Bjorn Ironside Ragnarsson: Trickster and Founder of Swedish Royalty

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Bjorn Ironside Ragnarsson: Trickster and Founder of Swedish Royalty

Legend holds it that Bjorn "Ironside" Ragnarsson was a famous Viking leader and military genius. As his name indicated, he was the son of Ragnar Lothbrok a great Viking hero. Bjorn Ragnarsson allegedly lived in the 9th century AD. He and his brothers followed the steps of their father to raid. 


Bjorn Ironside was the son of Ragnar Lothbrok and Aslaug according to The Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok and His Sons. He was the second eldest son of Ragnar for the eldest son was Ivar the Boneless. Bjorn had two younger brothers Hvitserk (who is thought to be Halfdan Ragnarsson) and Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye who was born with a mark in his eye. 

Bjorn Ironside Viking warrior life

Bjorn Ironside character in the "Vikings" TV series. His right hand holding the sword suggested his nobility and high social rank and his left hand wearing a Viking Bracelet which the Vikings once called it the arm-ring presented a boy had become a man

Like their great father, sons of Ragnar carried out raiding voyage throughout Europe. After the death of Ragnar Lothbrok, the sons still conducted the raid. They terrorized parts of England, France, and Normandy. 

On their adventures, it was Ivar the Boneless who led the army and Bjorn was a mighty warrior who had a great skill of wielding the axe. His nickname might have derived from the strength of his sides which could be compared with iron. 

Sons of Ragnar seemed to make a perfect gang. Ivar the Boneless led the gang by his wit and the blood of a military genius seemed to run in his vein. Meanwhile, Bjorn and Hvitserk were the core of the battle prowess. They often went on raiding together. 

Ragnar's sons later sought revenge for their father's death on King Aella King of Northumbria

Ragnar Lothbrok and sons in "Vikings" TV series. From the left: Hvitserk, Bjorn Ironside, Ivar the Boneless, Ragnar Lothbrok, Ubba, and Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye

One famous tale that coined Bjorn "the trickster" was his attempt to seize Luni, an Italian town that the Vikings had mistaken for Rome. According to the myth, Bjorn knew the fort of the town was so sturdy that he had to use some tricks in order to save time and labor. 

Bjorn sent a message to the bishop of Luni and informed him of the death of the Viking leader. The leader which was about to take his last breath had converted himself to the Christian and wanted a Christian funeral. Believing in this story, the bishop allowed the Vikings to enter the fort. Once inside the town, Bjorn and his warriors fought their way and managed to captured Luni.


According to the legendary sources that survive, Ragnar Lothbrok met his death in England. He was on his final raiding voyage to Northumbria, one of four kingdoms in England at the time. Ragnar met his doom when King Aella managed to capture him and sentence the Viking hero with a death in the snake-pit. 

Ragnar Lothbrok final words: How the little pigs would grunt if they knew how the old boar suffered.

"How the little pigs would grunt if they knew how the old boar suffered" were the dying words of Ragnar Lothbrok. This declared the revenge of Ragnar's sons and the death of King Aella King of Northumbria 
Blood by blood. It was a deeply ingrained mindset of the Vikings. Hearing the death of their father, the sons quickly formed an army and set sail to make the King of Northumbria pay the price.
Ragnar's sons finally carried out the bloody eagle on the slayer of their father. The blood eagle was the cruellest Viking way to execute their enemies. They kept the victim conscious and started to cut his back. Then they pulled out the ribs and the lungs of the victim to present the wings of the eagle. This was not only to revenge for the father but to dedicate King Aella to their god as the servant as well. 
Later on, the sagas told that Bjorn got Uppsala and central Sweden. And it claimed Bjorn became the king of Sweden and the founder of Muso Dynasty. 

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