The fourth season of Vikings followed a whole other format then before, being split up in 2 blocks of 10 episodes each, spanning 2016 and the beginning of 2017.
Now, if you don`t want any spoilers, don`t read on. Or don`t read any history books for that matter, because the whole series follows in rough lines the historical saga of Ragnar Lodbrok...
The first part of the season sees Ragnar returning to raid Paris, and extract revenge on his brother Rollo. He has betrayed his people in exchange for a title and lands, and is now the defender of the city.
Ragnar in the meantime, after the failed attack from season 3, has become addicted to opium, and this influences his decision making. Even though he largely overcomes the addiction, his forces are defeated by Rollo and the vikings withdraw to Kattegat.
The story then jumps a few years forward, and while Ragnar`s sons are now all grown up, Lagertha returns to Kattegat and reclaims her throne, slaying Anslaugh. Ragnar, a broken king, returns with just two ships and his cripple son Ivar to Ecbert of Wessex, with a death wish. Through a ruse, he is delivered to Aela, who kills him, while Ivar returns to the north.
Ragnar's sons swear to avenge him and return to Engeland at the head of an immense army...
The season follows history not only in the death of Ragnar and the assembly of The Great Heathen army that invaded Engeland around 865, but also the first excursions of Bjorn Ironfist into the Meditterean, the rise of Rollo to a full Count of Normandy, and the failed attack on Paris.
Ironically, it took one of the final episodes of the series that Travis Fimmel played the mainrole in, that I finally warmed up to him, with his fantastic "Who wants to be King?" speech.
And now, the countdown to season 5 has begun...
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