|“||As his son, his fame does not interest me. What he used his power for, now that would interest me.||”|
- Ubbe to Ivar, The Last Ship
Ubbe is the first son of Ragnar Lothbrok and Aslaug. He was conceived out of wedlock which would have made him a bastard, but with Ragnar's marriage to Aslaug and divorce of Largetha he became Ragnar's legitmate son and heir. He is the second oldest of Ragnar's son and arguably the most mellow. He also closely resembles his father when he was a young man. He is married to Margrethe, but his lover is Torvi, who was previously his older brother, Bjorn's wife.
Ubbe was born in the four year gap between Season 2 Episodes 1 and 2.
Ragnar eventually returns from England, whereupon he is reunited with his family. With the assistance of Lagertha and Bjorn, his first family, he takes back Kattegat from Jarl Borg. To exact revenge, Ragnar performs the blood eagle on Jarl Borg.
An older Ubbe is seen playing with his little brothers, Hvitserk and Sigurd.
One day while Aslaug is away, Ubbe and Hvitserk wander off by themselves and onto a frozen lake. Siggy pursues them, calling out their names. Despite hearing her, the sons of Ragnar ignore her cries for them to return. Suddenly, the ice breaks under their combined weight, and Siggy watches in horror as both boys plunge in. Without hesitation, she doffs her long cloak and dives right into the icy depths below, thus saving their lives, with the help of Harbard. Unfortunately her noble act costs Siggy her life, and she tragically drowns.
At he start of season 4, Ubbe and a hunting party are searching for Floki, who had escaped his chains after being arrested by Bjorn for killing Athelstan. Ubbe spots Floki hiding underwater, and they recapture him. Both Ubbe and Hvitserk receive their arm rings from Ragnar in order for them to travel to Paris with him - but not to fight. The Franks attack the Viking camp, but Ubbe and the others manage to escape. Sadly, Helga is grievously wounded. After the Vikings' defeat under the leadership of Rollo and the Franks, Ubbe returns to Kattegat with the remainder of the broken and defeated Viking army.
Ten years after Ragnar disappeared, Ubbe has grown into a strong, skillful, and proficient warrior, as have all of Ragnar's sons - except for Ivar. As a young man, Ubbe has come to resemble Ragnar in his youth. Bjorn brings the news to his brothers that the Viking settlement in Wessex was destroyed by the Saxons. Together, the brothers discuss why Ragnar didn't tell anyone. Ubbe states that if it is true that Ragnar kept it a secret, then he hopes that their father never comes back. Ivar gets angry at Ubbe for insulting Ragnar, referring to them as "Christians", and insulting them by calling them soft. Angry, Ubbe tells Ivar that none of Ragnar's sons are soft. As a son of Ragnar, Ubbe doesn't care so much about his father's warrior fame but rather what he used his power for, which is what would interest him personally.
At this point, Ragnar walks back into Kattegat after a decade long absence. He reunites with his now-grown up sons and challenges one of them to kill him (focusing on Ubbe) in order to become the new king. This is reminiscent of Ragnar's defeat of Earl Haraldson back in the first season, when he had to kill him in order to assume his new position as King of Kattegat.
None of Ragnar's sons dare step forward to challenge their father except for Ubbe; however, they just embrace. Ragnar and his sons discuss the lost Wessex settlement and why he came back. He then asks his sons to accompany him to England.
Ubbe, along with Sigurd, decide to stay in Kattegat in order to protect their mother. They are invited to Hedeby by Lagertha, where they dine together. Lagertha then returns to Kattegat and usurps the throne from Aslaug, to become queen of Kattegat. In one of her first acts as the new queen, she kills Aslaug with an arrow to the back, as revenge for taking Ragnar and her former life away. Upon finding out about his mother's death, Ubbe attempts to kill Lagertha, but fails to do so when he is stopped by her guards. He quite naturally wants vengeance on her for murdering his mother. Ubbe and Sigurd are closely guarded by Lagatha's warriors, despite Astrid's advice to kill Aslaug's sons.
Ivar safely returns to Kattegat from England, and informs them that Ragnar has been handed over to King Aelle. In all probability, Ragar was already long dead, but it is their duty to cross the seas to avenge him. To Ivar's fury, Ubbe tells him that their mother is dead. Odin himself then approaches Ubbe and his brothers to confirm that yes, their father is dead, too. Angry and orphaned, Ubbe and Ivar make an attempt to murder Lagertha, but are stopped by Bjorn, who tells them that they will have to kill him, too, if they try to harm his mother. When Ivar suggests that perhaps they should undertake that task, Ubbe angrily tells him to shut up.
Ubbe frees and marries the slave girl, Margrethe. Ubbe, Hvitserk, Sigurd, Ivar and their big brother Bjorn then form the Great Heathen Army to battle the Saxons, this time for vengeance for Ragnar. They easily defeat the forces of Northumbria, and Bjorn kills King Aelle with the dread blood eagle, poetically performed at the same spot in the woods where the Saxons threw Ragnar into a pit of snakes. The Great Heathen Army then face the forces of Wessex, confusing and outmaneuvering them; this causes the Saxons to retreat.
The Vikings also manage to capture King Ecbert. Ivar demands a blood eagle for him as well, but Bjorn decides otherwise. Bjorn allows King Ecbert to choose his own stiletto in order to commit suicide in his bath, but not before he has King Ecbert sign over his lands to the Vikings to farm, which was always Ragnar's dream - to settle into a new world and establish a Viking colony there. Little did Bjorn and his brothers know, but King Ecbert had previously renounced the crown to his son, Aethelwulf. In doing so, the lands that King Ecbert signed away were no longer his to bestow; therefore, he double crossed the Vikings and got the last laugh, despite his defeat and death at their hands.
Afterwards, Season 4 ends with the sons of Ragnar watching in horror as Ivar murders Sigurd in a fit of rage, by hurling an axe into his stomach. Ivar is petulant because the others are angry with him, but he shows no remorse for killing Sigurd.
Ubbe, Hvitserk, and Ivar rule jointly over their newly acquired land in East Anglia. Floki decides to leave The Great Heathen Army to sail "to wherever the gods take me." The sons of his old friend Ragnar Lothbrok say their farewells to him. Alone, Ivar tries to convince Floki to stay and help fight the Saxons. But with the deaths of his best friend Ragnar and the sad loss of his Helga, Floki tells him that there is nothing for him to really live for anymore. Ivar breaks down and cries, saying that his heart is broken. Almost tenderly, Floki embraces Ivar, fondly referring to the son that he wished he had as "Ivar the Boneless, scourge of the world." In a poignant scene, the Vikings line the shoreline as Floki sails away in his one-man boat, shouting: "All hail Floki! All hail Floki!" He doesn't look back.
Ubbe and Hvitserk argue with Ivar over what to do next. The two older brothers want to make peace with the Saxons. But Ivar has bigger plans - he convinces them to take their forces and head North to York, where they can build themselves a stronghold and a staging arena for other battles to come. The brothers reluctantly admit that this is a sound strategy, and they head to York.
Once there, Ubbe recalled an old lesson of Ragnar's: that it was always best to attack the Saxons during one of their special Saints' Days. They captured two young boys in order to find out when the next one would be, and then attacked the Saxon worshipers, slaughtering them all. Ivar took it another level by pouring the melted gold from the bishop's own cross into his mouth. Ubbe seemed moved by the nun who fell into his arms after she slit her own wrists; he lowered her body almost reverentially onto the floor of the church, staring into her eyes as the life left them.
After the successful attack and occupation of the city, Hvitserk and Ubbe go to speak with Ivar. They are surprised to see that he now has bodyguards, who initially tried to stop them. Ubbe just stared them down until they stepped aside.
They find Ivar getting a large snake tattooed on to his back, and ask him why he needs bodyguards. "Because I'm a cripple!" he states. However, he then shows his brothers the newly created leg braces and crutches that were specially made in order for him to walk on his own.
The Saxons, led by King Aethelwulf and Bishop Heahmund, enter the town through a section of the old Roman walls, which were purposefully untouched by Ivar, in order to lure the Saxons into the town. The Saxons suffer a crushing defeat and flee.
Afterwards, Ubbe and Hvitserk propose a truce. They want to parley with the Saxons. Ubbe brings up the fact that Ragnar's ultimate dream was to farm the land in this new country. He wants to claim the lands that King Ecbert signed over to them, but Ivar does not think this is a good idea. He wants to continue to battle and conquer the Saxons.
Ubbe and Hvitserk secretly ride off into the night to try and negotiate with the Saxons. Aethelwulf seemingly accepts their offer, but Heahmund arranges to have the brothers humiliated by killing off their men, beating them up, and then laughing as the two sons of Ragnar Lothbrok flee into the night and back to their camp.
With his two older brothers' humiliation at the hands of their enemies, Ivar secures his position as the leader of The Great Army. Ubbe and Hvitserk do not want to accept their younger brother as the leader, and they prepare to leave for Kattegat with their remaining followers. However, at the last minute, Hvitserk decides to remain with Ivar, much to Ubbe's sorrow and disappointment.
Ubbe thus returns to Kattegat, where he is reunited with his wife, Margrethe, and decides to stop sharing her with Hvitserk. Lagertha proposes that they ally against Ivar and King Harald Finehair, and Ubbe agrees. Floki returns to Kattegat with tales of his fabulous new land, and recruits settlers to return there with him. Ubbe informs Floki about the situation with Ivar.
After Bjorn leaves Torvi for Princess Snaefrid, Ubbe ends up kissing Torvi when he tries to comfort her.
Ubbe and his allies discuss how to respond to Ivar's attack, and decide to meet him in battle on land. They assume that Ivar will not attack the town from the sea. Margrethe continues to urge Ubbe to betray Lagertha, so that when she is defeated and Bjorn dies, Ubbe can become King of Kattegat.
After two months, the combined forces of Ubbe, Lagertha, and Bjorn line up against the armies of Ivar, King Harald, and Hvitserk. They meet above Kattegat, and Lagertha sends emissaries to negotiate a hostage trade: Hvitserk for Halfdan.
Ubbe tries to persuade Hvitserk to join him, but he is unsuccessful in turning him to his side. The leaders of both armies meet again the next day. Bjorn implores Ivar to consider the possibility of Peace, telling him that a civil war would only bring tragedy, and “a lifetime of revenge obligations for those who survive.”
Ultimately, the attempt at a treaty fails, and the time has come to battle. Ivar agrees, but then mockingly tricks Ubbe and his allies. Before the start of the battle, Ivar positions a third of the army towards shore, to protect their fleet. Hvitserk and his group try to flank, but are ambushed in the forest by the Sami. After the battle begins, Ubbe and Lagertha gain the upper hand, as Harald's forces are outflanked. Ivar does not help his ally. Heahmund is wounded, and King Harald retreats. Lagertha refuses to kill Bishop Heahmund, and gives orders that his life be spared.
As a son of Ragnar, Ubbe has grown up on the tales of his legendary father's bravery and glory in battle. Despite his youth, he is sharp and assertive, able to track Floki through the wilderness and cunning enough to spot him in the water. His loyalty to his father is unquestionable, along with his loyalty to his brothers - especially his older half-brother Bjorn, much to his mother Aslaug's displeasure.
As a young man, Ubbe is the most sensitive and compassionate of Ragnar's sons. He even treats the slaves with compassion. As an example, he asks Margrethe to sleep with Ivar instead of forcing her. He doesn't rape women on raids and even shows a moment of compassion to a nun that slit her own wrists during the attack on York. Ubbe strives to put other people before himself, and wants to fulfill his father's dream of settling and farming in The New World. Contrary to his preference for diplomacy, Ubbe does love fighting and killing his enemies. Like his father, Ubbe possesses a curiosity for other cultures.
Ubbe is the only member of his family who has a healthy relationship with all of the other members. While at times frustrated with his parents, he loved them both deeply and accepted their faults. He was the only one, besides Ivar, who was enraged enough at his mother's murder to attempt to kill Lagertha. He decided to acquiesce when Bjorn defended his mother from his half brother's wrath.
Ubbe deeply loves all of his brothers, and was the only one to legitimately care for Ivar, feeling pity for him when it was revealed his deformity left him impotent, while Hvitserk and Sigurd laughed. Although Ubbe was smart enough to be wary of Ivar and his temper, he underestimated his younger brother's instability, manipulative nature, and ferocity. He was shocked when Ivar killed Sigurd, and again when Ivar convinced the Great Army to dismiss his leadership and instead follow Ivar to war with the Saxons. After this development, Ubbe begins to develops a deep hatred of Ivar. Ubbe cares for his brother as he is deeply saddened after the death of Sigured and Ubbe tries to persuade Hvitserk to side with him as he does not want to have to kill him. Ubbe even tries reconcile with Ivar after being usurped and humiliated by Ivar.
An intelligent and capable leader, Ubbe assisted first Bjorn, and later Ivar, in helping to lead the Great Army. He shows quick thinking and resourcefulness in battle, leading the men under him to victory. He is a skilled warrior, fearless on the battlefield; however, Ivar is the great tactician. At times brash and impulsive, Ubbe unthinkingly tried to attack Lagertha in the Great Hall after learning that she murdered Aslaug. His impulsiveness also led him to try and make peace with the Saxons without aid. This decision ultimately led to the deaths of his soldiers, the humiliating beating at the hands of Bishop Heahmund, and the loss of all his supporters in the Great Army, even Hvitserk.
- As of the Season 2 finale, Ubbe and his brothers would be known by the Old Norse title Budlungr or 'prince'.
- Ubbe is best remembered as one of the principle leaders, along with his brothers, Ivar the Boneless and Halfdan (Hvitserk), of the unified Danish Viking army which the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles refers to as the Mycel Heathen Here (the Great Heathen Army). Ubbe reportedly assisted with the Danish conquests of the kingdoms of Northumbria, East Anglia and the northern half of Mercia. Ubbe also led raiding expeditions against the Welsh kingdoms, notably Dyfed whenever he wasn't in England.
- Ubbe's base of power may have been on the island of Walcheren in the mouth of the River Scheldt in Frisia (modern Netherlands), as the Danish Vikings had been operating within the country during the two decades leading up to the Danish conquests in England from 865 CE onward. From there, a number of Frisians, a coastal plains-dwelling people who were known themselves for their piratical activities, may have been recruited into the Mycel Heathen Here.
- Ubbe and his brother Ivar are said to have killed the English King Edmund of East Anglia. Ubbe was killed in the Battle of Cynwit in Devonshire, England in 878. He was 53 years old.
|Season two appearances|
|Brother's War||Invasion||Treachery||Eye For an Eye||Answers in Blood|
|Unforgiven||Blood Eagle||Boneless||The Choice||The Lord's Prayer|
|Season three appearances|
|Mercenary||The Wanderer||Warrior's Fate||Scarred||The Usurper|
|Born Again||Paris||To the Gates!||Breaking Point||The Dead|
|Season five appearances|
|The Departed Part 1||The Departed Part 2||Homeland||The Plan||The Prisoner|
|The Message||Full Moon||The Joke||A Simple Story||Moments of Vision|