Why Vikings Is Ending After Season 6

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

Why is Vikings ending after Season 6? The series' creator, Michael Hirst, is the one who wanted to draw the History series to a close. Explaining why he decided Vikings should come to an end, Hirst said:

I always knew where I wanted the show to go and more or less where it would end if I was given the opportunity. What I was trying to do was write the saga of Ragnar Lothbrok and his sons. After six seasons and 89 episodes, that’s what I felt — finally — I’d done. We stopped shooting the final episode in November last year and I felt that I’d said all I needed to say about Ragnar and his sons. I told my saga, and I’d been very fortunate to be given that opportunity by MGM and History. I had no reason to want to continue it beyond that.

The saga of Ragnar and his sons will be done. In essence, according to what Michael Hirst told Variety, he will have said all that can be said about that story by the end of Season 6. Vikings viewers still have a lot of episodes to watch before they arrive at the series’ conclusion, however.

As Vikings fans watched the Season 5 finale, there was a haunting knowledge lingering. The episode marked the end of the penultimate season and, at first glance, it seemed like too little time to finish out the story. Yet, there are 20 more episodes in the works, which is something Michael Hirst pointed out before teasing some of what viewers can expect coming up. He said:

But, there are 20 new episodes to come. We visit three new worlds in those episodes, we go through great tragedies and great heroism, and if you have tears to weep be prepared to weep them as you watch Season 6. I’m very proud of the show. I did what I wanted to do, that’s the truth.

This comment sounds both epic and ominous, although exploring not just one but three new worlds sounds exciting. Hopefully, that will not mean Vikings will be venturing outside of Kattegat for too long. The series has always been at its strongest point when most of it unravels within its headquarters.

Plus -- and we're about to get into spoilers! -- with Ivar now out as King of Kattegat and Bjorn in, the place should feel more like it used too. There was a foreboding tinge to the episode's final scenes and Vikings’ creator hints at the bad days to come.

Michael Hirst mentions “great tragedies” and the potentially shedding of tears. Tragedy usually hints at death. Of course, it could be other things too.

Given the dangerous path, many characters have been on that seems entirely feasible. Who will be impacted by these ensuing tragedies? Only Season 6 can answer that.

Vikings’ creator did not just tease doom and gloom. He mentions viewers witnessing “great heroism” as well. That would imply some future circumstances that tie to one needing to act heroically. What evokes these heroic moments is a curious thing to contemplate heading into Season 6.

As for Vikings fans who feared that the series might have been cut short before its time, take heart. Michael Hirst has assured that this was truly how he wanted the show to wrap up and he was ready to end it.

The situation with Vikings is not one where a show has been cancelled unceremoniously and without forethought. As has been the case with other series, a creatively inspired decision has led to the choice to end it. Vikings creator is aware that when it came to the saga of Ragnar and his sons, the tale will have been told next season.

When can viewers expect to see the first half of Season 6? There are no definitive dates. In his interview, Michael Hirst mentioned, it will be “later this year.” That timetable fits with Vikings’ traditional release schedule. When Vikings’ Season 6 does premiere, it will do so on History. Having bid a “see you later” to Vikings -- there are lots of other new series to keep you entertained, while you wait for the final season to start.

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.