Battles. Betrayal. Bloodshed. Yep, those ponytailed purveyors of pandemonium are primed and ready to wreak mayhem
Vikings, Tuesday 16 April, 9pm, HISTORY® (CH 270). Available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > HISTORY
You can stop sharpening your sword, because the wait is over. The epic Vikings is ready to wage war on HISTORY this Tuesday with the UK television premiere of season 5.
This sweeping story about a Norse dynasty’s attempt to conquer the world is one of the most popular historical dramas on telly, which is no surprise given that it’s a cinematic roller coaster ride that effortlessly immerses viewers in its blood-splattered world of power, deceit and brutality.
The show’s big return has got us champing at the bit for what’s to come, but before it all kicks off, allow us to get you bang up to speed by answering some burning questions, including which new characters you should keep an eye on, what creator Michael Hirst has up his sleeve, and whether there are more Vikings seasons in the pipeline.
Not yet caught up on season 4? Then read on with caution, because there are spoilers ahead…
How did season 4 end?
Spectacularly! Following Ragnar’s untimely death, the Viking invasion of England saw a bloody battle play out between the Norse invaders and the Saxons. It wasn’t a good day at the office for the Saxons, who ended up losing plenty of men in combat. Meanwhile, Floki was still dreaming of conquering the Mediterranean, but a disagreement between brothers Sigurd and Ivar the Boneless over what to do next resulted in Ivar killing Sigurd. Have they not heard about settling things like gentlemen over a nice tankard of mead?
What’s coming up in season 5?
Absolute chaos, if the words of show creator Michael Hirst are anything to go by. The writer has claimed it is about “how political allegiances are constantly shifting, treaties and allegiances are being made and broken, and everyone is following their own agenda”. If only there was some kind of contemporary situation to draw comparisons with…
Where do we find Queen Lagertha?
After a brush with death in season 4, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) shocks the returning King Harald by being very much not dead. But her beef with Harald is nothing compared to Ivar’s determination to kill the woman who bumped off his mum. Lagertha had better watch her back.
Will there be a mid-season break?
Count on it. Season 5 of Vikings comprises a whopping 20 episodes, but don’t expect them to come your way all at once. The first ten instalments will air on HISTORY this year, and the second half will land on the channel in 2020.
Any new characters to know about?
After making a memorable appearance in the season 4 finale, Jonathan Rhys Meyers joins the cast permanently as Bishop Heahmund, a warrior priest who loves praying as much as he loves pulverising enemies on the battlefield. Meanwhile, expect to see former WWE wrestler Adam Copeland (aka Edge) enter the fold as the brilliantly named Kjetill Flatnose, a violent warrior who’s called upon by Floki to set up a colony in Iceland.
Is this the final season?
Thankfully not. Hirst is busy writing season 6, so you can rest assured that there’s plenty of carnage still to come. The writer has even suggested that the show could carry on after that. “The issue of how long the show could go on is still an open book,” he says. “Who knows really? It’s a gift that keeps on giving.” Amen!
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