The Vikings will live on in sequel series Vikings: Valhalla, from Vikings creator Michael Hirst and MGM Television, just picked up by Netflix. The original series Vikings will air its sixth and final season on History starting on Wednesday, December 4th. It was reported back in January of this year that the series would be ending. Hirst and MGM Television stated that they wanted to extend the franchise with a new series, possibly through History, though no other details were given.
Vikings tells the story of Ragnar Lothbrok, the legendary Norse Viking hero. He began life as a farmer, but rose in status after successful raids into England, eventually becoming king of his people. The show follows his life and that of his family, through the ups and downs of violent Scandinavian life in the 8th and 9th century CE. The show first premiered in 2013, and stars Gustaf Skarsgård, Katheryn Winnick, Alexander Ludwig, Travis Fimmel, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. In 2016, the show spawned a comic series based on the show.
Reported by Deadline, Netflix has ordered 24 episodes of Vikings: Valhalla. The new series will take place 100 years after the original series ends. It will focus on more famous Vikings, including Leif Erikson, Freydis, and Harald Harada, and the Norman King William the Conqueror, who is descended from the Vikings. It will be written and executive produced by Jeb Stuart, whose writing credits include The Fugitive and Die Hard. Vikings executive producers Michael Hirst and Morgan O’Sullivan for MGM Television will also be executive producers on the new series. Michael Hirst also created the successful historically-based series The Tudors. He has a first-look deal with MGM.
Before Netflix finalized the deal, Vikings: Valhalla was the part of a bidding war between three major streaming platforms. It's reported that it was an expensive deal for Netflix. Right now, Netflix does not have streaming rights for Vikings. It can be found on both Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. Most likely, Netflix will try to make a deal to secure those rights in the future.
The commitment of 24 episodes is unusual for Netflix, as most of the streaming platform's original series have seasons between eight to thirteen episodes long. The choice to bring Jeb Stuart on board is surprising, as Michael Hirst has written every episode of the original series except for one, season 5 episode 1, "The Fisher King", written by Justin Pollard. Hirst will most likely have a hands-on approach as producer, but it remains to be seen if the change of writer will affect the story or quality. The spinoff has a lot of potential to be a hit for Netflix, as it'll draw in all the fans of the original series, and most of the team behind Vikings is on board for the sequel. Vikings: Valhalla will shoot in Ireland, just as the original series did. There is currently no news on an expected release date.