OVER the course of its six seasons, the History Channel’s Vikings series never failed to shock viewers with its gruesome scenes.
Vikings premiered in March 2013 with its sixth and final season airing last year.
The show is inspired by the sagas of Vicking Ragnar Lothbrok, a legendary Norse hero, and the later series also follows the fortunes of his sons.
Ragnar goes from a farmer to a Scandinavian King thanks to his successful raids in England.
Vikings never sugar coated the brutality of life in the 9th century especially if you’re an aspirational tyrant such as, Ragnar.
The drama always kept fans hooked with its depictions of violence, brutal justice, torture and pillaging.
From losing limbs, to death by snake bites, the series always came up with horrifying ways to send its characters to Valhalla.
Here we take a look back at some of the goriest scenes in Vikings’ history.
1. Ragnar’s death
All good reigns must come to an end, but not without a bit of torture first.
King Ecbert turns Ragnar over to King Aelle after seeking death from his friend in the 15th episode of the fourth season.
Aelle delights in torturing Ragnar in the most cruel ways from disfiguring him, to searing him with a hot iron and stabbing him.
Then suspending from a high-up cage, Aelle then drops Ragnar far down into a pit of snakes who bite the king to death.
Never one to fear death, Ragnar says before his fall: “My death comes without apology. And I welcome the Valkyries to summon me home!”
2. Lagertha Stabs Her Second Husband
Victim blaming is only ever OK when the victim is a cruelly abusive husband who sent a group of men to violently beat up his wife.
Lagertha has enough of her husband, Sigvard’s abuse and right before he attempts to expose her breasts in front of a hall of people, she stabs him in the eye.
Then along comes his nephew, who beheads him with a sword.
You can’t say Sigvard didn’t have it coming.
3. Althestan is crucified, literally
Ragnar’s best mate Althestan is captured by Englishmen in Wessex who then punish him for allegedly betraying Christianity – even though the poor bloke was actually a monk himself.
The Englishmen decide a fitting punishment would be to crucify him, complete with a crown of thorns.
4. Judith’s ears and nose are cut off
Not even the king’s daughter is safe from puritanical justice, it seems.
King Aelle’s daughter, Judith, is convicted of adultery and sentenced to having her ears and nose cut off in public.
A crowd of judgemental onlookers jeer and throw rotting vegetables at the woman who is begging for mercy.
When she refuses to name the father of her child, a punisher promptly lobs off her ears with some very rusty looking implements.
The truly shocking scene is hard to watch, but the horror of what is happening is played perfectly by actress, Jennie Jacques.
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5. A very Norse execution
Apparently a common form of execution in Norse times was to cut open a person’s back, hack open their ribcages and then remove their lungs to place them on their back to look like wings.
They are then left to hang there until they die.
Ragnar inflicts this horrid torture on Jarl Borg with the scene showing many onlookers shocked to the point of fainting.