Vikings is preparing for its final season - and here's why it's ultimately ending after season 6. Created by Michael Hirst, Vikings premiered on History Channel in 2013, and even though it was originally planned to be a miniseries, it was quickly renewed for a second season. Vikings is inspired by the tales of legendary Viking Ragnar Lothbrok, said to have been a descendant of Odin.
As such, Vikings initially followed Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) adventures and raids alongside his Viking brothers, such as shipbuilder Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) and his actual brother Rollo (Clive Standen). The following seasons focused more on his sons and their own travels, but Ragnar was still a big presence and the main hook of the series until his death in season 4. Vikings is now coming to an end with season 6, but what was the reason behind this?
Vikings’ final season was announced in January 2019, with Hirst later sharing with Variety that he always knew where he wanted the show to go and where it would end, and season 6 is the right time for it. Hirst insisted that he had no reason to continue the series beyond Vikings season 6 as he has told the story he wanted, but there are other factors that could have contributed to Vikings coming to an end. Like with any other TV series, viewership is key in the deciding their fates, and Vikings’ numbers had been declining since Ragnar’s death. Many viewers felt the series never recovered from this, and even though it tried to make his sons the new leads, this wasn’t as effective as they expected.
Others point out the running out of history/source material as a reason to end Vikings after season 6. The writers have obviously had to fill in some gaps with fiction, as there aren’t many historical records on Ragnar and his sons (in fact, it’s actually possible that Ragnar never existed, even if Hirst insists there’s “substantial evidence” that he did), and there’s only much they can come up with. Still, Vikings season 6 will have 20 episodes, which are more than enough to bring closure to the remaining characters and their stories.
Whether details like viewership and source material influenced Hirst’s decision or not, is something only he knows (and is not obligated to share), but given that he has always had an idea of when Vikings would end, fans can expect a well crafted final season in no need to rush its stories. Be warned, though: he has teased that there will be tears. A lot of tears.