Vikings creator admits surprise reaction to key character deaths ‘Uncomfortable’

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Season six of the historical epic is expected to return to History and Amazon Prime Video later this year. Before the final ten episodes of Vikings hit screens, writer and historian Michael Hirst has admitted his difficult reaction to the deaths of fan favourites Ragnar and Lagertha.

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Vikings began life in 2013 as a limited series following the life of legendary warrior Ragnar Lothbrok (played by Travis Fimmel).

After season one’s unexpected success, the series has since taken on a life of its own and further explored the story of Ragnar’s former wife Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) and their son Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig).

Bjorn led Viking stronghold Kattegat against an ambush from Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh Andersen) and the Rus in the first part of season six.

Ludwig took the reins as series lead following the death of his on-screen father at the end of season four.

Ragnar was fed to a pit of poisonous snakes by King Aelle (Ivan Blakeley Kaye) in the brutal finale, whilst Lagertha met her end in the sixth episode of season six.

Following the tough decision to ring in 2020 with the death of one of Vikings’ most beloved characters, Michael Hirst was joined by the cast at this year’s Comic-Con @ Home event.

Speaking via video chat, Hirst spoke with Fimmel and Winnick about the process of writing and shooting their death scenes during the Look Back with the Lothbroks panel.

Hirst touched on the gruelling shooting conditions when Ragnar was led to his execution in a restrictive metal cage.

He revealed: “It was a brilliant death. It was over two episodes, you know and both you and Travis had shouted at me from his cage cause it was rainy and uncomfortable.

“But these deaths were brilliant and very highly emotional and no one is going to forget them.”

After his departure from Vikings, Fimmel is set to take on the world of sci-fi in Ridley Scott’s new show for HBO Max, Raised By Wolves.

However, his breakout role as Ragnar Lothbrok remains his most iconic performance, and viewers were crushed to see him go in 2017.

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Meanwhile, Lagertha’s death at the hands of Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) in episode six, Death and the Serpent, began Vikings’ potentially final year on screens with a heart-breaking moment in January.

During the panel, Winnick also touched on Lagertha and Ragnar’s final bittersweet moments together in season four.

She remarked on a hidden reference for the cast and crew most fans would have missed the first time round.

Winnick revealed: “A little fun fact to the fans, that last line ‘in my dreams, we are always together’, that was actually my audition line when I first tested as Lagertha.”

The star added: “So it’s just full circle to see it all come back.”

Although Ragnar and Winnick will be absent for Vikings’ final ten episodes, fans still have their hopes up for a surprise cameo from the original Kattegat duo if Bjorn makes it to Valhalla.

Meanwhile, viewers still have their eyes peeled for the possible return of fan favourites Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) and Rollo (Clive Standen) alongside the show’s newcomers.

Vikings season 6 will return in 2020 on History and Amazon Prime Video.

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