Ragnar the Red is the name of a Nordic song, popular in Skyrim. Bards who will play it upon request include Karita in Dawnstar's Windpeak Inn, Sven in Riverwood, Mikael at The Bannered Mare in Whiterun, and others such as Talsgar the Wanderer. Many of them claim that this song was one of the first they learned. There are instances in which a carriage driver will start singing a verse from the song as a passenger gets on.
Oh, there once was a hero named Ragnar the Red
Who came riding to Whiterun from ole Rorikstead
And the braggart did swagger and brandish his blade
As he told of bold battles and gold he had made
But then he went quiet, did Ragnar the Red
When he met the shield-maiden Matilda, who said;
"Oh, you talk and you lie and you drink all our mead
Now I think it's high time that you lie down and bleed!"
And so then came clashing and slashing of steel
As the brave lass Matilda charged in, full of zeal
And the braggart named Ragnar was boastful no more-
When his ugly red head rolled around on the floor!
- The name Ragnar the Red is possibly a reference to Ragnar Redbeard, the pseudonym of the author of the book Might is Right. It could also be a reference to Ragnar Lodbrok , the Legendary Nordic king who sailed the Seine and threatened to destroy Paris.
- The Headless Horseman could be the spirit of Ragnar, based on the lyrics saying he was riding to Whiterun on a horse, and that his head was rolling on the floor, meaning that his head was chopped off.
- The "Brave lass Matilda" could be a reference to a medieval Italian hero named Matilda of Canossa .