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Warning: Spoilers for the latest episode of Vikings Season 5B -- "The Lost Moment" are ahead.
Ivar and Hvitserk's relationship is a "complex" and "deep" one, according to Vikings creator Michael Hirst. One thing he is trying to explore about their relationship in Season 5B is why Hvitserk decided to go with Ivar over their other brother, Ubbe. In examining what compelled Hvitserk, Hirst described Hvitserk's mindset, saying:
He's in a complicated relationship both with his own psychology and with Ivar. And both of them actually --- both Ivar and Hvitserk --- try and work out what their relationship means and why they are bound together. In due course they start to think they're bound together because the Gods mean one of them to kill the other. And that's why Hvitserk jumped ship. But it may not be true, it's just the reasoning they come to because they little else make sense of this close relationship.
When in doubt, Ivar and Hvitserk think the gods' goal is for one of them to kill the other. The Vikings creator offered insight into the brothers' complicated relationship to Variety. How Ivar and Hvitserk will rationalize what comes next following that big shock will be a massive test for their relationship.
In the latest episode of Vikings, Ivar killed The Seer. Despite that, do not expect the brothers' relationship to end any time soon. Michael Hirst teases the exact opposite will happen, as Vikings continues to explore why they have ended up sticking by each other. Of that move, Hirst says:
This relationship continues well into Season 6, and there is a resolution --- you discover in time why he jumped ship. But there are many feats to come. In the meantime, it's the voyage to discovery for both of them that they love and hate each other. They're bound together by some forces that they don't understand.
It sounds like Vikings' viewers will eventually learn what drove Hvitserk to side with Ivar over Ubbe. A decision that he has seemed to question as Season 5B has progressed. Since then, Ivar may have had Margrethe murdered, definitely declared himself a god, and hinted he wanted to sacrifice Hvitserk. So, the opportunities for brotherly bonding have been limited.
Despite Ivar's actions, it does not sound like Hvitserk will be moving away from his brother any time soon. Michael Hirst has offered more insight into what is set to unravel between the brothers. And, if you thought that Ivar's latest murder would be the thing that pushes Hvitserk away for good, think again. Hirst says:
As far as he can he continues to try and protect Ivar throughout almost whatever Ivar does, despite being shocked and appalled by them. But Ivar exerts an almost mesmeric power over people around him. Over Hvitserk and in some ways over the audiences.
Michael Hirst's explanation regarding Ivar's power over people certainly helps explain a lot. According to him, Ivar has the ability to make people respond irrationally to his actions. Something that has come in handy as he continues his reign, despite him doing things that should get him de-throned.
Before Ivar murdered him, The Seer told Hvitserk that he had what sounded like a pretty significant destiny ahead of him. The Seer said something along the lines of Hvitserk being able to accomplish something no one before him has been able to do.
Whatever that means, Hvitserk must come to believe he will achieve that at Ivar's side. Let's face it, Hvitserk has reason to believe he made the right call. He and Ivar are sitting atop Kattegat and Ubbe had to retreat to Wessex along with their other brother, Bjorn. In terms of winning, he has evidence to think the gods are with him and his decision.
Hvitserk and Ivar's relationship will continue as Vikings moves ahead. New episodes of Season 5B air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on History. The show will continue airing new episodes during the winter.