Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) has seen his fair share of danger throughout the History Channel series “Vikings,” from battling foes in Mercia to leading a raid in Paris. But in an upcoming, Season 4 installment, Bjorn Ironside will confront his most deadliest opponent yet — a bear.
According to the synopsis for episode 3, titled “Mercy,” Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) eldest son will come face-to-paw with a ferocious animal in the snow-covered woods of Norway.
“I remember talking at the end of Season 3 to various people at the studio saying, ‘I need a test for Bjorn. I want to send him into the wilderness. What kind of trials could he possibly have in the Scandinavian wilderness?’” Michael Hirst, creator of the epic, historical drama told Variety. “And the bear came up. I said, ‘Wow, can we actually do that?’ And they said, ‘Well, only if we send Alex off to Canada,’ because there’s no snow in Ireland, really.”
So, Ludwig packed his bags for the Great White North, which is where he was introduced to his fuzzy co-stars, who, according to Hirst, made the 6'5" actor look small. “We had two bears, absolutely awesome things, you know, 10 foot tall when they stood up,” the showrunner dished.
But Bjorn won’t be intimidated with scale of his rival. In a sneak-peek video for episode 3, audiences watch as Lagertha’s (Katheryn Winnick) son initiates a fight with the wild beast. If Bjorn succeeds in killing the bear, he will be one step closer to proving to his father — and himself — that he can survive “in the most extreme conditions,” Hirst told Entertainment Weekly.
Bjorn made his way for the woods in the Season 4 premiere of “Vikings” after failing to rule Kattegat while his father was ill. As Ragnar laid sick in his bed, his son stepped up to the regal plate, ordering the arrest of Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) as well as leaving Rollo (Clive Standen) behind in Paris — two decisions the king deemed thoughtless.
“Vikings” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST on the History Channel.