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.
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VARIETY – History released a new trailer for the second half of “Vikings” season four Friday at Comic Con. The trailer shows the aftermath of Ragnar Lothbrok’s (Travis Fimmel) return.
The beginning of season four featured a chronological leap forward, setting up Ragnar’s return to his family with his sons having grown to be young men. The first half of season four featured Ragnar and his Viking warriors suffering defeat at the hands of King Rollo and his Frankish forces, and Ragnar exiling himself from Kattegat and leaving his sons to grow up with out him.
“In my mind this was always a show about Ragnaar Lothbrok and his sons,” series creator and executive producer Michael Hirst said. He added, “The jump forward in time gave him the opportunity to lick his wounds and his sons to become men.”
Hirst also offered hints about future story that may appear in the second half of season four and in season five.
“If I was a fan of the show instead of the writer, the thing that I would really want to see is another meeting between King Ecbert and Ragnar,” said Wright.
He also teased a possible reunion for Ragnar and Lagertha.
EW – Vikings’ midseason finale left much of its cast bloodied, battered, and bruised. A wounded Ragnar retreated in defeat from a battle with Rollo, Lagertha was left on the verge of death after a brutal stabbing, and an aimless Bjorn set sail for the Mediterranean to honor his absent father.
As viewers continue to reel from the climactic episode, cast members Travis Fimmel (Ragnar Lothbrok), Katheryn Winnick (Lagertha), Alexander Ludwig (Bjorn Ironside), and Gustaf Skarsgård (Floki) stopped by EW’s studio at San Diego Comic-Con to tease what’s next in the back half of season 4.
Winnick said it’s “no secret” Lagertha is alive, as she’s currently filming season 5 in Ireland, but the shieldmaiden is in “a different place in her life.” She also promised a dramatic throwdown between Lagertha and Queen Aslaug.
“It’s going to be a cat fight. The two power women go head to head,” Winnick said. “It’s a really interesting scene because you don’t expect what happens.”
Bjorn, on the other hand, is enjoying a lighter storyline. “Floki and Bjorn end up going to the Mediterranean, and they work on their tans a little bit,” Ludwig said. “You’re definitely going to see Floki and Bjorn’s relationship flourish.”
For the full run-down on where Vikings will pick up, watch EW’s full interview above.