Thorgal is the son of Varth and Haynee, and grandson of Xargos. Raised by Vikings (after the spaceship crashed on Earth) but not one of them, he shows traits of character and morality that many Vikings consider those of a weak man. In reality, if need be, he is a courageous and skillful warrior and an exceptionally skilled archer. His life's goal is to find a place for himself and his family to live in peace. For a time he was stripped of his memory, and he became the pirate lord Shaigan, though his compassionate personality remained unchanged. Thorgal is the father of Jolan and Louve, who he had with his wife, Aaricia, and Aniel, who he had with Kriss of Valnor.
Thorgal was born to Varth and Haynee north of the coast of Nordland, at sea. In an attempt to save him, he was placed in a capsule and let out to sea. He was found by a viking drakkar and adopted by the chief of the Clan, Leif Haraldsson and Yvir. Thus he never really knew his biological parents. He was raised among the Vikings, and adopted their practices and customs, but not their values. When his foster father died being him only a kid and Gandalf Le Fou became chief, stealing all his possesions.
Thorgal was killed for the first time a a child, when he was helping Tjahzi return to his king Ivaldir. He was resurrected by the goddess Frigg, who thought that his fate was not yet completed.
When Thorgal grew up, he fell in love with Gandalf's daughter, but the chief would never allow her child to marry him, since he was not really a viking, so he tied Thorgal to a rock in the sea, and left him there to die drowned. Of course, he escaped and after a lot of adventures, got to marry his beloved Aaricia, having two children with her. Unfortunately, the norse gods were angry with him, so he had to leave his family and home and got involved in a quest to be erased from the gods' memory. What he didn't know was that his own memory would be erased too, and after that, one of her worse enemies, Kriss of Valnor, took the chance to fool him, making him believe to be her husband, a dangerous and cruel pirate of the north seas. She also enslaved Aaricia to see her suffering and had her under control by retaining Louve. However, both were rescued by Jolan, but Thorgal still believes to be Shaigan, although he felt quite out of place with his actual life.