Vikings has been a flagship of the History Channel’s lineup since the show premiered in early 2013. But soon, fans could be saying goodbye to their beloved Norse heroes. Created and written by Michael Hirst, the historical drama follows the medieval prose of the notorious Viking Ragnar Lothbrok. The series tells the story of his legendary rise to power, his successful raids, confrontations with his faith and the Norse gods, and his struggles within his family and among the other villagers.
The show was able to cast a wide net of viewers thanks to a blend of constant drama, action, and mythological mystery. It was awarded a 91 percent positive rating from critics and a 93 percent positive rating from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes, in addition to dozens of awards and nominations over the years.
But despite the overwhelmingly positive reception, and consistently impressive ratings, there are already whispers of a series conclusion. According to Master Herald, Travis Fimmel (Ragnar) has decided to turn his focus to film, putting his position with the series in jeopardy.
Youth Health Mag reported that Hirst told interviewers that Ragnar’s death in the upcoming season four wasn’t an impossibility. He even offered up a few ideas for Ragnar’s successors if the character were to be killed off. He did not, however, comment on what impact Ragnar’s death would have on the series as a whole.
Vikings has yet to be renewed for a fifth season, leaving fans to wonder if the rumored end of Ragnar will also lead to the end of the show. Producers are keeping a tight lip on the details, and it seems we’ll have to wait until the show premieres in early 2016 for a more formal answer.
Thankfully, there are a few ways fans can take their minds off the behind-the-scenes drama and still get their Vikings fix. The first is a board game from Catalyst Game Labs, titled Jarl: The Vikings Tile Laying Game. Gameplay involves opponents moving their tiles/warriors around the board in motions predetermined by the cards, in order to capture their opponents pieces. After each play, opponents turn their cards over, mix them up, and place them down on the board again before flipping them over to see how the cards should be moved. Once you capture the opponent’s “Jarl” card, you win.
Catalyst was given license rights for Vikings merchandise by MGM, but there are still some games that give a similar Vikings experience—within licensing rights, of course. The “Wild Viking” game from Betfair, which also hosts more traditional table games, grants players their own chance to ransack treasure with a twist on five-card draw. It might not have a lot of classic Vikings imagery, but it’s the closest most of us will get to collecting Vikings-style riches.
If you’re really desperate, you could find a copy of War of the Vikings, a combat game from 2014. Again, it’s not modeled after the series, but the Norse warriors are the central theme. Make sure you set your expectations low for this one though. War of the Vikings only received a 3.5/10 rating from critics, and a 4.2/10 rating from community members on IGN.
Finally, you could always watch a Vikings football game. But, let’s be honest, comparing Ragnar to any of Minnesota’s players would just be an insult.
The fourth season of Vikings returns in spring 2016. Keep your ear to the ground for an exact premiere date toward the close of the year.
Maddy Franklin Bio:
She’s a freelance writer with roots in London but who recently moved to New York. And if you couldn’t tell from this article, she’s a huge fan of vikings and their history!