Although it has been almost one month since the final episode of Vikings Season 4, Episode 20 aired, there are still fans trying to get to the bottom of the last scene of the Season 4 finale where the words anany zapata are displayed.
As far as being an effective cliffhanger, there are plenty of Vikings fans that are hooked. Namely, when the last scene appears, there is a sword that has a word or words stamped into the handle of the blade that says either anany zapata — but the meaning of these words or phrase is not common knowledge to most Vikings fans.
Worse, there is no one clear explanation or definition that can be offered from a simple search engine research for the words anany zapata or ananyzapat.
For this reason, Vikings fans started a Reddit forum specifically about anany zapata or ananyzapata. So far, several fans have asked for an explanation about the final scene of Vikings Season 4, but there seems to be a lot of debate about the actual meaning of either anany zapata or ananyzapata.
For example, one person mentions that it was used by Christian mystic circles as an anti-Pagan (anti-Viking?) symbol.
Another Vikings fan points out on Reddit that there is a second inscription besides anany zapata that says “Kaspar Melcior Baltasar” and a third fan says it is likely related to the Magi or Three Wise Men from the birth of baby Jesus.
Adding to this, other meanings suggested by fans is that “Anany E Apata” it is old German or Latin phrase that means “act and adapt.” Along these lines, ananyzapata was thought to be by one Vikings fan as an older Latin spelling of the magic word ananizapta.
Other meanings for anany zapata that appear online from a brief search online reveals other confusing possible definitions and etymology.
For example, Stack Exchange has an entry for ananyzapata from 2013 and they state it is a “magical word from the mid-15th century, which is around the end of the Medieval Period.”
Unfortunately, this is not helpful information for Vikings fans because the show is based on a time period that ended around 1066 — and this means the end of the age of the Vikings occurred several centuries before the 15th century.
Movie Pilot goes as far as to define anany zapata as being associated with an inscription on the Middleham Jewel in North Yorkshire.
Regardless, figuring out what anany zapata means will likely continue to be a point of intrigue for Vikings fans that are curious about Season 5.
For example, TV Fanatic writes about the Vikings Season 4 finale and states that the person that owned the sword that says anany zapata is actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
This is Meyers’ debut as Bishop Heahmund — and it is suspected that he will be a major character in Vikings Season 5.
Alternatively, there could be a fourth meaning to the word ananyzapata that is not immediately revealed.
For example, it is well-known that the script for Vikings does not always follow history precisely, according to Guardian, and some details are used in a different way in order to flesh out the Vikings story for several seasons.
For this reason, it is an opinion that this ananyzapata could mean a number of things — and for all anyone knows, it might even be related Bjorn wanting to return to the Mediterranean.
It could also be that the sword was stolen from someone that is either German, Roman, or another heritage all together to use as a Trojan horse.
What we do know, as Vikings fans, is that there is always a lot of cliffhangers and intrigue built into every season of Vikings — and that is why it is one of the hottest shows on television.
[Featured Image by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for BFI]