The History Channel series “Vikings” will return Thursday with more blood-soaked drama during its Season 4 premiere. And according to Clive Standen, who plays the fierce Norseman Rollo, the upcoming installment will be even deadlier than before.
“Season 4 is raw, harsh — people die. No one is safe,” he says in a trailer, alluding that even some of our favorite characters may not be safe.
But before we tune in to watch warriors clash swords in the forthcoming installment, here’s a refresher of all the chaos that occurred in the Season 3 finale of “Vikings”:
When Michael Hirst’s epic drama left off, fans watched with wide eyes as Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) inched toward death and away from Valhalla. According to the king, he wanted to become baptized before he met his fate so that he could reunite with his loyal friend Athelstan (George Blagden) in the afterlife. Ragnar’s family and friends were shocked by his admission and some even conspired against their king, stating that no Christian could ever truly rule them. But as Ragnar’s illness grew worse, it didn’t seem like killing the Christian king would be necessary.
On his deathbed, Ragnar had a heart-to-heart with his eldest son Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) about passing down the torch. “You must lead with your head. Not with your heart,” he advised, stating that when he was to die Bjorn would be king. But before Ragnar relinquished his title to his son, he had one last favor to ask him — something that must be kept secret.
Bjorn kept his promise to his father but did allow something to slip from his lips. According to Bjorn, Ragnar requested a Christian burial following his death. Count Odo (Owen Roe) agreed to the burial but under one condition — the warriors who brought Ragnar’s corpse into Paris (the city which they recently raided) must be unarmed. And so the pallbearers were weaponless when they carried the coffin of their deceased king into the city ... but Ragnar was not.
The King, still sick but very much alive, popped from the coffin, jabbing his knife into the neck of the bishop. He then grabbed Princess Gisla (Morgane Polanski), after she attempted to assault him, as hostage in an attempt to escape. Once he was out of harm’s way, he let the Princess go and collapsed into the arms of his son while his warriors ran throughout the Parisian streets.
After their final and destructive raid against Paris, the Vikings packed up their belongings to return home to their beloved Kattegat. But not every axe-wielding warrior left Frankia. Rollo was left behind with a few Viking villagers after Emperor Charles (Lothaire Bluteau) offered his daughter’s hand in marriage to the pagan fighter (with the hopes of gaining favor with the fierce foreigners).
The episode concluded with Ragnar mustering up the strength he has to tell his longtime companion Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) that he knows he was the one behind Athelstan’s murder.
“Vikings” will return with its Season 4 premiere on Thursday, Feb. 18, at 10 p.m. EST on the History Channel.