New images from Vikings season 5 tease newcomer Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Bishop Heahmund, Alexander Ludwig as Bjorn Ironside, and Alex Høgh Andersen as Ivar the Boneless. The new 20-episode season is rumored to premiere in November 2017 on History and will follow the sons of the late Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) and new threat Heahmund -- an extremely religious warrior bishop.
Heahmund is going to find a formidable foe in Ivar, though, who is as reckless as they come when it comes to the vikings. Last season witnessed Ivar go from mother's favorite son to brutal murderer as he joined his brothers in avenging Ragnar's death and later lodged an axe into his brother Sigurd's (David Lindström) chest. The final moments of the finale introduced Heahmund and his band of Christian warriors set to be the main antagonists for Ivar in the upcoming season.
In a new interview with EW, as part of their Comic Con preview, series creator Michael Hirst talks about filming the new season, how the show is expanding past Ragnar in a new worldly way and reveals some key plot points about an upcoming battle between Ivar and Heahmund. As far as filming goes, Vikings is pulling out all the stops including building the city of York, which went on for several acres in a backlot and will be the site for a major battle between Ivar and Heahmund. Here is what Hirst said about creating the set:
[vn_gallery name="Vikings Season 5 Images" id="1014345"]
"We built the city of York on the backlot, with all its winding street and narrow lanes. The backlot occupies several acres, so it’s huge. The town of York just went on and on."
In addition to Ivar and Heahmund, Hirst also talked about what's next for Bjorn who will be finding himself on a surprisingly different kind of sea next season. Here is what Hirst said about Bjorn's journey and a look at his travels next season:
"I always knew the real Bjorn Ironside went into the Mediterranean and found himself in what is now Tunisia, on the edge of the Sahara. One of the things that was constraining us was that we couldn’t reproduce the Sahara desert in the west of Ireland."
With Ivar aiming to take the lead as the central character, a dangerous new enemy and a completely new environment for Bjorn -- it's going to be a different season for Vikings, as the series breaks away from the Ragnar-based narrative it's told for the past four seasons. Of course, like other characters in the past -- most noticeably Athelstan (George Blagden) -- Vikings has been known for keeping the ghosts of past characters alive, so we will have to wait and see just how far the series will stray from Ragnar and his legend.
Vikings season 5 premieres in 2017 on History.