This year’s boisterous Vikings panel debuted a new trailer for season 4 of History’s seafaring conquest epic, and the lead actors joined creator/writer Michael Hirst onstage to tease plotlines from the next batch of episodes. Some key points:
—Alexander Ludwig’s Bjorn will be mourning the departure of his lover Thorunn by going on a spirit quest. “He decides to figure out his life and go out to the woods,” explained Ludwig. “And while he’s there, this bear starts stalking him.” Because Vikings is Vikings, Bjorn will have a showdown with that bear. “Ironically, the bear had a bigger resumé than anyone else on the set,” Ludwig said. “It was the Anchorman bear. I was starstruck.”
—Ragnar is also recovering from the events of season 3, although star Travis Fimmel was very vague on specifics. “He’s got very close to death,” the actor said. “A lot of this year is his fascination with death. Like Odin, who hung himself to feel how it felt to be dead.”
—Although the show’s scope has dramatically expanded with the addition of Paris as a key setting, the show will not lose track of Linus Roache’s King Ecbert and his various machinations in England. “He’s a fascinating character,” said Hirst. “A good foil for Ragnar. There are many things they have in common, which they recognize. They may well, ultimately, get the chance to talk about some of the things they have in common.” Generally speaking, when Hirst says something “may well” happen, it’s usually going to happen.
—Will there be a time jump in season 4? “We may well do,” Hirst said. (See what I mean?)
—There will be a new woman in Ragnar’s life this season. “A very talented actress,” teased Fimmel. “We’ve been working a lot lately. I think it’s going to be a unique relationship.”
Hirst said a bit more about this new woman, making the description even more tantalizingly vague: “it’s very unexpected. When I first thought of it, I did check with a historical expert that this was a possible connection.”
“She’s a human,” Fimmel promised.
“It’s the bear!” said Ludwig.
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