One of the main rivalries that was brewing in the final seasons of Vikings was between Ivar and King Alfred of Wessex and Mercia (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo). The two have clashed before, and in the series finale, their armies met on the battlefield after a failed attempt at a peace talk.
While the battle rages on, Ivar watches from the sidelines, not wanting to risk severe injury due to his brittle bone disease. However, when he sees that his brother, Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø), is exhausted and injured, he wades into the battle to have an emotional moment of familial bonding. Ivar tells Hvitserk to stand back while he takes a prominent spot in the center of the battlefield and urges his warriors on while they fight.
Then, he turns around to see a young soldier from Alfred’s army standing next to him trembling and holding a small dagger. Ivar tells the young man, “Don’t be afraid,” which the soldier takes to heart. He stabs Ivar repeatedly in the stomach while Ivar just stands there. Alfred is watching the whole scene in shock, and after Ivar has collapsed, he yells to everyone to stop fighting so that his rival can say goodbye to his brother.
While the concept of Ivar embracing a warrior’s death and saying goodbye to Hvitserk, with whom he’s had a complicated relationship, is great, the scene just feels .. .off. And that did not go unnoticed by fans on Reddit.