All season long it's been King Horik vs. Ragnar and last night's The Lord's Prayer finally brought the rivalry to an epic showdown. Creator Michael Hirst gives the scoop on The History Channel's Vikings' ending, and what's in store for the future.
We were teased to death that King Horik would use Siggy and Floki to band against Ragnar, take him out and kill his youngest sons. Unfortunately, King Horik lost. Ragnar is now king of the Vikings clan with the power, prestige and rank to finally expand his kingdom the way he wants to as reported to The Huffington Post Friday.
Hirst says that expansion now includes a world tour to Paris! Hirst knew that King Horik (Donal Logue) would make a major claim to take out Ragnar, because no matter how generous he first appeared, "it wouldn't be long before he set his mind to destroying Ragnar [Travis Fimmel]. Because in a sense, everything in the Viking world -- not everything, but a lot of their attention -- was about fame. I mean, not about celebrity, but about real fame - it's what you actually do. We know from the sagas that the Vikings valued fame above everything else."
He continued, "And the only thing that Ragnar was really concerned with was that his sons would ultimately become more famous than he was. So this fame thing was already in the background of this relationship."
As the new king, Ragnar's ambitions include "establishing colonies elsewhere and getting his folks farming in different places. He's very serious about that. It's not the sexiest idea in the world, but it's a real thing for him." And of course being king brings with it a host of problems -- problems that King Ragnar could do without.
"Ragnar -- and I certainly think this about Travis -- never wanted to be a king or an earl, per se. The trappings of power, you know, the ambitions of that -- it doesn't appeal to either of them." For this reason Fimmel won't wear ermine, so he doesn't appear grand.
Still as king, Ragnar does what he has to do - even if it's the unspeakable.
"[Ragnar's warriors] killed all of Horik's family except his son Erlendur [Edvin Endre]. The women who survived were the slaves. They killed the daughters." Erlendur's pocket full of dirt saved him, as Ragnar assumed he also had farming ambitions.
As for the show's deep spirituality, that continues to be a driver. The division between the Viking gods and the Christian god is one of personal interest to Hirst. The monk Athelstan (George Blagden), represents the conflict between the two religious beliefs. "It divides his soul," said Hirst. But Hirst reveals in the next season, Athelstan "becomes born again... he rediscovers his faith, and how extraordinary is that in a Viking context?"
Stay tuned for updates on Season 4 of Vikings.
Watch A Promo For The Lord's Prayer Below: