The first half of Season 4 of History Channel’s Vikings showed a steady decline in the main character of Ragnar Lothbrok. While this was to be expected on a show that will deal not only with Ragnar, but his sons as well, the show’s creator, Michael Hirst, wants to reassure fans that the story is not yet over for Ragnar.
SPOILER ALERT: This article contains information about Season 4 of History Channel’s Vikings. Also discussed is historical evidence in relation to the Vikings characters. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers, especially historically-based spoilers.
Michael Hirst has always told fans of Vikings that the story will not end with the death of main character, Ragnar Lothbrok (played by Travis Fimmel in the TV series). Season 4 showed a dramatic decline of Ragnar as he met Yidu (Dianne Doan) and started a downward spiral into drug addiction. As this occurred, fans started to assume this was the beginning of the end. Then, in the Season 4 mid-season finale, Ragnar battled his brother, Rollo (Clive Standen) and lost. After this, Ragnar apparently disappeared for several years and fans were left wondering if maybe History Channel were just going to phase out the character rather than decide which historical death would suit the once mighty Viking.
According to history, Ragnar Lodbrok (the character Ragnar Lothbrok is based on) dies in either two ways. Firstly, it is possible he succumbed to cholera and wounds sustained at the massive battle of Paris that has already passed in the Vikings TV series. Secondly, he was killed by King Aelle (played by Ivan Kaye in the TV series) who throws him into a pit of venomous snakes. However, considering the fact that the actor who plays Ragnar is preparing for, potentially, his breakout movie, Warcraft, fans thought Ragnar might just fade away into antiquity rather than suffer either of those deaths.
But, Ragnar did reappear at the very end of the Season 4 mid-season finale of Vikings and Michael Hirst has told The Hollywood Reporter that the story is far from over in relation to Ragnar Lothbrok.
“Ragnar’s story is nowhere near the end. Nowhere near the end, and it’s just an amazing, onward story. It may be the story of the rise and fall of a hero — it still counts as a fall, I suppose — but some of my best work and Travis’ work comes in the next half of the season.”
Besides Ragnar returning to Kattegat and discovering just how much it has grown since he was last there, he also has to deal with the fact his children have grown along with it. And, something else Michael Hirst points out is the fact there could be some imposter sons among the lands.
“As our historical consultant keeps reminding me, in that time to be a son of Ragnar Lothbrok was the biggest calling card. Lots of guys called themselves the son of Ragnar, even though they weren’t, in order to get raiding parties together.”
And this may have already been touched on in the Season 4 mid-season finale of Vikings when it was announced Ragnar had the son, Magnus, to Queen Kwenthrith (Amy Bailey). Fans knew that Ragnar and Kwenthrith were intimate in Season 3 of Vikings and when the queen announced she was pregnant with Ragnar’s child, it was a fairly plausible idea. But what if Magnus isn’t the son of Ragnar Lothbrok? Could he just be one of those claiming to be the son of Ragnar to get ahead in life?
While the trailer for the second half of Season 4 of Vikings showed Ragnar interacting with his children, another aspect of Ragnar’s story may also have been hinted at in the video. In the video, King Ecbert (Linus Roache) is rallying his son to war. Could Ragnar have something to do with this? Michael Hirst confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that Ragnar returned for a reason.
“Ragnar’s come back for a purpose. He has to fulfill that purpose, and he does fulfill that purpose.”
Could this suggest Ragnar heads back to England to settle the score over the annihilation of the Viking village Ecbert was supposed to protect? Afterall, Ragnar spoke of this to Yidu in the first half of Season 4 and admitted he had told no one about it and that it shamed him deeply. Could Ragnar still have more battles ahead in the Season 4 return of Vikings? And, considering the teaser video show Rollo and Ragnar’s son, Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), fighting side-by-side in an unlikely alliance, this could be an indicator Paris might also side with the Vikings over England. However, only tuning into the second half of Season 4 of Vikings will reveal all!
The second half of Season 4 of Vikings will return to History Channel later this year.
[Image via A&E Network]