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Why Some Vikings' Fans Think That Ragnar Is Overrated

Being a Viking warlord can sometimes be rough work. Between all of the pillaging and conquest, there are politics to consider, and even the smallest of actions can sometimes have far-reaching consequences. Of course, these are facts any fan of History's "Vikings" or Netflix's "Vikings: Valhalla" will surely know well by now. 

Both shows routinely display the various conquests of numerous legendary Norse figures, but also take several liberties along the way (via World History). Running for a whole 71 episodes spread across six seasons, the original "Vikings" managed to earn 41 different awards for its portrayal of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) (via IMDb). For much of the series' run, Ragnar serves as the main character. Indeed, throughout the series, "Vikings" chronicles Ragnar's invasion of England, his ascension to King of Denmark, and his eventual death in a pit of snakes. 

While many fans of the series consider Ragnar to be the best character on the show (via Reddit), it should be noted that this is not a universally agreed-upon fact. Indeed, some Reddit users would seem to believe that Ragnar fandom is quite misplaced.

Some fans have a hard time reconciling Ragnar's actions

One Reddit discussion regarding Ragnar was initiated by u/Fyrijou, who asked, "Why do people like or even Love Ragnar?" This user then listed some of the most deplorable actions of the character. These ranged from Ragnar's poor treatment of his first wife, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), to his execution of Jarl Borg (Thorbjørn Harr). The user then added, "Like, how on God's green Earth is Ragnar so beloved by fans? This man is a complete madman!" 

A number of other Reddit users seemed to be in general agreement with these words. U/smashli1238 replied, "I never understand either. He's a terrible husband." Likewise, u/xEmkayx stated, "I also feel that Ragnar is inconsistent. He is forgiving and nice in one scene and in the next he doesn't allow Siggy to burn her husband. Like??? Why?"

However, not all commentators were willing to consign Ragnar to a serpentine grave. In fact, one specific commenter explained that they see the character as a flawed protagonist, noting Ragnar's intelligence and fighting prowess in the context of his more lacking qualities. "If you weigh up most of the characters, he's one of the 'good' ones," u/Revarius concluded.

Interestingly, u/Apprehensive_Race_24 addressed the original comments, explaining that most of Ragnar's more despicable decisions make sense within the context of the series. This user also focused on actor Travis Fimmel's portrayal of the character. "Fimmel is a brilliant actor," U/Apprehensive_Race_24 said. "Like, why does everyone adore Heath's Joker or Anthony's Homelander. Because of their brilliant acting." 

While some viewers clearly took issue with some of Ragnar's choices over the years, it also doesn't seem like any denied the pure entertainment value of it all.