How (and When) Does Bjorn Ironside Dies in Vikings

Bjorn Ironside is one of the most interesting characters in the TV series Vikings, making him a fan favorite.

While viewers are captivated by his life, including his relationship with his father, Ragnar Lodbrok, and his different wives, they are also interested to know how and when he dies.

In the TV series “Vikings,” Bjorn Ironside dies in season 6. He’s fatally wounded battling the Rus forces of Ivar the Boneless.

Despite injuries, Bjorn reappears in battle, causing Ivar’s retreat. Post-battle, he dies from his wounds. The real Bjorn’s historical death details remains uncertain.

Who was Ivar the Boneless? What was the Rus Army? What is known about the real Bjorn Ironside and Ivar the Boneless? What are the major themes and storylines of Season 6 of Vikings?

Keep reading to learn more.

Also, see How Does Ragnar Die in Vikings? to learn more.

Viking axe
What was the Rus army? See below

Bjorn Dies During Season Six of the TV Series

In the television series “Vikings,” Bjorn Ironside, the son of Ragnar Lothbrok, meets his end during the show’s sixth season.

At the time, he was married to his third wife, Gunnhild, a shield maiden and the former wife of Jarl Olavsonn. Bjorn had children with other women but none with Gunnhild.

Bjorn’s narrative arc in the series showcased his growth from an ambitious young man into a capable leader, following his father’s footsteps.

His complex character adds depth and intensity to the series.

Bjorn vs. Ivar the Boneless

During a major confrontation with Ivar the Boneless and the Rus army, Bjorn sustains life-threatening injuries.

Despite being on the brink of death, he mounts a horse and shows up on the battlefield, inciting fear in Ivar’s soldiers, who were under the impression that Bjorn was dead.

This significantly boosts the morale of his own troops and prompts a temporary withdrawal from Ivar’s forces.

However, after this event, Bjorn succumbs to his injuries.

Bjorn and Ivar’s conflict emerges from personal grudges and power struggles. Ivar, ousted from Kattegat, joins forces with Prince Oleg and the Rus army to reclaim his rule.

Bjorn, the current king of Kattegat, defends his realm from this threat.

Their battle symbolizes a political clash and a culmination of intense familial rivalry. It is during this fight that Bjorn sustains fatal injuries.

What was the Rus army?

The Rus army refers to the military force of the Rus people, hailing from what is now modern-day Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.

Led by Prince Oleg and later joined by Ivar the Boneless, the Rus army is depicted as a formidable force, rich in manpower and military might.

Their role in the TV series introduces a new dimension of conflict, significantly impacting the narrative arcs of central characters like Ivar and Bjorn.

What is known about the real Bjorn Ironside?

The real-life Bjorn is shrouded in historical uncertainty. He is considered a legendary Norse figure from the Viking Age, possibly a Swedish king.

Historical documents like sagas provide some information about him, but their accuracy is debated.

The lack of concrete historical evidence leads to many differences between the TV Bjorn and the historical figure, as the show takes creative liberties to fill in gaps and enhance the drama.

Viking ship
What happens to Ivar in Vikings? See below

Who Was Ivar the Boneless in the TV Show?

Ivar the Boneless is depicted as a cunning and ruthless Viking chieftain.

Born with brittle bone disease, which gives him his moniker, Ivar compensates for his physical limitations with strategic brilliance and a ruthless demeanor.

Ivar’s story arc traverses his struggle for power, his conflicting relationship with his brothers, and his rise and fall as a ruler.

His character adds a layer of complexity and moral ambiguity to the series, making him one of the most intriguing characters.

What happens to Ivar in Vikings?

During a battle in Wessex, he is fatally wounded. Despite the opportunity to be carried off the battlefield, Ivar chooses to stay, facing his end in the heat of the conflict.

His brother, Hvitserk, stays with him until his last breath.

This conclusion to Ivar’s story arc underscores the series’ exploration of power, ambition, and the harsh realities of Viking warfare.

What is known about the real Ivar the Boneless?

The historical Ivar the Boneless is a figure largely known from Viking Age Old Norse sagas and poetry.

While he is believed to have been a significant Viking leader, details about his life, including his physical condition, remain vague and are subjects of much debate among historians.

The sagas and the series often diverge, as the show takes creative liberties to craft a more intricate and dramatic narrative.

So, while the TV character and the historical figure share a name and a vague outline, many details of their lives and personalities may differ significantly.

Viking man
How does the TV show Vikings end? See below

What Is Season 6 of Vikings About?

Season 6 of the TV show continues the story of Norse warriors during the Viking Age.

This final season of the series primarily focuses on the Lothbrok brothers as they grapple with power, leadership, and personal vendettas.

A major plotline involves Bjorn’s reign as King of Kattegat, facing challenges from rivals, including his brother, Ivar the Boneless, who aligns with the formidable Rus army.

The season explores the complex dynamics of power, legacy, and the toll of warfare, concluding the narrative threads of its central characters while maintaining the series’ themes of ambition, faith, and familial bonds.

How does the TV series end? (spoilers)

The final episodes focus on the fates of the remaining characters and the Viking exploration further west.

Ubbe, son of Ragnar Lothbrok, succeeds in his mission to find the “Golden Land,” now known as North America, signifying a new beginning for the Vikings.

He encounters native people and manages to foster a peaceful co-existence, breaking the cycle of violence.

The conflict between the Vikings and the Saxons reaches a bloody climax in England.

Ivar dies in the battle, while Hvitserk, his brother, who has fought beside him, survives and is ultimately accepted into the English society, converting to Christianity and adopting a new name, Athelstan.

The series ends on a note of transition, with the Viking era giving way to new societies and cultures.


Keep in mind that Vikings is a dramatized portrayal. The real-life details surrounding the death of the historical Bjorn Ironside are not entirely clear due to the sparse historical documents available from that era.

Christian Christensen

Christian started Scandinavia Facts to explore his family heritage, raise awareness of one of his academic interests as a professor, and civilly promote the region. Please see the About page for details.

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