A Vikings fan theory has viewers newly hopeful for Travis Fimmel’s return as Ragnar in Season 6. Ever since Fimmel and Ragnar exited Vikings, fans have been clamoring for his return, and with only one season left of the series, it is getting down to crunch time.
Vikings lost Ragnar all the way back in Season 4 when he was beaten, put in a cage, and then dropped into a pit of snakes for a measured execution. It's a scene that, at the time, seemed to definitively depict the character’s demise by snake bites. How does the fan theory in question explain how Ragnar could come back from that? It is all about those snakes.
The Ragnar Theory
At least one fan believes that Ragnar’s fascination with snakes could hold the key to the character's fate. If true, it could open the door to Travis Fimmel's beloved character making a surprising return. A fan on Reddit wrote out an interesting theory about the possibility that Ragnar could still be alive. Here’s u/noob_lvl1’s pitch:
Starting at least in Season 3, Ragnar starts becoming fascinated with snakes. In the season that he last raids Paris we even see he has a house full of them. Now is it possible that Ragnar has slowly made himself immune to different snakes' venom and didn't die in the pit?
This theory entails Ragnar specifically preparing for his eventual demise at the hands (teeth?) of snakes by making himself immune to their poisons. As Vikings viewers witnessed, though, there were multiple prongs to setting up Ragnar’s execution. He was beaten, dumped in a pit, and left for dead with a bunch of hungry reptiles. It seems pretty open and shut to lots of viewers. But is it?
Idea #1: Ragnar Returns In The Flesh
It is highly unlikely that Ragnar will return to Vikings alive. However, it is not beyond the absolute realm of possibility. If Ragnar actually was able to make himself impervious to snake venom (as highly improbable as that may be), then someone feasibly could have gone down into the pit and carried him off, nursing him back to health in the meantime. Perhaps that someone had an abundance of snake anti-venom to go along with Ragnar’s possible immunity.
Lagertha was not in the best shape following last season’s battle, with a mysterious someone saving her. Could that person have been Ragnar? In an interesting semi-side note, consider that Lagertha was shown hallucinating Ragnar’s death in the snake pit. She was not actually present at his execution, though, so we can't treat them as pure fact.
Idea #2: Ragnar Returns Via Flashback
The most likely circumstance surrounding a possible Ragnar return would be via flashback, which wouldn't force the show to explain him surviving all of that snake venom. As the aforementioned instance with Lagertha demonstrates, Ragnar is always on the minds of Vikings’ characters. Even in the Season 5 finale, Bjorn was shown remembering a vital talk with his father, which itself sparked hope for Travis Fimmel's return.
It makes sense for Bjorn to have similar memories as Vikings and his journey winds down. Hopefully, those memories would provide flashbacks to “new” scenes that viewers have not been privy to. Ragnar is such a crucial key to Vikings that finishing the show without him is tantamount to blasphemy, in my opinion. Even the briefest glimpse or flashback, if newly produced to reflect Vikings' final episodes, would be the emotional pin the series needs to say goodbye.
Idea #3: Ragnar Returns Via Hallucination Or Dream
Considering what has been possibly spoiled about one character’s fate, you can bet that character (any many others) would have a Ragnar hallucination or dream in the lead-up to a death or other major moment. Vikings has already set such a scenario up. Is it possible that someone could falsely imagine that Ragnar survived his venomous snake bites?
Between Lagertha, Floki (if he's okay), and all of Ragnar’s sons, there are a lot of people who could mentally conjure up Ragnar. There was an unsettling tease about someone else dying in Vikings’ last season. If that character is who we think it could be, then a Ragnar return would be a must, regardless of whether it was waking or in sleep.
Whatever happens in Vikings’ final chapter, Ragnar’s shadow should and will continue to be felt. It makes sense for characters to recall him in various ways. The door is open to a lot of possibilities, and yes, that includes one where Ragnar actually survived those snake bites.
Vikings already set Ragnar up with a track record for dropping out of sight, such as when he disappeared for years after his defeat to Rollo. However, there is another possible explanation for Ragnar's snake fixation in Season 3. After all, such specific character behavior was probably not incidental on the part of the writers and producers.
Like many, I believe Vikings’ point in working Ragnar’s fascination with snakes into Season 3 was an inside nod to the real-life Ragnar's ultimate fate . A quick Google search would tell any curious mind that is likely how the popular character would die. Season 3 was Ragnar’s penultimate season, so sowing the seeds to his demise was probably a creative choice to having Travis Fimmel foreshadowing it.
Find out if Ragnar will put in an updated final appearance when Vikings Season 6 eventually bows on History. A premiere date for the final season has not gotten set yet, but it is expected for the first half of the final season to kick off in 2019, with the second half airing at some point in 2020. In the meantime, though, there are many shows that have fall premiere dates, which are already known and already being anticipated.
For those who just love reliving Vikings' power and glory, all of the previous seasons can currently be streamed on Amazon Prime Video. Reacquaint yourself with Ragnar’s snake fascination, and feel free to let us know your own theories below