EW – The Vikings panel at San Diego Comic-Con is always a raucous affair, but expect an especially wild time with the HISTORY series this year. Coming off a radical season that saw major characters depart the series, this year’s Vikings panel will include longtime stars Katheryn Winnick, Gustaf Skarsgard, and Alexander Ludwig, along with new key figure Alex Hogh Anderson (who plays devious rising conqueror Ivar) and the show’s creator Michael Hirst.
But Vikings is also staging a major event: An honest-to-god Viking Funeral, complete with a procession through the Gaslamp Quarter on Friday afternoon. The funeral will culminate at 7 p.m. local time with a pyrotechnic display on a 45-foot Viking longship, on the waterfront behind the Convention Center at Embarcadero Marina Park South. (Anyone who attends the latter can pick up their own Viking drinking horn.)
In addition, the cast will take over EW’s Snapchat account all day Friday for an inside look at all their goings on throughout the day (yes, including that Viking Funeral). Follow along by adding EWSnaps on Snapchat.
Meanwhile, here’s what you have to know about Vikings going into Comic-Con.
Panel: Friday, 5:45-6:45 p.m., Room 6BCF
Where we left off: The end of one generation and the beginning of another. With Kings Ragnar and Ecbert both dead, Ragnar’s sons dissolved their alliance and began to go their separate ways. Ivar dreamed of further conquest in England; Bjorn wanted to set off further on his quest into the Mediterranean; and it doesn’t matter what Sigurd wanted, because Ivar slew him in full view of the assembled Northmen. The season 4 finale also introduced a new character, warrior bishop Heahmund, played by new series regular Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Read the full postmortem on the end of last season with Michael Hirst here.
What we know about season 5: Plenty! As Hirst revealed in our exclusive first look at the new season, Vikings will send Bjorn into uncharted territory, following his explorations into the Sahara desert. The next batch of episodes will also pick up with Ivar on a collision course with Heahmund, as the two warriors do battle through the city of York.
Comic-Con burning Q: Since we last saw Queen Lagertha arming Kattegat up for a potential battle — and since she now knows that traitorous King Harald seeks her throne — what will happen to the once-and-future shieldmaiden when the show returns?
Don’t forget that Katheryn is on another panel for Call of Duty: WWII on Thursday!