If you tuned into the Season 4b premiere of “Vikings” and were sad to see it Rollo-free, fear not. Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) treacherous brother (Clive Standen) is going to play a big role in the rest of the season — and for some time to come.
When it was announced that Standen had been cast as the lead in NBC’s adaptation of “Taken,” many fans assumed that would mean the end of his “Vikings” story. Creator Michael Hirst assures viewers that isn’t the case, though.
“There’s a great line that Rollo has that you can never fully abandon your Viking life,” he teases. “Once a longship comes around the corner, the blood beats in his veins again.”
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What does that mean for Standen’s future on the show, though? From the sound of it, Rollo is going to be a central figure on the series.
“I have to tell you too, not only does he get involved in Bjorn’s expedition, but he’s in the next season too,” Hirst reveals. “As you can imagine, we’re well into Season 5 now. I’ve just written 516 and low and behold, when I look on the set there is Rollo again!”
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He continues, “I can’t get rid of these people. Athelstan (George Blagden) is still around, although he’s been dead. His ghost pops up, his presence is felt by everyone continuously.”
That particular angle makes Rollo’s inclusion in season 5 a bit of a mystery. Though Athelstan was killed in Season 3, Blagden reprised the role earlier in Season 4 as a vision to Ragnar and King Ecbert (Linus Roache). Could Rollo be on a similar trajectory in the future?
That remains to be seen — for everyone but Hirst himself, who writes every single episode of “Vikings.” Still, he takes comfort in the idea that even if an actor is no longer starring on the series, their characters still have a place in the universe. Even if that character is Ragnar, himself.
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It’s unclear when Ragnar’s day will come but it’s a moment Hirst has spent a long time preparing for. “Ragnar is going to still be a character long after he’s dead, because he lives on in his reputation and through his sons,” he says.