Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) and Rollo (Clive Standen) battle in "Vikings." (Jonathan Hession/History)

‘Vikings’ preview: Brotherly hate

Vikings closes the first half of its fourth season with the battle fans have been waiting to see: Brother versus brother.

The showdown will “seal the fates” of Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) and Rollo (Clive Standen). “The Last Ship” episode airs at 10/9c April 21 on History.

“Victory—or death!” Rollo screams from his boat in the video teaser above. He has every right to be cocky: His Frankish forces defeated Ragnar’s Vikings soundly in their last battle.

“One of us will die today,” Ragnar says in an earlier teaser for the midseason finale below. Rollo retorts, “It won’t be me!”

Who will die?

In the clip above, a French soldier’s blade impales Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick). Halfdan the Black (Jasper Pääkkönen) is hit with a crossbow bolt. Several Vikings and Franks die. Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), Torvi (Georgia Hirst) and King Harald Finehair (Peter Franzén) seem to fair better.

The clip ends with Ragnar and Rollo jumping toward each other, weapons ready for battle.

History tells us Count Rollo reigned over the region of Normandy for many years and his sons led the Norman invasion of England. Two very different accounts tell of the death of King Ragnar: He died either at the hands of King Ælla of Northumbria (who threw him into a pit of snakes), or from cholera and wounds he suffered trying to invade Paris.

“Vikings” writer Michael Hirst has altered facts in his telling of the story while keeping it “as authentic as we can make it.” Hirst speaks to the alterations in the video below.

Even though Standen is signed on to star in the TV version of “Taken,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that Rollo will die in this midseason finale. Ragnar might just beat him so badly Rollo retreats to the lands Emperor Charles (Lothaire Bluteau) has granted him.

Also, if y0u pay attention to the 3D Prophecy video below, the boat figurehead they talk about was created for a Frankish vessel, presumably Rollo’s. It is shown crashing into a Viking longboat in the teaser above. That could make one think the Franks, and possibly Rollo, are victorious.

Whatever happens, this finale battle in the sibling rivalry that has been at the center of “Vikings” since its first season is sure to be a doozy. It no doubt will lead to even more amazing adventures when the show returns this fall with 10 more episodes.

More Vikings: Read all my interviews here


Vikings midseason teaser


Vikings history


Vikings 3D Prophecy