Vikings: Ganbaatar attacks Bjorn with bow and arrow
The second half of Vikings’ sixth and final season brought the History series to an epic conclusion at the end of 2020. With all episodes finally available on Amazon Prime Video, series lead Alexander Ludwig has explained why now was the perfect time to end Bjorn’s story.
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Bjorn Ironside star Alexander Ludwig claims long-running historical drama Vikings came to an end at just the right time.
His stint as the Viking hero and King of Kattegat came to an end last month as he made one last stand after being struck down by his half-brother and rival, Ivar the Boneless (played by Alex Høgh Andersen).
Originally intended as a one-off miniseries for the History Channel in 2013, the series proved popular enough to warrant an additional five seasons, which usually aired in two instalments.
After a wait of almost a year, fans could finally binge the conclusion of showrunner Michael Hirst’s legendary drama when all ten episodes of the final series were released exclusively on Amazon Prime.
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While much of the audience was sad to see it go, Vikings star Ludwig maintained the show’s bittersweet conclusion arrived exactly when it should have.
Speaking to ET Online, he said: “We reached a point for the character where I believe that I have shown and we have done all we could have done with that character, and any more would have been overkill.”
Fans who tuned in to the previous ten episode block will know Bjorn’s fate was unclear heading into the season six finale.
Although he appeared to have been slain on the beaches of Vestfold by his vengeful half-brother, a teaser trailer implied he could rise again for one last battle.
These theories turned out to be correct, though Bjorn did eventually succumb to his wounds some episodes later.
Still, Bjorn could have easily been written out of the series entirely after his fateful final encounter with Ivar, and Ludwig admitted he was grateful for one last opportunity to say goodbye to his character properly.
He continued: “I had talked to Michael and Steve Stark at MGM about this extensively, and we all agreed that this was the time.
“It was really important to them that it didn’t happen at the end of the last season and that it happened at the beginning of the next one, so we could have him carry over. And I agree with that.”
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Thankfully, the passing of Bjorn gave way to plenty more surprises as the final season went on, including Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith) and Torvi’s (Georgia Hirst) expedition to America.
After landing in the New World, viewers were also thrilled to see them reunite with series favourite Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård), who disappeared at the end of season five.
Even though the series came to an emotional close, Ludwig also confessed he wasn’t quite as upset as some of Vikings’ most devoted fans when it came time to hang up his sword.
He recalled: “I wouldn’t say that I was bawling my eyes out. I think I had reached a point on the show… and again, I want to say I’m so unbelievably grateful for the show. It is the best decision I’ve ever made.”
“And I think that forever it will always be the best decision I ever made to do the show as an actor. I learned so much on the show.”
Bjorn Ironside has certainly been a star-making role for Ludwig, who’ll next be seen alongside Arrow star Stephen Amell in upcoming wrestling drama Heels for Starz.
Thankfully, the Vikings story is by no means over as a new spin-off, Vikings: Valhalla, will introduce a whole new cast of warriors on Netflix later this year.
Vikings Season 6, Part 2 is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
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