From the moment that Vikings premiered in 2013 on the History Channel, it captured the public’s interest by bringing to life on screen characters that would become true legends for fans who joined by millions throughout its history. six seasons, until it ended in December 2020 broadcast on Amazon Prime.
Vikings fans still rave about its magnificent main characters and of course their respective performers, including Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith), Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig), Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) and Rollo (Clive Standen), but it was Ivar the Boneless, brought to life by the talented actor Alex Høgh Andersen, who caused the biggest stir from the moment he appeared on screen.
The most interesting of Ragnar’s sons was without a doubt Ivar, who despite his physical condition that earned him the nickname of Ivar the Boneless, developed as his story progressed into one of the most cunning and ruthless rivals in the series, with one of the memorable returns when he took on his brother Bjorn to reclaim the throne of Kattegat in season six.
Although the character of Ivar is based on a real Viking warrior, very little is known for sure about his personality and physical characteristics beyond his disability. However, the writers of the series used creativity wisely and knew how to provide what was necessary to make him one of the cast members with one of the most important arcs of the show.
Born with osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease, a genetic condition characterized by the easy breaking of all the bones in the body, Ivar lived a tormented childhood and adolescence as a cripple and excluded from society. His life was always marked by tragedy from the moment he was born, when his father Ragnar unsuccessfully tried to take his life, abandoning him in the forest as was the custom for children born with some deformity or disease.
As all Vikings fans know, when Ivar became an adult he always showed a constant thirst for war. His explosive personality could be manifested in each of his heinous murders and the tortures to which he used to subject his victims. His cold gaze and flashes of madness also drew attention to the color of his blue eyes with a unique and distinctive shine, which added a layer of realism to the character.
In addition to his deep gaze, something strange happened to Ivar in his eyes every time danger approached him or his bones were about to break. It turns out that the whites of Ivar’s eyes, (the sclera) were turning a deep, shiny blue (a true symptom of osteogenesis known as blue sclera). At one point in the series it is his brother Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) who remembers that when this change occurs, as it did before the battle in Vikings season 6, it means that Ivar is in great danger of being injured.