Vikings: Who was Gunnhild’s real husband? Were Bjorn and Gunnhild really married?
Vikings: Gunnhild swims out to sea to 'be with Bjorn'
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Ragga Ragnars portrayed Gunnhild in Vikings season five. Gunnhild is based on the real historical figure, Gunnhild, also known as the Mother of Kings. Who was Gunnhild married to in real life? Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.
Who was Gunnhild’s real husband? Were Bjorn and Gunnhild really married?
In Vikings on Amazon Prime and the History channel, Gunnhild has married too Viking warrior Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig).
However, in season six, Bjorn found himself drawn to former slave/witch, Ingrid (Lucy Martin).
Instead of divorcing her husband, Gunnhild suggested they enter a three-way marriage.
With the death of Bjorn in Vikings season six, episode 11, Gunnhild chose to accompany her husband to Valhalla instead of marrying his former enemy, King Harald (Peter Franzen).
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In real life, Gunnhild and Bjorn Ironside were never married.
They were never alive at the same time with Gunnhild being born in 910 and Bjorn in the mid 9th century.
Gunnhild was married to Eric Bloodaxe, the King of Norway, according to the Icelandic Sagas.
Her husband Eric was also the King of Orkney between 937 and 954 and King of Northumbria 948–49 and 952–54.
Her father-in-law was Harald Fairhair, who in the Viking series is portrayed as Bjorn’s enemy and love interest of Gunnhild’s.
Gunnhild is also widely described as being a völva, or witch in various Icelandic accounts.
When Harald Fairhair’s half-brother Halfdan Haraldsson the Black (Jasper Pääkkönen) died mysteriously, Gunnhild was suspected of bribing a witch to poison him.
After the death of Harald, Erick consolidated power over Norway but was seen having a tyrannical rule over the country.
As a result, Erik and Gunnhild were expelled from Norway, with the nobles favouring his half-brother Haakon the Good.
She spent much of the rest of her life in exile in Orkney, Jorvik and Denmark.
Together, Eric and Gunnhild are believed to have several children: Gamble, the oldest; then Guthorm, Harald, Ragnfrod, Ragnhild, Erling, Gudrod, and Sigurd Sleva.
On the other hand, it remains unknown if Bjorn Ironside ever wed, or if he had any children.
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Who plays Gunnhild in Vikings?
Icelandic actress Ragga Ragnars, full name Ragnheiður Ragnarsdóttir, plays Gunnhild in Vikings.
The role of Gunnhild is Ragnars’ biggest acting role to date, having only graduated from the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles in 2015.
Before acting, Ragnars was a professional swimmer, specialising in sprint freestyle events.
She made her Olympic debut at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens as Iceland’s youngest swimmer at just 19-years-old.
Ragnars then competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Unfortunately, she did not go on to win any medals but she did compete in the 100m freestyle and 50m freestyle in both years.
Outside of the Olympics, Ragnars is a multiple-time record holder for both long and short course freestyle.
She did not compete at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London as she was pregnant with her son at the time.
Ragnars retired from swimming in 2012 and went on to pursue her passion for acting.
Vikings is streaming on Amazon Prime Video now
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