DESIGNNTREND.COM – “Vikings” stars Travis Fimmel (Ragnar), Katheryn Winnick (Lagertha), Clive Standen (Rollo) and Alexander Ludwig (Bjorn), along with series creator Michael Hirst, raided this year’s San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, July 10, to tease the upcoming season 4 of the historical drama. The panel, which also featured History executive vice president Dirk Hoogstra, debuted a brand new trailer for the new installment, which will premiere next year. Below are 10 things we learned from the show’s panel and trailer:
10) There will be a time jump.
As seen in the one and a half minute trailer, Ragnar’s younger children have aged. And in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Hirst confirmed that they have indeed recast some of Ragnar’s sons, who “will play a bigger and bigger part in season 4.”
“This has never been the Ragnar Lothbrok show, this is a show about Vikings. And again historically speaking, a couple of Ragnar’s sons did become more famous than he was,” explained Hirst of why the time jump is necessary. “I’m thinking particularly of Bjorn and the wonderfully named Ivor the Boneless. Ivor’s story is a crucial and amazing part of season 4.”
9) Ragnar will be fascinated with death.
After faking his death in an attempt to infiltrate Paris in the season 3 finale, Fimmel said during the panel that the weakened King of Denmark will be “intrigued by death” when the show returns next year. “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.”
Hirst further explained Ragnar’s season 4 storyline during his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, saying that even though Ragnar has managed to return to Kattegat after a fairly long journey from Paris, “he’s still desperately ill — he’s at death’s door.”
Hirst added that “some of the early parts of next season are about the possibility of him dying and what are the ramifications of that. Who’s going to rule and what will it mean if the great Ragnar Lothbrok dies now? It sets up all future possible conflicts about the consequences of him dying. You can see the people cueing up to claim power.”
8) Bjorn will go on a spiritual journey.
Ludwig revealed during the panel that Bjorn will embark on a spiritual quest to become more of a man while mourning the departure of his wife Porunn (Gaia Weiss).
“He decides to figure out his life and go out to the woods. And while he’s there, this bear starts stalking him,” the 23-year-old Canadian actor teased. “Ironically, the bear had a bigger résumé than anyone else on the set. It was the ‘Anchorman’ bear. I was starstruck.”
7) Rollo will marry Princess Gisla.
As seen in the trailer, Rollo accepts Emperor Charles’ (Lothaire Bluteau) offer to marry his daughter, Princess Gisla (Morgane Polanski). And in return, the Viking warrior appears to turn against his own brother, Ragnar, and helps the Franks defend the city against the Northmen.
But in an interview with IGN, also at Comic-Con, Standen suggested that Rollo’s allegiance to the Franks might only be part of a bigger plan for the Vikings to finally break into Paris. “The real question is: is Rollo really gonna betray his brother? Or is this gonna be another route into Paris again?” Standen teased.
6) England will still be a big part of season 4.
Even though the series has significantly expanded its “world” with the addition of Paris as a major setting, fans will still see more of Linus Roache’s King Ecbert and other characters in England.
“He’s a fascinating character,” Hirst said of King Ecbert during the panel. “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.”
5) Floki will be arrested for the murder of Athelstan.
The trailer reveals that Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) will finally face the consequences of killing Athelstan (George Blagden). In the video, Bjorn orders Floki’s arrest, and the shipbuilder is later seen with chains on his hands and neck. It remains to be seen, however, how Ragnar will exactly avenge the death of Athelstan.
4) Athelstan will return in season 4.
Although Athelstan was killed off last season, the beloved priest will return next installment as part of Ragnar’s visions. In fact, fans can see some glimpses of him in the trailer.
“If it was up to me George would be hovering around the whole time,” Hirst told The Hollywood Reporter. But aside from appearing in Ragnar’s vision, Hirst said that “in reality and in spirit, Athelstan continues to exert a big influence not necessarily on Ragnar, but on King Ecbert in Wessex and on Athelstan’s son Alfred, who of course will become almost the greatest English King of all time, Alfred the Great.”
“In that very superstitious time the dead played a big role in the lives of the living,” Hirst added.
3) Aslaug will be interested in ruling Kattegat.
In the trailer, Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) reaches out to the Seer to ask whether a woman will succeed to the Kingdom of Kattegat. And after the Seer reveals that a woman will one day rule Kattegat, the Queen of Denmark asks if she’s that woman.
2) Lagertha will castrate a man.
At some point in the trailer, Lagertha is seen about to castrate a man. While it’s unclear who that man is, the scene is a big tease to what is in store for Lagertha in season 4.
“She has an amazing story arc this season; something so unexpected that I can’t even begin to talk about it because I would immediately say too much,” Hirst told The Hollywood Reporter. “Her trajectory and role though are just as significant as Ragnar’s.”
1) There will be a new woman in Ragnar’s life.
“A very talented actress,” teased Fimmel during the panel. “We’ve been working a lot lately. I think it’s going to be a unique relationship.”
Hirst added that the introduction of the new character is “very unexpected.” “When I first thought of it, I did check with a historical expert that this was a possible connection,” he explained.
While the name of the character was not revealed during the panel, Hirst somehow confirmed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that the new woman in Ragnar’s life is actually Yidu (Dianne Doan), a Chinese slave captured in the Red Sea.
“Who knew the world was small enough even then for people captured by pirates in the red sea might to end up in Frankia, and then in Scandinavia?” Hirst told the outlet. “But I checked with our historical consultant and he said it’s all possible, it’s all plausible, it almost certainly happened.”
“Vikings” will return on History next year with a 20-epiosde fourth season, Winnick revealed to IGN.