Perhaps no TV drama took a riskier move than Vikings, which recently killed off hero King Ragnar in order to tell the historical story of how the Great Heathen Army took its revenge for his death. And after the Season 4 finale on Feb. 1, when will Vikings return for Season 5? The fifth season was confirmed before the back half of Season 4 even began. But so far, the news about Season 5 has been a little confusing. Reportedly, the fifth season will also have 20 episodes, according to Deadline. As for when the show will return, History has yet to announce a premiere date. Normally, the show begins its season in February, but given the lack of an announcement, that seems unlikely. It's possible the show will make its fans wait a full year before returning, or premiere in the fall the way Season 4 did.
Even though it was shocking to see Vikings kill off its protagonist, the show has been building toward Ragnar's death for a while now, and actor Travis Fimmel even explained to Entertainment Weekly that Ragnar was supposed to die after Season 1, but it actually took the show more than 40 episodes to bring his story to an end, showing how he goes from a modest, noble farmer to a far more complex, shaded character and king. Now that his arc is over, it's time for the series to introduce some new characters and storylines to rival Ragnar and Lagertha's.
Because production for the fifth season is underway, there's already some news and plenty of rumors about where the show will be heading in the future. For example, Jonathan Rhys Myers' character, the Bishop Heahmund, will be sticking around for the fifth season. In fact, showrunner Michael Hirst told The Hollywood Reporter that his short storyline in Season 4B was just the beginning. "Yes, we introduce him and set the scene for the next season. He’s going to be a major player," Hirst explained to the outlet.
Other characters that got a shout out for potentially having an exciting future in the cast include Ragnar's son, Ivar the Boneless. "He’s really going to emerge as one of the big stars of this show," Hirst told THR. He also mentioned that as long as Rollo stays alive, he's going to be a big part of the story as well. The show has decide to stay relatively close to the real history behind the characters, and Ivar becomes one of the vikings' biggest kings.
If you're really missing Ragnar, there are a few unclear rumors about what his future will be on the show. According to a Hollywood Reporter interview with Travis Fimmel, Ragnar will never return as a ghost or in a dream sequence, but in the same interview, Hirst left the possibility a little more open, saying "because he's such a powerful presence in people's lives he could reappear in dreams, in visions." Fimmel, for what it's worth, said he sees his character as an atheist who wouldn't want to return as a spirit of any kind.
Despite Vikings Season 4 shaking up the show's status quo, it's clear that the series has a good idea of where to go for its next 20 episodes. From expanding existing characters to adding new members to the cast, this series has plenty of great ideas ahead.