The siege of Paris is a major event featured in the eighth, ninth and tenth episode of the season 3 of Vikings. It depicts the confrontation between King Charles the Bold's Frankish forces against a Viking army led by King Ragnar Lothbrok, as he sees Paris as a prized asset for his Norse people. The siege of Paris by the Vikings was an historical event that took place in 845 and that resulted in King Charles the Bold paying a huge amount of money to see the Vikings off, after the Norsemen had annihalited the frankish army and stormed the city. The siege in the show is based on this siege as well as another that took place in 886.
The siege of Paris took place, in the series, in around 804. The Norse force led by Ragnar Lothbrok left Kattegat accompanied by 6 earl's(2 of them are uncredited characters you could see 5 different flags when they were arriving at Kattegat and with Lagertha there are 6 earl's) some of the leaders were earl Siegfried, Kalf, who was newly promoted as Earl of Hedeby, and Earl Ingstad, none other than Lagertha. The Vikings soon arrive in the mouth of river Seine, thanks notably to Sinric, the wanderer. Soon after their arrival, the Vikings set camp and Ragnar organizes a war council that reunites all different leaders. He decides to let Floki in charge of the attack. In Paris, the people gather to pray with their King for their survival and the safety of Paris.
The Vikings set sail towards Paris, leading behind some ships huge siege towers built by Floki to climb the walls of the city. The Vikings at this point probably number around 100 or more ships carrying around 2,000 warriors. As the Vikings inevitably advance into the main walls, Count Odo and Count Roland co-operate to make sure their defences will be able to fight back the Vikings. In the meantime, Lagertha, Siegfried and Kalf arrives at the main gate leading a warrior party of somewhere around 400 Vikings. With them are war machines manned by the men of earl Erlendur. The Franks prepare to stand their ground with crossbowmen well defended behind arrowslits. Then, the Vikings bring a battering ram carried by a dozen warriors which goal is to break open the door. Vikings archers are placed to cover the ram's advance. Lagertha's warriors form a shield wall destined to protect them during their slow advance towards the door. Lagertha shouts a signal and Viking archers shot their arrows, while Frankish crossbowen answer with volleys of bolts that seem to slow the pace of the ram. Bolts are raining on the Vikings, resulting in many casualties, while the ships are slowly turning into position for the assault. The ram begins its job, which consequently weakens the door and obliges Count Odo to consolidate the door. As the Vikings start pouring out of the ships, they are met with a rain of bolts. Rollo advances fiercely towards the siege towers with Ragnar, Bjorn and Floki also joining. Lagertha's men are knocking hard on the door, however it doesn't yield. Therefore, the Vikings use Erlendur's tools which are two sharp metallic spikes linked to ropes and pushed by horses in order to break the door. Many men are killed while trying to attach the ropes to the horses. Bjorn orders the warriors to climb again and again while Viking archers answer back to crossbow bolts. We can see however, that the Vikings suffer massive casualties due to the unceasing rain of arrow, one nearly catching Ragnar. Meanwhile, knowing the Franks are suffering while defending the city, Gisla convinces the bishop to bless the Oriflame, the sacred banner of Saint Denis. A soldier informs Count Odo that the Vikings are progressing at an alarming rate on the remparts. A bloody battle rages on the remparts with more and more Vikings climbing the towers. Count Odo arrives at the moment where Frankish soldiers are starting to despair. Gisla arrives and deploys the Oriflame in front of the defenders in order to gain their courage and their determination back. To this sight, the Franks fight back with real power and manage to see the Vikings off the walls. Lagertha's group suffers casualties as the Franks throw huge stones on the ram, but manage to destroy the door. At their surprise, no Frankish soldiers awaits them behind it. Rollo kills a man who was hesitating on whether or not to climb the tower. Floki sees dozens of dead bodies stacked with bolts, while a huge cauldron of boiled oil drops on the tower and the Vikings. A Frankish archer looses his flamed arrow which results in the towers catching fire.
Lagertha's men start running fiercely inside the bridge up to the city, but she is stopped by Kalf who senses the trap. Indeed, the door opens, and the Vikings are met with a volley of a balista and crossbow bolts that inflict massive losses. The remaining survivors run down the safety of the outside door, chased by dozens of arrows, but the losses are very great. Rollo starts climbing the ladder, slaying Frankish soldiers at the top but being fought back and pushed in the river below. Bjorn too climbs, followed by Ragnar. The two start bundling their way onto the remparts, but Ragnar too is pushed back and suffers a terrible fall from the remparts. He catches a glimpse of Bjorn's body, pierced with two arrows in his back. Floki is caught in a fanatic dream inside the burning tower. The siege towers have practically all caught fire and the remaining Vikings ships start leaving in disorder.
As the Vikings mourn their losses and slowly start recovering, Ragnar, still very weakened by his fall, sees from distance as Lagertha puts her plan to execution. She brings with her 4 shield maidens whose job is to put fire to the main gate and distract the guards. They succeed but all except Lagertha are killed in the process. Vikings who were hiding in the small huts next to the gate start pouring through the door. As they run onto the bridge, Count Odo latches a huge metallic piked machine that rolls towards the Vikings and start impalling some warriors. As Count Odo looks to bring it back, Rollo however jumps over it and puts a spike in front of it to avoid it moving.
Vikings then start running towards the awaiting Frankish and the battle begins.The Vikings are once again met with volleys of bolts but they manage to fight their way into the Frankish ranks. Gisla is evacuted by Count Roland. However, Count Odo's forces are reinforced with dozens of fresh soldiers who join the fight and make it even more difficult for the Vikings to push through. Possibly outnumbered and pushed back, the Vikings cease some ground and Rollo orders the retreat. While attempting to flee, Earl Siegfried and Sinric are captured. Once again, the Vikings failed to enter the city.
After the execution of Siegfried, plauge spreads among the Franks. Ragnar is weakend by wounds a disease and privatly bargains for danageld with count Odo. During the negotiations, Ragnar demands to be baptized, which the stunned Franks agree to. Later Ragnar perishes and Björn puts forward Ragnar's last wish of a christian burial. 6 unarmed men are allowed to carry his coffin into the cathedral, but Ragnar emerges alive from the coffin which has been loaded with weapons.
Ragnar killed the bishop of Paris and took first the emperor and then his daughter hostage. Ragnar and his men then opened the gates where Björn led an all out assault on the gates. Most of the city was then sacked by the marauding Norsemen.
- Odo actually took part in the Second Siege of Paris.