If you have been watching Vikings since the beginning, there is one character that prominently comes to mind alongside Lagertha, and that is Ragnar. The ill-fated couple had been at the center of the series along with their young son, Bjorn. That said, Vikings’ creator Michael Hirst has explained why he does not really miss writing for Ragnar.
It may be a surprising thing to say, but Vikings’ creator has his reasons. At this point in time, there is a lot of distance between the final season and Ragnar’s death, which meant losing Travis Fimmel from the series. Having created such a complex character in Ragnar and with Fimmel bringing him to life so perfectly, does Michael Hirst miss writing for the character? Hirst told CinemaBlend by email:
The short answer is no. I loved writing for Travis and together we crafted and created a singular hero and a complex, attractive and charismatic character. But my saga was always going to be about Ragnar and his sons. Historically speaking, some of his sons were equally if not in fact more famous than Ragnar himself. I also loved writing about Ivar the Boneless and Bjorn Ironside - but also, especially, Lagertha, who single-handedly gave the History Chanel and MGM one of television’s greatest female role-models.
Well, Vikings’ creator undoubtedly created a fan-favorite in Lagertha. In an unseemly development, Michael Hirst even faced death threats at one point over the character’s fate. Nevertheless, writing about Lagertha and Ragnar’s sons seemed to have fulfilled Hirst as a writer after killing off Ragnar in Season 4. Vikings had to move on, and it did, shifting its narrative focus towards Ragnar’s sons.
Michael Hirst brought up an interesting historical fact to back up his sentiment that there was more to get to with Ragnar’s sons. Hirst argues that they (presumably meaning Bjorn, Ubbe, Ivar, and Hvitserk) were more famous than their father. In Vikings, of course, Ragnar’s son Sigurd was killed in Season 4 by Ivar, so not a lot of time for him to find fame on the series.
In related news, Michael Hirst’s statement on writing for Ragnar comes after he explained why Vikings is ending with Season 6. At the time, Hirst shared that he desired to tell the story of Ragnar and his sons, which he felt he had thoroughly done with the series’ sixth season. For his part, Travis Fimmel was ready to leave the series when Ragnar did.
The actor, who has moved on to Ridley Scott’s Raised by Wolves, has said that he did not have a tough time saying goodbye to Vikings, as he said that his process as an actor concludes once the cameras stop rolling. But, since Fimmel bid farewell to the series, he has remained close to his Vikings co-star Alexander Ludwig, who plays Ragnar’s son Bjorn.
Michael Hirst’s answer regarding Travis Fimmel calls to mind his response regarding the early end of Lagertha and Ragnar’s relationship during Vikings’ run. Every move, storyline, and character on the History series has had its time, place, and endpoint. Fans will have to tune into Season 6 to see what that means for Bjorn.
A premiere date for Vikings Season 6B is still pending, so stay tuned. I am still hoping that it is among this fall’s premieres to air on History. For now, you can watch all of Travis Fimmel’s screen-stealing moments as Ragnar by checking out past seasons of Vikings, currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.