The Real Reason Vikings Is Ending

The Real Reason Vikings Is Ending


After six seasons, years of rich historical
drama and a great deal of ratings success, what exactly made History decide to axe its
flagship show? These are the real reasons why Vikings is
finally coming to an end. Growing up on his parents’ farm in Australia,
Travis Fimmel was a million miles away from the bright lights of Hollywood, but a chance
encounter with a modeling scout changed the course of his life forever. After a stint working in London, he decided
to try his luck Stateside, and according to the Sydney Morning Herald, was offered a contract
instantly after, quote, “swaggering barefoot into LA Models.” He quickly became the face of Calvin Klein,
but while he made money posing in his underwear, he was also fine-tuning his acting skills. Fimmel had a number of roles in Australia
prior to Vikings, but it was playing the show’s enigmatic lead that brought him international
recognition. His intense and often sympathetic portrayal
of farmer-turned-Viking leader Ragnar Lothbrok was the true heart of the show, so when the
character was killed off in season 4, Vikings entered uncharted territory. According to Forbes writer Erik Kain, it was
a gamble that ultimately didn’t pay off. After the show’s cancellation, he wrote: “Thank goodness. The show has been lost at sea for a long time
now, and probably should have wrapped with the death of Ragnar and departure of lead,
Travis Fimmel.” When Ragnar met his end in season 4, viewers
were supposed to get on board with the idea of his sons heading to England to avenge his
death. We were introduced to his first-born son,
Bjorn, way back in the first season, but we didn’t really get to know the rest of Ragnar’s
brood until after the season 4 time jump. Vikings creator Michael Hirst told Variety: “It was very important to bring on Ragnar’s
sons. I’ve invested a lot of time, hope and expectation
in these sons. It’s very important that the audience invest
in these new characters.” Unfortunately for Hirst, this never really
happened. Despite his best efforts, audiences just didn’t
seem as interested in watching the antics of Ragnar’s offspring, even when they were
hell-bent on avenging the man himself. After new of the show’s end broke, Forbes
reported: “Ragnar’s story was over a long time ago and
none of the stories that have come since have resonated as much with viewers.” TV Equals placed the blame directly at the
feet of Ragnar’s sons. They wrote: “The death of Ragnar Lothbrok has left a void
that his sons have not yet been able to fill… most of Ragnar’s sons are kind of boring.” History ordered a sixth season of Vikings
before season 5 had even begun. At the time, nobody knew that the sixth season
would be the last, but the decision to cancel the show seems to have been influenced (at
least in part) by a decline in viewership. Following the season 5 premiere, CarterMatt
tried to soften the blow by suggesting that it’s “hard for any cable series to amass large
numbers these days,” but the facts are still hard to ignore. The outlet wrote: “The bad news is that these ratings are down
fairly substantially from the 0.8 rating that the show generated for its season 4 premiere
back in February 2016. It’s also down about 9 percent in total viewers. Versus the average season 4 rating, the Vikings
premiere is down about 13 percent in the demo and 4 percent in the viewers.” This wasn’t a new trend, either: the previous
season also saw a significant drop. According to TV Series Finale, season 4 of
Vikings was down by a whopping “28 percent in the demo and 44 percent in viewers.” History renewed anyway, but the network must
have recognized that the show was approaching its end. One surefire way of getting waning viewers
to stick with a show is to announce that the next season will be the last, and it seems
the network wanted to wrap Vikings up before it saw a mass exodus. Gustaf Skarsgård’s Floki has been a fan favorite
since day one, but the character underwent wholesale changes in season 5. He sails with Ragnar’s sons as part of the
Great Heathen Army, but once they avenge him, Floki becomes little more than a spare part. “I feel trapped in all this happiness. I feel trapped, Helga.” He then takes to the seas alone and puts himself
at the mercy of the Gods, who lead him to what he believes to be Asgard, but we know
today as Iceland. Floki decides to bring a handful of settlers
to this new, wild land, hoping to build a community free of the violence that had become
an everyday part of Viking life. Despite Floki’s attempts at keeping the peace,
petty arguments turn into blood feuds and the settlement struggles. It ought to have run across a few episodes
at best, but the Iceland plot was still ongoing at the end of season 5, testing the patience
of many viewers. One ticked off Redditor wrote: “I can’t believe I gave Hirst the benefit
of the doubt with this storyline. The drama between Eyvind and Floki has been
forced from the start, and they’ve made absolutely no effort to get us to care about any of the
new characters.” Floki’s voyage to Iceland may have been inspired
by true events, but sadly it made for some pretty boring television. When Travis Fimmel departed Vikings, Katheryn
Winnick became the new anchor of the show. Ragnar’s first wife Lagertha has always been
loved by fans, so this seemed a smart move. But while Winnick made a name for herself
playing Lagertha, like Fimmel, it was only a matter of time before she too moved on to
bigger things. Vikings may have sailed a little off course
in season 5, but Winnick remains in demand. The Dark Tower was a letdown for her and Polar
didn’t exactly go to plan, but Winnick is set to return to TV with a brand new Netflix
show in 2019, Wu Assassins, a martial arts crime series set in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Winnick’s in-show son Alexander Ludwig is
also a hot property thanks to his portrayal of Bjorn Ironside. Ludwig had previously appeared in the Hunger
Games franchise, but Vikings catapulted him to new levels of fame. He told Channel 24: “I’d never experienced anything like that. It’s amazing how much this show has really
affected people in all walks of life globally.” It’s not a stretch to imagine that Ludwig
must be in as much demand as Winnick and Fimmel. When the first episode of The Last Kingdom
aired in 2015, some had already dismissed it as a Vikings knockoff. By the time the first season was done, however,
many minds had been changed. In its review for the show, The AV Club wrote: “BBC America’s sprawling, arresting eight-part
historical miniseries The Last Kingdom proves that there’s room enough on television for
more than one Viking invasion.” The show (which is based on the Saxon Stories
novels by Bernard Cornwell) was praised by critics across the board, creating an instant
rivalry with Vikings. Of course, Vikings and The Last Kingdom aren’t
the only two shows set during that tumultuous period in European history. When Erik Kain expressed relief over Vikings
ending in his Forbes piece, he pointed out that the market was becoming highly saturated. Kain wrote: “We have The Last Kingdom airing still on
Netflix after all. Oh, and there’s also the wonderful Norsemen. Viking shows are becoming like zombie shows.” Norsemen is a comedy show, so it wasn’t
ever really a direct threat to Vikings, but its success further proves that History isn’t
the only network capable of creating a compelling show about the Viking way of life. The Viking trend has also hit the big screen
with Northmen: A Viking Saga arriving hot on the heels of Vikings in 2014, and Norse
culture remains prevalent in Hollywood today thanks to the How to Train Your Dragon franchise. Viewers have lots of different places to go
should they want a Viking fix, and Vikings itself has suffered for that fact. Despite everything, many Vikings fans still
believe the show is being sent to Valhalla far too soon. Disgruntled viewers took to Twitter to vent
when the news broke, comedian Kathleen Madigan among them. She tweeted: “Vikings [is] being canceled after season
6. I’ll just go ahead and prepare my own viking
funeral in solidarity. Sad news.” And while some fans might point out that the
show has already covered everything historians know about Ragnar and his sons, that doesn’t
necessarily mean Vikings has to end. Hirst’s other show The Tudors was notorious
for being historically inaccurate, but even leading historians admitted that the things
Hirst added worked well for TV. Dr. Tracy Borman told The Telegraph: “Yes, the scriptwriters may have taken liberties
with the facts, but they have also succeeded in re-creating the drama and atmosphere of
Henry VIII’s court.” Vikings star Alexander Ludwig has praised
Hirst’s willingness to take a “creative liberty” with the show, which he could well have continued
to do for many more seasons. The decline in ratings was undoubtedly on
the mind of History executives when they agreed to bring Vikings to an end, but Michael Hirst
didn’t mention any of that when he sat down with Variety in January 2019. Officially, the interview was about the season
5 finale, but the show’s cancellation inevitably came up. Pressed for details, Hirst claimed that six
seasons was actually enough time for him to tell the story he’d wanted to tell from the
very beginning. He said: “What I was trying to do was write the saga
of Ragnar Lothbrok and his sons. After six seasons and 89 episodes, that’s
what I felt, finally, I’d done… I had no reason to want to continue it beyond
that.” “Don’t waste your time looking back. You’re not going that way.” Hirst was quick to remind Variety readers
that the funeral pyre hadn’t been lit just yet. In an effort to lift spirits among the wounded
fans, the showrunner started hyping up the sixth and final season. He told the publication: “We visit three new worlds in those episodes,
we go through great tragedies and great heroism, and if you have tears to weep be prepared
to weep them as you watch season 6. I’m very proud of the show. I did what I wanted to do, that’s the truth.” Losing Vikings is a huge blow for the show’s
many dedicated fans, but it was softened by news that a spinoff series is in the cards. When Variety asked Hirst what he had planned
for this new show, the writer and producer said that he considers it a “continuation
series.” “We were defeated!” “We live to fight another day.” Hirst went on to explain that he had developed
an attachment to the characters he brought to life in Vikings, which is why he wanted
to be involved in any new show set in that world. Hirst said: “I have to say that they’re not characters
to me. I write so much about them, I’ve lived with
them for seven years. They’re real people to me. So I care, and have been caring, about them
for a long time. I want to guide them through whatever storylines
they have.” So does this mean we’ll see more of our favorite
Vikings characters pop up in this continuation series? And what does ‘continuation series’ even mean? Hirst explained: “Continuation means that if we make it, it
will be connected to my saga. It may not involve necessarily the same characters. I can’t go into more details than that, but
for the fans of the show it will be a continued enjoyment of the Vikings experience.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
shows are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

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100 Replies to “The Real Reason Vikings Is Ending”

  1. Problem with this show is that they killed off the main character before ending the show. Not a lot of shows do this and get away with it. They should've kept him alive or end the show with his death.

  2. The story is even more interesting after Ragnars death and Floki's journey added an even more depth. The show is going on strong. Don't understand this argument which is clearly not "real".

  3. Great show and season 6 especially the death and funeral of Lagartha was one of the best yet..brilliantly crafted, produced and shot

  4. This doesn’t make any sense. Historically I can’t wait to see what happens to his sons as they all became great men in their own right

  5. I'm shocked and sad Vikings just endet after season six. We where expecting more and more stories to come because history didn't end yet. I just started watching Vikings 3 weeks ago. We watch 1-2 episode's on week days and on weekends up to 3 a day when the kids allow lol 😂
    I love Vikings
    how could they think we are not interested in the sons outcome smh 🤦‍♂️

  6. I think the biggest problem is that they didn't give Ragnar's sons enough time for character development, as they were just kids for most of the show. The show should have started with Ragnar's sons already being young adults so that we could see them develop during all seasons, making them more interesting

  7. Between Vikings, Game of Thrones, and The Last Kingdom. . . Thank the lord Uhtred Ragnarson is a true hero that always get the win. Undefeatable in the essence of a true Television show hero. That's the essence for fiction and for viewers of a role model and hero to remember and cherish.

  8. Truth is the writers errors were:
    – They cast too many small frame little pretty boy wimps (apart from Bjorn) as the sons of Ragnar and other roles (which had nothing like the physical characteristics of Ragar, Rollo and Floki etc)
    – The demise of Floki going to Iceland was very unappealing = a missed opportunity
    – Not following up on Rollo's success with the Franks = a missed opportunity
    – Having Lagertha go lesbian was kinda kinky fun but equally kinda stupid given the whole tenor of the series
    – Not following up on events in England was also a major fail

  9. Well the Viking age in England ends in that famous bloody year of 1066. It would be really cool if the spin off tells the tale of the Danish Kings of England and ends with the Norman Invasion of October 1066.. I would love to watch that

  10. Well I have just started watching Viking in 2020. Say what you like, I like the show. Some of scenes are nothing short of spectacular. When I have finished Vikings I will start on The Last Kingdom. I have only just begun my Netflix membership, and I must say It has plenty of content. I am impressed actually. Netflix is value for money, it is the best investment in entertainment I have ever made.

  11. Floki was loved by all it was a shame they didn’t keep him in the program love the show they do a fantastic job I like the history of this program

  12. Yea, Floki in Iceland storyline was horrible. Glad that's over now. There's still a lot of good story left in the Ragnar kids. Bjourn becomes King of Norway. Ivar dies of disease somewhere in Ireland and Rolo becomes Duke of Normandy.

  13. No you are wrong
    We LOVED RAGNAR But im still in love with the show.
    Ubbe is holding sway and i cant wait to see What Will happen to flokie.
    Please give us more.
    Rollo in france and make a new series about the sagas of ex Snorri Sterlingsen.
    A show about one of the many islandic sagas.

  14. Simply there is not much material left to create more material .The Norse history/legacy is extremely limited and poor and nothing more than a footnote in the book that is called European history .Dont forget that these people were braindead meatheads that (like all other barbarians) only cared to plunder and feast .

  15. This video is B.S

    OBVIOUSLY Ragnar was a sad event. However, Ivar and Bjorn and Ubbe are so INTERESTING themselves. I love the whole show

  16. Was doomed as soon as they 'killed off' two of everybody's favorite characters… Ragnars death was bad enough but to then totally sideline Floki was totally stupid! He was so much fun to watch and then all of a sudden he had one of the most boring parts in the show 🙁

  17. I was hoping that Ragnar would show back up before the show ended. I thought they may have considered this since they showed the pit of snakes in which he was thrown into was later shown empty and seeing how they never shown his body being displayed for the public to see…as tend to be the culture then…I was hoping he was dragged from the pit by Earl Haraldson and "healed" so, he may return later in the show. But, when Lagertha was killed this season, I knew at that moment there was no hope that he would return. I LOVED this show and it's a shame it had to end.

  18. eh, the show should of ended when Ragnar, After he dies, cut to a black screen, print "Fin" and then it ends. Perfect.

  19. The show is just as interesting now as it’s ever been. It was time for the show to move on from Ragnar. His character was getting boring.

  20. Bull crap! Everyone loves vikings! I'll get everyone ik to watch it if you make a season 7!! Vikings is my all time fav serious! Bjorn ironside won in real life and became king of sweden. This must happen. Also Floki needs to come back and help kick some ass

  21. A spinoff of when Ragnar met Lagatha in a shield wall and their early years would be cool! Plus they could bring Floki back as a great supporting role…. keep it simple, follow one character, I hate when they have several side stories that really go nowhere…..

  22. It is a great show..I watched it so far..I’m a guy who doesn’t watch tv..I truly enjoyed this show..Like is all..There is a shelf life..

  23. I think the show is amazing. Of course when you kill off a legend like Ragnar, the character all fans fell in love with, there will surely be some viewers who are disappointed. However, stay with the storyline as no character lives forever. Lagertha, Bjorn, both great characters. I wish Vikings had a season 7.

  24. In my opinion there was to much focus on Ivar to quickly after Ragnar died !! Lagertha and especially Bjorn especially should have been the focus . Bjorn did more and traveled further then Ragnar ever did and they blew threw his discoveries really fast to get back to Ivar and his brother's of Ragnar and Asluag . Bjorn as the 1st and oldest son should have filled the loss way more and of course the Beadass , Beautiful Lagertha as well her death was a low point and she deserved a much bigger send off as the Legendary Shield Maiden ….

  25. After the season six ten episodes, which ended just two days ago, I thought they advertised tow or three more episodes that will wrap up the series. At least, that's what I thought I read at the end of the show on Wednesday.

  26. im a huge fan since day 1 was sad to see bjorn ironeside go specially the father ragnar wish they would keep it going with ivar and floki or like history tells it all the way to discovering america

  27. Kind of sad, maybe if they had better actors for "certain sons" it would be better. Keep in mind Ragnar is almost a Jesus like figure in Norse mythology. There is no proof that he actually existed. The men who claimed to be his sons ACTUALLY DID EXIST. So yeah they should have cast some better actors for certain sons of Ragnar.

  28. Also there's supposed to be a spinoff coming to Netflix after the show's ending that takes place a couple of centuries later.

  29. So, unless I misunderstand the numbers given in the Video, the biggest drop was from season 3 to season 4, so BEFORE Ragnars death or any bigger focus on his sons apart from Bjorn. So the argument that it has anything to do with the loss of Ragnar does not hold up at all.

  30. F*ck me! But that narrator is more annyoing than the end of episode 10! And this is the same stupid kind of ending as in Games of thrones!

  31. I think they tried too hard to not make the sons seem boring by just overdoing it with ridiculous Ivar. Can’t stand that character. One dimensional; one character trait: insanely angry. And how many people has he overcome and killed by tripping them? Can no one walk around the little shit or run faster than him crawling on his arms or using a poorly-made crutch? Reminds me of an old horror movie where the mummy catches all the idiots. Joke of a character.

  32. I can't understand why people stop watching Vikings,but no one stopped watching Game of thrones despite the shitty writing.

  33. Lagartha had to be killed from very early on… Such a pathetic character who only kills by using cheap maneuvers. She made me dislike the show above all

  34. I know that the show isn’t called Ragnar Lothbrok. It’s called Vikings. Meaning- that it’s an open book open specifically to history as it was recorded. But when you make your main character about a famous figure head (Ragnar) and follow through with his final death, of course the show will tank. I am not surprised.
    But….I LOVE the show passionately, so I’ll keep watching it til the end episode!

  35. Basically Netflix need to pick up vikings. The fact Ragnar is based off 7 different views of him the show isnt going off one person's history.

    Last kingdom was picked back up and will hit season 4. Oh great show.

  36. I never lost interest! After Ragnar's death there was enough action and intrigue spread out among his sons, Lagertha, and Floki. More camera time for new exciting characters and worlds.

  37. Show was easily fixed. Bring raghnar back have him immune from snake bite. Comes back a legend and now he fights along side sons and oden vs. Ivar and Christians

  38. Grandma Here, I LOVE THE VIKINGS SERIES & I even have all the DVD to share with my grand kids, I hate that so many professional people gave their opinions! Ask Me-A Vikings Fan Since the very first Episode!! As All Vikings Fans, we will not hesitate to tell you!

  39. contrary to what he says about the loss of interest in following the sons of Ragnar – I still loved the show and it's epic storyline, settings, authenticity, brutal battles and characters. sorry to see it go.

  40. So far the series was following history to some level. Now that didn't just stop, now they went off the rails. Historically, Ivar never met the Rus, or Oleg. Prince Oleg never went to Scandinavia, certainly not to northern Atlantic Norway, not with any army of the size portrayed. 700 km on land from Kiev to the Baltic sea, 1,300 km through the Baltic and north sea, and with such a large army, impossible. That time of the year these waters re stormy bitches. On land they would have encountered the Danes and Swedes, both powerful people at that time. The storyline of Rus Vikings taking Scandinavia is absurd and historically BS.

    I'm fine with Ivar killing Bjorn, ignoring recorded history, but not like that, it is not believable. How would a kripple get to that place in the battle on a crutch and not get hacked to pieces? Especially after just climbing some cliff far away. It's just not believable. Really a disappointment, after so much great storytelling, acting, filming and historical possibility.

    My opinion, episode 10 was Bjorn envisioning different possible strategies of Ivar, with their potential outcomes. Obviously, Ivar killing him on the beach is not in the same strategy as Ivar climbing the cliff near the capital, far from the beach. Also, Ivar and Bjorn talking on the beach is filmed as if it were real, like the battle scenes etc. Obviously, such a conversation can only happen in Bjorn's mind. Hence the episode is a vision, the battle still to come, or it gets cancelled.

  41. When they killed Ragnar I stopped watching ! Boo ho then ROLLO went away too! I would have watch forever I love it

  42. When they killed ragnar they killed the show. Ragnar was the show and lagartha was a joke. The woman never thought with vikings and most were farmers and not like you see in the show. Ivar the boneless was a real guy but to think a cripple could do what he did was a joke. In real life he would have no power and be discarded. In real life nothing is really known about ragnar and his sons. If they finish this as ivar being a king I will laugh my arse off.

  43. Glad I watched this video. Just now on season 2 on Hulu. Now I know the main character is gonna die. I should have known better. Jeez.

  44. they could've brung ragnar back considering he had a lot of snakes he could've been imune to it, but It probably be a bad Idea since history states that's how he actually died

  45. I Ragnar & Lagertha should have been together much longer, Ragnar death was just to awful, I lost interest when he died. Shame I was really getting in to the show

  46. It just shows how badly written the characters are, growing up in a norse society and especially since Björn was growing up with Ragnar as a teacher.
    This is one of the stupidest things in tv series to date.

    Björn in another episode did not trust the Saxons.
    So how all of a sudden everyone listens to Ecbert is just astonishingly stupid.

    But then again… the fanbase seems to be the dumbest fanbase of any series so far.

    So maybe this was a "good move by hirst" to let stupid people feel a little smart.
    For being able to make a better decision in their heads then the supposed main character who had a lot of experience as well as knowing how many times the Saxons had fooled them.

    So no they are not elevating Ivar's intelligence but instead dumbing everyone else down.

    Such lazy writing shouldn't even exist in this time and era and be this popular…

    It is so obvious that the series is only living of the reputation of Ragnar.

    If Hirst really thought these characters were interesting then he would have kept them for another 2 seasons.

    Instead he killed of Sigurd and intentionally wasted time on a civil war because he had no real interest in prolonging the battles with the Saxons vs Ivar as well as explore more of the Mediterranean.

    So he ended all the interesting stuff before it had even started in the Mediterranean…. because a civil war is so much more interesting….
    Said no one ever..

    But yeah at least Ubbe will go to America…
    Hopefully that won't be as disappointing.. if tgey can make it right for once.

  47. at first I was not thrilled with the death of Ragnar and watching his sons, it was almost like starting a new TV series, but after a few episodes I was interested once again. I think they should have developed Ragnar's sons characters more before killing him off which would've kept more of the viewers interested. I feel if they would have did season 5 with Ragnar not being the focus but still alive and then killed him off it would've made more sense

  48. I just had to google "Travis Fimmel", I never watched this show and I always thought this was Charlie Hunnam. Damn.

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