Last Kingdom: Is Young Ragnar based on a real person? Tobias Santelmann explains
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The Last Kingdom is on Netflix now and the series was inspired by the series of books by author Bernard Cornwell. Cornwell is passionate about Anglo-Saxon history and the inspiration for the books came from studying literature from that period. Young Ragnar actor Tobias Santelmann has given insight into his character, who sadly died in season three.
Ragnar the Younger was introduced in the first season of The Last Kingdom, during a battle between the Saxons and Danes.
During the battle the show’s protagonist, Uhtred of Bebbanburg (played by Alexander Dreymon) was taken as a hostage and he was later adopted by Ragnar’s family.
When Ragnar was reunited with Uhtred he was pleased to see him, but was baffled by Uhtred’s decision to swear an oath to the Saxon king, Alfred (David Dawson).
Still, despite their differences, the foster brothers vowed to kill Kjartan (Alexandre Willaume) – the warrior who helped kill their family.
Throughout the following seasons Ragnar and Uhtred have their ups and downs, with Ragnar freeing Uhtred from Slavery in the second season.
Also in the second season Ragnar formed a relationship with Uhtred’s friend Brida (Emily Cox), and she later watched on as Ragnar killed Kjartan.
Ragnar saw his demise in the third season after he was stabbed to death by Aethelwold (Harry McEntire). Cnut (Magnus Bruun), who wanted to lead the Danes with Brida, told Aethelwold that Ragnar had planned to kill him, so he should make the first move.
With Ragnar dead, Cnut formed a relationship with Brida, but in season four she discovered the truth and killed Cnut as an act of revenge as he was ultimately responsible for Ragnar’s death.
Fans were heartbroken when Ragnar died, and they took to social media to share their thoughts on his final episode.
One fan said on Twitter: “Just seen episode 4 of season 3 of the last Kingdom. And all I have to say is I’m sorry about what happened to Ragnar.”
Another fan said on Reddit: “He was an incredible warrior he was loyal and a brilliant strategist and really cared for Uhtred like a true brother the show did a great thing with his character but I worry about next season without him.”
Is Young Ragnar based on a real person?
While some of the characters are based on real historical figures, Ragnar Ragnarsson in The Last Kingdom has often been confused with the real Viking warrior – Ragnar Lothbrok.
In the series, Ragnar Ragnarsson was the son of Earl Ragnar the Fearless (Peter Gantzler), but he is not based on a real person.
Ragnar Lothbrok is a character in the History Channel series Vikings, and he is inspired by the real Ragnar Lothbrok, or Lodbrok, who is mentioned in Old Norse poetry and Icelandic sagas.
Ragnar Lothbrok was known to have had a number of sons who led the Great Heathen Army, including Ivar the Boneless and Bjorn Ironside.
Whereas the Ragnar in The Last Kingdom is a fictional character, created as part of Cornwell’s novels.
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Ragnar actor Santelmann spoke to the official The Last Kingdom YouTube channel about his character, and he said: “Young Ragnar is reliable, he is fair, loyal and strong, and he is not scared of dying.
“The thing that drives Young Ragnar the most is now the fact that he lost his father and the ones who did it are still alive and breathing and haven’t got any punishment yet.
“So I’m just waiting for the opportunity so I can get close enough so I can do it, with or without Uhtred.” Thankfully Ragnar was able to find justice for his father before he died, as he was able to kill Kjartan.
Speaking about his character’s relationship with his brother Uhtred, Santlemann said their bond was “special”, saying they always stick together no matter what.
Their long-term mission to avenge the death of their father only makes them stronger, despite Uhtred’s allegiance to the Saxon king.
Speaking of his relationship with Brida, he said Brida’s home was with the Danes and she needed Ragnar, as she did not understand her friend Uhtred’s connection with the Saxons.
Fans commented on the video to share their thoughts about his character, with one fan saying: “The way he acted out the killing of Kjartan was brilliant. Such a good actor.”
Another fan said: “I’m so sorry you’re not still on the series! Loved you being Ragnar, you were great!”
Sadly he will not be making a comeback in the series any time soon, but his memory will live on forever through Uhtred and Brida.
The Last Kingdom is on Netflix now
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