‘Vikings’ Season 5: Historically, Was Magnus Really A Son Of Ragnar Lothbrok?

Jonathan HessionHistory Channel

Episode 13 of History Channel’s Vikings saw the reemergence of Queen Kwenthrith’s (Amy Bailey) son, Magnus (Dean Ridge). However, did Ragnar really have a son called Magnus?

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains information about Episode 13 (titled “A New God”) of History Channel’s Vikings Season 5. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet viewed this episode and wish to avoid spoilers.

As King Alfred (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) wed Princess Elsewith (Roisin Murphy) in Episode 13 of Vikings Season 5, Magnus was introduced. He stood in the back of the crowd — and appeared very interested in Bjorn Ironside’s (Alexander Ludwig) reaction to the wedding.

Fans had been anticipating this situation since it was noticed that his name appeared in the Season 5 cast list on IMDb, as previously reported by the Inquisitr. And, as Business Insider points out, fans have also been speculating that Magnus could be the son that the Seer (John Kavanagh) was referring to in his prophecy that saw a son of Ragnar Lothbrok being responsible for the death of Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick)

Later in Episode 13 of Vikings Season 5, Magnus introduces himself to Bjorn. They discuss King Alfred as well as their father, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel). During their conversation, it was unclear whether Bjorn truly believed Magnus’ story about his parentage. However, fans are now wondering if, historically, Ragnar Lothbrok really did have a son called Magnus.

In the Viking sagas that describe Ragnar, many sons are mentioned. However, at no point is a son called Magnus named, indicating that Ragnar didn’t really have a son by this name. Or, at least, not one that was legitimized. So, the theory about Magnus really being Ragnar’s son is still something that can be considered, even if there is no mention of him in Ragnar’s sagas — or even a mention of a potential son that was not legitimized by the Viking.

Featured image credit: History Channel

But, what about Queen Kwenthrith? Did she have a son called Magnus? Could her involvement with Ragnar in the history books perhaps prove that Magnus really was one of Ragnar’s sons?

Queen Kwenthrith, as seen in History Channel’s Vikings, is based on the historical figure called Cwenthryth. She apparently used treachery to get her brother killed in the year 821. She was also the Abbess of Minster-in-Thanet, but was later forced to resign her position. No children are associated with this historical figure.

There is also another Cwenthryth of Mercia, one who did have children. However, she existed at an earlier time than the figure that History Channel’s Kwenthrith is based upon. In addition, while this Cwenthryth is believed to have borne five children with King Offa, none of them are named Magnus. Instead, they are listed as Ecgfrith, Eadburh, Aelffaed, Aethelburh, and Aethelswith. Of these, only Ecgfrith was male.

So, it appears that Ragnar and Queen Kwenthrith never shared a son called Magnus, according to the history books.

Vikings returns on Wednesday, December 19, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. History Channel provides the following synopsis for Episode 14 (titled “The Lost Moment”).

“As the celebrations for Ivar continue in Kattegat, grief hits Iceland, and Floki must now make a fated decision. Harald’s army approaches Wessex. A conspiracy grows against King Alfred in court.”