The first half of the sixth and final season of Vikings has arrived at the shores of your TV week, with a two-hour premiere on the HISTORY Channel.
If you’ve been following the show to this point, then you’ll be anticipating the rule of Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig) along with the rest of the rabid fan base. Monsters and Critics has an exclusive clip from the premiere that shows Bjorn taking his first steps in establishing the difference between his rule and Ivar’s.
For those needing a recap, Season 5 ended with Bjorn defeating his half-brother Ivar the Boneless’ (Alex Høgh Andersen) army with the help of his own forces, comprised of his other half-brothers Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith), (Torvi (Georgia Hirst) Hvitserk (Marco Ilso), Gunnhild (Ragga Ragnars), Olaf the Stout (Steven Berkoff), King Harald Finehair (Peter Franzen) his mother Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) and countless bearded extras.
Bjorn reclaimed the city of Kattegat, as Ivar slithered off into trade roads of the east. Meanwhile, the Iceland settlement is in limbo with Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) potentially meeting the gods at Valhalla after being buried in a cave.
Yet, with 20 episodes still left in Michael Hirst’s saga of Ragnar Lothbrok and his sons, there is plenty of story yet to tell. Here’s a preview of what we might see in the future.
How will Bjorn rule?
Bjorn Ironside had a legacy that eclipsed that of his father’s and we’re finally getting him at the throne. But he was warned by Ragnar that he’ll have to stoop low to get ahead in this world.
How far will he go to maintain the crown? How different will his rule be from Ivar’s or Ragnar’s?
Also, as a side note, has Gunnhild finally tamed his heart to be Bjorn’s one true love or will he follow his wandering heart as he has already shown with his long list of ex-wives and flings?
Have we seen the last of the Seer?
Last we saw the Seer (John Kavanaugh), he was on the wrong end of Ivar’s wrath, but as the show’s Oracle, a season without him seems like a longboat floating along without a navigator.
We’ve already seen Bjorn talk to his father on the mountain top, so spiritually, our new King of Kattegat is in touch with those departed. With the fates of Bjorn, Lagertha, Floki, and really, everyone else there should be an opportunity to explore what the afterlife holds. Maybe there’s hope to once again see the Seer yet.
What happened to Floki and the Iceland settlement?
Floki may have been buried due to a volcanic tremor or earthquake on Iceland but surely this isn’t the last we’ve seen of the great shipbuilder, right?
Also, we know that Vikings go on to settle Iceland so he was at least successful in charting further exploration and settlement. While his attempt to bring like-minded souls with him fell apart, at some point, Vikings thrived there.
Surely, Hirst doesn’t leave this thread dangling. And HISTORY is also airing a one-hour special called Saga of Floki before the two-hour Season 6 premiere.
Where will Ivar go for support?
It’s said that he escaped the clutch of his brothers by going east. Going back to Season 1, the reason why Ragnar wanted to venture west was that the Baltics and the harsh lands that lay beyond (Russia) were badlands for farming. But these were lands that were conquered by Vikings and Yidu’s introduction in Season 4 shows a path to China.
Could Ivar really have retreated this far east? It’s possible, but surely he needs to rebuild his reputation and his forces so his influence is either in the eastern block or England where there are those who still quake at the mention of his name.
What will happen to Lagertha?
Lagertha has vowed to lay down her sword and live out a life as a farmer. It is the dream that she and Ragnar had back in Season 1.
She has been aged by the wars she’s fought in and has likely outlived the life expectancy of most warriors, even if she is the greatest shieldmaiden.
Lagertha has had her fair share of lovers and enemies. Yet, she has been able to make peace with Hvitserk and Ubbe for murdering their mother. With Ivar still out there, she can never be safe.
Where do Ubbe and Hvitserk go from here?
Hvitserk was made a fool by Ivar and his late wife Freydis and wisely appealed to Olaf the Stout but he’s a far more complicated character than what he appeared to be in Seasons 4 and 5.
He did not get the revenge he sought in attacking his brother. He had his lover murdered and one wonders how he rebuilds after that kind of tragedy, especially when you didn’t get the chance to finish the job.
As for Ubbe, he and Torvi are left to fight for whomever they please. Ubbe has no interest in ruling, but he is now lost without a cause. But at least he’s not alone.
Where do Harald’s loyalties run?
He may have helped Bjorn take back his throne but it wasn’t long ago that he was helping Ivar and betraying Lagertha. He was also jealous of Bjorn quickly winning the heart of Gunnhild. Does Harald continue to do what’s in the best interest of surviving and aligning himself with a winner or will he make his big move this season?
When will Christianity drive out Paganism?
The war that will define the Viking culture for future generations is the one that is near and dear to the hearts of those still alive. Lagertha, Ivar, Ubbe and Torvi are all devout, perhaps even Bjorn but will there be someone or some event that turns the tides, that begins mass conversion to Christianity?
At some point in history, it happens, and historically, it was Olaf the Stout who would help urge the switch, but whether that and other stories play out this season remains to be seen.
Vikings Season 6 premieres with two episodes on HISTORY, Wednesday, December 4 at 9/8c. It will be preceded by a The Saga of Floki special narrated by Alex Høgh Andersen.