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Vikings' Latest Death Signals the True End of an Era

There's no going back from this

Sadie Gennis

[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the latest episode of Vikings.]

There really is no going back now. A new era of Vikings is upon us and it's only going to get darker from here.

In Wednesday's episode of Vikings, Ivar (Alex Høgh), now convinced he is a god because apparently being king of Kattegatt still wasn't enough to satiate his ego, visits the Seer (John Kavanagh) with the request that he confirm to everyone that Ivar truly is a god. The Seer, however, refuses, sticking to his rule of only telling the truth.

"You are Ivar the Boneless, son of Ragnar," the Seer proclaims. "All things are dark. We shall all, all of us, go into the dark. Your chariot lies as broken as your legs. A snake has settled in your skull and your eyes betray you. Your path is strewn with garbage and filth. Oh, the horror! The horror!"

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This predictably enrages Ivar, who refuses to hear the truth of his future and the new dark age he is helping to usher in. When the Seer gets to the end of his prophecy, he has one final vision -- that of his own death and burial -- which ends when Ivar's ax lands a fatal blow right in the middle of the Seer's head.

​John Kavanagh, Vikings

While Ragnar's (Travis Fimmel) death in Season 4 was the beginning of the end of the Vikings that used to be, the Seer's death definitively cuts any ties to both the characters' and the show's old ways. Straddling the worlds between life and death, gods and men, the Seer was a living embodiment of the connection between Kattegatt and the gods, sharing unbiased prophecies about what fate holds for any who request his knowledge. He was hundreds of years old, and perhaps even a god himself. By killing the Seer, Ivar not only killed one of Kattegatt's most revered citizens, but also killed the important role tradition formerly played in Kattegatt society.

The death of the Seer proves that Ivar is playing by no one's rules but his own. He is beholden to nothing but his own self-obsessed ambitions and is acting rashly, without any thought to consequences or impact. Ivar isn't interested in following or respecting his father's legacy, he's interested in blazing his own -- bigger, better and by any means necessary. There is no going back after this, and the direct connection between Ragnar's family and the gods is now irreparably shattered. And if the Seer's words prove correct (as they tend to do), then it's pretty much all downhill from here... particularly for Ivar.

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It is also important to note that the Seer's prophecy about Ivar isn't the only message he shared about the future in his final episode. Ivar's brother Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) visited the Seer prior and asked for guidance, to which the Seer shared: "You'll accomplish what others before you have failed to accomplish, but the cost will be too high."

As of now, it's unclear what Hvitserk is destined to accomplish, and it's likely we won't know for a long, long time, per creator Michael Hirst. What is clear, though, is that the old ways of Vikings are in the past and what lies ahead is only darkness -- a prophecy that doesn't bode well for all our favorite Vikings heading into battle in next week's episode, aptly titled "Hell."

Vikings airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on History.

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​Alex Høgh, Vikings
Jonathan Hession/History