By the series finale, Vikings wrapped up most story arcs well – but some earlier plotlines were just forgotten about.
The vast, sprawling world of Vikings was wrapped up well in the series finale… for the most part. The Sons of Ragnar are scattered – most dead, some finding new destinies away from Viking society – and the bloodline of Ragnar continues, although in unborn, unacknowledged, and newborn children whose futures are unknown. The series finale wraps up most of the characters’ stories fittingly, and even bringing Floki back after a frustratingly long span of time without knowing whether he was alive or dead.
However, not every storyline was wrapped up quite as neatly as those of the Sons of Ragnar and their loves, allies, and enemies. Over the course of the show, some storylines with huge potential were simply dropped – or given a quick wrap up that didn’t do justice to what might have been.
Harbard’s Mysterious Identity
Harbard appeared in the third season as a mysterious wanderer, who seemed to have an incredible power over women, and the ability to magically make Ivar’s pain disappear. For two seasons, he has an affair with Aslaug (and many other women in Kattegat), he appears to do magic, and he makes some wonder if he is actually Odin in disguise.
This had a huge amount of potential – Ragnar is repeatedly referred to as a descendant of Odin, which made the possibility of him meeting Odin incredibly intriguing. Harbard sleeping with Aslaug also had potential for a demi-god birth, or another complex situation there, and there were hints that he would need to take something in return for his help with Ivar. However, in the end, he simply disappeared. He wandered out of Kattegat, and was never seen, and rarely mentioned again.
Bjorn’s first wife initially had an incredible storyline, with the two falling for each other as Thorunn was given her freedom, trained as a warrior, and sent to battle as a Sheildmaiden at Bjorn’s side. When she was seriously injured, and her face left scarred, she became despairing, cut herself off from Bjorn, and eventually simply walked away from Kattegat.
Fans believed that at some point, she would return – that her wandering would find her learning new skills, perhaps learning magic, and that she would then return to see a much older Bjorn, and realize that her daughter died, too. There were so many possibilities, that when she simply never came back, it was a bit of a shock to everyone who assumed her story wasn’t done.
Bjorn’s Daughter Is Killed Off
A part of the dropped Thorunn storyline is the daughter that she and Bjorn had together. Named Siggy, she was Bjorn’s firstborn, and should have been important to the series. However, after Thorunn left, Siggy was neglected, and eventually drowned by accident.
As Bjorn’s firstborn child, fans expected to see Siggy’s life, with her trained as a Sheildmaiden and possibly becoming a sucessor to Lagertha. Instead, she was killed off as a child, and the most surprising part of the storyline is that few characters cared. Her death was barely mentioned, and seemed not to affect Bjorn in the slightest. Part of this may be explained by her death taking place very close to a time jump, but it was still clearly a character who was written off in a hurry.
When Bjorn had a fling with Alfred’s future wife, Elsewith, it was another storyline with real potential – a descendant of Ragnar in line to the throne of England could be incredible (even more because Judith’s own son, Alfred, was the child of Athelstan, not her own husband). Elsewith did announce her pregnancy, as well, before Judith’s death, leading fans to believe something would come of this (although the timing didn’t quite line up).
However, her pregnancy then faded into the background. Rather than a child and a question of paternity becoming a bigger storyline, it became unimportant. Alfred’s story wasn’t finished, of course, as he and his battles were a major part of the show through to the finale itself, but this particular story fizzled out.
Magnus Served No Purpose
Kwentrith’s son, Magnus, was introduced as a potential Son of Ragnar – she claimed to have slept with Ragnar, and for a while, Ecbert believed her and kept Magnus close. However, when Ragnar (shortly before his death) told Ecbert that he had never slept with Kwentrith, and Magnus was not his, the boy was exiled – only to join the actual Sons of Ragnar later.
There were a number of ways this could go, and it seemed as though a new Son of Ragnar (even a false one) abandoned by King Ecbert as a child should become a bigger plotline later on. However, when Magnus did appear, he didn’t really do much except join the Sons of Ragnar and then promptly die. It was a disappointing end for a character that served no real purpose in the story.
Rollo’s Position In France
Rollo was one of the biggest characters of the early seasons, and for some, his story got wrapped up fairly well. He ended up staying in Frankia, eventually becoming attached to his new home and wife, and turning against the Vikings to protect it. However, there was more to his story that many fans wished they could have seen. Rollo had a few moments reappearing to help the Vikings, or talk about missing his Viking lifestyle, but his final situation in France, his wife and his children, were all left un-finished.
To top it off, when Rollo did reappear, he dropped the bombshell that he believes he is Bjorn’s father – this also had the potential to be a game-changer, especially given the importance given in the show to being a ‘Son of Ragnar’, but it amounted to nothing. Rollo, of course, headed back to France and was never heard from again.
A Seer In Kattegat
The Seer of Kattegat was hugely important in the early seasons of the show – and while his history was a mystery, and how he became the seer was not revealed, it was clear that this was a vital part of the society. So, when he was murdered, it was surprising that the idea of a Seer was simply dropped.
Fans would have expected to see a new Seer take his place, perhaps to get some kind of understanding of the process or magic involved in creating this being and gaining those powers. However, this was never explained, and the people of Kattegat seemed to have no need of a new Seer. Given how important his prophecies and visions were for msot of the show, it was a shame that this one ended as abruptly as it did.
Aslaug was, from the start, suggested to be somewhat magical. She had some ability to predict the future, and when her sons were born, there was a prophecy of sorts around Sigurd. She claimed that he would be born with the shape of the dragon her father killed in his eye – and he was. His eye included an unusual shape, hence the name, Sigurd Snake-In-The-Eye.
This seemed to carry a level of destiny with it, and fans theorized that Sigurd would find that he had some kind of special destiny around dragons or heroics. However, the prophecied snake in the eye came to nothing. Instead of having a great destiny, Sigurd was murdered by Ivar in a fit of rage, and barely mentioned again.
Bjorn & The Emir
Although he would eventually become King of Norway (or one of the contenders for it, in any case), Bjorn’s first love was in exploration. He often spoke of wanting to explore rather than rule, and in season 5, he and Halfdan traveled to Africa – further than any Viking before. Here, they barely escaped with their lives, after angering the Emir, but after they found their way home, the entire Africa/exploration/map story seemed to disappear.
The focus shifted to Kattegat, Ivar and the Rus, Wessex, and Bjorn as King of Norway – and in many ways, the entire African storyline was rendered moot. It could be seen as a way for Bjorn to ‘get it out of his system’, but it was still disappoiinting that there was no real follow up.
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