Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Vikings Season 6 Character Death That Makes No Sense To Fans

Major spoilers for the second half of season 6 of Vikings to follow.

After six seasons, multiple generations of warriors born and raised on the battlefield, and many kingdoms conquered, the historic epic Vikings came to a bloody conclusion on December 30 when the final ten episodes dropped on Amazon Prime Video.

It's not exactly a spoiler to say that many of the characters whose exploits we've been following over the years didn't live to see the end credits roll. After all, if you were to go back and watch the very first episode of season 1, you'll notice that almost none of the original Vikings are still alive kicking. Watching the characters buying a one-way ticket to Valhalla is part and parcel of being a Vikings fan, the same way that watching comrades die was just part of life at that time.

However, that doesn't mean fans were satisfied with every character's endnote. Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh Andersen) was one of the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) we said goodbye to in the series finale. And when fans saw how he went out, they were left saying, "...what?"

How did Ivar the Boneless die?

One of the main rivalries that was brewing in the final seasons of Vikings was between Ivar and King Alfred of Wessex and Mercia (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo). The two have clashed before, and in the series finale, their armies met on the battlefield after a failed attempt at a peace talk.

While the battle rages on, Ivar watches from the sidelines, not wanting to risk severe injury due to his brittle bone disease. However, when he sees that his brother, Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø), is exhausted and injured, he wades into the battle to have an emotional moment of familial bonding. Ivar tells Hvitserk to stand back while he takes a prominent spot in the center of the battlefield and urges his warriors on while they fight.

Then, he turns around to see a young soldier from Alfred's army standing next to him trembling and holding a small dagger. Ivar tells the young man, "Don't be afraid," which the soldier takes to heart. He stabs Ivar repeatedly in the stomach while Ivar just stands there. Alfred is watching the whole scene in shock, and after Ivar has collapsed, he yells to everyone to stop fighting so that his rival can say goodbye to his brother.

While the concept of Ivar embracing a warrior's death and saying goodbye to Hvitserk, with whom he's had a complicated relationship, is great, the scene just feels .. .off. And that did not go unnoticed by fans on Reddit.

Why fans weren't happy with Ivar the Boneless' death

After watching the finale, some fans took to Reddit to give a big WTF to Ivar's death scene. In an episode discussion thread, user einar_robertsson kicked off the conversation by posting, "So Ivar dies in the end?"

Several other fans jumped in to share their disbelief at the scene. A big sticking point for them was the fact that Ivar, who had no shortage of enemies, was ultimately killed by just some random guy. User Cuthuluu45 wrote, "Killed by a random dude because random dudes are clearly op..." User Paneo01 agreed with that frustration, and pointed out that the opportunity for one of Ivar's rivals to be the one to end his storyline was within reach. They said, "Alfred was literally standing right in front of Ivar in the place to kill him.."

Another big frustration is the fact that Ivar seemingly encouraged the soldier to kill him, something that is way out of character. User Cuthuluu45 chimed in again to say, "Micheal Hirst just totally checked out I guess. Ivar was always a sociopath so that part made no literal sense..."

And finally, the part where Alfred was able to quickly stop the raging battle also drew questions. User Paneo01 noted, "The fact that Alfred literally stopped the battle after Ivar was stabbed was utterly bizarre writing."

So, it seems that at least some fans were left unsatisfied by the character's ending. But how does it compare to the fate of the actual Ivar the Boneless?

How did the real Ivar the Boneless die?

Like many of the characters who have come and gone on Vikings, Ivar the Boneless is based (albeit very loosely) on a real historical figure. Similar to his portrayal on the show, he and his brothers were known for their military campaigns across present day Great Britain and Ireland (via Encyclopedia Britannica).

As for his death, there isn't a clear answer. According to an entry on English Monarchs, various historic sources record his death as having occurred in the year 873, with some claiming that he died of "a sudden and horrible disease." This fueled speculation that his peculiar nickname was a result of brittle bone disease, which is how Vikings chose to interpret the character, and that his condition is what led to his death. There is also speculation that a body of a Viking warrior uncovered in a mass grave in England may be Ivar. If that were true, the gruesome wounds on the corpse imply that he suffered a brutal death in battle. That claim has never been proven, however, and the true nature of Ivar the Boneless' death remains a mystery.

If, like those Reddit fans, you weren't a fan of how Vikings chose to portray Ivar the Boneless' death, cheer up. It will all be washed away soon when Vikings: Valhalla arrives on the shores of Netflix.