|“||Everything that Ragnar dreamed of. Everything he dreamed of the first time he sailed away from Kattegat. This is what he was searching for. And I found it.||”|
Ubbe Ragnarsson is the first son of Ragnar Lothbrok and Aslaug. He is the second oldest of Ragnar's son and arguably the most mellow. He also closely resembles his father when he was a young man. He was married to Margrethe, but he is now married to Torvi, who was previously his older half-brother Bjorn's wife. He and Torvi have a son named Ragnar Ubbeson.
Ubbe was born in the seven year gap between Season 2 Episodes 1 and 2. A young Ubbe is mostly seen with his mother Aslaug and his younger brother Hvitserk. Ubbe flees with Aslaug, Hvitserk, Rollo, Siggy, and Helga after Jarl Borg invades Kattegat.
An older Ubbe is seen playing with his little brothers, Hvitserk and Sigurd. One day while Aslaug is away, Ubbe and Hvitserk wander off by themselves and onto a frozen lake. Siggy pursues them, calling out their names. Despite hearing her, the boys ignore her cries for them to return. Suddenly, the ice breaks under their combined weight, and Siggy watches in horror as both boys plunge in. Without hesitation, she doffs her long cloak and dives right into the icy depths below, thus saving their lives, with the help of Harbard. Unfortunately her noble act costs Siggy her life, and she tragically drowns.
Ubbe and a hunting party are searching for Floki, who has escaped his chains after being arrested by Bjorn for killing Athelstan. Ubbe spots Floki hiding underwater and they recapture him. Both Ubbe and Hvitserk receive their arm rings from Ragnar in order for them to travel to Paris with him, but he tells them they won't be fighting. The Franks attack the Viking camp, but Ubbe and the others manage to escape. After the Vikings' defeat under the leadership of Rollo and the Franks, Ubbe returns to Kattegat with the remainder of the broken and defeated Viking Army.
Ten years after Ragnar disappeared, Ubbe has grown into a strong, skillful, and proficient warrior, as have all of Ragnar's sons, except for Ivar. As a young man, Ubbe has come to resemble Ragnar in his youth. Bjorn brings the news to his brothers that the Viking settlement in Wessex was destroyed by the Saxons. Together, the brothers discuss why Ragnar didn't tell anyone. Ubbe states that if it is true that Ragnar kept it a secret, then he hopes that their father never comes back. Ivar gets angry at Ubbe for insulting Ragnar, referring to them as "Christians," and insulting them by calling them soft. Angry, Ubbe tells Ivar that none of Ragnar's sons are soft. As a son of Ragnar, Ubbe doesn't care so much about his father's warrior fame but rather what he used his power for, which is what would interest him personally.
At this point, Ragnar walks back into Kattegat after a decade long absence. He reunites with his now-grown up sons and challenges one of them to kill him, focusing on Ubbe, in order to become the new king. This is reminiscent of Ragnar's defeat of Earl Haraldson in Season 1, when Ragnar had to kill Earl Haraldson in order to assume his new position as King of Kattegat. None of Ragnar's sons dare step forward to challenge their father except for Ubbe; but they just embrace. Ragnar and his sons discuss the lost Wessex settlement and why he came back. He then asks his sons to accompany him to England.
Ubbe, along with Sigurd, decide to stay in Kattegat in order to protect their mother. They are invited to Hedeby by Lagertha, where they dine together. Lagertha then returns to Kattegat and usurps the throne from Aslaug, to become Queen of Kattegat. In one of her first acts as the new queen, she kills Aslaug with an arrow to the back, as revenge for taking Ragnar and her former life away. Upon finding out about his mother's death, Ubbe attempts to kill Lagertha, but fails to do so when he is stopped by her guards. He quite naturally wants vengeance on her for murdering his mother. Ubbe and Sigurd are closely guarded by Lagatha's warriors, despite Astrid's advice to kill Aslaug's sons.
Ivar safely returns to Kattegat from England, and informs them that Ragnar has been handed over to King Aelle. In all probability, Ragar was already long dead, but it is their duty to cross the seas to avenge him. To Ivar's fury, Ubbe tells him that their mother is dead. Odin himself then approaches Ubbe and his brothers to confirm that yes, their father is dead, too. Angry and orphaned, Ubbe and Ivar make an attempt to murder Lagertha, but are stopped by Bjorn, who tells them that they will have to kill him, too, if they try to harm his mother. When Ivar suggests that perhaps they should undertake that task, Ubbe angrily tells him to shut up.
Ubbe frees and marries the slave girl, Margrethe. Ubbe, Hvitserk, Sigurd, Ivar and their big brother Bjorn then form the Great Heathen Army to avenge Ragnar. They easily defeat the forces of Northumbria, and Bjorn kills King Aelle with the dread blood eagle, poetically performed at the same spot in the woods where the Saxons threw Ragnar into a pit of snakes. The Great Heathen Army then face the forces of Wessex, confusing and outmaneuvering them; this causes the Saxons to retreat.
The Vikings also manage to capture King Ecbert. Ivar demands a blood eagle for him as well, but Bjorn decides otherwise. Bjorn allows King Ecbert to choose his own stiletto in order to commit suicide in his bath, but not before he has King Ecbert sign over his lands to the Vikings to farm, which was always Ragnar's dream, to settle into a new world and establish a Viking colony there. Little did Bjorn and his brothers know, but King Ecbert had previously renounced the crown to his son, Aethelwulf. In doing so, the lands that King Ecbert signed away were no longer his to bestow; therefore, he double crossed the Vikings and got the last laugh, despite his defeat and death at their hands.
Later, everyone watches in horror as Ivar murders Sigurd in a fit of rage by hurling an axe into his stomach. Ivar becomes petulant that the others are angry with him, but he shows no remorse for killing Sigurd.
Ubbe, Hvitserk, and Ivar rule jointly over their newly acquired land in East Anglia. Floki decides to leave the Great Heathen Army to sail "to wherever the gods take me." The sons of his old friend Ragnar Lothbrok say their farewells to him. In a poignant scene, the Vikings line the shoreline as Floki sails away in his one-man boat, shouting, "All hail Floki! All hail Floki!" He doesn't look back.
Ubbe and Hvitserk argue with Ivar over what to do next. The two older brothers want to make peace with the Saxons. But Ivar has bigger plans. He convinces them to take their forces and head north to York, where they can build themselves a stronghold and a staging arena for other battles to come. The brothers reluctantly admit that this is a sound strategy, and they head to York. Once there, Ubbe recalled an old lesson of Ragnar's: that it was always best to attack the Saxons during one of their special Saints' Days. They captured two young boys in order to find out when the next one would be, and then attacked the Saxon worshipers, slaughtering them all. Ivar took it another level by pouring the melted gold from the bishop's own cross into his mouth. Ubbe seemed moved by the nun who fell into his arms after she slit her own wrists. He lowered her body almost reverentially onto the floor of the church, staring into her eyes as the life left them. After the successful attack and occupation of the city, Hvitserk and Ubbe go to speak with Ivar. They are surprised to see that he now has bodyguards, who initially tried to stop them. Ubbe just stared them down until they stepped aside. They find Ivar getting a large snake tattooed on to his back, and ask him why he needs bodyguards. "Because I'm a cripple!" he states. However, he then shows his brothers the newly created leg braces and crutches that were specially made in order for him to walk on his own.
The Saxons, led by King Aethelwulf and Bishop Heahmund, enter the town through a section of the old Roman walls, which were purposefully untouched by Ivar, in order to lure the Saxons into the town. The Saxons suffer a crushing defeat and flee. Afterwards, Ubbe and Hvitserk propose a truce. They want to parley with the Saxons. Ubbe brings up the fact that Ragnar's ultimate dream was to farm the land in this new country. He wants to claim the lands that King Ecbert signed over to them, but Ivar does not think this is a good idea. He wants to continue to battle and conquer the Saxons. Ubbe and Hvitserk secretly ride off into the night to try and negotiate with the Saxons. Aethelwulf seemingly accepts their offer, but Heahmund arranges to have the brothers humiliated by killing off their men, beating them up, and then laughing as the two sons of Ragnar Lothbrok flee into the night and back to their camp. With his two older brothers' humiliation at the hands of their enemies, Ivar secures his position as the leader of the Great Heathen Army. Ubbe and Hvitserk do not want to accept their younger brother as the leader, and they prepare to leave for Kattegat with their remaining followers. However, at the last minute, Hvitserk decides to remain with Ivar, much to Ubbe's sorrow and disappointment.
Ubbe thus returns to Kattegat, where he is reunited with his wife, Margrethe, and decides to stop sharing her with Hvitserk. Lagertha proposes that they ally against Ivar and King Harald, and Ubbe agrees. Floki returns to Kattegat with tales of his fabulous new land, and recruits settlers to return there with him. Ubbe informs Floki about the situation with Ivar.
After Bjorn leaves Torvi for Princess Snaefrid, Ubbe ends up kissing Torvi when he tries to comfort her.
Ubbe and his allies discuss how to respond to Ivar's attack, and decide to meet him in battle on land. They assume that Ivar will not attack the town from the sea. Margrethe continues to urge Ubbe to betray Lagertha, so that when she is defeated and Bjorn dies, Ubbe can become King of Kattegat.
After two months, the combined forces of Ubbe, Lagertha, and Bjorn line up against the armies of Ivar, King Harald, and Hvitserk. They meet above Kattegat, and Lagertha sends emissaries to negotiate a hostage trade: Hvitserk for Halfdan. Ubbe tries to persuade Hvitserk to join him, but he is unsuccessful in turning him to his side. The leaders of both armies meet again the next day. Bjorn implores Ivar to consider the possibility of peace, telling him that a civil war would only bring tragedy, and “a lifetime of revenge obligations for those who survive.” Ultimately, the attempt at a treaty fails, and the time has come to battle. Ivar agrees, but then mockingly tricks Ubbe and his allies. Before the start of the battle, Ivar positions a third of the army towards shore, to protect their fleet. Hvitserk and his group try to flank, but are ambushed in the forest by the Sami. After the battle begins, Ubbe and Lagertha gain the upper hand, as Harald's forces are outflanked. Ivar does not help his ally. Heahmund is wounded, and King Harald retreats. Lagertha refuses to kill Bishop Heahmund, and gives orders that his life be spared.
Ubbe, Bjorn, Lagertha, Torvi, Halfdan, King Svase, Snaefrid, and Guthrum fight in the Second Civil War for Kattegat. However, due to Rollo supporting Ivar and lending him his men, they end up losing the fight and Halfdan, Guthrum, Svase, and Snaefrid die. Ubbe and Margrethe's relationship begins to crumble as she gets extremely jealous about the increasing closeness in Ubbe and Torvi's relationship. Ubbe later decides to leave for England and leave Margrethe, stating to Torvi that "she is too dangerous." The following night, Ubbe, Bjorn Lagertha, Heahmund, Torvi, and a small group of Vikings go to Kattegat to get a ship and sail to Wessex.
When they reach Wessex, they learn from Aethelred that Aetheulwulf has died and Alfred is the new King of Wessex. Ubbe, Bjorn, and Lagertha are later brought up in front of Alfred and agree to fight against any other Viking invasions. During their stay in Wessex, Bjorn and Ubbe try to negotiate with Alfred, saying that they have a legal claim to the lands in East Anglia. However, Alfred lets them know the truth of how Ecbert renounced the crown to Aethelwulf before they arrived with the Great Heathen Army and hence, he has no legal right to offer them the land. Feeling betrayed, Ubbe tries to convince Alfred to sign the documents for the lands. Alfred refuses him saying that a lot of nobles are against the decision and hence they have to prove their loyalty towards him.
Ubbe is summouned by Alfred. Alfred suggests Ubbe be baptized, as it will be a sign of an enemy accepting God in front of the public. Ubbe says that he needs to give this idea some thought. He later agrees to it and is baptized with Torvi.
Bjorn introduces Magnus to his family, saying that Magnus claims to be a son of Ragnar through Kwenthrith. Ubbe and Lagertha both disagree with this, as they were told that Ragnar did not have sex with her. Ubbe also believes that they should not betray Alfred on his word. Ubbe agrees to fight against King Harald with Alfred. Ubbe goes up to Harlad to try and solve this problem through negotiation. Harald later learns that Ubbe has made a fool out of him and has allowed the army to cover Harlad's flanks. This ultimately leads Ubbe, Bjorn, Lagertha, and Torvi to fight in theBattle of Marton. The battle is won by the West Saxons, but Lagertha disappears and Bishop Heahmund is killed by Gunnhild.
Alfred later signs the documents for the legal claim for East Anglia to form farming settlements. Bjorn tells Ubbe that he has to go back to Kattegat to claim it from Ivar, and shows his respect to Ubbe by saying that he has done what Bjorn couldn't. Ubbe and Torvi are later summoned by Alfred, who says that three Black Dane Kings and their army of around three thousand warriors are planning to raid Wessex. Ubbe suggests that he should be the leader of Alfred's army. He and Torvi go Kings Angantyr ,Hemming, andFrodo to negotiate with them. Ubbe offers to let the three kings settle in East Anglia. Both Hemming and Angantyr agree to this deal, but Frodo refuses and wants to raid Wessex. Feeling furious, Ubbe challenges Frodo to single combat. Badly injured, he manages to stab Frodo in the back and ends up winning the fight. Ubbe, who was laying in bed recovering, expresses his beliefs in the old gods and how the "Christ God" didn't help him win the fight, but Odin, Thor, and Freyr gave him the spirit to win this fight.
Ubbe, Torvi, and Lagertha prepare to leave for Kattegat, and Alfred wishes them good luck for their journey. Ubbe also shows Alfred his respect by saying that there is no one as good as Alfred to lead this kingdom. After Ivar's defeat, Ubbe and Torvi reach Kattegat where Ubbe and Bjorn smile at each other and hug. Ubbe notices Hvitserk, and sees that Lagertha has the Sword of Kings and declares Bjorn as the new King of Kattegat.
During Ubbe's time in Kattegat, he meets up with Kjetill "Flatnose" who he mistakes at first for Floki. Later Ubbe and Bjorn were found in the Great Hall discussing if Bjorn should save Harald or not. Ubbe says that the decision is up to Bjorn as he is not king. He also meets up with Kjetill, who tells him about Iceland and the mysterious wanderer Othere. Ubbe says that he wants to go there and tells Kjetill to come with him.
He later goes back to Lagertha's house, bringing resources and farm animals to build her farm. While having their meal, Ubbe shares that he is going with Kjetill to Iceland and suggests Torvi stay at home since she is pregnant with Ubbe's child. However, Torvi lectures him about her not compromising her own life with other men. Bjorn soon shows up to Lagertha's house and asks Ubbe and Torvi to temporally rule Kattegat on his behalf, since he is going away to help Harald because Hvitserk was way too sick and drunk to be left in charge. Ubbe and Torvi agree and decide to stay back.
Ubbe announces himself to be the new law-giver and it is his will to send trade missions through the ancient Silk Road which would be lead by Hvitserk. Ubbe later goes up to Hvitserk to tell him about his new role. Both the brothers embrace as Hvitserk starts to cry and Ubbe tries to shush him calmly. When the boats are ready, Ubbe finds Hvitserk missing and asks the men to go find him. Hvitserk is later dragged into the Great Hall in front of Ubbe, Gunnhild, Torvi, and Amma. Feeling furious and betrayed, Ubbe says that he doesn't want to see Hvitserk anymore and tells the crew members to elect a leader among themselves and continue with the trade mission.
The following night, Gunnhild has a dream of a village being burnt and tells Ubbe and Torvi about her dream, saying it could be Lagertha's village. Ubbe refuses to believe her.
The travelers who were part of the trade mission come back to tell them that Ivar is alive and resides in Novgorod with Prince Oleg. Ubbe is not surprised by the fact that Ivar is still alive. He goes to Amma to tell her to inform Hvitserk about this.
After the raids led by White Hair, Ubbe and Torvi find Lagertha's body. Distressed, Torvi goes to Kattegat while Ubbe sends two scouts to search for Hvitserk. Ubbe is later seen talking to The Seer about who killed Lagertha and learns that Hali is dead. Ubbe apologizes to Torvi for not letting her go to check on Lagertha's village with Gunnhild. Hvitserk is found in the woods, and Ubbe tries to have a talk with him. But Hvitserk ends up falling asleep. When Bjorn returns, he brings Hvitserk to court and arrests him for killing Lagertha. Ubbe tries to help Hvitserk and tells him to ask Bjorn for mercy. However, Hvitserk reminds him of how Lagertha killed their mother and how the prophecy for him matched it. Ubbe has a smile and leaves. The next day, Hvitserk is lead to a pyre to be burnt. However, Bjorn signals to Ubbe, allowing Ubbe to save Hvitserk. Hvitserk ends up being outlawed. Ubbe, Torvi, Asa, and Kjetill leave for Iceland. Once arriving in Iceland, they are introduced to Kjetill's family.
They later meet Othere and learn about the "Golden Land." Ubbe asks Othere to join him on the voyage to the Golden Land, and Othere accepts. The following night, Torvi is giving birth to her child. As Othere prays and the settlers help her, she gives birth to baby boy. Ubbe announces that he and Torvi have decided to name him Ragnar , after his grandfather. Ubbe thanks Othere, but exposes him as a Christian when he says he recognizes the prayers to the "Christ God." Othere tells everyone that his actual name is Athelstan, to which Ubbe starts laughing. However, Torvi reminds him that for a time Ubbe was baptized and he prayed to Christian God as well. Othere comes up to Ubbe in private and gives him Floki's wedding ring. Ubbe asks him if Floki is alive or if Kjetill did anything to him. Othere says that he has no idea and begs Ubbe to take him on the journey to the Golden Land. Ubbe later asks that if his actual name is Athelstan or not.
Compared to his brothers, Ubbe is a compassionate soul and the one who most desires Ragnar's dream of peace. He is also sharp, assertive, cunning, responsible, and loyal. Ubbe is the most honest and moral of his brothers, He is the son who has the most of Ragnar's positive traits like compassion and forethought for others. Much to his mother’s consternation, Ubbe adores his father and older half-brother and is completely loyal to them. He also shows his loyalty to his mother when Lagertha murders Aslaug and Ubbe seeks to avenge her. As the oldest of Ragnar and Aslaug’s sons, he’s naturally protective of the others. When Ragnar disappears, it appears that Ubbe took over being a father figure to his younger brothers. For example, when Sigurd is fatally wounded, he is the first to jump to his side. His compassion and desire for peace make him pretty terrible at most Viking activities like pillaging. While he wants to invade England, it’s to avenge his father’s death, and when the Great Heathen Army starts engaging in the actual Viking related activities, he is disgusted. He also treats slaves with compassion. For example, he asks Margrethe to sleep with Ivar instead of forcing her. He shows understanding and kindness to a nun that slit her wrists during the Sack of York by killing her so she would not die of a mortal sin and thus be able to enter Heaven. He’s still a Viking though, and his glee at King Aelle being blood-eagled almost rivals Ivar’s in sheer creepiness.
Ubbe is an intelligent and capable leader. He helps lead the Great Heathen Army through many successful battles. He shows quick thinking and resourcefulness in battle. A skilled warrior, he can fight with sword, axe, knife, and shield. He is a warrior without being a berserker like some of his other family members. Like Bjorn, Ubbe usually takes few or no hits during a battle. However, Ubbe is not tactician like Ivar. His impulsiveness can lead him to make poor decisions. For example, he unthinkingly tried to attack Lagertha in the Great Hall after learning that she murdered Aslaug. He also tried to make peace with the Saxons without backup. This decision ultimately led to the deaths of his soldiers, a humiliating beating at thee hands of Bishop Heahmund, and the loss of his leadership position in the Great Heathen Army. Starting in Season 5, Ubbe really starts to resemble Ragnar when he begins scheming and discussing things with his shield-maiden wife. His tactics, relationships, views on religions, and subtle rise to power are extremely close to that of Ragnar in Season 1.
The real life Ubbe is best remembered as one of the principle leaders, along with his brothers, Ivar the Boneless and Halfdan (Hvitserk), of the unified Danish-Viking Army which the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles refers to as the Mycel Heathen Here (the Great Heathen Army). Ubbe reportedly assisted with the Danish conquests of the kingdoms of Northumbria, East Anglia, and the northern half of Mercia. Ubbe also led raiding expeditions against the Welsh kingdoms, notably Dyfed whenever he wasn't in England. Ubbe's base of power may have been on the island of Walcheren in the mouth of the River Scheldt in Frisia (modern Netherlands), as the Danish Vikings had been operating within the country during the two decades leading up to the Danish conquests in England from 865 CE onward. From there, a number of Frisians, a coastal plains-dwelling people who were known themselves for their piratical activities, may have been recruited into the Mycel Heathen Here. Ubbe and his brother Ivar are said to have killed the English King Edmund of East Anglia. Ubbe was killed in the Battle of Cynwit in Devonshire, England in 878. He was 53 years old.
|Season two appearances|
|Brother's War||Invasion||Treachery||Eye For an Eye||Answers in Blood|
|Unforgiven||Blood Eagle||Boneless||The Choice||The Lord's Prayer|
|Season three appearances|
|Mercenary||The Wanderer||Warrior's Fate||Scarred||The Usurper|
|Born Again||Paris||To the Gates!||Breaking Point||The Dead|