'Vikings'

The cast of “Vikings” and series creator Michael Hirst came to conquer San Diego Comic-Con and that’s exactly what they did. Boasting one of their biggest panels yet, they came armed with jokes, inside information for fans and a new trailer for the second half of Season 4, which sheds light on Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) sons and the importance they play in the show going forward.

After the flash-forward in the midseason finale, Fimmel says a lot of Ragnar’s abandoning his people for so long was because he simply couldn’t handle the pressure of his life. “You would only continue to rule, to be a king, if you were successful,” Hirst explains. Otherwise, you were killed by the strongest Viking in your tribe. “Ragnar’s case was different,” he continues. “Ragnar was the most famous Viking in the world, so there wasn’t anyone who was going to kill him.”

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In that essence, Hirst says Ragnar wanted to “disappear from history.” He comes back to find out how his sons turned out, though. Plus, he has “unfinished business” with King Ecbert (Linus Roache).

“If I was a fan of the show, the one thing I’d really like to see in the next 10 episodes is a meeting between King Ecbert and Ragnar Lothbrok,” Hirst adds. “I’d really like to see how that relationship pans out, if the gods will it.”

What fans won’t see, though, is what happened during the time jump. Hirst reiterated that “Vikings” has always been the story of Ragnar and his sons, and they’ll only move forward from here. Aslaug has not filled the King’s throne in his absence and that — plus the drama surrounding seeing his sons again after so long — will feature heavily in the remaining episodes.

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As it stands, two of the sons — Bjorn Ironside and Ivar the Boneless — go on to become legendary historical figures in their own right. Interestingly, Hirst went on an archeological dig that uncovered what they believe might be the actual remains of Ivar. He says if it was, “I’ve held the tooth of Ivar the Boneless.” That’s pretty cool.

It’s not simply the Lothbrok family at the center of “Vikings,” though. There’s also Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard). The actor says after the loss of his daughter earlier in Season 4, he’s a bit lost. “A part of him died with her,” Skarsgard explains. Meanwhile, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), will continue “kicking ass” and following the plan she started with Ragnar so many years back — building settlements in as many lands as possible.

Don’t expect a reunion between Ragnar and Lagertha, though. While Hirst says “nothing would make me happier” than a reunion between the two, Winnick and Finnick’s words make us think it’s not likely. Luckily, they still get along famously.

As for the Season 5 addition of Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Hirst teases that he will not play a Viking but the character will be central to the story.