Ragnar may be dead, but Vikings is far from over.
Vikings Season 5 Episode 1 picks up after Ivar has just killed his brother Sigurd, setting the stage for serious conflict between him and his remaining brothers.
We recently had a chance to speak with Alex Hogh Andersen regarding Ivar's journey, and he had plenty to say on what we should expect!
Ivar killed Sigurd in a fit of rage. It wasn't planned or pre-meditated, but this is a character who lets his emotions control him. Alex tells us that Ivar "lost control of himself."
He explains that Ivar "is too driven sometimes by his emotions, and they can take over and make him lose control."
So does that mean Ivar feels remorse for killing his brother?
Alex says that Ivar's "In remorse because he knows that the killing of his own brother created a wound between him and his brothers that I don't think he will be able to ever heal again."
He goes on to say that he will tell his brothers that he's "genuinely sorry, but is that again a way of him manipulating them and trying to make them feel sorry for him?"
We know Ivar will have a strained relationship with his brothers, but what about his relationship with Lagertha? Will there be a power struggle?
According to Alex, "Oh definitely. It's great to see those two characters clash. Yes, there's going to be a massive power struggle. But this whole civil war as you can see it's going to be very, very intense and it is Vikings fighting Vikings."
He also mentions that "Lagertha is maybe the complete opposite of Ivar. She is such a great and perfect and humane character. It's great to see this wild and crazy guy who's so determined and probably only thinks about himself against this powerful woman who's all about the people."
Are you ready for this Viking civil war? It sounds like it will be very exciting. Alex himself can't wait to see it.
We all know how vicious and ruthless Ivar can be, but he's also a crippled character who's been through quite a lot. He's certainly not the easiest character to sympathize with, but Alex shares his thoughts on making him more sympathetic to the audience.
"He's quite a trouble to make him, make people feel sympathy for him." He explains that it is necessary to "have these small scenes once in awhile where we see the real human where he's not acting, he's not manipulating people."
Without those scenes, he "will become one dimensional, and that's the worst thing. But the whole physicality of him, the visceral part of him is very important to me to keep in a crawling mode as much as possible, because I believe that every single time we see him crawl it's a constant reminder of what he's been through and what he's dealing with on a daily basis."
He admits it's a challenge, "but there's still good in him. On the outside, he's a controlled maniac, but on the inside, he's a poor boy. For me, I've never had trouble having sympathy for him, and I think that if I ever lose that the audience will as well."
Do you feel sympathy for the crippled yet manipulative killer? Alex's portrayal of him certainly helps, and it is a big part of what makes Ivar such an interesting character.
As you may recall, we were briefly introduced to new character Bishop Heahmund, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, at the end of Vikings Season 4 Episode 20.
What does Alex have to say about Ivar's new adversary?
He tells us that Johnny's character serves as "an archenemy to Ivar." He goes on to say that he is similar to Ivar in that he is "just as extreme and determinant and such a powerhouse as well. Having these two characters square off together is phenomenal."
He goes on to say "what's very interesting with the two characters is that they understand each other." He says they "have the same ideas, the same goals, so there's some mutual respect between these two guys."
After losing his wife Helga, Floki decided to take to the seas and submit himself to the will of the Gods. How does Floki's departure affect Ivar?
Alex thinks that "Floki has always been Ivar's only friend. In terms of everything that's happening in the beginning of Season 5, the aftermath of Ivar killing Sigurd, he really needs that support and that friend in Floki. So, it is absolutely the worst timing when Floki decides to leave."
"Imagine losing a friend in the moment you need him the most. I think it makes him more cold, determinate, and hard, and that's rough on everybody else. It is very much rough on Ivar because I don't think that is what Ivar wants, but that is his way of surviving."
It sounds like Ivar is going to have a tough time adjusting with Floki's departure, but considering how strong-willed and determined he is, we think he'll be able to overcome it.
Ivar has some serious challenges ahead in the form of winning back his brothers, a power struggle with Lagertha, and his ambitions of leading the Great Heathen Army.
We should be in for quite an exciting season!
If you need to catch up before the two-hour season premiere on Wednesday, November 29, be sure to watch Vikings online!
Stacy Glanzman was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in March, 2019.