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Prince Oleg of Novgorod (Old East Slavic: Ѡлегъ, Old Norse: Helgi) is the Grand Prince of Kievan Rus. He is the brother of Prince Dir and Prince Askold, and uncle of Igor.


Early Life

A feared Varangian grand prince of Kiev, he earned his nickname "the Prophet" after taking the city of Constantinople. While negotiating his depature from the city, he claimed to have had a dream where his wine was poisoned. Therefore he did not drink the wine offered to him by the Byzantines and survived the fate of two of his commanders.

He was the confidant of King Rurik, his brother-in-law. On his deathbed, he was named protector of Igor and the regent of Kievan Rus. Igor is frightened to death by Oleg, for good reason.

Season 6

When Ivar is found along the Silk Road, he is brought before Prince Oleg. They becomes close friends, bonding over their shared history of killing their wives for betraying them. Oleg keeps his wife's coffin in his palace where he visits it frequently.

When he poisons his brother Askold, Oleg dances as his brother dies.

When Ivar and Igor help Dir escape, Oleg tortures and kills the guards who were supposed to be watching Dir. Oleg then serves their eyeless heads to Ivar and Igor at dinner.

Oleg plans to invade Scandinavia and convert it to Christianity, whilst asserting dominance over Rus by betraying his brothers in order to become the sole influence over Igor. He wants to make Ivar a puppet king in Scandinavia.

After the first part of the Battle for Vestfold, Oleg and the Rus are celebrating. Ivar, however, is not sure that he killed Bjorn and is thus reluctant to fully participate.

Oleg forces Igor to set King Olaf on fire. Igor clearly does not want to do this. Ivar hugs Igor to give him courage. He remains an arrogant jerk and a sadistic egomaniac. He delights in making the defecting King Hakon feel welcome before ordering his man to plunge a dagger into Hakon's throat. He is clearly unnerved by Olaf's behavior before his execution. Upon Bjorn's seeming immortality, all he can do is genuflect, before beating a hasty retreat at the sight of Bjorn's reinforcements.

After the failed invasion of Scandinavia, Oleg purges his officers by making them dig their own graves before having them shot.

As he loses his control and power of Kiev, Oleg's madness becomes more frequent and apparent. He likens himself to Jesus, down to absolving Igor of his sins.


Oleg is a charming psychopath. He is charismatic, crazy, and cruel. Oleg holds little sacred and is a Machiavellian ruler. He is willing to murder his way through his own family to reach his goal. He enjoys torture and violence with sadistic glee. Beneath his cruelty, however, he holds deep sorrow for the betrayal by his first wife, as she commited adultery with one of Oleg's aids, prompting Oleg to kill her in response. The memory of her still haunts Oleg, a vulnerable side to him he has shown no one but Ivar, who is the closest thing to a friend he has.

Oleg has intense and frequent mood swings. He flips between berating Ivar or his dead wife and tearfully asking their forgiveness. His behavior suggest bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder. He also flips between over idealizing and demonizing certain people. Prince Oleg is also very religious. Oleg was scared when a dying Bjorn manages to order an attack and all Vikings charge his army.



Ivar is someone who is attracted to the crazy and cruel, which Oleg embodies in abundance. Ivar is fascinated by the Rus and befriends him. Their friendship is characterized by Oleg's drastic mood swings. He flips between berating Ivar and tearfully asking for his forgiveness. Oleg is always either over idealizing or demonizing Ivar. He also uses Ivar's confusion over whether or not Princess Katia is somehow Freydis to manipulate him.

In History

Oleg is based on the historical figure Oleg of Novgorod, also known as Oleg the Prophet. In the Tale of Bygone Years, the chronicle of Kievan Rus', Oleg is a relative of the first ruler, Rurik, and was entrusted by him to take care of both his kingdom and his young son Igor. He moved from Novgorod and seized power in Kiev by murdering Askold. This laid the foundation for the powerful state of Kievan Rus'. He also launched at least one attack on Constantinople. According to East Slavic chronicles, Oleg was the supreme ruler of the Rus' from 879 to 912 AD.

According to the chronicle, the Byzantines attempted to poison Oleg, but he demonstrated his powers as an oracle by refusing to drink the cup of poisoned wine.

In the Tale of Bygone Years, Oleg is known as the Prophet because it was prophesied by the pagan priests that Oleg would take death from his stallion. To defy the prophecies, Oleg sent the horse away. Many years later he asked where his horse was, and was told it had died. He asked to see the remains and was taken to the place where the bones lay. When he touched the horse's skull with his boot a snake slithered from the skull and bit him. Oleg died, thus fulfilling the prophecy.


  • In Vikings he is portrayed as a Christian. In reality the Rurik dynasty is said to have converted in the late 10th century by Vladimir the Great in 988, 76 years after Oleg's death.
  • Danila Kozlovsky's armor was originally made for Netflix' series Marco Polo. It was worn by the character Ariq.
  • Oleg is presumably part-Swedish like Rurik. His name is derived from the Norse name "Helgi." In the show, his ancestors are Scandinavian but he himself is more of a second or third generation migrant who is very Rus but has some connection to his heritage. For example, he knows how to speak Old Norse.



Season six appearances
New Beginnings The Prophet Ghosts, Gods, and Running Dogs All The Prisoners The Key
Death and the Serpent The Ice Maiden Valhalla Can Wait Resurrection The Best Laid Plans
King of Kings All Change (Season 6)]] The Signal Lost Souls All At Sea
The Final Straw The Raft of the Medusa It's Only Magic The Lord Giveth The Last Act