Vikings explained: Why did Halfdan choose Bjorn over King Harald?

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Vikings airs on History and Prime Video, and the series was created by avid historian Michael Hirst. One of the characters in the series is Halfdan (played by Jasper Pääkkönen), and he is the brother of Harald Finehair (Peter Franzén). Halfdan made the decision to go travelling with Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig) rather than stay with his own brother, and fans are keen to find out why.

Why did Halfdan choose Bjorn over King Harald?

Halfdan was introduced in season four of Vikings and he is the brother of the Norwegian king, Harald Finehair.

Both brothers arrived in Kattegat so they could join Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) on raids in France.

Halfdan fought alongside his brother and even saved him from his former lover, Ellisif (Sophie Vavasseur).

However, at the end of season four he made the decision to explore the Mediterranean Sea in search for new settlements, which came as a surprise to his brother.

Bjorn ended up saving Halfdan’s life on the trip, as they were about to both be executed. A sandstorm began and Bjorn used it as an opportunity to free themselves.

Following their trip, Halfdan and Bjorn struck up a friendship which led him to choose Bjorn and his family over his brother in battle.

King Harald had joined Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh Andersen) in a bid to take over Kattegat, whereas Halfdan chose to fight for Bjorn and save his homeland.

Halfdan could not be persuaded by his brother to change allegiance ahead of the battle, so Harald took the opportunity to kill him in action.

Fans have wondered why Halfdan sided with Bjorn, and it could be to do with his difference in character compared to his brother.

Harald was obsessed with status and leadership, whereas Halfdan was more interested in travelling and exploring new lands.

They also had their differences when it came to relationships, as Halfdan could not understand his brother’s obsession with Ellisif after the pain she had caused him.

Halfdan was seen to be living in the shadow of his brother, and he could have sided with Bjorn in order to create a new identity for himself.

Fans have taken to Reddit to discuss why Halfdan chose Bjorn over King Harald. Muffinelzangano said: “I know it’s pretty clear in the show why he sides with Björn and not Harald but if I were Halfdan I wouldn’t ever prefer a guy that saved me over a brother that has been looking out for me my entire life, what do you think?”

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Jlctheowner responded: “Bjorn treated him as an equal. I’m not sure how you missed that. His brother was a d*** who said he would have no issues killing him.”

Other fans agree with the fact Halfdan wanted to step out of his brother’s shadow and make a name for himself.

Pain-n-stryife said: “My thoughts? He grew tired of chasing his brother’s dream and wanted to step out on his own, kind of like Rollo [Clive Standen].

“He chose Bjorn because he knew should he fight with his brother, he’d never again have the chance to see the things he saw with Bjorn.”

There had been some debate over why Halfdan did not put family before anything else, with fans saying they would always choose family.

Harald had always been convinced his brother owed him something in life, and he never treated him with the respect he deserved.

However the decision to kill his own brother on the battlefield did have lasting impacts on Harald, so he did feel some level of remorse.

Many viewers were sad to see Pääkkönen leaving the series as Halfdan, with some saying his character was one of the best alongside Ragnar Lothbrok.

Pääkkönen is on Instagram and he has shared many photos of himself in costume with his on-screen brother Harald.

One fan said: “Why TF did he kill Halfdan? I did NOT expect that. I trusted him! Congrats to you both…you were great!”

Vikings will return to History and Prime Video before the end of 2020

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