Vikings Season 4 Episode 16 titled “Crossing” will mark a huge shift in the popular History series. Ivar the Boneless has returned to Kattegat but the legendary Viking warrior Ragnar Lothbrok is no more as his son’s continue where he left off. Bjorn has hit the Mediterranean with Flock and King Harald Finehair’s men.
Ivar the Boneless is the fourth son of Ragnar and Aslaug. In Episode 16, the ill-tempered Viking desperately wants to avenge his mother, who was killed by Lagertha after she stormed Kattegat and took back her mantle as Queen.
Ragnar bested his old friend and rival King Ecbert by whispering to Ivar that he and his brothers must seek revenge on the aging King of Wessex rather than just King Aelle. However, Ivar’s anger is directed at Lagertha who is going to be in a bitter power struggle as she finds herself being challenged by Ivar to a fight.
In the meantime, Bjorn launches a surprise attack in the Mediterranean and the promo shows that there is some tension between Floki and King Harald who sees the Lodbroks as an obstacle in his ambition to be the first King of Norway. As we saw earlier in Vikings Season 4, Finehair and Halfdan prefer to rape and murder while Ragnar and his men take a softer approach. This is likely the source of conflict as they raid and pillage in the Mediterranean in what could be Bjorn’s first successful conquest.
In the promo, King Harald reveals that he must rid himself of the Lodbroks to become King of Norway, a statement which he seems to say reluctantly. At this point, it is unclear when the civil war will emerge in Norway with a potential attack on Wessex potentially taking priority.
Lagertha consults The Seer about whether she will die in the hands of one of Ragnar’s son’s. The chances of the Shieldmaiden maintaining power seems unlikely, especially with Ragnar gone.
In Episode 14 of Vikings, Ragnar gloats at The Seer because he got to control both his life and death. He also criticized the Sorcerer for his ambiguous prophecies. While Ragnar likely died a Christian at heart, he spoke of Valhalla once more as he was thrown into a pit of snakes.
Vikings Season 4 Episode 15 also teased a one-eyed man many fans suspect in Odin. It is not clear at this point if we will see more of him.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Travis Fimmel reflected on playing Ragnar and revealed that his character was not meant to stick around this long.
“I was meant to die at the end of the first year,” says Travis Fimmel, the Australian actor who played Ragnar.
“I ended up staying around for three more!”
He also spoke about the evolution of his character from a Viking farmer to a legendary King that was larger than life.
“Early on, he was too much a hero, too nice,” says Fimmel.
“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?”
Ragnar did become mean indeed and he encourages his son Ivar to use his anger to his benefit. He also believes Ivar’s disability is his strength as his enemies will underestimate him in battle. A power struggle between Bjorn and Ivar may emerge later in the series.
What did you think of Ragnar’s death and what are your predictions for the next episode?
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[Featured Image by Bernard Walsh/A+E Network/History]