Ever since Jonathan Rhys Meyers was cast for Season 5 of History’s Vikings, fans have been speculating which historical character he would play. Finally, news has been released in regard to who Meyers will be playing.
SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses Season 5 of History’s Vikings as well as the historical aspects of some of its characters which may provide spoilers for future episodes. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.
In the past, fans have speculated Jonathan Rhys Meyers would be playing an older version of Alfred the Great or even Ragnar’s illegitimate son to Queen Kwenthrith, Magnus. However, as stated in a previous article by the Inquisitr, IMDb has Ferdia Walsh-Peelo listed to play Alfred the Great in Season 5 of Vikings.
According to the latest edition of Entertainment Weekly, Jonathan Rhys Meyers has been cast to play a bishop called Heahmund. As yet, the article has not been published on EW‘s official website, but fan sites for Jonathan Rhys Meyers are tweeting images of the article in question from the January 13 edition.
— Jonathan Rhys Meyers (@JRM_Love) January 7, 2017
Vikings creator, Michael Hirst, describes Heahmund as a religious warrior who could be considered a predecessor to the Knights Templar.
“I was looking the the history books and came across these warrior bishops, the antecedents of the Knights Templar. These are people who were absolutely religious, yet they put on armor and fought.”
Interesting to note about this link to the Knights Templar in Vikings is the fact History Channel has a series in the works, Knightfall, that also delves into the history of the Knights Templar. So, could Heahmund be a crossover character for the two series? Only time will reveal this answer.
Hirst further describes Meyer’s character, Heahmund, as “off the scale” crazy in regard to his religious fervor. Indicating fans will be in for a treat when this character arrives.
While Jonathan Rhys Meyer was announced as being a member of the Season 5 cast for Vikings, Hirst has stated Heahmund will turn up in the Season 4 finale of Vikings which is scheduled to air on Wednesday, February 1 at 9 p.m. ET.
So who is Heahmund? Was he a real historical figure? And how will his appearance affect the current storylines playing out in the remainder of Season 4 of Vikings?
According to the Handbook of British Chronology, Heahmund was an actual historical figure. He was the Bishop of Sherborne and was consecrated between 867 and 868. This time frame plays in directly to the Vikings attack on England with Ivar’s Great Heathen Army, although, this army did not travel through Sherborne until 875. According to history, though, this was four years after Heahmund’s death in 871. Interesting to note is Heahmund died in the same year, as a result of the same battle (Battle of Marton) as Aethelwulf’s son, Aethelred. Aethelred also being a new character introduced in Season 5 of Vikings.
According to the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, the Battle of Marton (also known as the Battle of Meretum) occurred in Wiltshire or Dorset, which was then a part of King Ecbert’s Wessex. Prior to this battle, Aethelred was the King of Wessex. However, once he succumbed, his reign was handed over to his younger brother, Alfred the Great. Thanks to the historical records in regard to Heahmund and Aethelred, fans now have a fairly good idea of where Season 5 of Vikings will now be headed.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers joins several new actors confirmed for Season 5 of Vikings. Darren Cahill will play Aethelred, the son of Aethelwulf (Moe Dunford). WWE’s Adam Copeland also joins the cast as the Viking Ketill Flatnose. Another Viking called Eyvind will be played by Kris Holden-Ried.
Are you excited about the latest news on Jonathan Rhys Meyers character in Season 5 of Vikings? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.
Vikings returns to History Channel with Episode 17 (entitled “The Great Army”) on Wednesday, January 11, at 9 p.m. ET.
[Featured Image by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images]