On Thursday's Vikings (10/9c, History), Alexander Ludwig makes his debut as the new, more mature Bjorn. And though Ragnar's son has seemingly tripled in size, it's nice to see he's still rocking the same Skrillex undercut! But while Bjorn doesn't have the imposing beard or tattoos of many of his fellow Vikings, Ludwig promises he's grown to be an even better fighter than his father. Though, that's not to say he hasn't inherited some of his mother's better qualities, as well.
"I would say he definitely gets his earnestness and his depth from his mother, but he shares his father's vision and he definitely is his father's son," Ludwig tells TVGuide.com.
Find out what else to expect of the new Bjorn below:
Bjorn remains a mama's boy: "When he makes a decision, he sticks to it and when he speaks or when he smiles it actually means something because he rarely does both. And I think that he always knows he made the right choice because it wasn't his mother's fault and he wanted to be there," Ludwig says of Bjorn choosing Lagertha (Kathryn Winnick) over his father.
However, that's not to say that a part of Bjorn — a large part, we might add — is still conflicted when it comes to Ragnar (Travis Fimmel). "All he wants to do is get that father figure back in his life because he knows that he needs that and he misses his father because he loves him more than anything," he says. "He knows that to become the Viking that Bjorn Ironside is he needs to learn from his father."
Things will be tense when Bjorn and Ragnar reunite: Though Bjorn will be thrilled to get his father back in his life, things won't be easy when he finally sees Ragnar later this season. "Bjorn won't back down ever, no matter how much this guy has taken care of his family. He will not allow his mother or himself to be treated any less than he thinks they deserve," Ludwig says, previewing an intense dinner scene between the pair.
While Ragnar still has a deep love for his son, Bjorn's strength and prowess in battle may even inspire jealousy in the Earl. And for once, it might end up being Ragnar living in someone else's shadow. "Bjorn went on to do some incredible things, arguably more than his father. And you know, the story's just begun because what Ragnar's son did was magnificent," Ludwig teases.
Bjorn's a romantic: Though his parents have been separated for years, Bjorn still hopes Lagertha and Ragnar will find a way to make it work, Aslaug be damned! "Deep down there's nothing he would want more than to see his family reunite because he loves them dearly and he knows that they are the best for each other," Ludwig says and notes that Bjorn will always try to mediate the couple's fights.
But in between dealing with his parent's complicated love lives, Bjorn will also get one of his own. This season, Bjorn will fall for a girl who isn't exactly accepted in their society — though that hardly matters to him. "He doesn't care what anybody else thinks," Ludwig says. "He doesn't want to be that guy that follows the rules. He wants to be that guy that does what's right. And deep down he's a very good-hearted person."
Things get heated between Bjorn and his stepfather: "He hates him. His stepfather's an a--hole," Ludwig says. And Bjorn's not the only one who thinks so. Lagertha only married Earl Sigvard for what his money and connections could do for her son. "But Bjorn is totally against that because all he wants to do is find out who he is as a person and find out his identity," Ludwig explains. "He feels like being waited on and served is nothing but a disservice to him."
To make matters worse, Sigvard knows why he landed a catch such as Lagertha and therefore doesn't pretend to treat her with anything resembling love. "It's a very abusive relationship. And [Bjorn] almost makes himself feel sick knowing that the only reason his mom is putting up with this is because of him and because she wants the best for her son," . Ludwig says. "It gets very intense."
Bjorn loves playing big brother: While Ludwig says Bjorn's forgiven Aslaug for what happened, "by no means is he ready" to allow her into his life yet. However, Bjorn is thrilled to meet his new baby stepbrothers. Ludwig says, "He's actually excited. He's like, 'I finally have more family, and it might not be from my mother but it's an addition and I can look after this young boy and be a big brother to him.' And I think that that is something he never had and I think he's excited to finally give that to someone else."
Are you excited to meet the new Bjorn?
Vikings airs Thursdays at 10/9c on History.