History has ordered a sixth season of Vikings two months ahead of the Season 5 premiere.
According toVariety, the sixth season will consist of 20 episodes and begin production this fall. Katheryn Winnick, who has starred as Lagertha since Season 1, will also make her directorial debut in Season 6.
"It has been my pleasure and my privilege to work with History and our partner MGM over five seasons and 69 episodes of Vikings," creator Michael Hirst said in a statement. "Now we are ready to begin production of a 20 episode season six that will deliver a huge and unexpected revelation to our audience. There are many reasons why I love this show, not least for the commitment and creativity of everyone involved in making it, but perhaps even more important is the spirit that drives this production - one of the happiest, most collaborative and most authentic productions I have ever been involved with. And so we sail on."
When Vikings returns for Season 5, it will be the show's first full season without its former star, Travis Fimmel, whose character Ragnar Lothbrok was killed halfway through Season 4. The History drama will now focus more than ever on Ragnar's sons, including Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) and Ivar (Alex Hogh Andersen). Season 5 will also introduce a new antagonist, Bishop Heahmud, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
Vikings will return Thursday, Nov. 29 at 9/8c for the first half of Season 5. The second half of the season will premiere in 2018 with no official date yet set.