Major spoiler warning for those who haven't watched the Vikings Season 4 finale.
Throughout its two-part Season 4, Vikings has been one of the deadliest shows on TV, especially in the back half, which killed off Ragnar, seemingly the shows anchor, and his wife Aslaug, as well as many others. And it came without an iota of surprise that tonight's season finale was just as dangerous for anyone who was breathing when the episode began, with three different characters getting put out of their respective miseries tonight. Season 5 is going to be crazy, y'all.
Let's look at the trio of victims one by one, shall we?
Actor Linus Roache has been portraying the powerful King Ecbert of Wessex since Season 2, and the character has been a highlight of Vikings during his stay. But once you're responsible for all the things that Ecbert has gotten his hands dirty with over the years, you don't get to die in your sleep of old age. He knows that his time was limited, but he still tried to talk his way out of it after signing over the lands to Ragnar's sons. Let no one have missed out on him not being the king anymore when he did that, as he'd already passed the crown down to Aethelwulf. So we can expect some bloody follow-up to that in the future, hopefully.
Alas, death was an inevitability for Ecbert, and because he was so willing to pass on the lands (dishonestly), he was allowed to bow out by his own means, which included getting nekkid in his bathing pool and opening his own veins. And in a meaningful parting moment, he hears Ragnar's voice once again telling him not to be afraid.
We all know that in Vikings' ensemble, Ivar is a bit of a loose cannon in the way that the sun is a bit of a hot ball, and his impulsive audacity showed its head in the worst possible way at the very end of the emotional and brutal episode. With the battle won and celebrations ongoing, and Bjorn aiming to inspire others to settle down, Ivar shifted from a brotherhood viewpoint to one of avaricious pride and talked excitedly of conquering other lands. And when David Lindström's Sigurd chose that point to insult Ivar and his impotence, Ivar threw an ax into his brother's stomach, adding unnecessary tragedy to what should have been a glorious event. Surprisingly, Sigurd pulled the ax free and clearly looked as if he was going to use it on Ivar before falling to his death. Who will be avenging Sigurd's death in Season 5? Anybody?
The episode's final death (though not sequentially) came as another massive blow to Gustaf Skarsgård's talented shipbuilder Floki, as he is forced to say goodbye to his wife Helga, played by Maude Hirst. She was stabbed to death by the girl that she has been obsessively calling her daughter, and while she was trying to protect the girl in the battles' aftermath, no less. Helga shared her final thoughts with Floki, who buried her and then made the decision to go in a completely new direction with his life, now that his friend Ragnar, his daughter and his wife have all been taken from him.
Not everything played out exactly as it did in the history books, but still close enough. And unfortunately, that dark and dour Season 4 finale means that Vikings will once again go on its yearly hiatus as fans grow anxious for the already renewed Season 5 to arrive on History later this year, with more of Jonathan Rhys Meyers' new character. In the meantime, check out our midseason premiere schedule to see all the shows coming to the small screen soon.