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Vikings is now in its sixth season on History and Amazon Prime Video, and fans have been revisiting some previous characters. One of the main characters in the early seasons was the ruthless Jarl Borg (played by Thorbjørn Harr). Fans are wondering what happened to him, and Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.
Who was Jarl Borg?
Jarl Borg is one of the legendary characters in Vikings and he was the powerful leader of Götaland in Sweden.
He appears in seasons one and two of Vikings and is first seen when he has an argument with King Horik (Donal Logue) over land.
The King introduces Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) to Jarl Borg as his emissary, but Borg is not impressed with Ragnar’s reputation.
Throughout the season Borg tries to encourage Ragnar’s brother Rollo (Clive Standen) to betray Ragnar.
Rollo and Borg become allies and their friendship causes the downfall of Rollo and Ragnar’s relationship.
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In season two there is a battle between King Horik and Borg, with Ragnar fighting for the king.
Rollo of course sides with Borg, but he is unable to kill his brother, so the battle comes to an end.
Ragnar manages to persuade Borg and Horik to come on raids with him as part of a truce.
Jarl Borg was married to Torvi (Georgia Hirst) in the series after his previous wife died.
Later in the series, Borg is held captive by Ragnar for threatening his family, and he sentences him to a terrible death.
What happened to Jarl Borg?
Jarl Borg was one of the first characters in the series to be subject to the blood eagle, a brutal execution.
Borg was held captive in Kattegat and while King Horik tried to persuade Ragnar to let him go so he could help them with ships and fighters, Ragnar already had his mind made up.
The entire population of Kattegat watches as he is brought forward for the grim spectacle.
Ragnar is dressed in white robes as he prepares for the execution, and Torvi watches on from the crowd.
The ritual involves opening up the person’s back and pulling the ribcage open to expose the organs.
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Ragnar then removes Borg’s lungs and places them over the villian’s shoulders as he dies from suffocation.
Just before he dies, Borg sees an eagle perched nearby and he realises he will be on his way to Valhalla as he endured the pain without a word of protest.
Jarl Borg is not necessarily based on a real person, but there were Swedish Jarls who were members of medieval royal families.
The title of Jarl was used just before they took the throne, and only one person could hold the title at a time.
The blood eagle is also a real ritual which is mentioned in skaldic poetry and various sagas.
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The execution ritual only appears twice in Norse literature, and both were in retaliation for the murder of someone’s father.
In real life, Prince Halfdan Haaleg and King Aella of Northumbria suffered the terrible fate.
The blood eagle is described as a sacrifice to the Norse god Odin, who is referenced throughout the Vikings series.
Jarl Borg’s character was one of the most popular in the series as he was known for being deceitful and manipulative.
He was one of the main antagonists for the first two seasons before his gruesome but iconic death.
Vikings is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video
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