For others named Ragnar, see Ragnar or Ragnar Lothbrok.

"You heard Ubba, I bought you. I thought I might sacrifice you to Odin. (...) I agree, I may have been robbed, but we like you boy, we're going to keep you. (...) It means is you are Uhtred Ragnarsson. You are a son to me now."
—Earl Ragnar, adopting Uhtred as his son[src]

Ragnar Ravnsson or Ragnar the Fearless was a supporting character in both The Saxon Stories novel series, and The Last Kingdom television series. He was a Danish Earl and a warlord, a son of Ravn who was a former earl and chieftain. He was the husband of Sigrid and the father of Ragnar the Younger, Thyra, and the foster father of Uhtred.

Ragnar lead three ship's crews of Danes and was a lieutenant of Ubba Ragnarsson in the conquests of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Northumbria, East Anglia, Mercia and the repeated attempts of conquering Wessex.

Ragnar meets young Uhtred in the midst of battle during the Siege of Eoferwic. Impressed and amused by the boy's bravery, Ragnar takes Uhtred captive and later adopts him as a step-son.

Biography[edit | edit source]

The Saxon Stories[edit | edit source]

In "The Last Kingdom", Danes attack Northumbria, at the battle during the Siege of Eoferwic, the Ealdorman Uhtred seeks to avenge his older son's death, but is killed. His younger son, also Uhtred, is captured by the Danish Earl, Ragnar the Fearless. Ragnar, intrigued and amused by the boy's attempted attack on him during the battle, retains him in his household as a thrall and later adopts him.

One day, Sven kidnaps Ragnar's daughter, Thyra, and removes part of her clothing in an effort to sexually assault her. Uhtred charges Sven from hiding, taking Sven's sword and attacking him with it. Uhtred, Rorik, and Thyra escape back to Ragnar's hall. Ragnar, offended and deeply angry, banishes Kjartan from his service, and crushes one of Sven's eyes with the hilt of his sword - adding darkly that he would have crushed both, had Sven stripped Thyra completely naked.

Uhtred follows Earl Ragnar and the Danes, they go viking across East Anglia, in conquests of Mercia and East Anglia, and the invasion of Wessex. He is kidnapped by a priest, Beocca, an old family friend, but Uhtred then escapes from Wessex and joins his adopted father Ragnar again.

Uhtred enjoys life with the Danes but flees after Kjartan kills Ragnar in revenge, burning down his hall with his former lord inside after kidnapping Thyra.

The Last Kingdom[edit | edit source]

Season 1[edit | edit source]

Earl Ragnar is accompanied by his father, Ravn, his son, Ragnar the Younger; a fellow Danish warlord, Ubba; as well as his ship master, Kjartan. They sail to Eoferwic to meet up with Guthrum, another Danish warlord. Whilst feasting, Ubba's pagan priest, Storri, upon whom Ubba places all confidence, informs him that he foresees a battle to come. As a result, Ubba enthusiastically declares that they will fight the Northumbrians the following day. ("Episode 1.1")

After the Danish victory against the Northumbrian forces, Earl Ragnar captures Uhtred and Brida as slaves. When Ælfric, Uhtred's uncle, learns that he is still alive, a meeting is arranged to ransom the boy back to Bebbanburg. Ælfric eventually agrees to the price of 200 silver, but Earl Ragnar decides to purchase Uhtred to live with his family as a slave. ("Episode 1.1")

One day, after Kjartan's son Sven rips open Thyra's dress, leaving her half naked and afraid, Earl Ragnar makes a visit to Kjartan's house to punish Sven by blinding him in one eye and banishing Kjartan from his lands. Later that night, Ragnar gives Uhtred a necklace of Thor's hammer, letting him know that he is proud of him. ("Episode 1.1")

Years later, on the eve of Thyra's wedding, Kjartan and his men, now allied with Ælfric of Bebbanburg, have come: Kjartan to exact his revenge on Ragnar for blinding his son Sven years prior, and Ælfric to kill Uhtred and consolidate his hold on the Bebbanburg seat. Ragnar's hall is lit on fire, when they attempt to escape, Ravn is mortally wounded with an arrow and all exits are blocked off. Earl Ragnar mercifully kills his wife, Sigrid to prevent her from burning alive within. Earl Ragnar tells Ravn to take her with him to Valhalla. Uhtred and Brida arrive from their spot in the woods just as Ragnar valiantly attempts to kill as many as he can before burning to death. ("Episode 1.1")

Killed Victims[edit | edit source]

This list shows the victims Ragnar has killed:

  • Sigrid (out of mercy)
  • Uhtred (possibly)
  • Numerous unnamed Saxon soldiers and civilians

This list shows the victims Ragnar has killed:

  • Numerous unnamed Saxon soldiers and civilians

Battle Participation[edit | edit source]

This list shows the battles Ragnar has participated in:

This list shows the battles Ragnar has participated in:

  • Siege of Eoferwic (866)
  • Battle of Gainsborough
  • Siege of Nottingham (868)
  • Battle of the Wash
  • Revolt of Northumbria (869)
  • Battle of Reading (871)

Appearances[edit | edit source]

The Saxon Stories[edit | edit source]

Books 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
The Saxon Stories                        

The Last Kingdom[edit | edit source]

Episodes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Season 1              
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Ragnar settles with his followers at Loidis (modern Leeds in West Yorkshire) in the TV series, whereas they settled at Onhripum/ Inhrypum (modern Ripon in North Yorkshire) in Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories.
  • Ragnar's followers would have been part of a larger Ætt (Old Norse: 'kindred' or 'clan'). The military component would have been the Leiðangr, which was the fleet-based expeditionary force mustered from the community. These were the type of forces which would have been called up during annual Viking expeditions. The smaller band of professional warriors which fought in an earl's service would have been called a Hird, who would have acted as household bodyguards most of the time. Earl Ragnar Ravnsson would have led his Leidang of three ships to Northumbria as part of the larger Danish force. Then called on the rest of his Ætt in Denmark to come to England in the weeks after the Danish victory at Eoforwic.
  • The name Ragnar comes from Old Scandinavian and is deprived from the Germanic name Raganhar. The name is made up of the words ragin, which means "advice", and hari, which means "army".
  • Ragnar was a noble; he was a Jarl in Northumbria.
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