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Vikings Bjorn Ironside Alexander Ludwig Ragnar Lothbrok Travis Fimmel Lagertha Katheryn Winnick Hist

Travis Fimmel has been super busy since leaving Vikings back in Season 4. As Ragnar, the actor cast an enormous shadow on the series. The historical mythos required Ragnar to eventually meet his end and for Fimmel to say goodbye to Vikings, so he did. Although, one fan theory has some viewers remaining hopeful that Ragnar can eventually return in Season 6.

While fans eagerly await to learn if Travis Fimmel will reprise his role as Ragnar one last time for the final season, they can take heart. Fimmel did not struggle to say goodbye to Vikings. When asked if it was hard, Fimmel told Collider:

No, not at all. As soon as the cameras are off, I start talking to people. I’m not one of those actors that live and breathe the character, and take it home. It was such a great experience, and it was also a great experience to work in Australia. Where you’re working makes such a big difference.

When you portray a character through every extreme imaginable, I could see where, as an actor, the book was closed. During his time on Vikings, Travis Fimmel took Ragnar from a family man farmer to a full-blown warrior king. That is a lot to get done in four seasons, and he shepherded Ragnar through it all with a daring and highly memorable performance, in my opinion.

Vikings has had to manage in his absence. The introduction of Ragnar’s sons and the heightened focus on their war has meant moving in a new direction. Ragnar is still a constant source of inspiration to his children, though, and the reason behind much of the chatter among Vikings’ sprawling cast of characters. Travis Fimmel’s reign as Ragnar continues to set a gold standard.

Off-screen, it is clear that Travis Fimmel remains close to his Vikings’ co-star Alexander Ludwig. Thanks to a video posted earlier this year, Vikings fans got to see the crazy way they reunited. Ludwig plays Ragnar’s oldest son, the newly minted King of Kattegat, and the one son of Ragnar's not expected to kill Lagertha.

One season since Travis Fimmel and Ragnar exited, Vikings announced it would be coming to an end with Season 6. Vikings’ creator Michael Hirst later explained the decision to bring the series to a close. Hirst believes that with Season 6, he has completed the saga of Ragnar Lothbrok and his sons.

The next step will be Michael Hirst’s newly announced Vikings sequel series on Netflix. There are an array of intriguing characters set to take center stage, and yours truly cannot help hoping that Travis Fimmel could take on a role. He has other projects in the works, so who knows. The fact that he speaks of his Vikings experience fondly gives me some degree of hope.

When Vikings concludes it will have done so with two seasons without Ragnar, but Travis Fimmel’s performance left such an impression that it lives on in the show. He found the multitude of layers lurking within a character that could have only been seen for his brutality. Fimmel’s Ragnar was a patriarch, a king, a husband, and a complicated figure.

Without Travis Fimmel’s performance, I do not think the existing storyline with Ragnar’s sons works, nor does it carry the weight it does. You have to believe that their father really did mean as much to them as he clearly appears to on the show. Vikings fans who have watched from the beginning certainly know how important the legacy of Fimmel's character is. So, it brings a richness and depth to the story they are still living.

See how that story continues when the two-hour premiere of Vikings Season 6 will arrive as one of this winter’s premieres. The final season begins Wednesday, December 4, at 9 p.m. ET on History. Vikings: Season 5 Volume 2 Blu-ray/DVD set is out now!

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