Why The Vikings Were Good Warriors
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The Viking Warrior
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Overcome with regret and self-pity, Rollo says that he feels worthless and that he sees no point in staying alive. The Seer laughs and tells Rollo that if he knew what the Gods had planned for him, he would dance naked on the beach. He then tells Rollo the prophecy that "The Bear will be crowned by a Princess" and that he will be at the ceremony. Rollo does not comprehend what this is supposed to mean. Rollo reveals to everyone that Athelstan no longer wears his arm-ring, which ends up leading Floki to kill Athelstan.
The raiding party arrives in Paris , getting ready for the greatest of all battles. Ragnar shocks Rollo and the other leaders when he decides to leave Floki in charge of the attack. Both the Vikings and Franks prepare for the siege as the Christians gather to pray for protection from the pagans camped just around the riverbed. During the invasion of Paris, Rollo plays a vital role in motivating the rest of the Viking invasion, even when all hope appears lost.
He goes so far as to kill one man because he hesitated to climb up the siege ladder. Upon gazing at the Princess Gisla , he resolves to go up Floki's ladders and fight himself. After maiming and killing several Parisian soldiers, he turns and makes eye contact with the Princess. This distraction allows the Parisian soldiers to knock him off balance and push away his siege ladder, throwing Rollo from the walls. Hitting the water, he appears to be dead. However, after the retreat, he comes to visit Ragnar, Lagertha, and a severely injured Bjorn, a sight upon which he declares to Ragnar that next time they will not make the same mistakes.
The Vikings make a second sneak attack on Paris the next night, with Rollo on the forefront fighting along with Lagertha. After Lagertha and her shield maidens infiltrate the city gates and open the outer doors, Rollo leads the main charge into the entrance. The Parisian soldiers release a spiked wheel which rolls through the tunnel, running over and impaling several Vikings. Rollo climbs over the wheel and lodges two spears into the floor which lock the wheel in place. However, the blocked wheel and dead bodies piled on it obstruct the Vikings from advancing through the tunnel. Since they are unable to get through, Rollo signals to fall back just in time, leaving a select few, including Earl Siegfried and Sinric , trapped behind the walls and captured.
Later, Sinric is brought to the Vikings as a prisoner to communicate the Parisian commander's desire for negotiations. They turn to leave after an agreement to meet is made, and Rollo pulls Sinric back, cutting his ropes free and allowing him back into their camp. During the arranged meeting, Rollo turns up and bears witness to Ragnar's baptism. The Parisians come to the Viking camp to deliver treasures in gold and silver as a bargain for them to leave and Rollo goes to tell a bedridden Ragnar, who declares that it makes no difference to him as he is dying. Floki approaches Rollo as he is walking and he agrees with him that Athelstan "Poisoned Ragnar's mind" and that they are now seeing the "Fruit of it". Immediately after Floki leaves, he is approached by Lagertha, who expresses her disbelief at Ragnar's baptism and mentions that Rollo himself was also baptized.
Rollo declares that his own baptism did not change him and that the Gods protected him from the Christian magic, yet have refused to protect Ragnar, once again blaming Athelstan for this. Later, the Viking camp celebrates their treasures as Rollo stares into the distance and contemplates the Seer's previous prediction of his fate. Upon Ragnar's death, Rollo goes to visit his coffin to "Speak" to him. Rollo proclaims that there is no point in denying that he has always resented Ragnar, but he finds it funny that the Gods took him first when they both thought that they favored him. Along with the other warriors, Rollo accompanies Ragnar's coffin to city gates of Paris for a "Proper Christian" burial and ceremony as Ragnar requested.
They wait outside the gates while his body is taken inside. Before the ceremony can properly begin, Ragnar pops out of his coffin very much alive and takes the Princess captive, proceeding to exit the city with a knife to her throat, giving his warriors a chance to open the gates and for them to attack. We hear the Seer remind us that "Not the living, but the dead will conquer Paris" as Ragnar collapses and we see Rollo, Lagertha, Floki, and Kalf gaze upon him while congregating outside the city gate. After the Viking force enters and sacks Paris due to the surprise attack, Ragnar decides that they should return home due to the approach of winter.
However, since he plans that the Vikings should raid Paris again in the spring, he orders that their camp remain established outside the city until the rest return. Ragnar leaves it to Bjorn to relay these orders. Floki volunteers to remain and take charge of the winter camp, but Rollo rejects that proposal, saying that Floki has "No reason to stay. Although Rollo does not answer the question and Bjorn appears suspicious of his uncle's intentions, he agrees to Rollo's request and appoints him in charge of the camp. Aware that the Northmen have maintained a presence and are planning to raid again the next year, Emperor Charles sends a delegation to Rollo. The Emperor offers him a vast area of land in the Northern part of Frankia and the title of Duke, with the assurance that he will be "Very rich".
Rollo maintains a stoic expression in the face of these offers until the envoy tells him that Emperor will also offer his reluctant daughter's hand in marriage. Rollo finally asks what he must do in return for all of this, which is that he must defend Paris from future attacks by his brother Ragnar. Rollo accepts and goes to the city to meet the Emperor.
Upon arriving in the Emperor's throne room, the Princess declares she would rather be burned alive than be married to Rollo and suffer him ever laying a hand on her, saying that he is a pagan without a soul who is worse than a beast and makes her want to vomit. Apparently undeterred, Rollo greets the Princess and Emperor in their own language, accompanied by a grin. Count Rollo is married to the Princess Gisla and is settling into his new life of Frankish nobility. However, Gisla is still upset that she was forced to marry him against her will and is still disgusted by the former Norseman.
Later, a heavily crying Gisla is carried into their bedroom in preparation for their bedding. As Rollo removes his clothes, a handmaid steps in to remove Gisla's but she angrily shakes her off. Despite being amused by her defiant spirit, Rollo shouts everyone to leave the room. Realizing she doesn't want to make love to him, he mocks her by just going to sleep, amused by her attempt to murder him with a dagger.
Rollo receives a visit from Eirik. Rollo rides to the Viking encampment outside Paris, gives the signal, and a horde of hidden Frankish bowmen cut down every man, woman, and child. Count Rollo makes an attempt to fit in by cutting his hair and dressing appropriately but continues to be mocked by his new wife Gisla. Later, Rollo and Count Odo are talking about how they can attack the Vikings.
Rollo suggests building forts and pulling a chain across tipping the boats into the water to prevent the Vikings from sailing up the river. During a feast, Rollo tries to approach his new wife at the table where she is sat alongside her father. However, she remains hating and cursing at him and when he tries to call her his wife in Frankish she throws a cup of wine at his face saying that she would never be his women and that she wants a divorce before storming off. Rollo left feeling angry and defeated jumps over the table and scares some of the Emperor's subjects before striding off into another room. Charles asks Odo to go find him and beg him to stay. Odo finds him and tries to explain, however it is very difficult for him to understand and so he suggests that someone should try to teach him how to speak the Frankish language.
The Papal legate from Rome arrives to deal with their divorce. Rollo begs her to reconsider and she indeed admits she felt touched by his loyalty and dedication to learn their language. He then gives her his Viking band to show his allegiance to her. Later they are shown making love passionately in their bedchamber. Gisla later gets a new haircut and starts to behave more lasciviously, even taking Rollo to a nearby room to have sex during the Christmas feast. Rollo tells Odo that they should build more boats and that he doesn't know his people better than he does.
Later, Rollo and Gisla are shown in their bedchamber as two servants come in and place food on the table. Rollo strokes her hair and talks about how he cannot wait to take control of his Northern lands at his own court. Gisla jumps in by saying that they still have business here, family business. She then goes on to say that her father needs him because he is the only strong man that she knows that can support and guide her father in the right direction. Rollo suggests that her father also has Count Odo to which Gisla bad-mouths Odo by saying that she doesn't like him nor does she trust him, she amusingly adds that he may die in battle, getting slain by an unknown assailant, thereby having Charles to rely more on Rollo.
Rollo takes her hand and tells her that only a coward kills a man by stabbing him in the back to which Gisla then amusingly adds that, that is only what a Viking would do and that Rollo is no longer a Viking before seductively feeding her husband a piece of chicken. Emperor Charles pleads with Rollo to not change sides, to not go back to his brother, to which Rollo promises that he will not betray the Emperor nor will he betray Paris and that he will most definitely not betray his wife to which Gisla joyfully smiles before saying that they will prevail.
Once the rest of the ships arrive, the Vikings sail up river towards France and notice there's no sign of Rollo's camp. As the ships approach closer to Paris, they see Rollo waiting with his new French allies. As the ships approach the forts, Rollo orders the Franks to raise a large metal chain between the forts, which capsizes Harald's ship. Lagertha's ground attack retreats and the Franks begin to light the Viking ships on fire. As the Viking ships retreat, Ragnar angrily yells to Rollo that he saved his life when everyone wanted him dead. Later when the battle is won Rollo and Gisla take a stroll on the beach and to her dismay she is surprised to see women among the dead on the beach. Rollo then tells her about the shield-maidens specially Lagertha.
When she asks if she will ever meet her Rollo answers "Maybe someday". While sitting at the table with the Emperor and his wife. Later, his wife accompanies him when he gains a new title and is awarded by the Emperor the Iron hand of Frankia. Charles proudly announces to his fellow-subjects that his daughter is carrying Rollo's child and gives then gives Roland the title of Duke. Later in bed, Rollo and Gisla start to discuss his new appointment and how dangerous it could be. The Vikings arrive in sight of Paris and slip the ships into the river.
Ragnar replies he does not care about Paris, and that he is here for Rollo. As the Vikings sail for Paris, Ragnar mutters to himself that he must kill Rollo. On the river, a fleet of Frankish ships approach the Vikings with Rollo leading the way. The Vikings and Franks battle on the river , with the Vikings defeating the first fleet of French ships. Rollo then leads his remaining ships into a bloody battle. Ragnar and Rollo begin to battle and come to a stalemate. Ragnar charges for Rollo, but is grabbed and thrown into one of the fleeing ships, as they sail away in defeat. Rollo comes back to Paris batted and bloody, but victorious. He is then greeted by his beloved wife and Charles who then crowns him Ceaser to which he is applauded for saving Paris.
Duke Rollo is first seen sat on his Normandy throne with his wife, Gisla and their three children William , Marcellus , and Celsa as his two nephews and the other Vikings enter the Palace. Rollo introduces his family to his nephews before one of the nannies takes the children away. Both Rollo and his wife are confused as to why they are here and so he asks his nephew Bjorn who replies saying "That he wants to go here" showing his uncle an old map of the Mediterranean sea. The only catch is that they have to sail through the Frankish coastline. Later, Rollo tells Gisla that the only way he'll let them pass is if he can go with them.
Gisla argues with him and tells him that he is no longer a Viking and that he renounced his heritage and embraced her world and her God. Gisla threatens that if she thought that her children were Viking she would kill them and herself which angers him. Rollo grabs his wife by the chin and tells her that everything she says is true. He then proceeds to tell her that he loves her and their children, but he cannot deny that part of him which is still Viking. Gisla, however, isn't having any of it and tells him that he isn't trying hard enough. Rollo backs away and tries to explain his feelings by talking about the thunder and how only she would hear thunder but he still hears the God Thor beating his hammer.
Gisla shakes her head and walks away. She then swiftly turns around and throws an ornament from the table in her anger. As it smashes into pieces, she bitterly says that if he goes away, whether he lives or dies that him leaving her would probably be the end of them. Rollo leaves his family behind and sets sail with Bjorn to find the Mediterranean sea. Bjorn still upset and angry about his uncle's betrayal has him tied up and thrown into the cold river, but no matter how upset he is he cannot kill him and instead has him pulled back out and thrown onto the boat. Rollo just laughs feeling amused as they carry on their journey.
Rollo, Bjorn, and the other Vikings finally reach Spain. Rollo explains that these people are Moorish and pray to the God Allah. As soon as the ship lands on the shore, Rollo and the fleet launch an attack and raid Algeciras beating, killing and raping the women. Rollo rapes a Moorish woman and it seems he is back to his old, selfish ways again. However, Rollo is later seen looking crestfallen and guilty as he and the other Vikings head back to the ship. At the very end of the episode, Rollo is seen standing with the rest of the fleet onlooking the Mediterranean sea.
As they enter the Frankish waters, Rollo is seen with his nephew Bjorn who asks him if this is his home to which Rollo replies that he doesn't know as he is still conflicted about his feelings. The Franks then come to escort Rollo back to the palace, but as he is about to aboard Rollo tells his fellow Vikings that he would like to make them an offer that if anyone from their homelands who want good, rich lands to farm can come and live in his Kingdom. Floki interrupts and says that Rollo is no longer apart of them to which Rollo replies that "things are changing. Only you won't accept it. Rollo is then greeted by his son William who he picks up as his ship heads for the Normandy palace.
As he and his son enter the palace, he is greeted by his wife who kisses his hand and gives thanks to God that he is alive and well. His wife still upset that he abandoned her and their children asks the guards to leave her and Rollo alone to talk. As soon as they are alone she unleashes her pent-up anger, cussing at him in Old Frankish before slapping and punching him in the face, leaving Rollo stunned. Rollo does not participate in the battle. He informs Ivar that his help comes on the condition that Bjorn's life is spared. Rollo offers them safe passage into Frankia and also informs Bjorn and Lagertha that he is Bjorn's biological father.
Bjorn replies that it doesn't matter because he is Ragnar's son. This leads to Bjorn almost killing him, but has a change of heart says he's not worth the time it takes to clean the blood off his axe. Lagertha then tells him that they will not be going with him to Frankia and Bjorn calls him a traitor. After that Rollo somberly says that they will never meet again. After that Rollo returns to Ivar, and gives him Bjorn and Lagertha's location, in exchange for gold, silver, furs, tusks, pelts, precious stones, meat, silk, and 1, slaves and of their best warriors. He also makes Ivar and Hvitserk swear on their arm rings to come to his aid if ever attacked. He is then seen sailing back to Frankia never to be seen again.
Rollo is known for being a fearsome warrior with an axe and an impulsive streak who is wrought with internal struggles. Throughout the whole Vikings series, he has been shown to be a bit of a hedonist. He strongly believes in his Gods, especially Thor and that bad things happen to him because the Gods are punishing him. Rollo is a very strong, ferocious warrior and a bloodthirsty conqueror who never backs down from a fight that even in a wounded state, Rollo's power and skill as a warrior is fearsome. However, at times he can be seen as being a bit of a lonely character who just wants to be loved and admired. Everyone has always admired his brother and Rollo for once just wants to taste some of the limelight and to just get out of Ragnar's shadow.
Throughout the series Rollo is constantly tempted to betray his brother for his own gain. This leads Rollo to become so impatient that his jealousy blinds him so much that he ends up betraying his brother for the second time, which leads to him and his brother eventually have a violent face-off. At the end of Season 3, he accepts the Franks offer to be made Duke of Normandy and marry the Emperor's daughter Gisla in exchange for defending Paris against his brother. Rollo seems to have betrayed his brother for good.
Rollo often responds to negative events with excessive drinking binges. He notable has one after he returns to Kattegat to find out that Siggy died while he was gone. This leads to a massive drinking binge, after which, he picks a fight with Bjorn, who prompts trounces him in a fight in front of all his fellow warriors. Rollo is Ragnar's older brother and rival.
As young men they both pursued a romantic relationship with Lagertha. Lagertha even going as far to have a sexual relationship with Rollo. Ragnar doesn't trust Rollo and this is not without merit. Rollo betrays Ragnar multiple times. Rollo is more impetuous and less thoughtful than Ragnar, with a wild and impulsive streak. The fact that Ragnar's leadership inspires such devotion from others only increases Rollo's envy and insecurities, resulting in Rollo's allegiance becoming increasingly tenuous until is breaks altogether.
Vikings Wiki Explore. Vikings: Valhalla. Explore Wikis Community Central. Register Don't have an account? View source. History Talk 0. Do you like this video? Play Sound. This article requires cleanup. Please help improve this article if possible. Once finished, this notice may be removed. Clamber, with a heart of steel. Cold is the ocean's spray. When your death is on its way. With maidens you have had your way. Each must die some day! How many Christians did I kill, Floki?! How many?! I will not betray Paris. And I will not betray my wife.
Season 1 promotional image. Rollo in Season 4B. Rollo as the Duke of Normandy. Season 4. Ragnar and Rollo as they prepare to attack Paris. Season 3 promotional image. Rollo killing Arne in Season 2 Episode 1. Season 1 Episode 3. Ragnar and Rollo. Season 1 Episode 1. For any student of history, the name Lindisfarne conjures up images of the Viking raid in While it seems unlikely to be the the very first, it was documented in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle , personal letters and the famous Doomsday Stone.
As they're the first written sources referencing a raid, it's typically taken to be the beginning of the era. It was the first of many attacks on monasteries along the British coastline. The Norsemen quickly identified these buildings as sources of wealth with weak defences, making them very attractive targets. Despite the written sources, archaeological evidence for the raid has been thin. The visible ruins on Lindisfarne today are from a later priory. However, archaeologists recently discovered a board game piece preserved in a ditch. Bearing similarities to chess, the strategic board game simulates a Viking raid. It's hard not to imagine the warriors playing the game during their days at sea. Archaeologists don't know if the piece was dropped by a Viking raider or owned by a local.
But they can draw some conclusions based on its high quality and the dating of the ditch to around the time of the raid. Buoyed by this early success at Lindisfarne, Viking raids became more numerous. Just two years later, they struck undefended island monasteries in the Hebrides and northern Ireland. Four more years on, and continental Europe was hit. Despite this, it was the British Isles that remained target number one for Viking raids for many years. It wasn't for another 40 years or so that attacks in continental Europe became commonplace. They achieved this in part by taking advantage of internal conflicts in Francia. So much so, following the death of an emperor of Francia , one of his sons invited the support of a Viking fleet in a power struggle with his brothers.
As towns, abbeys and rivers were fortified from around , the Vikings—principally from Denmark—turned their attention back to the British Isles. Three Icelandic sagas tell of an army that invaded England in , led by the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok. However, many historians consider the stories and even his very existence dubious. Some think Ragnar is actually an amalgamation of several people. As raids became more numerous, Vikings started to create settlements. They gained control of many Scottish islands including Shetland, Orkney and the Hebrides, along with parts of the mainland.
Ireland saw the founding of trading towns including Dublin, Waterford and Limerick. From these bases, the Norsemen launched attacks elsewhere in Ireland and across the Irish Sea to England. The attacks on England were so numerous that only kingdom was able to resist. Aside from Wessex, much of England fell. After this, the Danes settled north of Wessex in an area that became known as Danelaw. This period saw the establishment of many trading cities that still exist today. The best known, York, is now home to a comprehensive Viking museum. This dominance would last for around 50 years, until English armies began to take back control.
The descendants of Alfred of Wessex led the charge, eventually killing the last Dane leader—Erik Bloodaxe—around the year While Danes were in power and then driven out of the British Isles, other Vikings remained active in Europe. Many towns suffered including Nantes on the French coast and towns further inland. Vikings stormed the Arab-controlled Seville and Italy's Pisa as they spread ever further. Read more : The Viking Lifestyle. In , the king in West Francia granted the Viking chief Rollo a substantial territory for preventing other raiders accessing the Seine.
Norwegian Vikings also began to colonise Iceland and then moved on to Greenland. Icelandic sagas tell us that those early Greenland settlers, led by Leif Erikson , may have become the first Europeans to discover North America. Archaeological evidence found in the s confirmed this. However, it remains the only confirmed Norse site in or near North America, aside from Greenland. Christianity's introduction to Scandinavia was slow and steady rather than an overnight occurrence. One of the key figures behind this change was the Danish King Harald Bluetooth, who reigned we believe from The exact circumstances surrounding his own conversion are unclear, but what is clear is his substantial public works within Denmark.
During his reign, Harald oversaw the reconstruction of the Jelling runic stones, and fortifying the fortress of Aros, now known as Aarhus. He also built five ring forts in strategic locations. Most historians believe these projects were about consolidating economic and military control. After this, Bluetooth's eye was drawn across the seas once again. And so, a second wave of Viking activity began.
Raids bigger than ever before targeted the faltering England. However, his efforts were met with resistance. The subsequent King Harald Greycloak made his mark by destroying pagan temples, but also had little success in introducing the new faith. Things began to change during the short reign of Olav Tryggvason. His aggressive conversion strategy more burning of pagan temples and killing of resisters was more effective and succeeded in making the country Christian, at least in name.
Following Tryggvason's death in , Norway did revert back for a short time, but that didn't last long. King Olav Haraldsson came to power in and was a big proponent of the new faith. The end of the Viking Age was one of slow decline rather than a sudden stop. As Norway became one nation and Christianity spread, power structures changed. Several great chieftains relocated in Iceland during the time. The North American settlement was abandoned in the early 11th century. This was most likely due to the long distance required for trade with Scandinavia.
Eventually, William, Duke of Normandy, took England's throne. He managed to retain the crown in spite of further Danish challenges. The slight irony here is that William was a descendant of Scandinavian settlers in northern France! Of course, these stories have left a significant legacy not just in Scandinavia, but all over the world. There's TV shows and Viking movies , sports teams and other clubs and associations all with Viking names. The Danish city of Aarhus even uses little Viking characters on its pedestrian crossing lights! In fact, it could be argued that interest in the time of the travelling Norsemen has never been higher. Some of the tourism to Norway and Denmark is courtesy of the shared history.
You can visit Viking farms, burial mounds, a ship museum and even the remains of the ring forts. Did you enjoy this complete history of the Vikings? If so, that's great! Why not share it on Pinterest so others can find it? Hit that Pinterest sharing button for the perfect pin. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia. I have a question who were first vikings or varangians? I think before sailing via ocean they should learn sailing via rivers. It says that varangians were first….