TVGUIDE.COM – It’s not often that TV shocks you. Like truly, and deeply shocks you. But that’s exactly what theVikingsfinale did, and more than once.
[Warning: The following contains major spoilers. Read on at your own risk!]
After he insisted on being baptized last week, the idea that Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) might die first entered our minds, but we quickly brushed it off. “No way would the show kill off its lead character!” Because clearly Game of Thrones has taught us nothing.
So when the camera panned to Ragnar’s chillingly still body in a Viking coffin, we couldn’t believe it. And yet, Vikings has never shied away from taking risks and slaughtering the ones we love (R.I.P. Athelstan!), so at the same time, Ragnar’s death felt inevitable.
But nothing could have prepared us for watching those closest to him come to say goodbye one by one. Ragnar’s death was particularly unbearable for Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), who might not have been reunited with her ex-husband in this life, but was clearly holding out hope for Valhalla. That is, until he announced his plans to join Athelstan in heaven.
“I think Odin will ride like the wind and rescue you and take you to Valhalla, where you belong, my own sweet Ragnar,” she mournfully whispered to his coffin. “And there, there we shall meet again and fight and drink and love one another.”
Rollo’s (Clive Standen) speech was much less heartfelt and pretty much exactly what you’d imagine from the man who’s never been able to forgive his brother’s success. “I’m sorry you’re dead, but it happens to all of us sooner or later,” Rollo mused. “It’s just funny that the gods took you first. I always thought they favored you. You thought so too. It seems we were both mistaken.”
When Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) came to say goodbye, we weren’t sure what to expect. Ragnar’s once loyal follower has seemingly evolved into his most-bitter enemy. And only now that his friend was dead did Floki open up about what’s been tormenting him all season. “I loved you more than anyone. I loved you more than that priest ever loved you, but it made no difference,” Floki spat. “I hate you, Ragnar Lothbrok. And I love you with all my heart.”
“Why do you tear me away from myself?” he tearfully added.
HOLLYWOODREPORTER.COM – Showrunner Michael Hirst tells THR what’s in store when the drama returns for season four.
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the season three finale of History’s Vikings.]
After much bloodshed, History’s Vikings wrapped its third season Thursday when Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) reclaimed his leadership and faked his own death in order to finally achieve what everyone else had been trying to do for three episodes: infiltrate Paris.
By the closing moments when Paris had been looted, Ragnar realized who would actually miss him when he was gone — and the Vikings decided to set sail back to Kattegat, leaving only Rollo (Clive Standen) and a small gang behind to maintain a presence until the next spring.
But with Ragnar still lingering somewhere between life and death, and Rollo poised to defend the French against his brother thanks to an offer he just can’t refuse, things are far from settled for the pagan leader. The Hollywood Reporter caught up with showrunner Michael Hirst to find out what’s in store for the historical figure and what can possibly come next in the show’s previously announced fourth season.
Ragnar’s baptism was part of a plot get into Paris, but is there actually a part of him that’s conflicted about his gods coming out of the season?
That’s ambiguous. He is clearly being influenced by Athelstan (George Blagden), he’s interested in Christianity, but above that all his priority is to get into Paris. Being Ragnar, he’s seen that you have to be more clever than just attacking it. So he understands something about the Christian mindset now. He understands that it’s very important for the Christian community to give Christian burials, especially to people who have renounced their paganism and become Christian. I can’t overestimate or overstate how important this was in real historical terms. Christian communities were desperate to convert the Vikings to Christianity as a way of absorbing them all or stopping them from raiding.
So of course Ragnar is clever enough to use that to his advantage get inside Paris. It’s more important to him to make the point that he can do it if he wants, rather than to go inside and loot and pillage and things. There are definitely complex views in his character and makeup and different things going on, but he hasn’t renounced his paganism.
IGN.COM – Get ready for the explosive end of Vikings Season 3 as Ragnar Lothbrok himself, Travis Fimmel, reveals what is driving him.
Last week’s Vikings saw the inception of the raid on Paris, as Ragnar Lothbrok continues his push into lands unknown. Always driven by ambition, Ragnar now has an additional motivation.
“He’s doing it for Athelstan,” Vikings star Travis Fimmel told IGN prior to the Season 3 premiere. Sitting outside of a tent on the Dublin set of the History Chanel series, we spoke with the actor as stuntmen were lit on fire and tossed into a small man-made river beside the wooden ladders they clung to. The cast and crew were in the middle of production on the raid on Paris, as Fimmel took a moment to reflect on what brought Ragnar to this point and think about where he’s headed.
We hadn’t yet learned of Athelstan’s ultimate fate when we sat down with the actor, but we were aware that there was a big death planned for the season. When asked what that event meant to him, Fimmel said that the loss was devastating for Ragnar and marked the most significant event for his character this season.
As far as Paris is concerned, Fimmel says loyalty to his fallen friend propelled Ragnar to invade.
“Athelstan comes up with idea to sack Paris,” the actor reflected. “So he wants to do it for him. He wants to do it for his buddy Athelstan. He’d said that there is no way you can get in, so Ragnar is gonna prove him wrong, but do it for him. Out of friendship.”
The invasion of Paris may mark Ragnar’s most ambitious move to date, but it’s still only one element of a packed season of Vikings. Take a look at the rest of our chat with Fimmel below and get ready for the conclusion of Season 3’s epic journey.
IGN TV: Ragnar has a very revealing bit of dialogue. He says, “This was never about my happiness. When was this ever about my happiness?” For you, what is it about for him? What’s motivating him?
Travis Fimmel: I think in Season 1 he’s more the explorer. It’s always been about learning. He always wanted to learn more about the world, and there’s knowledge out there that he wants to learn and see and be involved in — other-world stuff that he doesn’t know. He’s always had that explorer in him. Then in Season 2 he got caught up in a lot of relationship-driven stuff, a lot of personal problems. This year he gets back to being on the boats a bit more. Then he settles a farm in Wessex, and finally he can do what he wants to do. He heads to Paris, because he’s heard it’s such a challenge to penetrate. I think he’s excited, more than anything, to be discovering again.
IGN: It’s often seemed to be so much about family and legacy for Ragnar, but he’s had some notable conflicts with his two sons: Boneless, who he has mixed feelings about even being alive, and Bjorn, who he can be rather hard on. He cold-clocks Bjorn for letting this pregnant woman enter the fray on the battlefield in one scene. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Fimmel: Of course, he loves both sons so much, but it’s hard for a parent, knowing that Boneless is going to have such a difficult life. Maybe Ragnar takes it out on his wife. He thinks that maybe she is the reason why his son is like that. It might be unfair that he does that, but it’s just this human instinct, which causes a lot of turmoil in their relationship. Bjorn, he just desperately wants him to man up and be responsible. It’s dangerous to have a pregnant woman in battle in any time period. One day, Bjorn may have to take over and be a leader. Ragnar’s all about making him strong enough to do that. Of course, this creates conflicts between Ragnar and Lagertha, the mother, because she babies him too much.
‘Vikings’ Season 3 Spoilers: Ragnar’s Fate Teased In Finale Promo Video; Will He Be Killed In Episode 10?
IBTIMES.COM – Don’t say we didn’t warn you! Before the Season 3 premiere of “Vikings,” we cautioned our readers not to get too attached to the characters of Michael Hirst’s History Channel drama. And we weren’t the only ones giving such sober advice. Katheryn Winnick, who plays the fierce shieldmaiden Lagertha, divulged during an interview with Yahoo TV that a few fan favorites would be meeting their demise during the third season.
“We have lost a few characters,” she confirmed in August, noting that the death toll would rise in Season 3. “Some beloved characters and some amazing characters, so it’s been a little bit in mourning on the ‘Vikings’ set. But I’m telling you, it’s going to be amazing this year.”
She was right, it was. But like all good things, even the third installment of the historical drama must come to an end — and it will on Thursday, April 23. According to the title of the finale, episode 10, it’s safe to assume that the number of casualities will continue to grow in “The Dead.” But which character will end up ascending to Valhalla — or should we say Heaven?
In episode 9 Ragnar revealed that he was a “dying man,” an admission that took us by surprise considering we’ve thought of him as more of a god than a mortal for quite some time now.
“When I die, I want to be reunited with my Christian friend, who happens to be in your heaven,” Ragnar explained his dilemma to the French archbishop (Laurence Foster) of wanting to join Athelstan (George Blagden) in the afterlife he’s learned much about. But unfortunately for the king, the bishop is convinced the only place Ragnar will go after he dies is hell.
“That is not your decision to make,” Ragnar responded.
That’s when Ragnar decided to get baptized (which would increase his chances of reuniting with the priest) — an event his pagan people saw as a betrayal. And according to the promo video for the Season 3 finale, Ragnar’s people will turn against him in episode 10 just as he’s turned away from the Viking beliefs.
“No Christian king will ever be allowed to rule our world,” a character says in the trailer for episode 10. “Someone needs to kill him.”