January 20, 2016
'Vikings' Season 4: Will Ragnar Make It To Valhalla?

Season 4 of History Channel's Vikings returns next month but the newest trailer released hints at the death of a major character.

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains speculation about the upcoming season 4 of History Channel's Vikings. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid potential spoilers.

Season 3 of Vikings saw main character, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), fall from a wall during a battle in Paris. While he survived the fall and managed to bluff his way inside the walls of Paris by faking his own death, the king of the vikings returned to Kattegat a much weakened man.

Now, in season 4, it seems the death of Ragnar is looming. The latest video teaser shows a mostly healed Ragnar but asks the question, "Will Ragnar make it inside the walls of Valhalla?"

While Vikings fans don't want to see the death of Ragnar, if the viking sagas the show is based on are correct, Ragnar will die and his son will become an even greater leader. Season 3 showed the beginnings of the struggle Ragnar's son, Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), would encounter on his road to superseding his father. Judging by the trailer released at last year's San Diego Comic Con, it looks like season 4 will see more of Bjorn attempting to step into the mighty shoes of Ragnar as he rallies Ragnar's people. Although, by the end of the teaser video, Bjorn emerges from a hole in the ice. How did he end up there? Was he pushed or is he undergoing a ritual? Only time will tell.

In the latest clip released by History Channel, it looks like in season 4, Bjorn should get his leading skills polished in a hurry as it seems season 4 of Vikings will deal with whether Ragnar will make it to Valhalla or not.

The clip begins with Ragnar admitting that power is dangerous and that it is something he has always known. Yet the viking king pursued it regardless, bringing him to the place he is now at, injured and potentially left to die like an old man rather than a warrior -- a fate worse than death for vikings. In viking lore, the only way to enter Valhalla is by dying an honorable death, in other words, to die in battle. Ragnar has mostly recovered from the battle in season 3 and is now languishing in Kattegat. If he is to die of old age, his death would mean he did not enter Valhalla and would, therefore, not die an honorable death.

This concept is addressed in the season 4 teaser clip of Vikings. While Ragnar admits he embraces the idea of death, it seems he is concerned with where he will go in the afterlife.

"I embrace the idea of death. Will I get into Valhalla? I do not know."
For the mighty warrior, this question will likely weigh heavily on him in season 4 of Vikings and appears to be the entirety of his story arc this season. However, the image below showing Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) leaning over Ragnar as he sits on his throne also indicates he might have more than the afterlife to deal with in season 4 of Vikings.

Vikings Season 4 Ragnar Lothbrok played by Travis FImmel overshadowed by Floki played by Gustaf Skarsgard
[Image via History Channel/A + E NetworkIn season 3 of Vikings, Floki betrayed Ragnar by killing his friend, Athelstan (played by George Blagden), the christian monk Ragnar had befriended after taking him as a slave in season 1. Ragnar grew to love Athelstan and valued his opinion on many things, including the differences between the two religions they believed in. As a result of this friendship, Ragnar came to question his own beliefs as well as whether Valhalla is really the place he wants to be if Athelstan wasn't there with him. It seems this theme may be continued in season 4 of Vikings as Ragnar has to deal with Floki's actions. Or is Floki overshadowing Ragnar in the image because he is planning to overthrow the viking king once and for all in season 4?

One more thing to note is the fact that Ragnar is surrounded by snakes as he ponders his fate. In the viking sagas, Ragnar dies after King Aelle (played by Ivan Kaye in the TV series) throws him into a pit of venomous snakes. This imagery of Ragnar being surrounded by snakes could suggest season 4 will be the death of him. But will History Channel remain true to the viking sagas? Or is the imagery merely suggesting Ragnar is surrounded by people who want to cause him harm?

What do you think? Will Ragnar die an honorable viking death and enter Valhalla? Let us know your thoughts and theories on season 4 of Vikings by commenting below!

Vikings returns with an extended season 4 to History Channel on Thursday, February 18, at 10 p.m. ET.

[Image via History Channel/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.]