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Spoilers for a massive cliffhanger in the midseason finale of Vikings Season 6 are discussed below. Proceed with caution!
In its midseason finale, Vikings delivered the biggest shocker of its entire run (in my opinion), and that is saying something. The History drama had already killed off Lagertha in an earlier episode of Season 6. While confirmed before the premiere, I had expected her much-teased death to occur late in the final season, if not the very last installment. This midseason finale twist was even wilder.
Fast forward to Vikings’ midseason finale, and Lagertha’s only living child and firstborn son, Bjorn, was dealt a seemingly fatal blow. While fighting the Rus (who came armed with Ivar), Bjorn was struck through his midsection. Whether real or not, Ivar was shown as the one to stab Bjorn. Thus, adding another layer to the brothers’ rivalry.
It is time to dive into what Bjorn’s potential death means for the second half of Season 6. In light of the twist, Vikings has plunged one of its most important characters and viewers into a precarious position. It seems another shocking goodbye may be on the horizon. Can Vikings really do ten more episodes without Bjorn?
Bjorn’s Current Status
Vikings’ creator has revealed that Bjorn is not dead when Vikings Season 6A ends. His ultimate fate, while currently unknown, will assuredly be explored when the second half starts back. It's difficult to imagine Bjorn could survive such a horrible wound at the point in history he is living.
Earlier in Vikings, Ragnar and Bjorn both survived serious wounds. The injury Bjorn sustained during the battle with the Rus in the Season 6 midseason finale seems more severe. As tough as it is to believe, Vikings has put Bjorn in a difficult position, and I do not think he is getting out of it alive.
What Bjorn’s Potential Death Means for Me
With Bjorn as an original character since Vikings began, viewers have watched him grow from a boy into a man. They have gotten to see Bjorn learn from and fight beside his father before ultimately becoming the King of Kattegat. Yes, he has not been a great king, and his choices have angered me at times, but Bjorn is the last tether to Vikings' beginning.
Personally speaking, Ragnar and Lagertha were the core of the show. The only reason Vikings kept going after both of their losses was because their son was still around. Assuming Bjorn dies, Ubbe, Ivar, and Hvitserk are Ragnar’s only surviving sons. Will they really be the last ones standing?
Why Bjorn Might Have A Chance
Logically, I know there is no way that Bjorn can reasonably survive his injury. However, Bjorn is the heart of the show, and his story was just heating up in Season 6. Why introduce Bjorn entering into a plural marriage, if he was going to get fatally injured in the very next episode? Where is the drama?
It seemed like Vikings was preparing Bjorn for something epic. That said, Katheryn Winnick did slightly foreshadow the road ahead by referring to Bjorn’s downfall. At the time, I thought she was only talking about his relationship with power, not life itself. Vikings is no stranger to shocking demises, though, so his sudden death still fits.
Where Bjorn’s Legacy Stands
In terms of his legacy, Bjorn has no one to really remember him now. Besides his wives, his parents are gone, and only one of his brothers likes him. Ivar and Hvitserk are back in business, leaving Ubbe as the sole brother with positive Bjorn vibes. Who will tell the stories of Bjorn Ironside? His daughter with Torvi is young, and may not have any memories of him, and she is Bjorn's last living child.
Who will remember Bjorn enough to make him a legend? Bjorn’s fast friendship with Vikings newcomer Erik could lead to him getting commemorated. Saying that he fought alongside Ragnar’s eldest son will carry weight with those he encounters, and Erik is still alive to throw it around.
The Future King of Norway
Olaf is also still alive to weigh in on who should be King of Norway. Vikings’ creator Michael Hirst hinted to TV Guide that it will actually be Erik who takes on the mantle of “kingmaker.” After Harald, the reigning King of Norway, appeared to be fatally injured, it seemed Bjorn would take his place.
Then Bjorn was also wounded, leaving the question of who will be the next King of Norway to be answered. Vikings’ creator hinted that Harald was also not dead when the midseason finale finished, so he could come back too. I just highly doubt it. This is his second super-close call in a finale. It is time.
What's Next For Bjorn’s Wives
Before the Rus arrived, Bjorn and Gunnhild’s son passed away. Gunnhild squared off with Oleg before realizing her safest bet was to live to fight another day. She dove into the water and was not shown again. Before the battle, Harald raped Ingrid -- Bjorn’s second wife. She was last seen looking out at the water on Vikings.
I could see Gunnhild and Ingrid banding together in the wake of Bjorn’s potential death. Ingrid may end up having a baby. Sadly, the paternity could be hazy. Meanwhile, Gunnhild is apparently going to face marrying two men, according to what Vikings’ Michael Hirst said. That's another hint that Bjorn will die when Season 6 returns, in my opinion.
The End Before the Ending
Bjorn’s death seems inevitable heading into the second half of Season 6, which is sad in many ways. In short, saying goodbye to Bjorn is the same as saying goodbye to Vikings for me. Given there are only ten episodes left, I had hoped Bjorn would at least make it to the series finale.
For me, with Bjorn’s death, Vikings has lost its last remaining emotional tether. I really like Gunnhild and Ubbe, but I have stuck with Vikings for Ragnar, Lagertha, and Bjorn. Without them, or the assurance that Rollo is coming back, all of the shreds of Vikings’ original state are gone. How can Vikings tell ten more episodes without Bjorn?
The conflict between Ivar and Oleg is intriguing, and I think that is going to give way to something entertaining. Vikings, in the form that first brought viewers to it, is officially gone if and when Bjorn is actually killed off of the show. As a result, one thing is for sure: Season 6 just got a lot more solemn for this viewer.