Being a fan of Vikings means living in a constant state of fear that one of your favorite characters is going to die. This isn't paranoia. This is because over the course of the show's first five seasons, most of its most beloved characters have died. And as the History drama prepares to launch its sixth and final season (premiering Wednesday, Dec. 4), viewers know they'll have to say goodbye to even more cherished figures soon.
But of all these characters who might perish in Vikings' closing 20 episodes, only one death is actually confirmed: Lagertha's (Katheryn Winnick). In Season 4, The Seer told Lagertha that she was ultimately fated to be killed by a son of Ragnar. Ever since then, the specter of her eventual death has hovered over the shieldmaiden as we've worried season after season that the next battle would be her last. But she survived Egil's attack on Kattegat, the civil war, and everything else the gods have thrown her way so far. And now, Lagertha enters Vikings' final season with the hopes of laying down her sword in exchange for a quieter, more peaceful life. However, Vikings has proven before that it's hard to outrun your fate, so we have no doubt that somehow, at some point this season, Lagertha will be killed by one of Ragnar's sons.
But who? And why? We weigh the odds of all four possible culprits -- Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø), Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen), and Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith) -- and theorize how Lagertha may meet her fate.
We don't know if we could forgive Vikings if they reveal that Bjorn is the son of Ragnar destined to kill Lagertha. He's been the ultimate mama's boy ever since he chose to go with Lagertha rather than stay with his father in Season 2. We know Bjorn would never kill Lagertha if he had a choice, but we also know he'd do anything to protect her and spare her pain. If Lagertha were to be injured in battle or fall deathly ill, it's not out of the realm of possibility for Lagertha to ask Bjorn to end her suffering with a mercy-kill. This would easily be the most heartbreaking way for the prophecy to play out, which honestly makes us very worried it will prove to be true.
Evaluating the chances Hvitserk will be the one to kill Lagertha is tricky because he's the biggest wild card of the bunch. Hvitserk has no idea who he is, what his fate is, or where his place in the world is, which makes him impossible to predict. Sure, after jumping ship to follow Ivar Hvitserk did return to fight on the side of Bjorn, Ubbe, and Lagertha. But that doesn't mean we trust that he'll stay on that side -- or in their good graces. Hvitserk's existential crisis means he's vulnerable to manipulation and more prone to make potentially terrible mistakes. If we were Lagertha, we wouldn't want to turn our back on Hvitserk for too long.
Nobody wants to kill Lagertha more than Ivar. In fact, at this point, Ivar is probably the only brother who still wants to kill Lagertha for the death of their mother. But it's precisely the fact that Ivar is the most likely culprit that makes us doubt he'll actually be the one to do it. Not only does Lagertha deserve better than to fall at the hands of Ivar, but it also wouldn't mine the moral gray areas that Vikings does its best work with. That is, unless Ivar kills Lagertha only to realize this goal he's worked toward for years doesn't actually give him the fulfillment he had imagined and it prompts his own existential crisis, which, yeah, could be a very Vikings move.
We can't think of any son less likely to kill Lagertha than Ubbe. Not only has Ubbe aligned himself with Lagertha and even developed a friendship with her, but he's loyal to her son Bjorn and married to Torvi, who loves Lagertha like a mother. If Ubbe were to kill Lagertha, his entire world would be destroyed, and we can't think of a single motivation for him to do something so catastrophic. Of the sons, Ubbe is the least interested in violence for violence's sake and is far more preoccupied with founding settlements and exploring new lands. We can't imagine a reason why he would kill Lagertha or a scenario in which Ubbe killing her would have as much emotional impact as it would for one of the other brothers to kill her.
Vikings returns with a two-hour premiere on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 9/8c on History.