Ivar the Boneless may have inherited his father’s cunning and tactical smarts in Vikings, but another son seems to have Ragnar Lothbrok’s looks.
I’m sure I’m not the first to notice, but Jordan Patrick Smith, who plays Ubbe, looks a lot like his TV dad, Travis Fimmel, did when he first played Ragnar in History Channel’s hit series.
I didn’t really see the resemblance until the Dec. 28 episode, “All His Angels,” when King Ecbert (Linus Roache) shackles and cages Ragnar to be delivered to King Aelle (Ivan Kaye). During the journey, Ragnar remembers his younger days.
Sadly, that trip leads to the end of Ragnar. But the flashbacks gave creator Michael Hirst a chance to remind viewers of better days for Family Lothbrok and a younger Ragnar. Back in Season 1—roughly five years ago—Fimmel sported a similar look his fellow Aussie, Smith, does now in the show.
“It’s true,” Hirst said during our recent interview of the “family” resemblance. “I hadn’t quite clicked that myself but it was Katheryn [Winnick] who said to me one day, ‘You know, he looks like Travis used to look. When I was first acting with Travis, that’s what Travis looked like.’ ”
Winnick, of course, plays Ragnar’s ex-wife, Lagertha. She now has taken control of their former village, Kattegat, after killing Ragnar’s second wife, Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland). Seriously, so many deaths!
In the most recent episode, “Crossings,” Lagertha sees a vision of dead Ragnar in her home. A History spokesman tells me Smith did not stand in for Fimmel, but the ghostly vision looked an awful lot like Ubbe to me.
Ragnar sure has changed over 4 1/2 seasons of “Vikings.” Toward the end, Fimmel played Ragnar as a tired older warrior who accepted his fate. He actually maneuvered the players involved to inspire Ivar (Alex Hogh Andersen) and his other sons to avenge his death. His haggard appearance is quite different from the Ragnar of Season 1.
“You look at Travis at the end and you think, ‘My God, what a journey that guy has been on,’ ” Hirst said. “He looks completely different.”
New episodes of “Vikings” air at 9/8c Wednesdays on History.