Vikings will have a lot going on when it returns for the second half of Season 6, including the continuation of Ubbe’s storyline. It involves Ragnar’s eldest son with Aslaug trying to solve the mystery of Floki’s disappearance. Ubbe and his wife, Torvi, set sail to Iceland, where they met Ray Stevenson’s Othere/Athelstan.
Othere claimed to have never met Floki. Vikings later revealed that he has not been entirely honest about himself, so that may turn out not be accurate. Let’s face it, his body language indicated it was a lie. Plus, viewers were led to believe that Othere’s real name is Athelstan, and he murdered the real Othere and assumed his identity. Where is this going in Season 6?
The name Athelstan has significant meaning to longtime Vikings fans. Ragnar’s incredibly good friend was named Athelstan. He went from being a monk to worshipping the Vikings’ gods, and then back to Christianity. Floki murdered him, and now a guy named Athelstan has shown up when Floki is missing. On what to expect from Othere/Athelstan’s storyline in Season 6, Vikings' creator Michael Hirst told TV Guide:
Othere is another, obviously, complex person who is already contradicting himself and not telling the truth possibly about what he knows about Floki and Floki's possible death. And so [for] Ubbe, he performs this twin function. One is that he, hopefully, is the guide to the Golden Land, wherever that is. And the other thing is that if there is a mystery about Floki's death, then he's the one who's hopefully going to reveal it. I think the truth is that Othere not only appears to be a very complex character, he actually is a very complex character with an extraordinary backstory. And again, we have to wait, really, to the second part of Season 6 to discover just how complicated that backstory is. And so I'm sorry to introduce all these complications and complicated characters, but it is fun to have them around. And the fact that Othere is not who he seems does produce a lot of extraordinary results moving forward.
Interesting! There are a lot of different directions Vikings can go based on Michael Hirst's comments, so time to speculate! Read on for some ideas of what could happen.
Could anything that gets revealed about Othere/Athelstan lead to the return of Floki and possibly even Ragnar when Vikings Season 6 resumes? While Floki appeared to die being crushed in a cave, there is clearly more to the story where he is concerned. Given the looks that Kjetill keeps exchanging with new Athelstan, it seems like he could be alive.
Floki did not end up returning for Season 6’s midseason finale like I had theorized. Could he still make a comeback before Vikings is over? I am just speculating, but it seems feasible. If not in the flesh, then in a Vikings flashback. The show utilized one to reveal Athelstan had murdered the real Othere. Why not use one to explain what happened to Floki?
What does this have to do with Ragnar? Well, Vikings naming the character Athelstan has significance to both Ragnar and Floki. Athelstan was Ragnar’s best friend and Floki’s victim. It seems like Vikings could be providing a dovetail to that earlier storyline. Considering new Athelstan was also a monk, he could have encountered Floki and Ragnar during one of their invasions.
Ragnar captured and enslaved Athelstan after meeting him during a raid. Could Floki and Ragnar have met up with Othere/Athelstan in the same way? Perhaps. If they did, that could connect to whatever is going on with Floki (see: revenge). Vikings could utilize a flashback to reveal that info.
That would be one way to show Ragnar again and with new content. He is one of many Vikings characters that I would like to see return for the final season. Maybe Rollo could even get worked in to reveal this information. I know that would be a stretch, but it would be a way to work in two returns at once.
Warning: Spoilers for Vikings Season 6’s midseason finale are discussed beyond this point
I think it is doubtful that Ragnar faked his death despite an interesting fan theory that suggested he had. All hope is not lost, though. Vikings’ midseason finale opened the doors to another angle for Ragnar’s return. His eldest son, Bjorn, seemed to be mortally wounded during the battle with the Rus. Despite the twist, his ultimate fate is currently a question mark.
Earlier in Season 6, Torvi was near death, and her and Bjorn’s recently deceased son, Hali, appeared to her. I could see Ragnar possibly coming to Bjorn in the same way as the latter wrestles with death. Whether Ragnar shows up there, in one of the new Athelstan’s flashbacks, or not at all, Vikings’ viewers will have to wait and see!
Find out if Ragnar and Floki appear again when Vikings returns for the second half of its final season. A premiere date for Season 6B has not been announced by History, so stay tuned. While you wait for the History drama to return, you can check out this winter and spring’s premieres.