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The Battle of the Tyne is a military engagement that is part of the Vikings-English Wars campaign. It depicts the confrontation between the Vikings and the Kingdom of Northumbria. The event takes place in Season 1 Episode 7, A King's Ransom.


Lord Æthelwulf of Northumbria has been charged with leading King Ælle's army against Ragnar and his war band. Upon their arrival in Northumbria, the Vikings set up their camp. Lord Æthelwulf observes the Viking camp from above. He and his advisers decide not to strike, and instead decide to somehow make the Vikings give up their position. Rollo and Ragnar are aware of the Saxons watching them, and Ragnar says that he first wants to see what the Saxons will do.

The Battle

That night, Ragnar and his warriors attack. Tostig really demonstrates his ferocity as a warrior. Even Ragnar has his gaze turned away from battle to witness Tostig felling two Saxons at a time. After Tostig kills them, he shrieks, "ODIN!" It's a cry so piercing and terrifying that it alone jolts the Saxon leader awake, who has already managed to be oblivious to the raging sounds of a pitched battle around him. Rollo examines and uses a Saxon blade, noting that in comparison to Viking weaponry, the Saxon blade is stronger and sharper. So the Vikings have been handily overcoming an enemy with superior technology through sheer ferocity and by being a lot smarter than the Saxons think they are.

The Vikings are victorious and take the entirety of the camp captive. Ragnar asks Lord Æthelwulf if they should go visit the king. King Ælle is furious that this brother has lost. The Cardinal thinks that this is the work of God, while a noble thinks it's the work of the devil. One lord thinks that they should just pay off the Vikings so they'll go away. The Vikings arrive and are invited in to talk with King Ælle. Instead, they turn around and head back the way they came. They return later because Ragnar wants to see the way that they live. He is brought before King Ælle and they are invited to feast. When the Vikings take their seats in the hall and start drinking as they wait for the feast, King Ælle bring his wife Queen Ealhswith and his son Prince Ecgberht out to meet them. King Ælle asks what it would take for the Vikings to leave and to hand over his brother. Ragnar says two thousand pounds. The King accepts his terms but tells them that they must remain in their camp until he can round up that kind of money. He also says that he wants one of Ragnar's group to become Christian. Rollo volunteers to be baptized.

Rollo is baptized and King Ælle tells Ragnar to return to his ships to await payment. Floki is upset with Rollo because he feels like he betrayed the gods. King Ælle is true to his word and sends a cart full of money. Or so the Vikings think. But when they check the boxes, they discover they're empty. Suddenly, King Ælle's men attack, but Ragnar and his men face them head-on.

Despite launching a surprise attack, complete with cavalry, the Saxons are completely routed by the superior tactics and fighting skill of the Vikings. The Vikings open the fight by nullifying the Saxons' cavalry charge, along with a large portion of their cavalry. The Vikings had a nice palisade up around their camp, thus there was only one open spot to come in or out. The cavalry charges for that opening, and the Vikings just stand and stare. Then, when the horses are mere feet away, Ragnar raises his arms, signaling to two men to raise the hidden part of the palisade, concealed under grass, stopping and panicking the horses and impaling many riders. The Saxon offensive formation shatters, giving the Vikings the advantage as they move into general melee. During the fight, Rollo kills many Christians to prove to Floki that Odin is no longer mad at him. Floki just grins with amusement, almost as if he were trying to get just such a rise out of Rollo. Tostig kills three Saxons in quick succession. Suddenly, Tostig is felled from behind, and Ragnar rushes from one end of the battlefield to the other to help him and kill the Saxon who struck him in the back. After dispatching him, Ragnar kneels beside Tostig with a look of sheer distraught. Tostig give Ragnar a contented smile and tells him that he will finally enter Valhalla.


After the battle, Ragnar goes to talk with Lord Æthelwulf. Æthelwulf asks Ragnar to give him the chance to talk to his brother and persuade him to keep his word. Ragnar asks why shouldn't he just kill him now and Æthelwulf says because then he'd have nothing left to bargain with. Ragnar ignores Lord Æthelwulf's advice and kills him. Then he sends him back to King Ælle by attaching his body to a horse. After receiving Ragnar's "message," King Ælle keeps his word and pays him his money. Ragnar and his men leave. King Ælle swears that one day he'll get his revenge on Ragnar. It's unlikely Ragnar heard Ælle's declaration of vengeance, but as Ælle watches Ragnar and his warriors sail away, Ragnar watches Ælle watching them, and he seems to pick up on what Ælle's thinking and give him a cheeky little wave.