For many fans of History’s Vikings, it has been a anxious wait between Episode 14 and Episode 15 of Season 4. With Ragnar’s talk of death in the previous episode, it was expected this episode would see his demise.
SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses Episode 15 of Season 4 of History Channel’s Vikings as well as the historical aspects of some of the main characters. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.
Episode 15 of History’s Vikings saw the first episode involving the epic conversation between old frenemies, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) and King Ecbert (Linus Roache), that the actors had hinted about in a recent video interview with AOL Build. In this Episode 15 conversation, Ragnar kept telling Ecbert that he must kill Ragnar and that he was ready to die. Ecbert was hesitant — and who wouldn’t be considering how brutal the Vikings can be when it comes to revenge. Ragnar, however, did offer a compromise: have Ecbert turn Ragnar over to King Aelle (Ivan Kaye), and let him do the deed.
The episode gave little hint at whether King Ecbert would follow this path in the television interpretation of Vikings, but for those who have read the historical stories of the Vikings knew it was likely Ragnar would be handed over to King Aelle because in the ninth book of the Gesta Danorum, the historical document that deals with the death of Ragnar Lothbrok, Aelle captures Ragnar and throws him into a pit of venomous snakes, causing his death.
Then, when IMDb issued the following revised synopsis for Episode 15, history buffs really got concerned.
“King Aelle can’t hide his pleasure when Ragnar arrives in a cage and shows him no mercy.”
As the episode aired, some fans were prepared and took to Twitter prior to the Vikings episode airing to voice their concern. Others, once Episode 15 started to reveal its plan, were horrified that Ragnar could go out in such an undignified way.
Hopefully this isn't the episode that Ragnar dies ☹️ #Vikings— Lina Roque (@linaroque) December 29, 2016
And then the Seer turned up and the prophecy about Ragnar dying “on the day the blind man sees him,” comes into play.
Finally, after all the expectation, in Episode 15 of Season 4 of Vikings, Ragnar is handed over to King Aelle and tortured. Aelle tries to break Ragnar in this episode of Vikings, but, as he soon discovers, Ragnar Lothbrok is not a man to be crushed. Not even when a red hot poker is presented to him, and most certainly not when he is thrown into a pit of venomous snakes.
Regardless of whether fans knew this event was coming, or if they were watching Episode 15 of Vikings without the historical knowledge of Ragnar’s fate, it was still a hard episode to watch.
What was interesting to note in Episode 15 of Vikings though was King Ecbert’s response to Ragnar’s fate. His face was the last thing Ragnar saw as he lay dying and many fans speculated that perhaps the pair truly were friends or at least Ecbert thought they were. After all, even though Ragnar and Ivar (Alex Hogh) plotted behind Ecbert’s back to have him killed along with King Aelle when Ragnar’s sons return to seek revenge with what will likely be the Great Heathen Army, Ecbert still presented himself at Ragnar’s death out of respect before wandering off in obvious grief over the death of Ragnar Lothbrok.
For the actor who played the iconic role, Travis Fimmel, he was always asking the show’s creator, Michael Hirst, to make Ragnar Lothbrok more unlikable as he told Entertainment Weekly.
“Early on, he was too much a hero, too nice. It’s very hard to play a man without any flaws. I begged all the time in the first couple years: ‘Make me horrible, and then let me overcome it.’ You feel a lot more getting booed than cheered, you know what I mean?”
Hirst was always prepared to kill of Vikings main character, describing the scene that finally took Ragnar, as being filmed “in the harshest conditions, with Travis absolutely suspended in this cage, above a muddy field, in torrential freezing rain.”
What did you think of Episode 15 of Vikings? Do you think the show will be the same now without Ragnar Lothbrok? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.
Vikings returns to History Channel with Episode 16 on January 4, Wednesday, at 9 p.m. ET.
[Featured Image by History]