'Vikings' news, updates, spoilers: 'Vikings' creator Michael Hirst talks about the new era

The historical drama TV series "Vikings" recently returned to the History channel for the second half of season 4. A huge time jump happened after the midseason finale, with the latest episode introducing an aged Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel). The time lapse also brought forth his sons who are now grown men, ready for the new era and their own adventures.

(Facebook/Vikings)Promotional image for "Vikings" season 4 midseason premiere

"Vikings" creator Michael Hirst has previously stated that the show is not solely about Ragnar's story. Hirst has always envisioned the show to be a saga of Ragnar and his sons. Recently, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the creator was asked if he always pictured out the time jump to occur in the fourth season. Hirst said that Ragnar's loss in battle set the perfect opportunity to make the cut.

"Ragnar had lost a huge battle, and traditionally in Viking society, if your king had lost a battle, he would have been killed. But because Ragnar was so famous, that couldn't happen. So he's kind of left a town in a vacuum, a throne in a vacuum," Hirst told the publication.

Although Ragnar didn't initially intend to return to Kattegat, he was pulled back by two important reasons. He deeply cared about his sons. And he had some unfinished business to take care of in Wessex.

After the alarming teaser for the next season, fans have become unsure of the fate of the former king. The trailer pretty much indicates that Ragnar is going to kill himself, by hanging himself from a tree. Since the clip doesn't actually show the character dying, fans are still clinging onto a little ray of hope.

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In Hirst's interview, he didn't confirm the death of Ragnar nor did he say that the character will be spared, but he did explain what was going through Ragnar's mind. According to the creator, Ragnar still feels defeated after all these years. And returning to Kattegat reminds him of that reality.

"Vikings" airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on History.

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