For years, the History Channel has been accused of deviating from actual history in favor of more sensationalized topics like aliens or Bigfoot, but with Vikings the network has again found its footing. Sure, Vikings is a scripted drama about characters who are more legend than fact, but its adherence to actual historical evidence about Viking culture has given it that rare blend of being educational and entertaining.
Vikings season 3 will premiere next month and when it does it'll be bigger and more elaborate than ever (see: the latest season 3 trailer, above). Beyond teasing what appear to be some spectacular upcoming battles, this new preview shows that while Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) is more secure in his power than ever, there are still conflicts left hanging from the season 2 finale that will need to be resolved.
Season 3 will see Ragnar travel back to Wessex (and shave his head!), but an alliance with King Ecbert seems dubious, and Ragnar's continuing obsession with Christianity won't sit well with his Odin-worshipping followers - Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) in particular. There will also be trouble for Ragnar at home as trouble arises between him and his son, Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), but also with his second wife, Princess Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland).
And then there's Largertha (Katheryn Winnick) - Ragnar's first wife and now Earl in her own right - who is becoming eerily concerned with how and when she'll die. It isn't clear how this factors in with her plans to raid to the south in France, but once there we know she and whoever is with her will have to contend with Lothaire Bluteau's Emperor Charles and his daughter, Princess Gisla (Morgane Polanski).
Back during San Diego Comic Con, Vikings creator Michael Hurt teased that France would be an increasingly important element in season 3, and that it's a story line that would continue straight through season 4. And if that's the case, then Vikings coming back for another season just became all the more important.
But first, we'll need to see how events play out in season 3 - what do think will be Ragnar's biggest challenge? And what of Lagertha? Will the seer's prophecy come true sooner than later? Sound off in the comment below!
Vikings will return to the History Channel on February 19th @10pm.