It seems Episodes 14 and 15 of History’s Vikings will bring Ragnar Lothbrok and King Ecbert together again, but will this be their last showdown ever? Or, will History follow in the footsteps of history and have Ragnar handed over to King Aelle?
SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses Season 4 of History Channel’s Vikings as well as historical aspects of some of the characters from this show. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.
The trailer for Episode 14 of History’s Vikings teased at the showdown fans have been anticipating for a long time between Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) and King Ecbert (Linus Roache). Recently, Travis Fimmel and Linus Roache spoke to AOL Build and confirmed this showdown would occur over two episodes.
In Season 4 Part 2 of Vikings, Ragnar Lothbrok has returned to England on a mission to confront King Ecbert about the Viking community he destroyed many years earlier. In Episode 13, Ragnar was stopped by soldiers at the end of the episode, and the trailer shows Ragnar talking to King Ecbert from inside a cage. Ecbert is seen releasing Ragnar from the cage, and it is anticipated the massive — and private — conversation between Ecbert and Ragnar will commence from here.
But, how will this conversation conclude? For a while now, fans have been anticipating the demise of Ragnar both on account of what the history books say about this character as well as the fact the Travis Fimmel has been busy on set for movies rather than in Ireland filming Season 5 of Vikings.
So, What Do The History Books Say?
Historically, King Ecbert did take over Mercia in a similar fashion to how it played out in Vikings. He also invaded Northumbria, as has been hinted at in the first part of Season 4 of Vikings. Although, this occurred when Northumbria was under a different king to Aelle (played by Ivan Kaye in Vikings).
King Aelle ruled Northumbria later and was associated with two other rulers. Osberht, who he had an uncomfortable relationship with after Aelle became king due to Osberht being deposed. And, Ecgberht I of Northumbria, who was placed as a sort of placeholder king after King Aelle’s death. Both of these characters may have been amalgamated along with the historical King Ecbert to create the character in Vikings viewers know as King Ecbert.
How Does This Relate To Episodes 14 And 15 Of Season 4 Of Vikings?
According to the ninth book in the Gesta Danorum by Saxo Grammaticus, Ragnar dies at the hands of King Aelle, who throws him into a pit of venomous snakes. King Aelle was involved in the attack by the Great Heathen Army that was supposedly led by Ragnar’s son, Ivar the Boneless (played by Alex Hogh in History’s Vikings). Ragnar’s son, Ivar, was known to be a great military strategist, and this is something History plans on following according to a recent interview Alex Hogh did with Variety. Ivar retaliated against Aelle after he had Ragnar killed. This means, if History is to follow what is traditionally know in the sagas and stories relating to the Vikings, somehow Ragnar needs to get from his confrontation with King Ecbert in Episode 14, to being arrested by King Aelle.
It is possible King Ecbert could hand Ragnar over to King Aelle after their meeting in Episode 14 and 15. After all, in Season 1 of Vikings, King Aelle was seen throwing Lord Wigea (Jonathan Kemp) into a pit of snakes after his failure to effectively defend against a Viking attack. So, it would seem this nice little piece of foreshadowing would be wasted if, three seasons later, Ragnar was not thrown into a pit of snakes by King Aelle.
However, the relationship between Ragnar and Aelle has not been fostered as keenly as that between Ragnar and King Ecbert, so it would probably be more satisfying to have Ragnar die at the hands of a king he knows more intimately. So, could the culmination of Ragnar and King Ecbert’s discussion be the death of Ragnar Lothbrok? Only by tuning into future episodes of Vikings will reveal his fate.
How do you think Ragnar Lothbrok will die in History’s Vikings? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.
“Lagertha is near realizing a long-held ambition; Ragnar acquires a surprising concession from King Ecbert.”
[Featured Image by Bernard Walsh/History]