most forgotten one. While he is the only son to go raiding with Bjorn down the Mediterranean, his list of impressive feats and battle acumen is rather short.
Often depicted as hot-headed and unwise, Hvitserk represents some of the worst parts of his father. He often thinks more about what’s between his legs than war or glory. With a name like that though, did he ever really stand a chance?
18 Earl Haraldson
There probably was a time when Haraldson was a fearsome Viking. He probably more than held his own with the other Viking warriors when he was making his way up to his illustrious position. It’s hard to imagine any Viking gaining that kind of power without a strong background in combat.
When we meet him though, he is far past his prime. There are many incredible battle sequences in Vikings but the duel between Ragnar and Haraldson isn’t one of them. An injured Ragnar still manages to end him. Hardly the most impressive of Ragnar’s battles.
17 King Horik
Horik is another one who was probably a fantastic warrior earlier in life. As a king, he likely proved himself early in life as one of the fiercest warriors of his generation. Like Haraldson, we meet him well past his prime. He may no longer be at his best, but he still manages to go through several battles with Ragnar and his crew.
What does make him impressive is his strategic mind. Though he does get played in the end by Ragnar, Horik comes fairly close to taking Ragnar out. Though once he’s caught, he doesn’t put up a serious fight.
Porunn had a lot of potential when she first arrived on the show. Vikings made a name for itself pretty quickly with its use of awesome female warriors. Lagertha was one of those characters who was instantly iconic. The people watching the show weren’t the only fans either. Porunn wanted to be just like her.
Unfortunately, that didn’t pan out. She showed that she did have some warrior chops, but she falls to a Mercian soldier who beats her within an inch of her life. Once she awakens, she is completely broken. Not even the birth of her child can coax her out of her depression. In time, she could’ve proven a shield maiden worthy of Lagertha, but she never comes close.
Astrid is another shield maiden who falls short of her potential. While she doesn’t end up being as formidable as she could have, she is shown to have more skill as a warrior than Porunn did. Of all the women in Vikings, Astrid is the only one who even flirts with competing with Lagertha’s level of awesome.
Her warrior spirit diminishes greatly when her story gets wrapped up in King Harald’s court. She is taken, defiled, and inevitably begs Lagertha to end what is left of her life. It’s a sad end to a character who began with such potential.
14 Ivar The Boneless
In a different world, Ivar would be a contender for one of the fiercest Vikings in the entire series. He is ruthless, brutal, and seems to have incredible skill in several different forms of combat. Of all his brothers, Ivar is the one who comes closest to competing with his father’s legacy.
Unfortunately, his disability is a severe limitation to his battle prowess. While he does often ride into battle on a chariot and eventually figures out how to walk despite his limitations, Ivar has no chance of competing with some of the other Vikings when it comes to combat ability. Still, the level of skill that he has is incredibly impressive considering all the limits against his body.
13 Bishop Heahmund
Bishop Heahmund makes quite the impression early in the series. It doesn’t hurt that he’s played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers from The Tudors. For a minute there, it seemed like Heahmund would become a formidable antagonist. He showed himself early on to have serious battle skills of his own and a cunning tactical mind.
Unfortunately, he never rose to his potential. Once he was enlisted into Ivar’s army, the edge of his character was taken away. He simply floats from Ivar’s army to Lagetha’s. The character who seemed like he would be a strong antagonist was relegated to supporting player. King Henry VIII would be so disappointed.
Lagertha can be a very hard character to compete with. Of all the characters that she’s gone up against, Kalf is among the most impressive. He became one of the more interesting characters in the middle of the series. His power plays seemed like they would end up taking Lagertha out once and for all. Kalf proved himself to be even more formidable when he ends up betraying Einar’s trust and performs a mass execution.
Unfortunately, like most men in Vikings, Kalf has a blind spot where Lagertha is concerned. Somehow, he’d actually fooled himself into thinking that Lagertha had forgiven him and that he could control her. He found out he was wrong quite quickly when she drove a knife into him during their fake wedding. Poor Kalf, for a character who seemed so smart at first, he sure went out like a fool.
Erik is one of those characters who seems like he didn’t get his best days shown in the series itself. He was shown to be a definitive Viking. He was strong, loyal, and brutal in battle. Ragnar isn’t always the most trusting person, but Erik was one of the few he never doubted. He was one of Ragnar’s closest advisers and ride or die friends in the earliest days of the show.
Unfortunately, it turned out he would be more of the first rather than the second. Erik was one of the first major endings on the show. While his passing cut his story short, it was the moment that sparked Ragnar into eliminating Haraldson and thus rising through the ranks of power. Still, it’s hard not to imagine what kind of adventures Erik would’ve gotten into had he lived.
When we are first reintroduced to the adult versions of the sons of Ragnar, it seemed as if Ubbe was the heir apparent. Not only did he have the good looks, but he seemed to also have his father’s skill set as well. The show clearly meant for Ubbe to be a red herring as the new Ragnar only to trade him in for the vicious tactical mind of Ivar.
Ubbe was a major part of the great heathen army that formed to get bloody vengeance for Ragnar’s passing. This was only the start of his career as a warrior. Together with Ivar, Ubbe led a powerful army. Unfortunately, this career was cut short when he was humiliated in battle by Bishop Heahmund. He lost the leadership of the army to Ivar. From then on, he was never as formidable as he was in the early days. Still, he remains a skilled Viking who lives up to his illustrious father’s name.
9 Jarl Borg
Jarl Borg is one of the best villains of the early days of the show. He is a powerful warrior and possesses a brilliantly vindictive mind. He successfully turns Rollo against his brother and leads an army of Vikings against Ragnar. The battle doesn’t go his way, but he lives to fight on.
When he was left out of Ragnar’s grand raiding party, Borg takes Ragnar’s land out from under him. Few of Ragnar’s adversaries managed to outfox him in quite this manner. Borg is inevitably defeated but he didn’t go down easily. Ragnar performs the legendary Blood Eagle on Borg which is still the most awful passing in the series. (Well, until the did it again.) Borg went through the famously painful procedure and never screamed. He may have been a major villain for the series, but he definitely earned the right to enter Valhalla.
Floki is one of the all-time fan favorites of the show. He has a brilliant mind and a fantastic personality. He’s also proven himself to be quite the warrior. Almost every major battle in the show has featured Floki somewhere in the fray, pounding away at enemies with his small axes. While he’s almost passed away several times throughout the run of the series, none of these experiences ever keeps him down for long.
It also must be said that Floki provides a great deal more to an army than just his skills in battle. He is an expert boat builder capable of supplying an army with the best naval force for battle. His trickster’s tactical genius has also come in handy many times throughout the series. Of all the characters on the series, Floki may have been the most useful. That is, when he wasn’t betraying someone.
When Halfdan first appeared on the series, he seemed like nothing more than one of the many random Vikings who makes a short appearance before meeting an untimely end. While that end did come about, Halfdan’s journey to it was much more than anyone was expecting.
The plot where Bjorn travels the Mediterranean wasn’t nearly as good as it was hyped up to be. Still, there was one thing that was great about it. The friendship between Halfdan and Bjorn developed into one of the greatest the show ever produced. He showed his worth time and time again, fighting at Bjorn’s side. Their unlikely pairing even led Halfdan to turn on his brother. This turn ended up being what lead to his demise, but he went on to be more memorable than just a forgettable supporting character.
6 King Harald
King Harald was an interesting character on the series. He seemed a lot like other enemies throughout the series like Jarl Borg or King Horik. The villainous enemy lurking as an ally was a character trope that Vikings seemed to love. At first, it seemed as if Harald would be a case of diminishing returns on this trope, but he proved to be a formidable presence in his own right.
While he didn’t have quite the cunning mind that Borg or Horik did, he made up for it with true Viking spirit. No matter how low Harald was brought, he always comes back for more battles to come. Even when he met his own brother on the battlefield, it didn’t stop him. He eliminated his brother and kept on for more. Harald stands as one of the most formidable Vikings on the series.
It’s no surprise that on a show called Vikings, most of the truly compelling characters are Vikings. The show doesn’t always spend a lot of time on the warriors on the other sides of the line. Aethelwulf is a big exception to this.
He is featured in one of the all-time best fight scenes in the series. The fight in “Kill The Queen” is one of the most hectically brutal fights in television history. Reminiscent of the famous mud fight in Deadwood, this fight gives up the wonderfully graceful choreography for a truly realistic fight featuring biting, kicking, and lots of grappling. Aethelwulf also goes up against the great heathen army and lives to tell the tale. Unfortunately, he passes away in a rather pathetic way but that doesn’t mean his many exploits as a warrior aren’t still memorable.
Ragnar may have made a name for himself as the most famous Viking king in the series, he wasn’t the only one who held a huge amount of celebrity. Lagertha’s status as a legendary shield maiden inspired many to take up arms with her and against her.
Many men tried to destroy her legacy, but most were met with a brutal end. So many of them underestimated either her cunning mind or her battle prowess to their own doom. She even went on to become a Viking queen instead of Ragnar’s sons, the heirs apparent. While she ultimately lost it all in a battle with Ivar, Lagertha will always remain as a true Viking legend.
You don’t get to be the most legendary Viking alive for nothing. Ragnar was one of the greatest fighters in the show. He was fast, brutal, and brilliant. Outside of just being one of the best fighters, he was also one of the greatest tacticians. Before his untimely death, Ragnar led almost all of the raids and cinematic battle sequences in the first half of the show. It was his curiosity and battle skill that led the Vikings through Mercia, Wessex, and even into the streets of Paris. He was injured many times in battle but continued to show that he was Viking to the core.
Eventually, he lost his way and his warrior’s spirit was diminished. This did nothing to diminish his legacy, however. The quest to avenge him led to some of the greatest battle sequences in the show. It was almost like he was leading the great heathen army from beyond the grave.
2 Bjorn Ironside
Living up to the legacy of Ragnar is no easy feat. Most of the various sons of the famous Viking fall far short of their father’s illustrious legacy. Bjorn proves himself to be more than worthy of his father’s name. (Either one, if you’re team Rollo’s the father or team Ragnar is.) Bjorn spent most of the first half of the series just trying to cope with his father’s rising celebrity. He found it difficult to cope with creating his own legacy when his father cast such a long shadow. Fortunately, he had dreams of his own. Bjorn went on to explore the Mediterranean and create a legacy that stood up easily against his father’s.
That and one can’t ignore the storyline where Bjorn went out to the wilderness to prove himself a man. He went full The Revenant and won a fight with a vicious bear. Anyone who has played Red Dead Redemption 2 (or fought a bear in real life) knows just how impressive a feat that is.
There are many impressive warriors throughout the series, but one warrior stands above all the rest. Rollo is by far the greatest warrior in the show. While he doesn’t have Ragnar’s tactical mind, Rollo is a monstrous power on the battlefield.
Almost every major conflict in the series features a shot of the merciless Rollo battling his way through hordes of unfortunate warriors who are unlucky enough to cross his path. He is brutal, merciless, highly skilled, and incredibly strong. If there is a definitive Viking in Vikings, it’s without question Rollo.
What do you think of our ranking? Which character do you think is the fiercest in Vikings? Let us know in the comments!