Major spoilers for Episode 3 of Vikings Season 6, entitled “All the Prisoners,” are discussed below!
While Bjorn was declared King of Kattegat last season, Season 6 has seen the start of his reign. So far, Bjorn’s time as King has not resulted in the best decisions, and it all started in the premiere. He exiled Ivar’s murderous band of followers after branding them. In Vikings’ latest game-changing episode, Bjorn's son was murdered by the leader of the men he exiled.
Then there was the King Harald issue. Bjorn decided to leave his throne in Kattegat to go rescue his on-again-off-again ally. The rescue attempt ended up failing in spectacular fashion. So, Bjorn is pretty much 0 for 2 in Season 6. Speaking about Bjorn's decision to go save Harald in the premiere and before disaster struck, Vikings’ Alexander Ludwig told TV Guide:
I think the thing about Bjorn that I love about him so much is that his intentions are just and good. He does want what's best for his people and at the time he felt like that would be the best way forward. Obviously, he's a bit of an optimist in terms of his ability to believe that people won't kind of stab him in the back. So yeah, I believe it was a good idea at the time.
I think his decision with regards to Harald also relates to his ruling with Ivar’s followers, with both decisions being made in the premiere. Vikings has wasted no time in showing the outcome of Bjorn’s decisions. Bjorn’s heart may have been in the right place, but his idealism has now led to tragic consequences. And, not only for him and his family, either.
In the second episode of Vikings Season 6, his decision to show mercy to the merciless ended up leading to the group going free and committing atrocities against villagers. Lagertha is currently in the village and readying to fight the bandits again, in what may be her next big battle.
Bjorn’s wife, Gunnhild, is presently on her way to Lagertha’s after having an incredibly violent nightmare that foretold of what happened. Meanwhile, Bjorn is still away from Kattegat following that Harald rescue attempt. One thing is certain. The twists and turns have not stopped coming on Vikings.
Despite some not-so-great decisions as of late, Vikings gave Bjorn a massive promotion in its latest episode. After failing to rescue Harald, Bjorn met with Harald’s captor, King Olaf, who announced his desire to elect Bjorn the King of Norway! Bjorn lives to rule another day. Teasing the journey of Ragnar’s son in Season 6, Alexander Ludwig said:
That's kind of been Bjorn's journey this whole season, is him trying to find his way as a leader and then realizing that balance between leading with your heart and your head and that there's a lot more to it than meets the eye. And like everybody, he's a flawed character and he makes mistakes, but he learns from them and carves the best path forward.
It sounds like Bjorn’s mistakes will not be lost on him. Vikings has set up quite a storyline for when Bjorn comes back. Assuming his election as the King of Norway succeeds, he will return to Kattegat more powerful than he left it, even though this is a development that was not part of his initial plan.
Will Bjorn get back in time to deal with the bandits himself? Or, will Lagertha have been successful in killing them by the time he returns? Vikings’ timelines make it a bit tricky to predict. He still has to make the journey home from Harald’s kingdom. That is, if he does not make a few pit stops on his way home.
Obviously, Bjorn never anticipated how his verdict would play out. Will Bjorn grow colder as a ruler? Or will he remain idealistic in his pursuit of doing what he thinks is right? Lagertha feels that Bjorn is “destined” to rule Kattegat, according to Katheryn Winnick. The question is if he can maintain his people’s support to continue doing so.
Find out how Bjorn’s rule continues when new episodes of Vikings air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on History. The historical drama’s Season 6 return is part of this winter's premieres.