Who is Torvi? Is she a real Viking queen?
Iconic character of the series Vikings, Torvi is a Viking warrior with a very striking background. Making her appearance in the 2nd season, this strong-willed woman will conquer the hearts of the fans throughout the seasons.
Despite this, her story and her evolution will not always be unanimous. Indeed, we reproach the directors for not having given Torvi the role of heroine that she deserves.
That’s why we come back in this article on the history of the famous Ubbe’s wife. And we will take the opportunity to answer the famous question that is burning in our minds: did Torvi really exist, or is she a fictional character?
The story of the famous Viking warrior Torvi
We discover for the first time Torvi, played by Georgia Hirst, in season 02 of the series Vikings. Presented as a young princess, we attend her wedding with Jarl Borg. The latter is a formidable Viking warrior and the main antagonist of the season.
As expected, she quickly becomes one of the favorite characters of the fans of the series. Especially since she has a very captivating narrative arc and a story full of twists. Indeed, the destiny is not going to be lenient towards Torvi.
Throughout the series, we follow the progression of this endearing woman who becomes a key character in the Vikings series. In this regard, she transforms from an abused and powerless young queen into a Skjaldmö, a true Viking warrior.
However, before becoming this valiant warrior and Lagertha’s right hand, she will have to go through a long journey. We must warn you, the rest of the article will contain important revelations about the series, so Spoiler Alert!
The tragic death of Jarl Borg
Jarl Borg is Torvi’s first husband with whom she will have her eldest son Guthrum. Unfortunately for him, he will never have the chance to know his father who will perish in atrocious sufferings.
Indeed, after Borg announced that he wanted to take his revenge on Ragnar and King Horik, he embarked on a merciless war and succeeded in invading Kattegat, the native village of the Viking king. However, the response of Ragnar and Lagertha, accompanied by their son Björn I, was not long in coming.
Although she was still very young at the time, Torvi had a bad feeling. She begs her husband not to lead this fight and tries to reason with him. Despite this, Borg goes ahead and falls into Ragnar’s trap. He finds himself obliged to flee for his life, just as the young queen had predicted.
Despite his victory, Ragnar is more than determined to get revenge. He wants to get rid of the threat of the Jarl at all costs. To this end, he invites Borg and Torvi to Kattegat, making them believe that he wants to form an alliance.
The night they arrive, King Ragnar Lodbrok sends men led by Rollo and Floki to capture them. Although he decides to spare Torvi, who is pregnant at the time, she is forced to witness the gruesome execution of her husband. Thus, Ragnar inflicts on Borg the worst torture of the Nordic traditions, the ritual of the Blood Eagle.
A surprising transformation into a Viking warrior
After the terrible death of her first husband, Torvi finds herself unprepared. Alone and powerless, she meets Lagertha for the first time. In contrast to Torvi, Lagertha possesses a strength and determination worthy of the Valkyrie. This meeting with the Viking queen will mark her forever.
In season 03 of the series, Torvi begins a new journey, this time with her second husband Erlendur, son of King Horik. This adventure leads her to make an alliance with an Earl named Kalf. Ragnar then invites them to join the future raids he will lead on the kingdom of Francia.
Around a banquet, she meets Björn Côtes-de-Fer and announces her decision to join the Viking warriors. This is the beginning of Torvi’s surprising transformation into a Skjaldmö, a true Viking warrior.
This does not leave Björn indifferent and he falls under the charm of the young queen. And so, during this same evening, they will have a passionate relationship that will turn their lives upside down!
The union of Torvi and Björn
Soon after their arrival in Paris, Torvi and Björn get closer and closer and they become lovers. But their story will not remain a secret for long, because Erlendur will soon discover the pink pole.
Jealous and mad with rage, he takes the decision to kill his wife’s lover. In addition to sending mercenaries in pursuit of him, he will force Torvi to kill Björn herself, or else her son Guthrum will be in danger.
Her abusive husband pushes her into a corner. So, in a final conformation, she reveals everything to Björn, threatening him with a crossbow. Despite the situation, Björn declares his love for her under the malevolent eye of Erlendur, who is just waiting for her to shoot him.
Only, with these words she finds the courage to break free from Erlendur’s grip and turns around to shoot an arrow through his heart. This decision marks the greatest turning point in Torvi’s character. She buries her weaknesses forever and becomes an exceptional Viking warrior!
Very soon after the raids on Paris are over, Torvi and Björn get married and start a family.
The new chief of Kattegat
10 years later, we discover that Torvi and Björn have two children, an older son named Hali and a daughter Asa. In addition, Torvi becomes a Viking chieftain and the right hand of Lagertha, who once marked her.
From the 2nd to the end of this 4th season of the Vikings series, Torvi has come a long way. Fans have become very attached to this young woman with the heart of a lion. However, the show is not done with this character yet.
In the fifth season, Torvi and Björn decide to separate. To everyone’s surprise, she conquers the heart of another of King Ragnar Lodbrok’s sons, Ubbe Lothbrok. They marry and then convert to Christianity to strengthen the Viking alliance with the kingdom of Wessex.
However, season 6 of the series turns out to be less lenient with Torvi. Upon hearing the terrible news of the death of her mentor and friend Lagertha, she returns to Kattegat. Only, at her arrival her daughter Asa announces her the murder of Hali. Since a tragedy never comes alone, Torvi will witness the drowning of her daughter during a storm at sea.
The absence of Lagertha leaves a huge space for Torvi’s character who becomes the new warrior leader of Kattegat. Despite a surprising development, fans feel that Torvi has never found her place among the other protagonists of the series.
But before we tell you about it, we must first answer the major question: is Torvi a historical character?
Is Torvi based on a real character?
We know that the suspense will have lasted too long, but at the risk of disappointing many of you, Trovi is an entirely fictional character. Indeed, he is one of the few characters in the series to have no historical basis and to be based on no real Viking.
Thus, Torvi comes directly from the mind of Michael Hirst, the creator of the series. Through Torvi, he wanted to bring to life a representation of the everyday Viking woman. He then made her the embodiment of a legendary warrior from Viking mythology, the Skjaldmö.
Indeed, for a long time the existence of female warriors in the Viking civilization has been controversial. However, a recent genetic test on the skeleton of a Viking leader discovered in the tomb of Birka reveals that it is actually a woman.
In addition to this, it should be noted that the Norse sagas do not mention the names of the wives of Bjorn Ironheart or those of Ubbe Ragnarsson. One wonders if Torvi is in fact the incarnation of all the forgotten Viking women warriors of Scandinavian history.
In any case, the character of Torvi, although criticized, could well be more truthful than we think.
Why has Torvi never found her place in the Vikings series?
Despite her important impact on the show, many fans reproach the character of Torvi for not having been better exploited. Indeed, except for her decision to kill her second husband Erlendur, she has not had any real impact on the events of Vikings.
In fact, this can be explained by the simple reason that Torvi is completely fictional. It is quite normal that Michael Hirst, the creator of the series, may have hesitated to give her a more important role in order not to steal the spotlight from real Viking characters. Especially if we know that the actress who plays this role is none other than his daughter Georgia Hirst.
Nevertheless, Torvi will have made us live real strong sensations throughout the series. We think of the multiple moments when she saves Bjön’s life or the time when she offers to sacrifice herself to joined Lagertha to the afterlife.
In short, Torvi is a very poignant character in the Vikings series. Throughout her heroic journey, we quickly forget that she is fictional as she embodies the true Viking woman so well.