‘Vikings’: Michael Hirst Admits He Killed off 1 Character 3 Times in the Script, but Didn’t Go Through With It — ‘I Couldn’t Do It’
Fans of Vikings recently got to experience a panel for the series, and it was epic. On Friday, July 24, 2020, many big names in the show, including the creator, Michael Hirst, participated in an at-home panel for San Diego Comic-Con@Home 2020. Hirst revealed some surprising information about one character that fans will certainly find interesting.
Hirst was joined virtually by Travis Fimmel, who played Ragnar Lothbrok, Katheryn Winnick, who played Lagertha, Alexander Ludwig, who plays Bjorn Ironside, Clive Standen, who plays Rollo, and Jordan Patrick Smith, who plays Ubbe.
Michael Hirst is asked if he was ever ‘nervous’ about writing someone out
The moderator asked Hirst if there was anyone he was “nervous” about writing out. Hirst of course mentioned the death of Ragnar Lothbrok. When he first wrote the outline for the hit series, Ragnar was going to die at the end of season 1, but Hirst could tell the rest of Ragnar’s story still needed to be told completely and fully.
“And what actually happened, was that Ragnar continued to be a presence in the rest of the show,” Hirst explained. “He never really went away. People would talk about him all the time… It wasn’t a huge risk after all.”
Hirst admits he killed off 1 character 3 times in the script, but didn’t go through with it
Hirst had another character that he was nervous about killing off, and that’s Harald Finehair (Peter Franzén). “The other person who was very difficult was Harald Finehair,” Hirst revealed. “Brilliant actor, who in the script I killed off three times and couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it. He did lots of bad stuff, that guy, but he did it so well and he had a sense of humor and I just didn’t want to lose that. There weren’t that many laughs in Vikings, but he gave us most of them. I just couldn’t sacrifice it. He just lived on.”
Harald has his heart set on being the king of all Norway, which he eventually does achieve in season 6. Harald raided with Ragnar Lothbrok (Fimmel), but he always considered Ragnar an enemy and rival. Harald has done a lot of terrible things to people, including abducting Lagertha’s (Winnick) companion, Astrid (Josefin Asplund) and having her marry him. He even rapes Bjorn Ironside’s (Ludwig) second wife, Ingrid (Lucy Martin), and he’s eager to see the death of Bjorn in any way possible at this point.
Hirst hints at what’s to come in the final episodes
Hirst was also asked by the moderator to give a “hint” about the new season, and he teased the final episodes. Fans are hoping for a satisfying conclusion to the stories of Ragnar’s sons after so many years.
“The characters who we all, including me, have grown to love, will all have their fates decided,” Hirst revealed. “Whether they live or die, is of course in the hands of the gods, although I had a hand in it too. I think the conclusion of the saga is deeply satisfying. A proper and meaningful ending, and I hope all our fans will feel the same way. I tried to do justice to all my characters, and I hope I succeeded.”
For the full panel, check out the video in the article.