The fourth season of the historical drama television series Vikings premiered on February 18, 2016 on History in Canada. The series broadly follows the exploits of the legendary Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok and his crew, and later those of his sons. The first season of the series begins at the start of the Viking Age, marked by the Lindisfarne raid in 793.
The fourth season consists of a double-season order of twenty episodes, split into two parts of ten episodes; The first half concluded on April 21, 2016. The second half premiered on November 30, 2016. The season follows the battles between Ragnar and Rollo in Francia, Bjorn's raid into the Mediterranean, and the Viking invasion of England. It concluded in its entirety on February 1, 2017.
Vikings is an Irish-Canadian co-production presented by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The fourth season was developed and produced by Octagon Films for the first sixteen episodes, TM Productions for the last four episodes, and Take 5 Productions. Morgan O'Sullivan, Sheila Hockin, Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer, James Flynn, John Weber, and Michael Hirst are credited as executive producers. This season was produced by Keith Thompson for the first eight and for the last four episodes, and Sanne Wohlenberg for the ninth to sixteenth episodes. Bill Goddard and Séamus McInerney are co-producers.
The production team for this season includes casting directors Frank and Nuala Moiselle, costume designer Joan Bergin, visual effects supervisor Dominic Remane, stunt action designers Franklin Henson and Richard Ryan, composer Trevor Morris, production designer Mark Geraghty, editors Aaron Marshall for the first, fourth, seventh, fifteenth and eighteenth episodes, Christopher Donaldson for the second, fifth and eighth episodes, Tad Seaborn for the third, sixth, ninth, eleventh, thirteenth, sixteenth and nineteenth episodes, and Don Cassidy for the tenth, twelfth, fourteenth, seventeenth and twentieth episodes, and cinematographers PJ Dillon for the first eight and last four episodes, and Owen McPolin for the ninth to sixteenth episodes.
Both parts of the fourth season of Vikings received very positive reviews. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 92% approval rating, with an average rating of 8.3/10 based on twelve reviews. The critical consensus reads: \"Vikings returns for another season of fantastic performances, epic battles, and sharp writing sure to please its barbarous hordes of fans.\"
And so, if seasons one through three of Vikings were largely the story of the rise of Ragnar Lothbrok from farmer to king of Kattegat and leader of the first wave of Viking expansion to the hit western Europe, season four is the story of his decline and fall, partly due to his previous sins coming back to haunt him.
Season 4 of Vikings premiered on February 18, 2016 on History in Canada and in the United States and concluded on February 1, 2017. This season, consisting of 20 episodes, was split into two ten-episode parts with the first part airing from February 18 to April 21, 2016, and the second part airing from November 30, 2016 to February 1, 2017. Below is brief review of what happened in the fourth season of Vikings.
I admit, I really don't want Lagertha to be killed as well, so if one of Ragnar's sons does kill her, I hope it's in season 7. For now, I think they're all headed for England and she's safe, but I could be wrong. What a blow to the show it would be to lose Katheryn Winnick.
For one thing, Ragnar's character arc left me feeling somewhat letdown. He's spoken of by everyone now as this great hero, such a legend that vikings from across Norway, Sweden and Denmark will all set aside their differences and come to avenge his death.
In any case, my point is that it feels as though we've lost more than just Ragnar as we approach the season finale. We've lost almost his entire crew. We've even lost any sense of camaraderie. We've moved on and now much of the weight of the show lies on Ivar's shoulders, and those of his brothers. But five brothers in one army is almost too much. They merely squabble---as Floki jeeringly notes, \"So this is what the grunting of the little pigs was all about\" Perhaps the show will split them all up, sending each with his own army to ravage the English countryside. Perhaps we will move into something more akin to The Last Kingdom, showing a protracted war for the soul of England play out over time, with Alfred staying the viking tide. It's hard to say how Vikings will approach what's coming. Will it leap ahead as it often does It's hard to say.
I've enjoyed the second half of Season 4 quite a lot, but it's hard to adjust to this new rhythm, this new focus on new characters who have, in many ways, been thrust upon us rather than growing into the show organically. I want the struggle in Kattegat to feel more desperate; instead, as Lagertha tortures Egil to discover who paid him, it just seems glaringly obvious. Of course it was King Harald! The king and his brother barely hid their plotting, or at least it seemed too obvious to us. Now that the invasion has failed, the stakes seem incredibly low. Lagertha keeps escaping her own mistakes and oversights, and we as viewers don't feel particularly invested in her struggles because of that---at least, not in the way we were invested in her struggles in past seasons.
I did enjoy the battle at the end of the episode, and hopefully leaving it on a cliff-hanger means we're in for a more protracted showdown next week. I hope Aethelwulf isn't just completely annihilated, and gives the vikings a run for their money.
On the other hand, I do think the vikings were a bit unrealistically fleet of foot and too clever by half. It's no simple thing to leave the top of a hill, run into the forest, then circle back around the tail side of the enemy, especially when that enemy has horses---and then do it all over again. Ivar risks becoming the show's Dark Knight Joker. His plan, devised in the 11th hour as an entirely new tactic for viking warriors, plays out flawlessly. (This is why I call him the Joker, as that villain's plans in The Dark Knight all play out perfectly as well, no matter how preposterous.) Aethelwulf runs back and forth like a confused dog and then barrels headlong into the perfectly placed ambush.
It would all feel more satisfying if the vikings were fighting against a much stronger foe---David cleverly tricking Goliath---but these armies were portrayed as largely on par with one another. I guess it does position Ivar as his father's true heir, as Ragnar was always sly and clever in his tactics.
Ragnar questioned Yidu about her country much as he did with Athelstan in the first season. Talk about ambition, was China next on his list This new relationship is refreshing, and I am enjoying it immensely. How quickly Ragnar caught on to the fact Yidu might be royalty.
And I wanted, even in the short space of time that you know him at the end of season 4, I wanted people to feel that maybe this character had a big role to play going forward (which he does), and that in the end, he was bound to intersect with Ivar. There are elements to Ivar that are similar: the conflicted person, the fundamentalist. I think you just feel that there is something inevitable about those two characters coming together, which they will.
RT: Going into season 5, if you were to name one character that we should take a closer look at in this hiatus, who would I be Hirst: I think I would have to say that Ivar is a new, great character. If you thought that Ragnar was great and astonishing, you will certainly see that his son Ivar matches up to him and is also a completely astonishing figure.
As a whole, the first half of the season was good, feeling connected and contained and ended in a climactic battle between not just Vikings and Frenchmen, but rather brother vs. brother, something that had been boiling throughout the course of the past seasons. The story was well-balanced, with plenty of action scenes, equally measures of the various storylines, and even ends on really surprising way by time jumping some years later for the final episode of the first half. This, of course, led into the second half.
No one is more surprised than this writer that Vikings, History Channel's bloody, fantastical historical drama, has continued on for four seasons at this point, but here we are, with Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) and Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) continuing on in their sanguine forge. The show has become a surprise hit with the television audience, and from the looks of the season 4 trailer that History Channel just released for the show, the narrative could not be at a more tense situation for the father and son. The trailer gives a sense of where the narrative will go - vague mysticism, brutal battles, murder, intrigue, romance, and the like - without giving up too much sense of how each of the ten episodes that will lead season 4 will unfurl. Even for a barely casual fan, things look to be hitting a fever pitch. Check out the trailer right below:
After seizing victory from the jaws of defeat with an epic battle in Paris last season, Viking leader Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) returns home dangerously ill. With his health issues possibly crippling him, others seek to take over his throne -- including his own wife and eldest son.
The Vikings season 4 closed with the introduction of Heahmund, who is a religious man. This character left the viewers with several doubts as to his motives, which seemed unclear at the time. During the season, the main protagonist for the Vikings series, Ragnar, is shown to be badly wounded and in a bad state. He would eventually go on to die and his sons would set out to avenge his death, in different ways. During this time, Floki begins to train Ivar, one of the sons of Ragnar. He manages to turn him into a bloodthirsty Viking. As the seasons play along, a number of events take place throu