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EW – Midway through the fourth season of Vikings, the saga of bearded conquest took an unexpected leap forward in time. The great King Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) had disappeared into the countryside, and his young sons were grown men, preparing to make their own mark on the world. Ragnar returned to Kattegat in the midseason finale. And Vikings will return in November, on a new night and at a new time.
History announced Wednesday that the second half of the season will begin on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 9 p.m.
In a press release, the network promised that the new episodes will find Ragnar handling “unfinished business in Wessex” with longtime frenemesis King Ecbert (Linus Roache). Back in Kattegat, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) will plan a power play – a plotline which Vikings creator Michael Hirst teased in an interview with EW last month. Meanwhile, Ragnar’s son Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) will sail to the Mediterranean.
In a statement, Hirst also promised that the new episodes will focus on Ragnar’s other son, Ivar, “becoming the most feared warrior of all time.” Kids these days!
Season 5 of Vikings is already in production in Ireland with Jonathan Rhys Meyers joining the cast.
DEADLINE – History’s hit historical drama series Vikings is moving to Wednesday nights from its previous Thursday slot for the second half of Season 4, which will premiere November 30. It’s also airing an hour earlier, at 9 PM.
Season 4 picks up following Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) defeat in a monumental battle in Paris against his brother Rollo (Clive Standen) and Ragnar’s disappearance following his humiliating loss. During the midseason finale, the series time-jumped to a new era in the characters’ lives.
In the midseason premiere, Ragnar’s reappearance in Kattegat triggers a chain of events no one – except the Seer – could have ever imagined. He unexpectedly arrives home to see what has become of his sons and to handle unfinished business in Wessex with King Ecbert (Linus Roache). Meanwhile, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) plans a power play in Kattegat and Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) prepares to fulfill his long-held dream to explore the Mediterranean in a sleek new boat built for him by Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård).
Vikings, from MGM TV, drew 4,3 million total viewers in Live +7 during its Season 4 10-week run in the spring, with 2,1 million A25-54 and 1.8 million A18-49. Season 5 is currently in production in Ireland.
“This season is monumental and unlike anything we’ve ever done,” said creator and writer Michael Hirst. “We’ve propelled Vikings to the topmost level of historical drama as we follow storylines inspired by real-life events such as Bjorn Ironside sailing through the Mediterranean and Ivar the Boneless becoming the most feared warrior of all time. It’s not a story of one man but a saga of Ragnar and his sons.”
From creator and sole writer Michael Hirst (Elizabeth, The Tudors), Vikings is a family saga that tells the remarkable tales of the lives and epic adventures of the raiders and explorers of the Dark Ages. Hirst executive produces with Morgan O’Sullivan of World 2000, Sheila Hockin, John Weber of Take 5 Productions, Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer and James Flynn.
MGM Television serves as the worldwide distributor of Vikings outside of Ireland and Canada.
THE STAR – Series is a less costly, less complicated Game of Thrones.
The Show: Vikings, Season 1, Episode 5
The Moment: The sexy mythology
Snuggled around a crackling fire, bold Viking chief Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), his fierce wife Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), his best pal Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) and Floki’s wife Helga (Maude Hirst) teach Athelstan (George Blagden) — a monk Ragnar captured on a raid in England — about Valhalla.
The mood is boozy, sexy, sleepy. They all touch one another as they talk and each sentence is uttered dramatically.
“The roof is made out of shields,” Floki intones. “The rafters are spears. It has 540 doors and, when Ragnarok comes, 800 warriors will march out of each door shoulder to shoulder.”
“What is Ragnarok?” Athelstan asks.
EW – Time flies on Vikings. Years pass by between episodes. Boys grow into men, and men become warriors. The past fades away – but some sins are never forgotten. When the midseason finale aired in April, the show took a wild leap forward, time-jumping to a whole new era in its characters’ lives. Ragnar Lothbrok has returned after long years away. Everyone is older: Friends, old lovers, enemies, sons. What awaits us in the second half of the fourth season? Vikings creator Michael Hirst is already deep into writing the fifth season of the show, but he got on the phone to talk about the next half of season 4, giving us an in-depth look at four images from the new episodes and how times have changed for our main characters.
Obviously, time has passed. Ragnar had lost a huge battle, and actually, normally, in Viking society at that time, if your leader, Earl, or King had lost in that way, they would quickly have been killed and replaced, because it was a meritocracy. But Ragnar was different, because he was the most famous Viking in Scandinavia. But for him, the shame of losing was too great to stay around. He absented himself. But he was too famous to immediately replace.
I was never particularly interested in where he went to. He probably was licking his wounds somewhere. He probably never intended to come back. But there were a couple of things he wanted to come back for. We know what his sons mean to him. One was to find out what had become of his sons. The other was to deal with unfinished business, which was the settlement in England, in Wessex.
So, in this picture, Ragnar has returned, unexpectedly, shocking everyone. He wants to recruit people to go back with him to Wessex, to right this wrong. He talks to his oldest friends, his deepest friends, the people we’ve known from the start of the show. Lagertha and Floki are people we saw in episode 1, season 1. These are people embedded in his life, people he’s loved, people who’ve loved him and have been on a journey with him. But there’s been this extreme disruption of collective relationships. He’s disappeared, no one knew where he’d gone. Things have changed.