Vikings makes its return this Thursday, sucking us back in to the story of King Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) and his reign in Kattegat. When we last left off, Ragnar successfully sieged the city of Paris after pulling a Trojan Horse and faking his own death to pass the gates. He succumbed to his wounds soon after, but not before telling Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) that he knows the truth about Athelstan’s death.
Season 4 picks up not long after the finale left off; The vikings have returned to Kattegat, with the exception of Rollo (Clive Standen) who stayed behind in Frankia at the request of Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig). As Ragnar recovers from his injury, Paris gets ready to defend themselves against another attack and King Ecbert of Wessex (Linus Roache) still seeks his lofty goal of becoming King of England.
We’ve had the chance to preview the first few episodes of Season 4, so in advance of the Thursday premiere, here are seven things to know about the new season of Vikings.
Ragnar is still in recovery
Considering Ragnar was at death’s door at the end of Season 3, it’s no surprise that he’s still recovering from his injuries at the start of Season 4. Ragnar is a weary man throughout the first few episodes of the season. The death of Athelstan continues to plague him, and his feelings toward Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) remain cold.
Aslaug seeks the throne
Knowing that her marriage with Ragnar is on thin ice, Aslaug begins to look for a way to usurp Ragnar as a Queen once he finally meets his maker. Soon into the season a mysterious newcomer arrives that may bring the solution she’s looking for. In the meantime, she continues to separate Ivar from the rest of her children, and especially Ragnar himself, entrusting his teachings to an unlikely ally.
Floki faces the consequences of his actions
With Ragnar bedridden, Bjorn takes it upon himself to pass judgement on Floki for the death of Athelstan. Floki is quickly arrested and undergoes torturous treatments in punishment for the pain he has caused Ragnar, but he discovers that there are worse pains than physical when tragedy strikes.
Bjorn goes on a journey of self-discovery
Once Ragnar returns to his kingly duties at Kattegat, Bjorn makes the decision to go on a survival expedition out in the wilderness in order to prove himself. Ragnar doubts he’ll be able to survive the trek, and a chance encounter with a Grizzly just might prove him right.
Rollo makes a new home in Paris
Leaving Rollo behind turns out to be a major misstep for Bjorn, as Rollo quickly sides with the Parisians in return for a new title and a new wife, Princess Gisla (Morgane Polanski). However, Frankia isn’t exactly paradise; Gisla is an unwilling participant in their marriage and once his sole translator goes back to his wandering ways, Rollo is surrounded by allies he can’t understand, making him reconsider why he ever betrayed Ragnar in the first place.
Lagertha’s title is still in contention
Kalf’s strange relationship with Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) takes a new turn when he proposes that he and Lagertha share the title of Earl, without the title of husband and wife. That decision is not welcomed by all at Hedeby, which leads to a violent confrontation.
Meet the new face at Kattegat
Among the spoils of their seige of Paris includes a new group of slaves. One slave in particular, a mysterious girl named Yidu (Dianne Doan), soon piques the interest of Ragnar. He becomes curious about her foreign heritage and culture, and questions how she ever became a slave.
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Associate Editor Kelly Townsend always had strong opinions on TV growing up, so it was only natural to evolve from couch musings to online journalism. She can't ever choose a favorite series, so please don't ask. Her writing has also appeared on IndieWire and Tribute.ca. You can find her on Twitter at @kellybtownsend.