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The Vikings character fans have dubbed the 'second greatest'

There's no shortage of great Norse characters on the hit History series Vikings. For six seasons, fans have followed these characters as some have risen to positions of great power while others have met untimely ends. One character has emerged above the rest, however, to become the true fan favorite: Ragnar Lothbrok, as portrayed by Travis Fimmel.

As it turns out, Fimmel originally wanted to play Floki the Viking, the role that would eventually go to Gustaf Skarsgård. He's probably thankful he landed a more prominent role — as Viking chieftain, Ragnar has led his fellow Vikings into battle on numerous occasions. There are, however, plenty of other thoughtful and complex characters on the show to which fans have grown attached over the years. 

A recent Reddit thread started by /u/gmh237 has numerous opinions flying, with the general consensus being that Ragnar is, indeed, the best character on Vikings. The question then turns to who can claim the "second-favorite character" title. By and large, fans of the show seem to agree that when it comes to interesting characters who are fun to watch, Ecbert of Wessex (Linus Roache) takes the silver medal.

Fans argue that King Ecbert is the second-best character

Ecbert begins his quest for power as a member in the court of Emperor Charlemagne. He proves himself to be an expert tactician, winning battles and even capturing Ragnar's brother, Rollo (Clive Standen) at one point. While he's a fierce opponent of Ragnar, the two have something of a mutual respect for one another. This is seen on full display when the two have conversations together, and it's these scenes fans have really latched onto over the years. 

Redditor /u/DanyeeIsAnulmint writes, "Their chemistry as actors was phenomenal and they really complimented one another in all of their scenes." An example of this kind of scene occurs in a season 4 episode when Ragnar is captured by Ecbert's forces. Ecbert demands his men release Ragnar, even though he believes that means Ragnar will kill him. The admiration the two have toward one another is evident, and it makes it clear Ecbert isn't just a bloodthirsty villain. There's genuine humanity behind his political aspirations. 

Other comments seen throughout the Reddit thread support this notion, with people saying things like, "I loved their banter," and, "Both [Ragnar and Ecbert] are great and ambitious thinkers, they also look further [than] most of the people around them which makes the two really special." Redditor /u/EscapeFromTLH makes the fair distinction of, "I think he's the second best character, for sure. I can understand why he's not the second-most-liked character, though." While Ecbert has a friendly forward-facing personality, it's only a facade to hide his true intentions. He's a backstabber when it comes right down to it, but that kind of complexity is precisely the reason why people tend to love villains just as much as heroes. 

Ecbert may no longer be on Vikings, but fans will still want to tune in when the second part of season 6 airs to see the conclusion of this epic Norse tale. While an official release date hasn't been announced date, it should come out at some point in 2021.