Ivar the Boneless can't walk as he has some problem with legs. In season 5

we see that he tries to walk and is able to.

My question is, what is his problem? It obviously sees many times that it is not about not having bones. Is that some kind of disease? Which one?

I am asking about the show, not the real Ivar the Boneless.

  • Since the shows Ivar is based on the real one why wouldn't the reasons be the same?
    – Paulie_D
    Jan 26, 2018 at 12:45
  • @Paulie_D Lot of things is made differently in the show, then it was in history. Also, I read dome article which said that it is not sure why he was called boneless in reality,but I guess they have some intention in the show.
    – TGar
    Jan 26, 2018 at 19:49
  • Can someone explain the downvote, please? Can I improve anything?
    – TGar
    Jan 26, 2018 at 19:52

2 Answers 2


I don't think that the show ever states exactly what Ivar's disease is. In season 4, episode 11, when Ivar is trying to sleep with a slave, his deformed legs are shown for a moment, and they look, (to me) like he was born with clubbed feet. That would explain the "twisted" appearance of his feet. It doesn't look (again, to me) like his actual legs were deformed, just underdeveloped, which would make sense since he crawled and sort of dragged his legs around for most of the episodes in season 4. He wasn't paralyzed by any spinal issues, so his legs probably had more mobility than we might assume, since the problem was not being able to stand on his deformed feet, instead of not moving his legs. One of the diseases that I have heard mentioned is brittle bone disease, which makes bones very easy to break. Ivar's deformity could be from his bones breaking quite a bit, (which could happen in the ancient world). Some people who suffer from brittle bone disease also have a bluish tint to the whites of their eyes. In season 5, episode 8, Ivar is on the battlefield, and he asks his brother Ubbe how blue his eyes are. When Ubbe replies that his eyes are very blue, Ivar states that as a child, he knew that when the whites of his eyes were very blue, he knew that he was in "great danger of breaking a bone." So, he may suffer from brittle bone disease, even though the Viking series has taken a few liberties with how realistic Ivar's condition is. I hope that helps.


I would say that the nickname Boneless in the first place is, of course, derived from the look of his legs and people in that time couldn't definitely know about something like a genetical disease he was born with, they would not ever even think about it in concepts we think about it today. They may have associated it with a religion, just born in weakness... We are talking here about extremely militarized society.

About his ability to walk, I would say that the creators wanted to somehow "normalize" his character. It was pretty awkward for viewers to see someone crawling all the time, mostly during non combat scenes and interactions. In combat, they gave him this super war carriage and in non combat scenes they gaved him some kind of a replacement that looks "medieval", because is maded from an iron and looks like a typical medieval concept of equipment you can see in most movies... It's of course completely unrealistic but hey, we are not talking realism in here...

  • Sorry, but this is not answering my question. Are you saying,that the creators don't have a clue what is his disability?
    – TGar
    Jan 26, 2018 at 19:51
  • Also, we are talking realism here.
    – TGar
    Jan 26, 2018 at 19:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .