I finally made it to the end of the Vikings saga. It’s an amazing show but after season 5 I needed a breather, so it took me quite a while to finalle get started on the sixth and final season. Was it a worthy end to the show? Let’s find out!
The Plot (according to Rotten Tomatoes):
Season six returns following the battle between brothers which has left Bjorn victorious and a hero to the people who have been under the tyrannical rule of Ivar for so long. As the new leader of Kattegat, Bjorn struggles to fill his late father’s shoes as king, while facing several dilemmas and wrestling with the idea that power overshadows morals. Meanwhile, Ivar, searching for a new path to separate him from his past, is seen traveling along The Silk Road eventually leading him to Russia. He meets his match in Prince Oleg (Danila Kozlovsky), a ruthless and unpredictable Russian ruler, who shocks even Ivar with his merciless actions. While Lagertha has her own agenda – to live a quieter and less public life on her own farm, but new dangers lurk close to home. This season, the Vikings continue to take over Scandinavia as Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith) and Torvi (Georgia Hirst) travel to Iceland to uncover the mystery circling around Floki’s (Gustaf Skarsgård) disappearance and Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) pursues his personal vendetta against Ivar.
I’m a little torn on this one. We got some amazing moments, with one episode that is among my favorites from the entire show. But overall the season felt really slow. Maybe it would have been better had I watched it as season 6A and 6B. The final season was released in two halfs with almost an entire year between them. With this pause in-between, I might have been more excited overall and enjoyed the pace more. However, as is there was just not enough story to fill 20 almost 1 hour episodes. At the same time, it feels weird that the pace seemed way too slow, as so many things happened in this season. I want to talk about some of those things in detail, so beware of spoilers after the *read more* button.
Before I get into the plot, let me just say that in terms of the cast and their performances, I have no complaints whatsoever. While I may not have been on board with the story 100% of the time, the actors and actresses never disappointed me.
Let’s talk about Lagertha. She’s been my favorite character from the get-go and Katheryn Winnick plays her to perfection. What irritated me, however, in this season is that Lagertha was supposed to be an old woman. Sure, the added some make-up to give that effect but overall that didn’t work. It was still Katheryn Winnick who looked gorgeous – you could just tell. To be honest, the make-up even felt a little ridiculous to me as it was just so clearly not doing it’s job. The age of certain characters, or rather the passing of time had confused me before. For example, Bjorn grew up and then got played by Alexander Ludwig but I remember Lagertha and Ragner still looking exactly the same as when he was a kid. So, I guess this is just an overall issue of the show in general.
In this season, Lagertha still has some kick-ass fighting scenes and then meets her end. The episode depicting her funeral was one of the most visually stunning and emotional episodes of the show. Those scenes were stunningly beautiful. Although I was sad to see my favorite shieldmaiden go, I was also happy that Winnick could finally get out of that make-up. 😅
A big part of the plot this season was the back and forth of leadership in Kattegat. I am sorry, but I got weary of that after a while. I did like his wife Gunhild and lot and wish we would have seen more about her. But overall, I just couldn’t be bothered to care who sits on the thrown. Literally, every other scene Gunhild was in (e.g. her miscarriage, her fighting scenes, her end, etc.) were perfection! Speaking of Björn, his entire character arc this season didn’t really do the trick for me. Honestly, the most interesting thing was when he (kinda?) died but then showed up on his horse. It has nothing to do with Alexander Ludwig’s acting but simply with the story failing to grip me.
Let’s move on to some of the other sons of Ragnar. Ivar certainly was the shining star of this season. Hogh delivered some of the best acting performances of the entire cast and I was always excited to see more of him. That might also have had to do with the change of scenery he brought with him. Ivar went to Ukraine and found himself a place with the Rus. I always loved how the show incorparted different cultures, countries, rulers, languages. I actually wish they had shown us more of the Rus, as I feel I still know next to nothing. Visually, those scenes were amazing, though! Ivar is such an intense character and the way he met his end was kind of fitting. That scenes was beautifully shot. What I didn’t like about his story line was mostly his realtionship. He meets this Rus woman who looks like his dead wife and they start an affair. Honestly, nobody needed that arc, I didn’t really work for me and I just wish they had skipped it.
Hvitserk had his up and down this season but his reconciliation with Ivar was written nicely and especially the last episode was great in that regard. Thumbs up for that!
Finally, let’s talk about Ubbe. He packed up his wife Torvi and went to Iceland, sailing on to Greenland only to finally chance upon Newfoundland. While in general I liked that part of the story, it also felt a little repetitive overall. I completely understand that in order to be true to history they had to land in all those places. The conflicts depicted are also on-point but I didn’t feel drawn into the story. My favorite bit about their journey was probably when they landed in Newfoundland and met the indigenous people. The development of that relationship was fascinating and I wish that would have been a bigger part. We do also meet an old friend: Floki. Having him back for a moment, and especially his conversation with Ubbe was a beautiful ending. Another intriguing character in that sub-plot was Othere. I’m still a little confused as to who he really was and would have liked more of his backstory. Essentially when he mentioned the name Athelstan, I of course made the connection with the Athelstan whom we met in previous season but it was never mentioned whether they are supposed to be the same. I actually had to google (it’s been a while since seasons 1-3, so I simply didn’t remember), to be reminded that Athelstan 1 died. Why did they give him the same name? Is there a significance behind that? If not, I wish they had given him literally any other name just to avoid confusion.
As you can see, there were parts of the season that I enjoyed tremendously. But overall the pacing was a bit of and many parts of the story just didn’t hit me like the show used to do. While it’s still a well-made season with impressive actors and actresses, I am glad it ends with season 6. I honestly don’t think they could have produced another season that would have been new, entertaining and fascinating. Better to end things now than keep going until it starts becoming terrible. 😅
Did you watch the season? Let me know in the comments what you think!