Did History’s Michael Hirst Just Discover The Grave Of ‘Vikings’ Ivar The Boneless?

The San Diego Comic-Con panel for History’s Vikings revealed some interesting tidbits on the upcoming return of Season 4. However, it was some historical news about Ivar the Boneless from the show’s creator, Michael Hirst, that was really fascinating.

SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses the historical figure Ivar the Boneless. This discussion may provide spoilers for Season 4 and 5 of History’s Vikings. Please proceed with caution to avoid potential spoilers.

At the Vikings panel, the brand new trailer for the second half of Season 4 was revealed. Fans were excited to see the return of their favorite characters as they tried to predict what might be coming when the season returns in the Fall. Vikings is an interesting television show because it is based on the Viking sagas. There is certainly a lot of creative license when it comes to the characters and their storylines. After all, Ragnar Lothbrok and Rollo were not likely brothers in real life. In fact, there is some suggestion Ragnar is not even a real person, but merely an amalgamation of several figures from the Viking era.

However, when fans watch upcoming teasers of Vikings, some assumptions can be made from history in regard to where the show is headed. For example, in the latest trailer, it looks very likely History is planning to unleash the Great Heathen Army on England in the remainder of Season 4.

The Season 4 Vikings trailer also showed a lot of screen time for one of Ragnar Lothbrok’s sons, Ivar the Boneless (played by Alex Hogh Andersen). Historically, Ivar is a Viking feared by others for his ruthlessness. He was also a key player in the Great Heathen Army. And it seems Vikings creator Michael Hirst may have found the actual grave of Ivar the Boneless on a recent archaeological dig, according to Deadline.

So what was this Great Heathen Army?

History Channel's Vikings Season 4 teaser video Ivar the Boneless [Image via History]Around 865, the Great Heathen Army attacked the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England. Ivar the Boneless was one of the commanders in this army and it is said in the Viking sagas he invaded England in retaliation for the death of his father, Ragnar. The sagas provide two possible deaths for Ragnar Lothbrok. The first being his demise due to injuries sustained during a massive raid on Paris. The second is at the hands of King Ælla of Northumbria. Ælla reportedly threw Ragnar into a pit of venomous snakes. As a result of this, Ivar the Boneless and his brothers created the Great Heathen Army.

At the Vikings panel at Comic-Con, Michael Hirst revealed that he joined a recent archaeological dig in the English midlands where the remains of Ivar the Boneless may have been uncovered. According to Deadline, several sites were explored. One contained a mass grave of Vikings — including what appears to be “a significant number of female warriors.” Another site appeared to be the dumping ground for human sacrifices. Yet another site appears to contain what the archaeological team now believe to be the grave of Ivar the Boneless. While this sounds like a new finding, it is likely Michael Hirst was actually talking about the well-known dig at Repton in England where several graves were uncovered in the 1990s, one of which may contain the remains of Ivar the Boneless.

How did Ivar the Boneless get his name?

History's Vikings Season 4 video San Diego Comic Con 2016 Ivar the Boneless [Image via History]Historically, there are several reasons why Ivar the Boneless got his name. While History has gone with what appears to be a genetic disease that has malformed his legs, there are a few other theories out there. Another genetic disease that may also be the culprit is a form of brittle bone disease, causing his legs to break easily and, over time, become malformed.

Other theories suggest Ivar was actually impotent or that he had incredible flexibility thanks to the old Norse poem, “Háttalykill inn forni.” Alternatively, “Boneless” may have been lost in translation. In both Scandinavian and German, it is possible “Boneless” translates something akin to “leg,” indicating a potential medical condition once more.

“Boneless” may also be a reference leading to a theme among Ragnar’s sons. The theory suggests “Boneless” could be an indication of a snake reference, just like his brother, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye. Considering their father may have died as a result of snakes, perhaps this theory should be considered over the others?

Are you excited about this discovery? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!

Vikings will return later in 2016, and the series has been renewed for Season 5 by the History Channel.

[Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for HISTORY ]