Season 5 of Vikings will see Darren Cahill play Aethelred, the grown up son of Aethelwulf. Darren Cahill is best known for his work in the TV3 drama, Red Rock. But how will Cahill’s character affect the other Vikings?
Spoiler alert: This article discusses the historical aspects of some of the Vikings characters that may spoil upcoming storylines in Season 5 of History’s Vikings. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid potential spoilers.
News on Season 5 of Vikings has been scant since the cast announcement of Jonathan Rhys Meyers. While little is still known about the character Meyers will play, a recent casting announcement made by The Irish Sun reveals the direction Season 5 of Vikings is likely to take.
Irish actor, Darren Cahill, of TV3’s Red Rock fame will be joining the cast of Vikings Season 5 as a character called Aethelred. His character is the grown son of Aethelwulf, played by fellow Irish actor, Moe Dunford. Fans saw a time jump at the end of the mid-season finale of Season 4 of Vikings, but this was only a jump of five or six years according to the show’s creator, Michael Hirst. This means that many of the younger characters we saw previously in Vikings, have now grown up.
But what of Darren Cahill’s character, Aethelred? How will this character affect others? Let’s have a look at the historical aspects of the history of the time and see what we can find out.
Not to be confused with another historical character, Aethelred the Unready, Aethelred was the fourth son of Aethelwulf. In the television show, Aethelwulf only has one legitimate son, Alfred being the bastard son of Aethelwulf’s wife, Judith (Jennie Jacques) and Athelstan (George Blagden). However, history places these two as full brothers and some contemporary references suggest they were both sent off to Rome. Regardless of who is correct, Aethelred went on to rule Wessex in 865. This date is also around the time the Great Heathen Army was formed by the Vikings.
By 868, Mercia was appealing to Aethelred and his brother, Alfred, to help defeat the Vikings. Considering their grandfather, King Ecbert (Linus Roache) has already taken over Mercia, it is likely this event from history will be altered somewhat in Season 5 of Vikings, or even omitted altogether. Especially since by 870 the Vikings had set their sights on Wessex. It wasn’t long after this (early in 871) that the Battle of Reading took place. This battle is significant as Aethelred was heavily defeated and by April of that year, he had died, making Alfred his successor.
However, regardless of how Darren Cahill’s character, Aethelred, will affect the other characters in Season 5 of Vikings, the actor is excited to be a part of the cast.
“It’s amazing to have been cast on such a prestigious show. It’s all going well and great to be working with such an amazing cast,” he told The Irish Sun.
According to The Independent, the filming of Vikings in Ireland has been a boon for local talent as it “boasts a cast and crew of nearly 500 and represents a massive investment in the Irish TV industry.”
Darren Cahill and his onscreen father are actually very similar in age, so once again, the Vikings make up department will have to get creative with the aging process. While Travis Fimmel (who plays the main character, Ragnar Lothbrok) and his onscreen son, Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) are 13 years apart, Cahill and Dunford are only three years apart with Darren being 25-years-old and Moe being 28-years-old.
What do you think of the casting of Darren Cahill being cast as Aethelred, the son of Aethelwulf in Vikings? Let us know your thoughts and theories by commenting below.
Vikings will return later in 2016, and the series has been renewed for Season 5 by the History Channel.
[Image via TV3/YouTube]