Why Floki is the most important character in Viking TV series

May 26, 2021 11 min read

Vikings is a historical drama televisionserieswritten and directed by Michael Hirst. The series mixes historical fact with Norse myths and legendary tales. For example, the majority of the show's characters are based on real people. Vikings is inspired by the sagas of Viking Ragnar Lothbrok, one of the best-known legendary Norse heroes and notorious as the scourge of England and France. The show portrays Ragnar as a farmer who rises to fame by successful raids into England, and eventually becomes a Scandinavian King, with the support of his family and fellow warriors. In the later seasons, the series follows the fortunes of his sons and their adventures in England, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean. Moreover, in the Viking series Floki becomes an outstanding character as he plays a big role in the development and making the whole series more enjoyable. Moreover, Floki in the whole Viking television series loves both those who love and hate him. To achieve this, he befriends Ragnar and becomes loyal to him. In this essay, the way Floki made the whole Viking television series develop, his role and his relationship with Ragnar Lothbrok will be discussed.

ROLE OF FLOKI IN THE VIKING TELEVISION EXPEDITIONS

Floki is historically known for the discovery of Iceland in the 9th century after successfully sailing to the unknown volcanic island. Floki was not the first one to intentionally sail to the discovery of Iceland but he was the third. Formally this land is believed to known as Asgard (Nordfjörd, 2020). Floki was the first Norseman to settle in it and he established the settlement pattern though the pattern later failed. Main reason for the failure of the settlement pattern was due to internal fights for the inhabitants started to fight against each other. This makes him to be a major and big character in the whole Viking expedition. He plays a great role in the whole expeditions. Firstly, Floki is greatly known for ship building. In the first season, he made a long ship for his friend Ragnar to enable him travel to the west to undertake a raid in the land of England. Floki with all his knowledge presents a new kind of a ship which allows for travel on the open sea and up the rivers and also the ship was able to evade sea waves without much difficulty. However, while about to undertake this responsibility, he was very nervous but he is overjoyed to find out that it worked perfectly for this was new invention in his work of ship building.

During the journey in the sea, a great storm rages and at this point Floki takes another responsibility in proving the quality of his ship. They properly navigate the storm and emerge out safe. They undertook a raid in England and Floki sets up fire to the scriptures of Lindisfarne (Whelan, 2018). During this raid, Floki’s closest friend Ragnar is greatly injured and it is at this point undertakes another great responsibility in using his healing skills to save Ragnar’s life. Later in the episode, Floki joins Ragnar in his journey to Gotaland. The main aim of this journey was to negotiate with Jral Borg. After the negations with Borg, Ragnar Lothbrok sends Floki back to King Horik to further the negotiations that had been initially started by Borg and Ragnar for they had come to a point of agreement.

In season two, Floki plays a great role in helping his injured friend Rollo. Moreover, he comes up with an idea of undertaking revenge to whoever had poisoned their friend Torstein. He tearfully says that they should find the one who poisoned him and flay him out (Whelan, 2018). Furthermore, he saved Ragnar’s life for he remained loyal to him. He offers shelter to Ragnar and his entire family for Ragnar was badly injured. Moreover, he saved him from the cruel hands of King Horik yet the king thought that Floki was on his side yet as his agent yet Floki acted as a double agent. He sarcastically pats the face of the king before leaving him to be killed by Ragnar.

Furthermore, Floki plays another role to represent the hatred and jealousy the Norse pagans had for the Christians. This was during the introduction of Christianity in Iceland and he witnessed the baptism of Ragnar by Athelsan which was a great betrayal to him. Due to great anger and hatred, he killed Athelsan. He was in great despair and disappointment since he believed in their gods and knew that they were above everything else.

In addition, Floki plays another great role in defending violation of the rights of Icelanders and fully supports their political, social and religious beliefs. In supporting this Floki is very disappointed when he finds Ragnar been baptized by Athelstan (auer, 2020). He sees it as a betrayal to him and also to the people of Iceland. Due to anger and embarrassment Floki decides to kill Athelstan. After killing him he decides to go to an anonymous cave inside which he finds a cross. However, Floki later accepted Christianity and converted from Norse paganism and became a Christian after the encounter with the cross at the cave.

Furthermore, Floki in the Vikings plays a role to represent the have-nots who are fighting for their rights. During the introduction of Christianity, at first Floki was against it. He represented the rest if Icelanders who were not ready to leave behind their religion, the Norse paganism, and adopt the newly introduced religion which was Christianity (Steenbakker, 2021). Introduction of Christianity began with the baptism of Ragnar and Floki saw it as betrayal and great disappointment. At this point Floki killed Athelstan who baptized Ragnar.

Relationship between Floki and Ragnar in the Viking television series

In the Viking expeditions, Floki and Ragnar happen to be major and the outstanding characters. However, their relationship is complicated as Skarsgard describes it they happen to be great and loyal friends (ASIH, 2019). In the first season, the two characters were inseparable with both doing what the warrior, Ragnar, asked of him. For instance, he built the boat which Ragnar used to sail with up to England. In addition, Floki is seen to be very close to Ragnar especially when Ragnar is attacked by Harl Harraldson. He offered him shelter together with his entire family. Furthermore, he nursed him through this entire difficulty. This clearly depicts how their friendship was so strong even being together in difficulties. Without Floki, Ragnar would have never been able to fulfill his big dreams of discovering new lands and civilizations. This is because of the great discoveries by Floki to help Ragnar.

However, their relationship becomes more strained especially when Floki killed Athelstan. Particularly, Floki took a particular dislike to Athelstan blaming the destruction of the Viking settlement in Wessex. He suggested that it was as a result of the gods being unhappy with the Vikings so cooperating with the Christians since Athelstan was a Christian (Steenbakker, 2021). Enmity then grew bigger when Ragnar, Floki’s closest friend, was baptized by Athelstan. Floki considers Ragnar as his brother so he could not hide his jealousy for the big betrayal.  He blames Ragnar for abandoning the old ways and the old gods, and he is still jealous of his connection to Athelstan and was being converted to being a Christian. This meant that Ragnar fully agreed to fully convert from Norse paganism which was Icelandic religion to Christianity. Floki saw it as a big betrayal to their friendship which abruptly came to an end.

Due to a lot of anger, Floki killed Athelstan. Moreover, Floki accused Athelstan of conspiring with King Ecbert to betray them. However, even after the betrayal by Ragnar, Floki still longed for the love of Floki back but he also resents Ragnar for having to put him through the whole great embarrassment and shame and punishment. The punishment of Floki was unbelievable for an eruption took place while in a volcano. After he killed Athelstan, he went and found a cave at the base of a volcano mountain inside which he found a cross and unexpectedly he started laughing while at the same time he was crying. It is during this time that an eruption took place while he was still inside the anonymous cave.

Their friendship can also be described as anonymous. Whether there is any reciprocation, even after Floki being saved by Ragnar, their friendship always remained to be seen. Floki was tortured and humiliated by Ragnar. To add salt on insult, Floki’s daughter died while still was being held in captivity by Ragnar. He blames Ragnar for abandoning the old ways and the old gods, and he is still jealous of his connection to Athelstan and was being converted to being a Christian.

Furthermore, on return to their camp Floki was surprised. Franks send riders into the Viking camp and destroyed it, killing and burning everything in their way. However, Ragnar’s sons manage to hide but Floki’s wife Helga was found half- dead and burned to a char. Floki well knew all this was Ragnar’s plan and was all Ragnar’s defeat (Sanmark, 2019). Floki was very angry and disappointed by Ragnar. However, despite all these he went back to search for the love of Ragnar and rekindled their friendship again for he values Ragnar and his sons more than his own making it hard to know what kind or the strength of their friendship. This is because his attachment to Ragnar is anxious and honestly seems a bit codependent.

The relationship between Floki and Ragnar also can be described as helpful as they help each other in most difficult situations. Firstly, when Ragnar was injured, Floki came to his help. He offered shelter to Ragnar and his entire family. Since Floki had nursing skills he decided to nurse Ragnar until he was fit again to go back to the battle field. Moreover, there relationship can be described more helpful when Floki assisted Ragnar to kill King Horik (Sheller, 2017) . King Horik thought that Floki was on his side but Floki only acted as a double agent but was loyal to Ragnar. When King Horik was going ahead to kill Ragnar, he was surprised to find out that Floki was on Ragnar’s side.

Furthermore, the relationship between Floki and Ragnar can be described as an innovative relationship. This can be evident firstly during the time when Floki came up with the long ship to enable them navigate through up the seas and even the rivers. The ship was able to overcome the waves of the seas. Moreover, after the baptism of Ragnar despite being a betrayal to Floki, the later agreed that Christianity should be religion in Iceland and live along the Norse paganism practices though they adopted some of the rituals in Norse paganism and applied them in Christianity.

How Floki plays a fundamental role in the development of the story in the Viking series

Hirst -- Vikings' sole writer -- notes Floki's arc throughout the series, and how the ship builder's journey to Iceland to set up a pagan fundamentalist community was driven by fear that his beliefs were being crushed by Christianity. That of course didn't work out, and Floki felt the gods had abandoned him. So, he moved on. "I knew that Ubbe would reconnect with him, and I knew that the audience would love that, because I loved it," Hirst shares. "I knew that I would love to see Gustaf back and that would feel absolutely right, absolutely proper (Winters, 2017). Then it was, what kind of a person was he? Had he found some peace? Had he been damaged in his experiences? And so on. Those were all questions I had to wrestle with an answer."  Said Hirst.

In the development of the great Viking expedition’s television series, Floki played a great role in its improvement and development. He is believed to be the first Norseman to intentionally sail to Iceland. This was after two explorers had sailed to the land but unfortunately did not discover the great Iceland but they died while on the way. Moreover, he settled on the land which at first was known as Gardarshulmi. In the discovery of this great Iceland, Floki was accomSpanied by his wife and his two daughters who died on the way before settling on the great Iceland. Floki then was led by three ravens. The first one flew back to Faroes; the second one on the other hand flew up in the air and back on board. However, the third raven was mysterious for it flew to the northwest direction and did not come back on board. By this, he decided to follow the third raven. At this point he was accompanied by Thorolf, Herjolf and Faxe.

Upon the discovering the great Iceland, he becomes the first Norseman to settle on it. He plays a great as he comes up and establishes a settlement pattern. During, the establishment, Floki had high hopes for the future of his settlement and his people but unfortunately failed. Things did not go well as planned as the inhabitants started killing each other. Through the settlement pattern set by Floki and later the act of killings made the development of Viking series more interesting as the audience becomes more anxious to know what happened to the people and the action which Floki undertook so as to bring back things in Iceland back to normal.

In additional, Floki also develops the whole Viking television series through his talent. He is a great ship builder and through his skills he came up with a long ship to enable Ragnar be able to persuade through the great sea and its rages. Moreover, his personality and character also builds the whole series. His character of being hot tempered increases the anxiety among the audience as they are in need to know what is likely to happen as a result of the actions which Floki takes while in great anger. For instance, after Floki became angry after Raganar betrayed him and got baptized by Athelstan, he becomes upset, kills Athelstan and heads towards a cave at the base of a volcano mountain. In the cave he finds a cross. Surprisingly, he started to laugh and crying at the same time. While in the cave, an eruption takes place. This brought a mixture of reactions to the viewers for they cannot tell whether Floki survived or might b dead. However, considering how much they love him, they believe that he could have survived the eruption. By Floki taking the action and going to the cave, he makes the series more and more interesting as many are eager to know what might have happened to Floki though mainly they believe he might have survived. By this role, suspense is created in the series making it more interesting.

In addition, Floki makes the series more interesting when he befriended Horik. King Horik knew that Floki was a very close and loyal friend of Ragnar whom was his enemy. However, Floki acted as a double agent since they, Floki and Ragnar, wanted to defeat King Horik. Floki poisoned Terrusum who was King Horik’s friend and this made King Horik think that Ragnar was behind it all. Therefore, he decided to kill Ragnar but he was surprised when he found that Floki was very loyal to Ragnar and defended him. Floki patted his face and left him to be killed by Ragnar.

Furthermore, Floki makes the whole series more interesting through his fighting tactics for they are very interesting. The tactic which he uses is very unusual but at the same time is practical. Instead of using the traditional weapons, Floki prefers a small hatchet and a long knife. In addition, rather than taking a stand in the shield wall in a battle, where his skinny frame and  lack of muscle would put him at disadvantage in the showing match, Floki would stand behind his brother. He did it perfectly for this tactic worked even against larger and stronger opponents as the enemy would be dazed and confused art being ripped through the shield wall and Floki’s speed and use of two weapons would quickly finish the opponent.

In conclusion, the whole Viking series required a great sacrifice especially by Floki since the time of discovery of the great island. He was so determined in his part as a character. His all act of befriending both Ragnar and King Horik and also accompanying Ragnar to the many raids in England. Through thick and thin he was able to achieve his goals and dreams.