Vikings’ Alexander Ludwig on Why Bjorn’s Dark Season Is His Favorite One Yet

Jonathan Hession / HISTORY
Jonathan Hession / HISTORY

Enough is enough. That’s certainly the view from where Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) stands when Vikings returns and resumes Season 5 on Wednesday, November 28 at 9 p.m. ET on History. Following a devastating defeat at the hands of Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen), Bjorn and his mother Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) fled alongside Bishop Heahmund (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). However, Bjorn isn’t about to sit idly by and let Ivar rule unchallenged. Instead, he and other sons of Ragnar will become allies in order to defeat Ivar.

“It truly is my favorite season of the show so far,” Ludwig recently told The TV Junkies when speaking to us about what to expect in the back half of Season 5. Ludwig says that Bjorn is a man on a mission and that he’s not going to let anything stand in his way this time. Read on to hear more from Ludwig, as well as why he thinks fans are going to be so happy with this season.


The TV Junkies: After the big battle the mid-season finale ended on, what can you tell us about where Season 5 picks up?

Alexander Ludwig: Bjorn has totally been displaced. They are all homeless and incredibly angry. It’s definitely gotten past the point of no return and it’s become incredibly personal. This season, in particular, is about Bjorn fighting for everything he was brought up to believe in.

TTVJ: We’ve seen the promos for this season talking about “descend into darkness.” How does that apply to Bjorn coming off that retreat at the end of last season?

AL: So much of Bjorn as a character is that he’s this compassionate, empathetic Viking who has always tried to see the good in people. But there’s a point in time where you can’t keep giving people second chances. Ivar’s made his bed at this point and Bjorn is furious. He feels like he’s been completely taken advantage of. He’s always tried to see the good in his uncle, always tried to see the good in his brother, and it’s come back to bite him.

TTVJ: With Bjorn set on taking down Ivar, can you share anything on how he may go about doing that? What’s his plan?

AL: The plan is going to be to raise an army and he’s going to unite with forces that you wouldn’t expect. His plan is just to annihilate everyone and anything that stands in his way so he can take over what is rightfully his. From what we’ve heard from the fans, it really is the ultimate payoff that people have been waiting for. Now, how he goes about doing that certainly won’t be the way people expect, but as a fan of the show, this is certainly one of my favorite seasons that I’ve ever read.

Jonathan Hession / HISTORY
Jonathan Hession / HISTORY

TTVJ: Lagertha was deeply impacted by the loss of Kattegat. How will that affect her and Bjorn’s relationship since he is one of her last true allies?

AL: It puts a strain on everybody. Bjorn was always the right hand man and at her side, willing to do anything for his mother. That never changes, and he would do anything for her, but he’s now like ‘OK, this hasn’t worked so I’m taking over now. It’s my turn to see what I can do about this.’ There’s been a bit of a dynamic shift between Lagertha and Bjorn where they’ve taken each other’s places. Bjorn has decided ‘alright, enough is enough. This is my time and you can back me up if you want to, but I’m going to go do this.’

TTVJ: Another strained relationship is the one that Bjorn has with Rollo. He recently returned and made Ivar promise to spare Bjorn’s life. Does that have any impact Bjorn’s relationship with him?

AL: No. Not at all. He doesn’t care at all at this point. Rollo is so not a part of his family or anything anymore. He doesn’t care how he feels and thinks what he’s done is so unforgivable. He’s been hurt so many times and enough is enough is enough.

TTVJ: There’s been some pretty major deaths on Vikings, even just earlier this season. Do you ever worry you’ll be the next to go?

AL: As the show progressed and we started getting farther and farther away from the historical accuracy of it all, everyone got more nerves about it. For me, if he goes, I want it to be memorable and for a good reason. I think Michael [Hirst] obviously shares that same thought as me. Whether or not I go isn’t so much of a fear for me, but my biggest fear would be not doing the character and fans justice. However, I know that with Michael we are in the greatest hands so I’m not worried.

TTVJ: Vikings has some pretty epic battle seasons that really come off a huge, beautiful productions. What is it like to shoot those?

AL: It’s amazing every time we do it and the magnitude of the production is truly astounding. I think on our last battle scene we had more extras than they had on Braveheart, which is just surreal to think about. One thing I like about our battle scenes that a lot of other shows don’t do is the realism. We don’t do any wire work or fancy stuff, but just try to make it as real as it would’ve been at the time, and as gruesome and raw. I always enjoy doing those things, and it’s certainly not hard to get into character when you’re out in those battle scenes in the middle of Ireland, in the middle of a mosh pit swinging for your life. We have such incredible stunt crews too and we’re incredibly lucky. What I love too is that with every battle scene we’re trying to tell a story. It’s not just fighting the fight. You feel like you’re really going for something.


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Vikings Season 5 resumes on Wednesday, November 28 at 9 p.m. ET on History.