Ragnar Lodbrok:
One of the most well known Vikings in Viking history. With an army of thousands of men they raided multiple locations in Europe seeking good plunder. He led his army to multiple raids in France, the most important where Charles the Bald gave him 7,000 pounds of silver to leave. The information on Ragnar is sketchy, but he is said to be a Scandinavian hero; briefly being King of Sweden as well as Denmark.

Erik The Red:
Erik The Red was a Norwegian born and raised explorer, as well as casual murderer. After his banishment from Iceland for murder, he wanted to make a settlement without his enemies. He reached Greenland with 14 ships and started his settlement. It was a land covered in ice, they called it "Greenland" to attract other people to live within their settlement. Greenland was a self-sustained settlement, with a ship called “Grønlandsknarren” (Greenlandic) bringing in what they did not have. Vikings were very good raiders and explorers, but they were also efficient farmers as well. Greenland was inhabited by Vikings for what could've been five centuries.


Leif Erikson:
This explorer was actually the son of Erik The Red (which already gives him a hell of a resume). Leif went on a voyage to prove that the claims of Bjarni Herjulfsson (an Icelandic trader) were true. He bought Bjarni's ship and set sail, but took the route backwards and ended up landing on three different lands. First was Helluland (Flat-stone Land), then Markland (Wood Land) and finally Vinland. Leif and his Vikings stayed in Vinland for one winter, then went back to Greenland the next year and never returned to the three lands they found (there was said tension between the Vikings and natives).

Out of all three I think Erik The Red was the most important. If not the most important, definitely the most interesting. Even though he was a murderer and exiled from Iceland for being just that, he still managed to be productive. Neither Leif Erikson or Ragnar founded a thriving settlement, which Erik did do. Greenland had Viking settlements for around 500 years, while Leif and his men left Vinland after a winter.