"Burial of the Dead" is the sixth episode of the first season of Vikings. It is the sixth episode of the series overall. It first aired on April 7, 2013. It was written by creator Michael Hirst and directed by Ciarán Donnelly.
Ragnar, weak and still recovering from his wounds, must meet the Earl head-on after it comes to light that Rollo has been tortured on Haraldson’s orders. The two men will come together face to face with a single outcome possible: Only one man will leave this fight alive.
- Travis Fimmel as Ragnar
- Katheryn Winnick as Lagertha
- Clive Standen as Rollo
- Jessalyn Gilsig as Siggy
- Gustaf Skarsgård as Floki
- George Blagden as Athelstan
- Gabriel Byrne as Earl Haraldson
Additional Cast (in order of appearance)
- Gavan Duffy as Housecarl 1
- Trevor Cooper as Earl Bjarni
- Elinor Crawley as Thyri
- Ruby O'Leary as Gyda
- Jefferson Hall as Torstein
- Diarmaid Murtagh as Leif
- Tadhg Murphy as Arne
- Maude Hirst as Helga
- Angus MacInnes as Tostig
- Roanna Cochrane as Slave Girl
- Christina Forbes as Old Woman/Grim Giantess
- Dez McMahon as Haraldson Kinsman
- Michael Liebmann as Messenger
- Jonathan Kemp as Lord Wigea
- Alyssa Sutherland and Donal Logue are not credited and do not appear in this episode.
- This episode marks the final appearance for Gabriel Byrne due his character's death.
- The Angel of Death in the episode was a female shaman called a Volva, who were ubiquitous in contemporary Norse culture. The term 'Angel of Death' as used by Bjorn in the episode, was recorded only once by the 10th century Arabic traveller and writer Ahmad ibn Fadlan, who described such a woman during his encounter with the Rus, Swedish Vikings, in Russia. Ahmad ibn Fadlan was the one who used the phrasing, not the actual Rus. The burial in this episode is closely based on Ahmad ibn Fadlan's account.
- Althrough the burial as portrayed in the episode certainly based in historical account, it's wholly possible that it's inaccurate: Research suggest that the classical ship burning is how Norse people buried their dead while away from home, while someone who died at home was buried in an actual ship or symbolic one in a mound outside the community.