Two episodes into its return and “Vikings” has already left viewers with a major cliffhanger — is Ivar the Boneless (Alex Hogh) dead? That certainly seems to be what the end of Dec. 7’s “The Vision” wants you to believe.
Those who have seen the full trailer for this season — or have read up on their Viking history — know the truth behind that particular moment: Not only is Ivar not dead, but there are big things in store for him as he and Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) continue their voyage to Wessex.
It’s a tough road ahead for Ivar, though. Before becoming the fierce warrior he’s meant to be, the son of Ragnar needs to come to terms with who he truly is.
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“He wants to prove himself to be ‘normal,’ which he obviously isn’t,” Hogh says. “So he shouldn’t pretend like [he is].” While later episodes in this season will see Ivar suited in armor and riding a chariot into war, at this point he’s still a young man who can’t see beyond his disability. The actor explains, “It’s his misunderstanding of what it means to be a man.”
Of all the people to help him see his own potential, it’s Ragnar. While he’s never been the most caring person or even a supportive father, there’s a reason Ivar is on this mission to Wessex with him.
“He’s forcing him, in a way, to do more than he already does,” Hogh says. “I don’t think anybody else would, because he’s a cripple. He’s been working his entire life and struggling his entire life. His mom has been suffocating him with too much love because of his disease.”
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Given the heights Ivar rises to historically — leading the Great Heathen Army to war against those that killed his father — whatever Ragnar’s about to do is going to work very well.
And that’s a good thing. While following the story of Ragnar Lothbrok will continue to be a great central story, the rise of Ivar the Boneless — and the other sons of Ragnar — is clearly the heart and soul of the future of “Vikings.”
“Vikings” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on History.