As King Ragnar and his companions are on their way to another raid, a mysterious stranger arrives in Kattegat , looking mischievous and pleading. Her name ? Harbard.
His natural charm and gracious manner prompt Queen Aslaug to welcome him hospitably. In fact, she and her friends, Siggy and Helga, had already dreamed of her arrival, which had not failed to raise many questions.
But they don't know how much the coming of this man will change their lives forever. In this article, let us introduce you to one of the most mysterious characters in the Vikings series!
Who is Harbard in the Vikings series?
One morning in Kattegat, a stranger arrives looking tired and asks Helga, Floki's wife, for help with a hand injury. This man is Harbard: he presents himself as a wanderer and a storyteller who travels the earth and the dwellings of the gods . All he asks for is shelter and food, in exchange for which he regales his guests with tales of his adventures and other legends.
Taken in by Helga, served by Siggy , and loved by Aslaug, Harbard proved to be an excellent storyteller, his natural charm and gripping charisma coming through naturally. Humble, simple and wise, he helps others and is interested in their problems, whatever they may be. Quite naturally, he seduces Aslaug, Ragnar's wife, neglected by her husband and unable to help Ivar-the-boneless.
The other side of Harbard is his insensitivity to tragic events ; he appears cold and without comfort. A curious and very amusing detail, he is a real womanizer who seduces all the women of Kattegat, like the mischievous and perverse god Loki. A striking contrast that further nourishes the enigmas and mysteries that surround his person.
Where Harbard goes, peace and pain follow him!
Harbard's whole being seems above that of the others. To its complex and fascinating character are added supernatural powers. For example, at Aslaug's request, he relieves Ivar's pain with astonishing ease, due to his peculiar deformity. Shortly after, two children die by drowning in the cold and icy waters, in a mysterious and unknown way. Mere coincidence?
The town of Kattegat has never known such a disturbing and pleasant presence as that of Harbard. However, only Siggy, Rollo's companion, seems to resist the gentle gaze and soothing voice of the famous storyteller. She even tries to dissuade, in vain, Queen Aslaug who leaves her children Ubbe and Hvitserk to attend Harbard in secret.
A tragedy occurs in the sequel. Left to themselves, the two children fall into a frozen lake under the distraught eyes of Siggy. The former queen throws herself into the water to save them , supported by the famous "vagabond" who appears as if by magic. The latter only saves Ragnar's sons, and lets Siggy sink before his eyes. An act that adds more to the incomprehension that Harbard causes in the minds of fans.
Harbard: A god or an enlightened mortal?
Had he appeared alongside other soldiers, a group, or clarified his origins, Harbard's character would have seemed quite normal. Instead, it appeared out of nowhere and disappeared into the mist , as if by magic, which is causing enough theories and controversies among fans.
Who is Harbard? The answers differ on the question. For many people, he is just a flirtatious wanderer who has deceived all the women of Kattegat . A man with a disturbed spirit, a little too disturbed by alcohol and the countries he has traveled. Others, on the contrary, affirm fervently that he would be an incarnation of Loki. The proof, isn't he as deceitful and manipulative as this Viking deity? For them, Harbard is a god.
There are those, more numerous, who see Harbard's subtle ways and vast knowledge as the god Odin, the supreme being of Norse mythology. This theory is also that of Floki, the shipbuilder, for whom Ragnar should be honored to have received such a visit in his absence . Some of Harbard's reactions, such as his return to answer Aslaug's call, help fuel this theory.
In the Poetic Edda, we find "The Song of Harbard", a poem in which this character is the figure of a ferryman who verbally challenges the god Thor. Throughout the poem, the two take offense until Harbard curses Thor and asks him to go away. However, it remains to be seen whether the Harbard from the Vikings series is none other than this character from this ancestral poem.
The myth around Harbard still remains
Appearing very briefly in seasons 3 and 4 of the Vikings series, the Harbard character remains an enigma in its own right. Until now, it would be difficult to define exactly who this character is, as the role was played to perfection by actor Kevin Durand. It's these qualities, among many others, that make Vikings one of the best historical series.