Ragnar Lothbrok and Aslaug Love Story in Mythology
Ragnar Lothbrok is no strange name to any Viking enthusiast. Thanks to the modern adaptation, his reputation is pushed into a higher level. Yet, modern adaptation might also make many mythological details no longer attached to the original version. In this blog post, we are to discuss the real love story between Ragnar and his 2nd wife, Aslaug, in Viking mythology.
Legend had it that when his first wife, Thora, passed away, Ragnar married a beautiful woman named Aslaug.
In the Viking legend, Ragnar Lothbrok was the son of Swedish King Ring who famously succeeded King Harald Wartooth. Ragnar grew up to be a handsome man who was good to his men and cruel to his enemies. He once killed a giant snake while wearing shaggy trousers and cloak which helped protect him. That is why Ragnar was called Lothbrok "Shaggy Breeches". After killing the snake, he won princess Thora as his first wife.
Regarding Aslaug, she was the daughter of Sigurd the Dragonslayer and Brynhild the Valkyrie. Sigurd was the famous hero in Viking mythology who killed Fafnir the Dragon guarding the Andvari's gold cursing that anyone possessed the gold would very soon meet his demise. When Sigurd possessed gold, he quickly met his demise. Sigurd and Brynhild died when Aslaug turned twelve. She was brought up by her mother's foster father whom she could call grandfather. His name was Heimer who was very concerned about her security. He kept Aslaug inside the harp box and carried her everywhere he went. Heimer was killed when he was spending a night in a house of two peasants who were curious about the harp box.
Aslaug and the peasant family who tried to steal the harp box
When the peasant couple opened the harp box they found out a beautiful little girl. She was so beautiful that they decided to raise her up. But to cover up her beauty, their foster parents rubbed her in tar and dressed her in the long hood.
On one occasion, when Aslaug was bathing, she revealed her beauty to the eyes of Ragnar's soldiers who were baking nearby. She was so charming that the warriors couldn't take their eyes off her and unintentionally ruined the cake. When Ragnar came across them, he asked what happened and they told about the beautiful bathing woman in the river. Ragnar was then enchanted by the beauty of Aslaug. But the beauty wasn't enough for him to chase after this beautiful lady. Wisdom mattered as well. Then he asked his men to come and ask her to "arrive neither dressed nor undressed, neither fasting nor eating, and neither alone nor in the company".
Aslaug arrived to meet Ragnar for the first time (Cre: "Vikings" TV Series)
When Aslaug came, she dressed in a net, biting an onion, and with a dog with her as a companion. This completely won the heart of Ragnar Lothbrok and he proposed to marry her on the spot. However, Aslaug refused the proposal saying only after Ragnar had conquered Norway would she marry him. They together had five sons: Bjorn Ironside, Ivar Boneless, Hvitserk, Rognvald, and Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye. Later, these sons of Ragnar became the great Viking warriors and kings who formed the Viking Heathen Army raiding England and seeking revenge for their father.