The Vikings of legends have always garnered an inspired fandom be it through their era in history or screens today. The indomitable spirit of these fierce Norse warriors has left an indelible mark on both history and pop culture. From the breathtaking fjords of Scandinavia to the mesmerizing glow of cinema and television, the Vikings’ captivating tales of bravery and adventure have enraptured audiences worldwide.
Journey through time, into the realm of 10 remarkable Viking portrayals on screen, each assessed for their profound impact, historical authenticity, and the magnetic performances that brought these legendary figures to life. Discover how these epic characters have forever etched themselves into the hearts and minds of viewers, keeping the spirit of the Vikings alive through the ages.
10 Kjartan – ‘The Last Kingdom’
The Last Kingdom follows Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Alexander Dreymon), a Saxon nobleman who finds himself torn between his Saxon heritage and his upbringing among the Vikings. Amidst the rich tapestry of characters that populate the series, one figure stands out with menacing prominence – Kjartan (Alex Beckett). As a ruthless Viking antagonist, Kjartan’s presence injects the show with an intense blend of tension and intrigue, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats.
Within the world of The Last Kingdom, Kjartan’s character emerges as a formidable force to be reckoned with. With a cunning and calculating demeanor, he becomes a worthy adversary to Uhtred and his companions, presenting challenges that test their mettle at every turn. His ruthless pursuit of power and revenge makes him an unforgettable and integral part of the series, leaving an indelible mark on the epic journey of Uhtred and the fate of England.
9 Rollo – ‘Vikings’
In the enthralling world of Vikings, Clive Standen’s powerful and nuanced portrayal of Rollo, embarks on a tumultuous journey of self-discovery, traversing the rocky terrain of both bitter rivalry and profound personal growth.
Initially driven by envy and resentment towards his celebrated brother, Rollo’s character arc becomes a captivating exploration of redemption. Through trials and tribulations, Rollo gradually discovers his true identity and embraces his Viking heritage with a newfound sense of purpose.
8 Einer – ‘The Vikings’ (1958)
In the 1958 film The Vikings, Kirk Douglas delivers a powerful performance as Einer, a Viking prince torn between loyalty to his father and his thirst for power. Einer’s character is a compelling blend of fierce warrior and emotionally vulnerable individual.
Kirk Douglas’s portrayal of Einer is a mesmerizing depiction of a young Viking’s journey from impulsive ambition to mature leadership. His on-screen presence captivates the audience, showcasing Einer’s struggle to balance duty and personal ambition. As one of the most memorable characters in cinematic history, Einer becomes a symbol of human growth and transformation.
7 Floki – ‘Vikings’
In the epic series “Vikings,” Gustaf Skarsgard delivers a truly remarkable performance as the enigmatic and eccentric character, Floki. He serves as Ragnar’s trusted confidant and shipbuilder and is unwaveringly loyal to him.
Floki’s eccentricity becomes a defining trait of his character. His actions remain unpredictable, whilst he marches to the beat of his own drums. His unorthodox approach to life draws viewers closer to his enigmatic nature, leaving them eager to unravel the mysteries that lie beneath his unconventional exterior.
6 Thors Snorresson – ‘Vinland Saga’
Stepping into the captivating world of anime, Vinland Saga introduces us to the legendary Viking warrior, Thors Snorresson, whose voice is brought to life by the talented Naoya Uchida. Follow Thors as he evolves from a fierce and battle-hardened warrior to a man seeking solace in the embrace of peaceful family life. His desire for a world free from the relentless clutches of violence and war becomes a driving force that sets him apart in this tale of epic proportions.
Yet, destiny has a way of catching up with even the most resolute souls, and Thors finds himself confronted with a past he had tried to leave behind. The emotional depth of his return to the world of Viking warriors is nothing short of awe-inspiring. As he grapples with the ghosts of his past and the clash of his newfound convictions, Thors becomes an embodiment of conflicting emotions, offering viewers a poignant portrayal of inner turmoil and the complexities of human nature. In “Vinland Saga,” Thors’ character shines as a remarkable testament to the enduring struggle between the longing for peace and the inexorable call of the warrior’s spirit.
5 Bjorn Ironside – ‘Vikings’
The eldest son of Ragnar Lothbrok, Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig), in “Vikings,” proves himself to be a worthy successor to his father’s legacy. Few could hope to match his battle prowess and adventurous spirit.
Bjorn’s character explores uncharted territories, leading his people on daring expeditions and trying to overcome loss and betrayal while gearing up to fight some of the toughest battles in his life. His complex character arc showcases the struggle of living up to the legacy of a legendary father.
4 Lagertha – ‘Vikings’
When delving into the world of remarkable Vikings, one cannot overlook the indomitable shield-maiden, Lagertha, played by the talented Katheryn Winnick in the series “Vikings” is nothing short of awe-inspiring. As the formidable wife of Ragnar Lothbrok, Lagertha stands tall, breaking free from societal norms and defying traditional gender roles. With an unwavering spirit and a warrior’s heart, she becomes an emblem of empowerment for viewers worldwide.
Lagertha’s journey within the show is a testament to her unwavering determination and steadfast commitment to her path. From her origins as a fierce shield maiden, she rises through the ranks, earning the respect and admiration of her peers. Her transformation into a revered earl showcases her ability to overcome challenges and seize her destiny with unyielding courage. In Lagertha, audiences find a captivating character whose legacy goes far beyond the confines of the screen.
3 Buliwyf – ‘The 13th Warrior’
The 13th Warrior” follows the storyline of Buliwyf (Sven Wollter), a formidable Viking leader and a character of legendary status. With strategic brilliance and a Stoic demeanor, Buliwyf commands respect and admiration from his fellow warriors. His leadership inspires unwavering loyalty, solidifying his place among the greatest Viking characters in cinematic history.
As the epic saga unfolds, the audience is drawn into a tale of adventure, camaraderie, and heroism, witnessing Buliwyf’s unwavering courage as he fearlessly leads his men through perilous challenges. His captivating portrayal leaves an indelible mark on the tapestry of Viking legends and their enthralling stories.
2 Eirik – ‘The 13th Warrior’
In this grand adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novel “Eaters of the Dead,” Antonio Banderas takes on the role of Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan, an Arab poet who embarks on an extraordinary journey with a band of Viking warriors, led by the fierce and enigmatic Eirik, portrayed by Vladimir Kulich.
Eirik’s imposing presence and battle prowess leave a lasting impression on the audience, capturing the essence of the Viking spirit that continues to inspire.
1 Ragnar Lothbrok – ‘Vikings’
Undoubtedly, the most iconic Viking character to grace television screens is Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), in the hit TV series “Vikings.” His evolution from a farmer to a fearsome leader and legendary hero is a captivating one. He is the main protagonist of the series.
Fimmel’s portrayal of the legendary Viking chieftain is a mesmerizing blend of cunning strategy, relentless ambition, and complex emotions. He is often praised by fans who share the general opinion that there was no one more suitable to play the role.
NEXT: ‘VIkings: Valhalla’: Season 3: Release Window, Trailer, New Characters, and Everything We Know So Far