The Reason Travis Fimmel Left Vikings After Season 4
For four seasons on the History series Vikings, Travis Fimmel starred as Ragnar Lothbrok — father, fearless warrior-king of Denmark, and the bane of England and France.
In exploits drawn from the Dark Age historical record, Lothbrok sacked and burned his way across the North Sea until the end of Vikings season 4, when he was captured by Kings Ecbert and Aelle, who were intent on punishing him at last for the death of Aelle's brother Aethelwulf in the first season — and punish him they did.
It was a pretty metal way to go out, too: Lothbrok was thrown into a cage, permitted to give a long, full-throated speech about his inevitable ascent to Valhalla, and then, in an astonishingly cruel move, he was chucked into a pit of venomous snakes for all present to witness.
It's not often that a television series will kill off its very popular central character, so the departure from the norm — and the sheer brutality of Ragnar's death — came as a shock to most fans of the show. Why did it happen? And was Fimmel as blindsided by the development as Vikings' audience was?
Unorthodox as it may have been for Vikings to do away with Lothbrok, history — actual history, not the History network — has to muscle in and take the credit for this one.
Vikings is specifically a historical drama, with emphasis on the latter half of that equation. The series draws its plotlines from the 13th century medieval sagas of Lothbrok, a myth of a man who was purported to have lived and died several centuries before.
According to those traditional legends, around 866 CE, Lothbrok did indeed meet his end at the hands of King Aelle and his cruel and creative snake pit. As for Aelle, he died the following year in battle with the loathed Viking armies — although probably not by the extremely brutal, also quite mythical method of the "blood eagle" depicted in the show. Keep watching the video to see the reason Travis Fimmel left Vikings after season 4.