History Channel’s ‘Vikings’ Renewed For Season 5, New Cast Member Announced

Fans of History Channel’s Vikings can rejoice today after it was announced the historical series has been renewed for a fifth season. And following in the footsteps of season 4, season 5 will also contain 20 episodes.

Jana Bennett, the president and general manager of History, made the announcement via a press release today — just in time for fans to get super excited before they watch episode 5 (entitled “Promised”) of this season’s Vikings tonight on the History Channel. And, as if the renewal of Vikings wasn’t exciting enough, there was also a new cast member announced.

“The brilliant writing and depth of historical research and authenticity brought to the screen by Michael Hirst paired with our talented cast and crew, has made this series one of the most compelling, visually stunning historical dramas on television. Vikings has raided the hearts of audiences and we are thrilled that Jonathan Rhys Meyers will become a bigger part of the History family after his incredible performance in our upcoming production of ‘Roots.'”

Mark Burnett, president of television and digital group, and Steve Stark, president of television development and production, both for MGM, are also excited about Jonathan Rhys Meyers joining the cast.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers is already known to the show’s writer, Michael Hirst, both having worked on The Tudors for the Showtime network, with Meyers playing the role of King Henry VIII in that series. He is also known for playing Elvis Presley in the 2005 TV movie on the famous singer, as Valentine in the movie The Mortal Instruments, and as the title role in NBC’s Dracula. He will also star in History Channel’s upcoming series Roots, which chronicles the history of an African slave sold to America and his descendants. This series is adapted from Alex Haley’s novel of the same name.

As yet there is no news on which character Jonathan Rhys Meyers will portray in season 5 of Vikings. With the current storylines in season 4, it is just as likely Meyers will be an English or French character as a Viking. However, with the earlier confirmation from Michael Hirst that the Vikings will head to the Mediterranean and Spain later on in season 4 and through into season 5, is it possible Meyers will play a Spanish character? According to an essay on Viking expeditions by Victor Manuel, the Vikings hit Spanish soils right around the time of civil unrest between Charles the Bald and his nephew Peppin II. Could Jonathan Rhys Meyers perhaps play one of these characters? Only time will tell.

[Image via Francois Durand/Stringer/Getty Images]

According to the press release, Vikings is consistently rated as one of the top 10 cable drama series. It is also the No.1 cable telecast on Thursday night (known affectionately as “Thorsday” night to Vikings fans) in all key demographics within Live +3 delivery garnering 4.2 million total viewers, made up of 2.1 million in the Adults 25-54 category and 1.9 million in the Adults 18-49 category. Season 4 of Vikings just wrapped earlier this week and Season 5 of Vikings will start production in summer. Season 5 of Vikings will air sometime in 2017 and will likely be broken up into two mini-seasons just like the current season. Michael Hirst will be overseeing and writing all episodes for season 5 as he had with all previous seasons of Vikings. Partners World 2000 and Take 5 Productions will continue their involvement with Vikings through into season 5.

Are you excited to hear Vikings has been renewed for season 5? What role do you think Jonathan Rhys Meyers will play? Let us know your thoughts and theories by commenting below.

Vikings returns to History Channel with episode 5, entitled “Promised,” on Thursday, March 17, at 10 p.m. ET.

[Image via A&E Network]