A new season of “Vikings” will soon raid our TV screens with more bloodshed and intense battles. But before the epic History Channel series airs its Season 4 premiere in February, fans of the Michael Hirst-created show are receiving a sneak-peek look at the upcoming season — and all the drama that’ll come with it.
On Wednesday, History Channel released a slew of stills from the upcoming series, which is set to kick off Thursday, Feb. 18. But out of all the images unveiled, there were only a few photos that especially caught our eye.
Check out these pivotal images from Season 4 of “Vikings” below:
Mysterious New Characters
In Season 4, viewers will be introduced to Yidu — a “mysterious” character portrayed by actress Diane Doan. During an interview with International Business Times in August, the actress divulged Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) will become fascinated with the exotic newcomer.
“A lot of her mystery comes from the fact that [Yidu’s] from a distant land,” Doan said. And if there’s one thing fans know about Ragnar, it’s that the explorer loves learning about far away places — ones that he hopes to raid and conquer.
“The people of Kattegat have never seen someone like her, from her looks, to views on the world and beliefs,” the actress added, leaving us to believe Ragnar will find emotional comfort in Yidu after the shocking death of his God-fearing friend Athelstan (George Blagden).
Bjorn Vs. Bear
Viewers received a wild look at Bjorn’s (Alexander Ludwig) battle against a bear in the promo images for the upcoming season.
Hirst dished to Entertainment Weekly that the reason Ragnar’s eldest son ends up in the wilderness, fighting a furry and ferocious creature, is because Bjorn is adamant on proving to his parents that he is no longer a child.
“Both Ragnar and Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), in their own way, had tried to keep Bjorn as a child, not respecting him as an equal,” Hirst explained. “So Bjorn takes off into the wilderness to prove, both to himself and Ragnar, that he can survive in the most extreme conditions. He’s in the interior of Norway, over a winter.”
Hirst revealed that the filming was torturous for Ludwig as they “made him jump into an ice hole” in a lake located in Canada.
“… it was freezing. And amazing,” Ludwig responded to Hirst on Twitter.
During the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con, a trailer revealed Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård ) will suffer the consequences for killing Ragnar’s beloved confidant — an event that took place during Season 3.
“I order the arrest of Floki for the murder of Athelstan,” Bjorn announces, an order which we can assume was given to him by his ill father.
“You betrayed my trust. But more importantly, my love for you,” Ragnar says to the prisoner, who is tied to a stake in the middle of the village.
Audiences received a glimpse at Floki's punishment — and from the look on his face, we can assume he’ll be feeling the wrath of Ragnar Lothbrok.
Ragnar’s Boys Have Grown
Hirst dished during an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that fans will experience a time jump when “Vikings” returns with its fourth season.
“Some time has passed,” the creator confirmed, adding that the pagans’ journey home from Paris “took a little longer than they supposed.” “They’ll have been away for a couple of years, something like that.”
That means a lot has changed — including Ragnar’s sons. Looks like Bjorn won’t be the only offspring of Ragnar to have aged since Season 3. Check out how much Ragnar’s youngest sons, Ubbe (Luke Shanahan), and Ivar (James Quinn Markey), have matured in the promo photo above.
"Vikings" will return with its Season 4 premiere on Thursday, Feb. 18, at 10 p.m. EST on History Channel.