The final season of Vikings, Hvitserk changed his name to Athelstan, leaving everyone surprised, but this is the real reason for the surprising change.
The final season of Vikings showed Hvitserk how he converted to Christianity so he was given a new name, called Athelstan. But why?
In the final episodes, fans saw Hvitserk help his brother overthrow Prince Oleg, leader of the Rus. After completing their mission, the brothers decided to return to their homeland of Kattegat, but were not satisfied.
Instead, they chose to sail to Wessex in England, to avenge their father and fight King Alfred. Determined to become the greatest Viking who ever lived. But, the fight had a tragic defeat, in which Ivar saved Hvitserk and while running and looking back, Ivar was stabbed by Wessex soldiers.
At the end of it all, Hvitserk stayed in Wessex for a time, realizing that he was the one destined to bring peace between the two sides. So he was baptized into Christianity.
Hvitserk was baptized in the presence of King Alfred and his wife, Aelswith, so together with the bishop who carried out the ceremony they decided to name him, Athelstan.
Series creator Michael Hirst said it was to pay tribute to the fan-favorite character who died early in the series. Athelstan was a Christian monk who had been captured by Ragnar Lothbrok and returned to Kattegat as a slave.
Hirst explained how Athelstan has remained a part of the series, even if it wasn’t in person. His spirit has continued to guide many of the characters, including King Alfred as a child. Athelstan played a metaphorical role in the series as he represented the growing impact of Christianity during the Viking era.