'Vikings' Season 4 News, Spoilers: Creator Michael Hirst On Time Jump, Ragnar's Rise And Fall, Possible Spinoff

The midseason finale of History's "Vikings," which aired Thursday, April 21, saw the long-awaited battle between legendary Viking Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) and his traitorous brother Rollo (Clive Standen).

After an entire season of plotting against each other, Ragnar and Rollo finally faced each other in the field of battle.

But the eagerly anticipated confrontation didn't end the way most viewers may have expected it to. In a surprising twist, Rollo defeated his brother and Ragnar was forced to flee, along with his injured ex-wife Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), son Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), and others, back to Kattegat. Meanwhile, Rollo returned to Paris triumphant.

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In another major twist, after Ragnar and co. returned to Kattegat, the show jumped many years into the future, where viewers found that Ragnar's sons had grown into young men and that the once-respected Viking was now hated by many. At the end of the midseason finale, Ragnar returned to Kattegat and announced that anyone brave enough to kill him is welcome to do so and could then proclaim themselves king.

"Vikings" creator Michael Hirst explained the reason for the multi-year time jump in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "It seemed like it was better to do something dramatic and get to where we needed to be," he said.

According to Hirst, the "Vikings" story has always been that of Ragnar and his sons, and the time jump was necessary so that the boys could grow up. The midseason finale ended with Ragnar's sons as young men so that fans could get a glimpse of what they look like as adults before the back half of season 4 debuts.

Hirst also spoke about the show's main protagonist and assured fans that despite Ragnar's condition in the midseason finale, his story is "nowhere near the end."

"It may be the story of the rise and fall of a hero — it still counts as a fall I suppose — but some of my best work and Travis's work comes in the next half of the season," he said. As Hirst explained, the fall to Rollo and the current hatred he's getting in Kattegat are just parts of Ragnar's journey.

Nevertheless, Hirst also spoke about continuing the "Vikings" story well past the lives of Ragnar, Lagertha, and the current main characters in the historical drama. "There is talk of a spinoff series, which would be called Valhalla, in which we would have all the characters I've killed off meeting again," he told Entertainment Weekly with a laugh.

As Hirst explained, Ragnar's end doesn't mean that the show would have to end too.

"That was never going to be the end of the show," he said. "We are going to power through."

The season 5 premiere date for "Vikings" has not been announced.

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