10 Biggest Battles In Vikings, Ranked | ScreenRant
Vikings includes plenty of massive battles - but over six seasons, which were the biggest of all?
Vikings is not a series for the faint of heart, as every season features multiple battle scenes shown in all their bloody gory (as well as plenty of one-on-one fights and some fairly horrific scenes of torture, just for good measure). This is a series about a warlike people, after all, and their raids of other lands and in-fighting at home, so it makes perfect sense that the show features a major battle more than once a season.
But of all the major battle scenes, which are the biggest? These are not the vitally important single combat scenes that define relationships, or the battles that include the most vital moments for the plot (like the death of Lagertha, protecting her new home, or the battle between Ubbe and Flatnose over the whale in Iceland), but the ones that are on the grandest scale, with the biggest armies, and the biggest clashes of the show.
10 Battle For Kattegat (1)
While the Vikings spend much of their time raiding foreign shores, they spend even more of it fighting among themselves, especially battling for rulership of Kattegat, especially as it grows. The first major battle over Kattegat comes when Ragnar alienates Jarl Borg, who then takes Kattegat when Ragnar and Horik are attempting to raid in Wessex. When Ragnar returns, there is a battle of Viking on Viking, which Ragnar wins - and which, in the end, leads to Jarl Borg's death by blood eagle. For this point in the series, this was a huge battle, but compared to many of the battles to come, it is relatively minor in size.
9 Battle of Wessex
In the early seasons of Vikings, Ragnar's raids on England and the Saxons may have been impactful, but they weren't all that big. His first raid took only one boat, and sacked a monastery - hardly a battle on an epic scale. Even later, as Ragnar began to raid more often in Northumbria, he tended to go with smaller forces for quicker raids or smaller battles. However, in season 2, the Vikings create a joint force of Horik and Ragnar's men to try and invade Wessex, and are met with another combined force; that of King Ecbert and King Aelle. Courtesy of battle tactics inspired by the Romans, and issues of division in the Viking camp, this was a major defeat for the Vikings - and one that set the stage for more large, combined-forces battles that would be even bigger.
In season 5, Bjorn returns to Kattegat, now ruled over by Ivar - who has become a tyrant and declared himself to be a god - with King Harald, to take it back from his brother. This battle is really two battles, split by a temporary retreat. In the first instance, Bjorn rushes the walls of Kattegat, but struggles to breach them, and is forced to retreat. It seems for a while as though it would be impossible to win over Ivar and his defences, but Ivar's wife Freydis ends up sneaking out of Kattegat and leading Bjorn and his forces in. It's a smaller battle, but still a major one for the series, and with an impressive size of force.
7 First Viking Civil War
When the sons of Ragnar split after the death of Sigurd, it launched a series of civil wars, centered around Kattegat, where brother fought brother for the right to rule. Arguably, of course, this was also a result of the death of Ragnar, which left the ruling of Kattegat up for grabs officially (although Ragnar had been away for years before this).
The first major war between Ivar and Bjorn saw two major battles play out (and two of the biggest Viking Vs Viking battles of the show) - with Ivar and his allies defeated in the first, but then joining forces with Rollo for the second, and successfully ousting Bjorn, Ubbe, and Lagertha, sending them to Wessex to hide. These battles included not only large forces, but two epic battle scenes that can be considered as one battle for Kattegat.
6 Sons Of Ragnar's Revenge
The fourth season of Vikings saw some major deaths - most notably, of course, Ragnar Lothbrok's. It was no surprise, then, that Ragnar's sons set out to Wessex to avenge their father, and they took a massive Viking army with them. In a series of battles, the Great Heathen Army absolutely destroys the forces of the men who were responsible for Ragnar's death, with a huge battle as the might of the Great Heathen Army smashes through King Aelle's forces easily. The King himself is then captured, dragged to the spot where Ragnar was killed, and blood eagled. This is definitely one of the biggest battles in the series that takes place in England.
5 Battle of Yorktown
This is the battle that truly showed Ivar's brilliance in military tactics for the first time - something that would be shown time and time again for the rest of the series. After the Sons of Ragnar had avenged Ragnar's death, they took Yorktown, and this battle came as Bishop Heahmund and King Aethelwulf attempted to take it back. This battle saw traps, spikes, burning oil, and more as Ivar screamed in bloodlust and led a total defeat of the Saxons, retaining Yorktown for the Vikings for some time to come.
4 Battle For Vestfold
The battle for Vestfold was the first major incursion into Scandanavia by the Rus, and one that was a crushing defeat for the Vikings. Prince Oleg of Kiev and Ivar were working together to plan this invasion, and were able to land on the shores near Vestfold, and through Ivar's planning, split into two forces to take the stronghold.
The sheer size of Ivar and Oleg's force was a huge part of this too, as the Rus had around 13,000 warriors gathered at the start of the invasion. This is also an epic battle for the scenes between Ivar and Bjorn, and the moments where Bjorn is fatally wounded. With 13000 Rus and only around 2000 Viking, this is a massive battle, but it may be surpassed by the next one.
3 The Rus Vs Kattegat
After Ivar and Prince Oleg's impressive victory at the Vestfold, they move on to try and take Kattegat, but this is where they fall short. This is due to two things: first, the fact that Bjorn Ironside is leading the army, although the Rus forces believed him to be dead, and second, the combined might of the Viking army. Although few showed up to the Battle for Vestfold, for this battle, all the Kings and Earls of Norway sent their forces, giving Bjorn and his side thousands of men with which to fight the army of the Rus. With the Rus still holding most of the 13,000 strong army that took Vestfold, this became one of the biggest clashes in the series.
2 Siege Of Paris
In the third season, Vikings put together the biggest battle yet, and one of the most epic of the entire series, spanning three episodes. This is the Seige of Paris, of course, as the Vikings (led by Ragnar) attempt to take the walled and well-defended city. This battle takes place over multiple assaults, attacking at the walls and the gates, and eventually the Vikings manage to overrun the city, taking and sacking it. This is one of the biggest battles in the series - not just in terms of size of forces, with multiple Earls coming together against the entirety of Paris, but also in terms of ambition, scale, and the number of episodes it covers.
1 Ivar Vs Alfred
There can be little doubt that the biggest battle of the series is the final one - that brings together the forces of the Vikings and of Wessex and King Alfred in a last clash - and one that kills Ivar. This battle brings together two huge armies, over multiple clashes, with the second clash using all of Ivar's tactical brilliance to almost take down the Wessex army, despite its size. However, in the end, Alfred refuses to negotiate, and manages to do what none of the other Saxon kings were able to - effectively turning back the Viking army without bartering or negotiating, but by killing their leaders (Ivar and Harald both die in the battle), and turning this into a battle that is largest in impact and payoff.
NEXT: The Sons of Ragnar, Ranked By Fighting Ability