There is some good news as well as some bad news for fans of History Channel’s Vikings today. So, let’s start with the bad.
Currently, History Channel is airing the second half of Season 5 of Vikings. However, it has been confirmed by Deadline that there will only be one season left of Vikings after this one before the series wraps up for good. Deadline is anticipating that the final episodes of Season 6 will air in 2020.
Previously, Michael Hirst had already hinted he had an endgame in sight with the Lothbrok family, indicating that Season 6 could be the last season.
Filming has already been completed for Season 6. This means that the fates of all the main characters are already sealed. However, considering the long break between seasons on Vikings, it may still be some time before fans learn who wins and who loses, who lives and who dies.
However, there is a silver lining to his news. Michael Hirst and MGM Television are currently in negotiations to create a spinoff series that will follow on in the Vikings franchise. Hirst will be at the helm of this series once more, but he will not be scripting this series alone. Instead, he will be joined by Jeb Stuart (Die Hard, The Fugitive).
As for what this new spinoff series will be about is anyone’s guess. There is a lot of the Viking sagas that have not yet been covered by History Channel as they chose to tell the story of Ragnar Lothbrok (known as Ragnar Lodbrok in the sagas) and his famous sons. While a rep from History Channel confirmed that Vikings would end with Season 6, they declined to mention any details of the new series in development.
However, there are a few obvious paths the network could take.
The Icelandic Sagas
While Floki’s (Gustaf Skarsgard) Icelandic storyline is not wowing fans at the moment, there is actually a lot of literature pertaining to the Vikings that could be used here. In fact, the Penguin edition of The Sagas of Icelanders runs at more than 780 pages and contains 18 Viking sagas that could be easily adapted for the new series.
Plus, with Floki already in Iceland, it could be the natural progression to make as new characters are introduced. It would also create a starting point to which the new series could be hinged.
Many fans of the shieldmaiden Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) will like this one as it has the potential to involve her. In the sagas, some historians suggest that Lagertha’s tale might be a retelling of an older saga about a Valkyrie. The Valkyries were mythical women sent down onto the battleground to chose who would live and who would die. Essentially, there decided who were worthy enough for Valhalla.
There are various tales about the Valkyries in the Viking sagas. Many of these women, while considered magical, also were born among humans and also fell in love with mortal men. In fact, there is even one man, Helgi, who the sagas suggest might have reincarnated along with his Valkyrie lover several times. So, as you can see, there is plenty of room here for a TV series.
Already, there have been rumors of a Vikings spinoff series that sees those lost in battle returning in a series about Valhalla. While it would be awesome to see those slain — such as Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) return — it seems doubtful this is the direction that Michael Hirst will be taking.
Previously, he has gone on the record to the Express to say that a Valhalla series was not likely.
“That was a joke because someone said, ‘Look, you’ve killed off all these amazing characters, wouldn’t it be fun to be able to have a spinoff called Valhalla in which they all got together again and sang songs?’ The problem with that was the life in Valhalla was full of dead warriors feasting with the gods. So every night they would drink and feast with the gods and every morning they would go out into the huge courtyard and they would fight again and kill each other because that’s what they would do and they would be dead again. Then they would get up and go back into Valhalla for the evening’s meal, so this was their life. So to me, that’s not hugely entertaining. I can’t make huge drama out of that but that was a fun idea.”
Vikings returns on Wednesday, January 9, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. History Channel provides the following synopsis for Episode 17 (titled “The Most Terrible Thing”).
“An unexpected turn amongst the settlers leaves Floki powerless. King Alfred confronts Judith. In York, Bjorn must strike a deal with Harald. Wessex is once again threatened by a Viking force, but who will lead the Saxon army to defend the Realm?”