Warning: There are SPOILERS for the Vikings season 6 midseason finale below. Mind your step!
The first half of the sixth and final season of Vikings has come and gone, and it looks like more than one of our favorite characters have seen their final episode. Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) met her end several weeks ago. And during the fight between Kattegat and the Rus in the midseason finale, Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig) was skewered on the battlefield. His eyes glazed over, and he looked like he was on his way to Valhalla.
King Harald (Peter Franzén) also took a boatload of blows all over his body and seemed to exsanguinate before the credits rolled. So are these major characters dead or what?
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Ludwig kept his cards close to the gaping wound in his chest. “We don’t really know that, do we?” he asked. “I’ve been ordered by the powers higher than me that I’m not allowed to speak on the subject.”
Well, that’s no help. Perhaps we should go straight to the source, Vikings creator Michael Hirst:
It’s obvious that both King Harald and Bjorn are at the least very badly wounded. We haven’t actually seen them dead, but you would imagine that their wounds were grievous enough to probably mean they wouldn’t survive very long. But I wouldn’t be quite certain that they’re dead yet, until you actually see that. So, I’m not saying that they are both still alive, but they could absolutely still be alive, because we haven’t seen them dead yet.
That’s some quality tap dancing, Hirst.
Hirst also spoke to Gamespot after the midseason finale, and seemed pretty confident something happened to Bjorn. “When I was beginning to put together and think about season 6 and sort of jotting down thoughts about the characters and what might happen to them, I sort of knew which characters would survive,” he said. “But I felt I knew that Bjorn would die, so then it was a question of when, and I talked to Alexander about it.”
I wanted to showcase him. And if I’m bunching up a lot of people dying and a lot of endings of stories and things, I don’t want him as just one of the stories. I want to feature him. I wanted him to have his moment and boy, does he grab this moment. It’s absolutely heartbreaking and wonderful and sort of triumphant. . . .by the way, he’s not dead yet. Honestly, 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.
“By the way, he’s not dead yet.” That’s a hell of a thing to slip into your monologue about how you always knew this character would die.
So there you have it, Bjorn did not die in the midseason finale. But if he isn’t dead, it sounds like he will be soon? And when that final moment does happen, rest easy knowing that Alexander Ludwig is happy with how it happens. “I couldn’t be more thrilled with the way Bjorn’s ultimate finality came to a close,” he told ET. “They saw him go from being a child to being a leader and then a king, so we all felt this immense pressure to do right.”
I’ll tell you this though, the unexpectedness of this season is what I was so in love with. Like, just the way that our characters end up going are not ways that I, as an audience member, would have expected, which I like. Though you want so badly for it to go another way, sometimes it doesn’t, and to me, that’s very revealing about life as well.
We don’t know exactly when Vikings is returning for its final suite of episodes, but stay tuned.