This post contains spoilers for the Vikings Season 4 finale, episode 20, titled “The Reckoning.”
Vikings racked up quite the body count in Season 4 which came to a bloody conclusion on Feb. 1 with the demise of three major characters: King Ecbert, Sigurd and Helga but no death this year was more pivotal or harrowing than that of hero Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), who has been our eyes and ears in the brutal world of the Northmen since the series began.
Episode 415 saw Ragnar die in a pit of snakes at the hands of the ruthless King Aelle (an act that later prompted Ragnar’s sons extract their bloody revenge on the monarch by executing him via the Blood Eagle).
Subsequent episodes explored the far-reaching consequences of Ragnar’s death, which will continue to ripple through the show until its eventual end. (Which won’t be any time soon History has already renewed the show for a fifth season.)
Creator Michael Hirst shared his original script pages for Ragnar’s death scene exclusively with Mashable, revealing how Fimmel took the material and made it his own, resulting in an “extraordinary and powerful scene.”
Compare the script to the finished scene below:
With the many endings in Season 4, Vikings will embark on a new chapter in Season 5, as Ragnar’s remaining sons Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), Ivar (Alex Hgh), Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith) and Hvitserk (Marco Ils) must forge their own paths out of their father’s shadow.
And now that Kings Ecbert and Aelle are dead, a new generation must rise to rule England and defend it from Viking invaders starting with Ecbert’s son Aethelwulf (Moe Dunford) and Athelstan’s illegitimate son Alfred (Conor Hanlon).
That’s not to mention new cast addition Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Bishop Heahmund, a warrior priest with a penchant for bedding widows and spilling blood, who will no doubt face off with Ragnar’s sons in Season 5.
Vikings Season 5 will premiere later this year on History.