‘Viking Was a Job … Not a Race ...
‘Viking Was a Job … Not a Race or Ethnicity’

Viking Leader Cripple 'Ivar the Boneless'

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Commander Ivar, the cripple who terrified people of his time

Despite his disability, his life had strange secrets to learn in this article, Ivar Ragnarsson was the scariest Viking of his time and invaded England with his pagan army. Ivar was one of the scariest Vikings in history - and he couldn't even stand without being caught. According to the Viking tradition, someone like him may be killed at birth, but Ivar was protected because he was the son of a powerful leader. His body was so weak that he had to be carried on a shield when he entered the battle, but his mind was one of the sharpest things. This was the man who led the great pagan Viking army in invading England. In the late 9th century under Ivar, the Vikings terrorized the nation and invaded everything from Essex to Dublin. Ivar ushered in an era of Viking domination of Britain that would not end until long after his death. As legend has it, he did not have a single bone in his body.

Who was Ivar the Boneless

Ivar the Boneless
Some historians have suggested reconstructing the face of the Vikings to be Ivar the Bone.


Today, most people know that Ivar shows vikings, but this character is almost the product of the screenwriter's imagination. Other than being a Viking who can't walk, almost nothing in the show is in line with the real history of the real Ivar. However, it is difficult to ascertain the truth. The only information we have about the life of Ivar Ragnarsson, or the Boneless as he became known, comes from the Britons who terrorized him or the Vikings who loved him. In British sources, he is presented as a pagan demon sent from hell; in the Vikings, he is a living god with supernatural powers. According to Scandinavian mythology, as his name suggests, Ivar the Boneless was born 'without any bones at all'. His mother was Aslog Shamana, and his father, Ragnar Ludbrook, was a famous military leader. When they get married, Aslog warned Ragnar that if he didn't wait three nights before making love to her, their baby would come out disfigured. Ignoring the warning, Ragnar imposed himself on her and Ivar was born the bone.

His father, Ivar Azem, is Ragnar Lothbrok Aslaug.

His father, Ivar Azem, is Ragnar Lothbrok Aslaug.

The Vikings described it as 'only cartilage was where bones should be, but otherwise, they grew tall and handsome and in wisdom, they were their best children.' Given that the lack of bones will make it very difficult to survive, it is clear that the historical record in Ivar is somewhat exaggerated. Having said this, contemporary historians have some interesting theories about why it is called that name. Most of them seem to believe that he had a condition called imperfect bone formation that leaves people with fragile glass-like bones. However, there is another possibility. The Vikings also described it as huge. Records from the 17th century claim that a farmer found Ivar's remains nine feet tall. I've lost the bones he's found since then, but if so, Ivar would have been as tall as Robert Wadlow, the tallest man in history, who needed leg braces to stand up.

Ivar was also known to be fierce in battle, and his supposed surroundings suggested that he was likely physically flexible, such as a double joint, to the point where he could have been considered without any bones at all. Another less satisfying explanation for his title could be the fact that he died childless and without love. It was referred to by contemporaries as 'having no desire for love.' It could have been, in this sense, 'boneless'.

The Great Pagan Army of Ivar Ragnarsson

Unlike filming on Vikings TV, Ivar didn't fight with his brothers and certainly didn't kill anyone. He was deeply dedicated to his family and they in turn respected him. In fact, when their father Ragnar Ludbrook died, the Ivar brothers turned to him to lead the way. His father's death was a key moment in Ivar's life due to circumstances. Ragnar Ludbrook was captured by King lla of the English Kingdom of Northumbria in the Middle Ages and dumped in a pit of poisonous snakes during a raid on england's north-eastern beaches. When the word reached his children, Ivar demanded that he be told every detail of how his father died. He wanted to be completely hated before he took revenge. Ivar decided to form what the English called the 'Great Pagan Army' and go to war with Northumbria. Ivar was the mastermind behind the army's tactics, and his contemporaries wrote about him 'it's doubtful that anyone is wiser than him'.

If Ivar Ragnarsson is really unable to walk, he has relied more on his mind rather than his body to lead his Scandinavian warriors. According to the Vikings, though, Ivar the Boneless still fights with them at the forefront as a show of courage on a shield even though his body was practically useless.The Scandinavian legend says their first battle with Northumbria ended with Ella and Ivar making a deal. Ivar promised to stop the raid as long as he could claim as much land as he could cover with a bull's skin. Lla agreed, then cut Ivar's skin of a bull into threads so thin that he managed to cover the entire castle in York, which was the capital of Northumbria.It may not have happened, but there is no doubt that Ivar invaded the city. There, he took over Ayla and made him pay in the most brutal way imaginable if the other legend was more true. The Vikings called it the 'blood eagle'. They ripped lla's rib cage from behind and pulled his lungs out in the form of wings. Then, to make it as painful as possible, they sprayed salt into his bloody wounds.

Ivar The Boneless Conquer England

Ivar the Boneless was not stopped by the death of Ella and the capture of Northumbria. Instead, he turned his sights to the rest of England.
The English writer Simeon of Durham wrote of Ivar Ragnarson's horrific rule: "The army stormed here and there and filled every place with bloodshed and sorrow." Churches and monasteries were extensively destroyed by fire and sword. When she left, she left nothing but walls without a roof."
The most difficult goal was the Kingdom of Mercia. At that time, it was the power of England - the greatest of her kingdom. The great pagan army set up a base near the Mercian city of Nottingham and spent more than a year attacking and withdrawing from it - but in the end, they broke through its walls and massacred those within.
With Mercia falling under their rule, the rest of England could hardly stand against the Viking army. They marched, producing martyrs from the men they slaughtered.
Ivar the Boneless is famous for putting King Edmund of East Anglia to such a long and horrific death that, while with him, he was revered by Christians as "Edmund the Martyr". Ivar brutally beat him with batons, tied him with iron chains, tied him to a tree, and filled him with arrows until he looked like a porcupine.
Only then was he allowed to die. Edmund was beheaded and thrown into the bramble.

The death of a brutal warlord

By AD 870, Ivar Ragnarson's control of Britain extended to Dublin. But then apparently out of nowhere in 873 it was confirmed that he was dead. The most likely explanation is that the disease that kept Ivar's bones so weak finally took his life. The only information we have comes from a book called Annals of Ireland. "The Norwegian king ... died of a sudden, terrible disease," the statement read. "So please God." As expected, they were very happy with the death of the foreign warlord. Legend has it that Ivar asked to be buried in a place that was attacked. As long as his body was buried there, he had promised his men, no one would be able to defeat them. But archaeologists recently discovered a tomb that they believe belonged to Ivar the Boneless, and it paints a very different end to his story. The tomb they found belonged to a respected Viking, wrapped in a necklace holding a Thor's hammer and holding a Viking sword. He is surrounded by the bodies of 248 of his men, including the dead children who were ritually killed to escort him to Valhalla. If this was Ivar, then his death was not peaceful. The skeleton in the center of the pile was eviscerated before his death and his genitals cut off. But as the legend goes, history seems to indicate that the prophetic promise made by Ivar Ragnarson to his men was fulfilled. Nobody could chase his Viking army out of Dublin until William I of England dug up Ivar's body and burned it to ashes in a crematorium.




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