Skip to main content

Why Vikings Killed Off That Major Character, And How It Changes Things

Vikings Ivar Alex Hogh Andersen History
(Image credit: Jonathan Hession/History)

Warning: Spoilers for last night's episode of Vikings Season 5B -- "The Lost Moment" lie ahead.

Vikings sent shockwaves through its story with the demise of one of its original and major characters. In the final minutes of the episode, Ivar murdered The Seer. Vikings' creator, Michael Hirst, has provided insight into why the show killed the character off as well as Ivar's mindset behind the slaying, saying:

He persuades himself that he is a god, although I've never assured myself that he totally believes that. But once I'd established that idea I had to imagine the kinds of things he might do if he believed himself to be totally different from other men and possibly a god. ... It came to me one day that he might do the impossible sin of killing, or at least trying to kill, The Seer because he couldn't bear to feel that someone was laughing at him or didn't believe this idea that he might be divine.

There you have it. Ivar murdering The Seer was in total keeping with the Vikings character, who couldn't handle someone else disbelieving his new god-oriented status. Especially since he has started to believe he is a god. Michael Hirst also told Variety that the mental seed for The Seer's demise came after contemplating what Ivar would do once he became king.

During the episode, Ivar sought out The Seer in its final moments. After being told that he was not a god, as well as some other things, Ivar flew off the handle. His reaction to not being believed by The Seer knew only one response -- murder. Vikings' creator shared his personal shock at envisioning the twist, saying:

So that became essential to my portrait of him as a ruler and how far he would dare to go -- to kill one of the most iconic characters in the Vikings world. It was shocking to me when I thought of it, which is always a nice feeling to have. Do I dare to do this? What are the consequences of doing it? I've lived with The Seer for so long. But then it was the logical thing, the perfect thing for Ivar to do, to celebrate his own divinity.

To lose The Seer marks a considerable departure for Vikings. The character has been an integral part of the story. He has foreseen many things and shared them with many of the show's power players. The Seer has traditionally provided viewers with their best clues for what lies ahead.

The death of a character ordinarily signals the end of their time on a show. Have Vikings fans actually seen the last of him? Michael Hirst provided insight on that question, while also sharing a surprising tidbit about The Seer. Hirst also said:

Ivar thinks he's killed The Seer [but] he may not have killed him because The Seer isn't mortal in the way other men are mortal. He may appear in different guises or in the future in different ways. But I don't think a human --- even a demigod as Ivar now claims to be --- I don't think they're capable of removing the conscious or spiritual guide that's been there since the beginning of time and will probably be there until the end of the Vikings age.

The Seer may be dead, but based on what Vikings' creator is saying, he will not be gone. What he signifies is too important. The Seer leaves behind a legacy of words and people who believe in him. Ivar cannot kill what he meant to people and their faith in him. So, he is larger than death.

Interestingly, Michael Hirst indicates that Ivar may not entirely believe he is a god and can't handle anyone else disagreeing, something that does help to explain his anger. When he gets told something he does not want to hear, he tends to rebel swiftly. That said, he cannot erase what he heard and from such a powerful force in the Viking world. Along with having to deal with actually having murdered The Seer, this other mental issue is one that should haunt him.

To the people of Kattegat and Ivar himself, The Seer was all-knowing. Ivar did not kill him because he did not believe that. One question he should theoretically wrestle with is why he should believe The Seer or his wife. If he were to think about it rationally, Ivar should not believe Freydis over him.

From what Michael Hirst revealed, it sounds as though the ramifications of Ivar's rash decision will be felt moving forward. The series' creator revealed that Ivar would feel immediate shame for what he did. Of course, this show isn't fantasy and there will be no taking the decision back.

Find out how the aftermath plays out when Vikings continues. New episodes of Season 5B air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on History. The show returned this fall and will continue airing new during the winter.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.