With so much Vikings history and so many potential generations of the Lothbrok clan to explore, many fans of History’s Vikings, which will see its final episodes first stream on Amazon Prime Video, don’t want the series to end. For creator Michael Hirst, though, it’s a happy accomplishment. He’s glad to wrap up the story on his terms. In fact, his original pitch to History included how he wanted to end the series.
“I knew in a global sense where I was ultimately going,” Hirst told GameSpot. “And it was very satisfactory, in a way, when we came to what I knew was going to be by the last season. I also felt that I’d said as much as I had to say really about Vikings, you know? I started off and I was fascinated by their culture and beliefs, and I wanted to overturn all these prejudices and cliches about them. And [then] I fell in love with these major characters. Often my days and nights for seven years were filled with Vikings. You know, I would write [until] 12 o’clock at night, I commuted to Ireland every week. It was time to conclude the saga.”
That said, while Hirst is ready to write about something other than Vikings, he knows how important the conclusion to this story is. Over the years, Vikings has grown from a show about the leader of a small farming village to a sprawling epic that takes place across many nations, as armies declare war on one another and a group of brothers vie for total control of their homeland.
“I had to give these various storylines a satisfying conclusion–a conclusion that didn’t cheat in any way,” he explained. “And I felt that if I could come up with endings that were satisfactory and felt justified, then the audience would hopefully feel the same because I love these characters so much and it was very important to me.”
In wrapping up the various stories being told, though, people have to die. After all, this is Vikings–a show marked by battlefield deaths and gruesome executions, among some of its more graphic ways to dispatch of characters over the years.
“It was, of course, deeply emotional because it meant killing off some of my favorite characters,” Hirst said. “This whole last season, especially these last 10 episodes, were deeply emotional for me and I lost a lot of sleep. But at the same time, there was an element of relief in getting to the end.”
The most notable character that was killed off in the first half of Season 6 was, of course, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick). She died at the hands of Hvitserk, who mistakenly thought she was a massive serpent due to hallucinations brought on by drug use. Then, of course, the mid-season finale saw the apparent death of Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig). The eldest son of Ragnar was run through with a sword by his brother and sworn enemy Ivar in battle, shocking fans.
If you’ve seen the trailer for the upcoming episodes, though, you know Bjorn’s not quite dead yet. However, he’s clearly not long for this world. Back in early 2020, Hirst told us about how excited he was for the conclusion of Bjorn’s story, teasing, “Episode 11 will just knock your socks off. It’s so powerful. And it’s just brilliant for Alexander and in a way that’s what I wanted.”
As for who else might fall before the series ends, that remains to be seen. But, at the very least, fans won’t be waiting for a new episode to be released every week. All 10 remaining episodes of Season 6 will be available on Amazon Prime Video beginning December 30. They will also air on History at a later date.
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