The meaty dramas come in winter. Game of Thrones, Black Sails and Vikings, one of our top picks for TV watching.
HISTORY’s hit drama series Vikings returns for a gripping fourth season led by Travis Fimmel on Thursday, February 18 at 10 p.m. ET.
The network has added four episodes to its initial 16 episode order. I bolded that because if you love the series as I do, this is an early Christmas present!
Beginning February 18, a new episode will air every Thursday for ten weeks with the remaining episodes to air later in the year.
We left off last S3 with the extraordinary battle in Paris, where Ragnar (Fimmel) seized victory from the jaws of defeat but is wounded and returns to Kattegat dangerously ill. Thoughts of his death galvanize the forces who seek to succeed him as king, including his wife Queen Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) and his oldest son, Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig).
Meanwhile, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) continues power struggles with her calculating underboss Kalf (Ben Robson); Rollo (Clive Standen) betrays his Vikings heritage by remaining in Frankia and Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) is seized for his brutal actions to the Christian priest Athelstan.
Joining the stellar cast this season is Peter Franzén as “King Harold Finehair,” a complex character who seeks to be King of Norway and a potential threat to Ragnar; Jasper Pääkkönen as “Halfdan The Black,” King Harold’s violent younger brother; and Dianne Doan as “Yidu,” a completely different character within the world of the Vikings who fascinates Ragnar.
Showrunner Michael Hirst (Academy Award® winning film Elizabeth and the Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominated series “The Tudors”) is masterful at taking history and bending it to the reimagined fictionalized story that makes for great viewing. This is at its core a neck-deep family saga that tells the remarkable tales of the lives and epic adventures of the raiders and explorers of the Dark Ages.
Ragnar is made more interesting by the presence of King Ecbert of Wessex, played by Linus Roache. The actor plays a formidable match, as the two leaders are thinkers as well as ruthless leaders. King Ecbert is a libertine, and an opportunist, who can weave alliances and make the most brutal decisions even in his own court.
And like Fimmel, Roache revels in playing this historical character, Ecbert being an acolyte of emperor Charlemagne. The two men are united by their vision of empire building versus sacking and plundering for the short-lived leadership gain. It is their game of chess that makes Vikings on HISTORY such a fantastic watch, along with the secondary cast headed by Winnick.