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Let the cards fall where they may

–Roland to Therese, Kill the Queen

Count Roland of Paris is a Frankish nobleman and Count Odo's second in command.


Season 3

Roland commanded the defence of the bridge from Lagertha, Kalf and Erlendur, while his superior led the defence against the Viking assault from the river. When the Northmen broke away the doors of the bridge's outer gatehouse, Roland allowed them to run into a cleverly-designed trap, which saw the Vikings cut down in large numbers by crossbow-fire and concealed ballistae.

Season 4

At the wedding of Princess Gisla and the newly-minted Duke Rollo, Roland carried an upset and reticent Gisla into the bedchamber, where the marriage was to be consummated. Gisla spat at Roland who thanked her. Rollo forced the would-be witnesses to the consummation, including Roland, out of the bedchamber.

Roland craves to usurp Count Odo's position as the emperor's right-hand man and is conspiring with his sister and lover Therese to achieve this. By pretending to court Count Odo, Therese learns of his ambitions to become the emperor of West Francia. Roland and Therese later seek a private audience with Emperor Charles, reporting what they learnt about Count Odo. Charles is distressed, but orders them to learn more of the count's intentions before taking further action. After Therese learns more of Count Odo's betrayal, Emperor Charles orders for Odo's execution. Therese suggests to Count Odo for her to whip him instead, to which he agrees, but after he keeps asking her to hit harder, he is hit by Roland. He then keeps whipping him to death, with Therese present, seeing it as revenge for how much she got whipped by him herself.

Roland is asked to remain after having attended one of Emperor Charles' courts, and is asked by the emperor to grant permission to sleep with Therese. He grants it, and is then asked if the Charles could sleep with him as well. It is later revealed that Roland accepted the offer.

As the Vikings do battle with the Franks, Roland and Therese eat with Emperor Charles. After brief unpleasant conversation, in which Charles reveals that he does not trust the two, he has them both strangled to death by his guards with garrot wire.


Roland seems to have much political expertise, as he is very patient in his plan to usurp Odo via his sister, all the while being seemingly loyal to him. Despite allowing his sister to be subject to intense torture at the hands of Odo, it was apparent that Roland's love for Therese is genuine. But they still have an incestuous relationship. Roland distrusted Rollo and all Northmen, and found it foolish of Charles to do so. Ambitious as he may be, Roland did not make a move against Odo while the Siege of Paris was going on.


Let the cards fall where they may

– Roland to Therese, Kill the Queen


  • Roland, as a nobleman and military officer in the Frankish Empire, may hold the status of a Baron, a member of the landholding class of warriors in Frankia. In Latin literary sources of the time, the term Milites was used to describe professional soldiers.
  • The historical Roland was a military governor of the Breton March, responsible for defending Francia's frontier against the Bretons. His only historical attestation is in Einhard's Vita Karoli Magni, which notes he was part of the Frankish rearguard killed by rebellious Basques in Iberia at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass.
  • The story of Roland's death at Roncevaux Pass was embellished in later medieval and Renaissance literature. He became the chief paladin of the emperor Charlemagne and a central figure in the legendary material surrounding him, collectively known as the Matter of France. The first and most famous of these epic treatments was the Old French Chanson de Roland of the eleventh century.


Season three appearances
Mercenary The Wanderer Warrior's Fate Scarred The Usurper
Born Again Paris To the Gates! Breaking Point The Dead
Season four appearances
A Good Treason Kill the Queen Mercy Yol Promised
What Might Have Been The Profit and the Loss Portage Death All 'Round The Last Ship
The Outsider The Vision Two Journeys In the Uncertain Hour Before the Morning All His Angels
Crossings The Great Army Revenge On the Eve The Reckoning