Here’s How ‘Vikings’ Will Still Be Awesome Without Ragnar Lothbrok

Episode 15 of History’s Vikings was a very sad one indeed with the death of a major character. So, can Vikings cope without Ragnar Lothbrok? Absolutely! And here’s how.

SPOILER ALERT: This recap contains information about the 15th episode (entitled “All His Angels”) of Season 4 of History Channel’s Vikings as well as the historical aspects surrounding some of the main characters in the show. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet viewed this episode and wish to avoid spoilers.

Episode 15 of Vikings saw Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) die at the hands of King Aelle (Ivan Kaye). The event mirrored how Ragnar’s death occurred in the ninth book of the Gesta Danorum, the English tome that recorded many of the stories involving the Vikings. While it is unclear just how historically accurate this document really is, one thing is for certain, if the History channel follows this story, Season 4 and 5 of Vikings is likely to be epic.

History's 'Vikings,' Season 4, Part 2, Episode 15, Ragnar Lothbrok in a snake pit
[Image by Bernard Walsh/History]

Many fans of Vikings took to Twitter with the usual refrain seen when a favorite character in a TV show dies: “I’m not watching now that that character is dead.” But, with Ragnar’s death, the audience has to realize it creates circumstances that will lead to retaliation. And, let’s face it, that’s why Vikings is so appealing.

As Michael Hirst told Variety, the show does death “very well.”

“This was the end of a journey that Ragnar and I and Travis and I had been on. It was a creation of both me and Travis together. It was a very moving day. It carries a huge charge in the show, it really does pay off all the hours we’ve invested in him. We do death very well in Vikings, but this was a particularly moving.”

So, what happens next in the ninth book of the Gesta Danorum?

History's 'Vikings,' Season 4, Part 2
[Image by History]

According to this tale, Ragnar’s son, Ivar the Boneless, decides to avenge his father’s death. Gathering his brothers and a large group of Vikings, he actually manages to amalgamate many Viking territories under the one banner, something rarely done before. As seen in previous seasons of Vikings, there is endless fighting between Viking groups as they all squabble over land and personal vendettas. With Ivar being able to join all of these forces, he will be able to effectively attack England.

Which means King Aelle and King Ecbert (Linus Roache) need to watch their backs, their fronts, and their sides when Ivar turns up with what becomes known, historically, as the Great Heathen Army.

History's 'Vikings,' Season 4, Part 2, Episode 15, King Aelle in church
[Image by Bernard Walsh/History]

This massive army of Vikings will seek revenge on England for the death of Ragnar Lothbrok, which means fans have an epic battle to look forward to in upcoming episodes of Season 4 of Vikings, hints of which have already been seen in the Season 4 trailer originally released at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year. At the end of the trailer, snippets of scenes showing Aethelwulf (Moe Dunford) asking how many Vikings have amassed, Ivar in a chariot leading an attack and then saying he wants to “attack the whole world,” are all indicators of the Great Heathen Army arriving in the remainder of Season 4 of Vikings.

Along with the formation of the Great Heathen Army, Vikings fans can look forward to seeing another blood eagle ritual performed if History follows the events in the Gesta Danorum.

Once Ivar attacks England, King Aelle is captured. According to the ninth book of the Gesta Danorum, the blood eagle ritual is performed on Aelle in retaliation for killing Ragnar Lothbrok.

“Meantime, [Sigurd] and [Bjorn] came up with a fleet of 400 ships, and with open challenge declared war against the king. This they did at the appointed time; and when they had captured him, they ordered the figure of an eagle to be cut in his back, rejoicing to crush their most ruthless foe by marking him with the cruellest of birds. Not satisfied with imprinting a wound on him, they salted the mangled flesh. Thus Ella was done to death, and [Bjorn] and [Siward] went back to their own kingdoms.”

So, if you are despondent over the death of Ragnar Lothbrok in Episode 15 of Vikings Season 4, rest easy knowing it is likely King Aelle will meet a very bloody end.

What do you think will happen to King Aelle in Vikings? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.

Vikings returns to History Channel with Episode 16 on Wednesday, January 4, at 9 p.m. ET. The synopsis for Episode 16 (entitled “Crossing”) of Vikings Season 4 according to Carter Matt is below.

“Bjorn’s fleet launches a surprise attack, while Lagertha’s quest for power continues in Kattegat.”

[Featured Image by Bernard Walsh/History]