The fifth season of the historical drama television series Vikings premiered on 29 November 2017 on History in Canada.
The series broadly follows the exploits of the legendary Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok and his crew, and later those of his sons. The first season of the series begins at the start of the Viking Age, marked by the Lindisfarne raid in 793.
The fifth season consists of a double order of twenty episodes, split into two parts of ten episodes; the second half premiered on 28 November 2018, and the season concluded in its entirety on 30 January 2019.
The premise of the fifth season differs from the previous four after the departure of Travis Fimmel as Ragnar, and it follows the adventures of his sons. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is introduced as a main character, after his initial appearance in the fourth season’s finale.
- Katheryn Winnick as Queen Lagertha, a shield-maiden and Ragnar’s ex-wife; she is the queen of Kattegat.
- Gustaf Skarsgård as Floki, a gifted shipbuilder.
- Alexander Ludwig as Bjorn Ironside, Ragnar and Lagertha’s son and Torvi’s husband.
- Peter Franzén as King Harald Finehair, a Viking ambitious to become the first King of Norway.
- Jasper Pääkkönen as Halfdan the Black, Harald’s violent younger brother (part 1).
- Moe Dunford as King Aethelwulf of Wessex (part 1).
- Alex Høgh as King Ivar the Boneless, fourth son of Ragnar and Aslaug; he becomes king of Kattegat.
- Marco Ilsø as Hvitserk, second son of Ragnar and Aslaug.
- Jordan Patrick Smith as Ubbe, eldest son of Ragnar and Aslaug.
- Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Bishop Heahmund, a Christian warrior priest.
- John Kavanagh as The Seer, the seiðrmann of Kattegat.
- Special appearances by:
- Clive Standen as Duke Rollo, a warrior and Ragnar’s brother; he was granted the title of Duke of Normandy by Emperor Charles.
Three main characters who died in previous seasons briefly appear played by body doubles: Sigurd’s corpse is briefly shown in “The Fisher King”, King Ecbert appears in “The Fisher King” as a corpse and in “Baldur” as a cloaked figure, and Athelstan is seen as a cloaked figure in “The Departed”.
- Josefin Asplund as Queen Astrid, Lagertha’s lover and, later, King Harald’s wife.
- Ida Marie Nielsen as Margrethe, Ubbe’s wife.
- Ferdia Walsh-Peelo as Prince/King Alfred, Queen Judith and Athelstan’s son.
- Georgia Hirst as Torvi, wife of Bjorn and, later, wife of Ubbe.
- Jennie Jacques as Queen Judith of Northumbria, daughter of King Aelle, wedded to King Aethelwulf.
- Jonathan Delaney Tynan as Lord/Bishop Cuthred, a nobleman of Wessex and, later, Bishop of Sherborne.
- Keith McErlean as Lord Denewulf, a nobleman in service of Bishop Heahmund.
- Darren Cahill as Prince Aethelred, Queen Judith and King Aethelwulf’s son.
- Ben Roe as Guthrum, Jarl Borg and Torvi’s son.
- Kieran O’Reilly as White Hair, Ivar’s chief bodyguard.
- Frankie McCafferty as Sindric, a polyglot drifter.
- Alicia Agneson as Queen Freydis, Ivar’s former slave, love interest and, later, Queen of Kattegat.
- Albano Jerónimo as Euphemius, a Byzantine commander.
- Karima McAdams as Kassia, a Byzantine abbess.
- Paul Reid as Mannel, Queen Judith’s cousin and Princess Elsewith’s father.
- Khaled Abol Naga as Emir Ziyadat Allah, an Arab ruler.
- Adam Copeland as Kjetill Flatnose (/ʃjetil/), a violent and bold warrior who joins Floki’s expedition to set up a colony.
- Kris Holden-Ried as Eyvind (/eɪvɪnd/), a Viking of Kattegat who also joins Floki’s expedition.
- Leah McNamara as Aud the Deep-Minded (/eɪθ/), Kjetill Flatnose and Ingvild’s daughter.
- Jack McEvoy as Helgi the Lean, Eyvind and Rafarta’s son, who is married to Thorunn.
- Mei Bignall as Thorunn, Kjetill Flatnose and Ingvild’s daughter and Helgi’s wife.
- Kelly Campbell as Ingvild, Kjetill Flatnose’s wife.
- James Craze as Bul, Eyvind and Rafarta’s son.
- Elijah Rowen as Asbjorn, Eyvind and Rafarta’s son.
- Donna Dent as Rafarta, Eyvind’s wife.
- Rob Malone as Thorgrim, Kjetill Flatnose and Ingvild’s son.
- Scott Graham as Frodi, Kjetill Flatnose and Ingvild’s son.
- Tallulah Belle Earley as Jorunn, Eyvind and Rafarta’s daughter.
- Ryan Henson as Hali, Bjorn and Torvi’s son.
- Svea Killoran as Asa, Bjorn and Torvi’s daughter.
- Anthony Brophy as King Svase, a Sami chief and an ally of Lagertha.
- Dagny Backer Johnsen as Princess Snaefrid, Svase’s daughter.
- Malcolm Douglas as Lord Cyneheard, a nobleman of Wessex.
- Róisín Murphy as Princess/Queen Elsewith, Mannel’s daughter and King Alfred’s wife.
- Damien Devaney as Wilfred, a nobleman and Princess Elsewith’s steward.
- Dean Ridge as Magnus, Queen Kwenthrith’s son and alleged son of Ragnar.
- Tomi May as Jarl Olavsonn, Ivar’s commander in York.
- Ragga Ragnars as Gunnhild, Olavsonn’s wife and, later, Bjorn’s wife.
- Eve Connolly as Thora, Hvitserk’s love interest.
- Ann Skelly as Lady Ethelfled, Lord Cuthred’s daughter and Prince Aethelred’s wife.
- Steven Berkoff as King Olaf the Stout.
- Erik Madsen as King Hemming.
- Markjan Winnick as King Angantyr.
- Gavan Ó Connor Duffy as King Frodo.
- Kristy Dawn Dinsmore as Amma, a shieldmaiden in Harald’s army.
- India Mullen as Aethegyth, a noblewoman of Wessex.
- Frank Prendergast as Bishop Cynebert of York.
- Laurence O’Fuarain as Hakon, a whale hunter of Vestfold.
- Bosco Hogan as Lord Abbot of Lindisfarne.
- Mabel Hurley as young Lagertha, appearing in a flashback.
- Ross Matthew Anderson as Lagertha’s father, appearing in a flashback.
- Ben McKeown as Crowbone, a Viking warrior at York.
- Conn Rogers as Canute, a member of King Olaf’s court.
- Jamie Maclachlan as Aldwin.
- Martin Maloney as Vigrid, one of Ivar’s men.
An Irish-Canadian co-production presented by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the fifth season of Vikings was developed and produced by TM Productions and Take 5 Productions. Morgan O’Sullivan, Sheila Hockin, Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer, James Flynn, John Weber, and Michael Hirst are credited as executive producers. This season was produced by Keith Thompson for the first four and last four episodes, and Liz Gill for the fifth to sixteenth episodes. Bill Goddard and Séamus McInerney act as co-producers.
The production team for this season includes casting directors Frank and Nuala Moiselle, costume designer Susan O’Connor Cave, visual effects supervisor Dominic Remane, stunt action designer Richard Ryan, composer Trevor Morris, production designer Mark Geraghty, editors Aaron Marshall for the first, third, fifth, tenth, fourteenth, seventeenth and twentieth episodes, Tad Seaborn for the second, fourth, sixth, eighth, thirteenth, sixteenth and nineteenth episodes, Michele Conroy for the seventh, ninth and eleventh episodes, Dan Briceno for the twelfth episode, and Don Cassidy for the fifteenth and eighteenth episodes and cinematographers PJ Dillon for the first and second episodes, Peter Robertson for the third, fourth, and seventh to sixteenth episodes, Suzie Lavelle for the fifth, sixth, seventeenth and eighteenth episodes, and Owen McPolin for the nineteenth and twentieth episodes.
At the same time that the series was renewed for a fifth season, it was announced that Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers would be joining the cast, as Heahmund, a ‘warrior bishop’. Vikings creator Michael Hirst, explained: “I was looking at the history books, and I came across these warrior bishops. The antecedents of the Knights Templar: these are people who were absolutely religious, yet they put on armour and they fought. Don’t let their priestly status fool you, either. They were crazy! They believed totally in Christianity and the message, and yet, on the battlefield, they were totally berserk.”
Former WWE star Adam Copeland was cast in a recurring role for the fifth season, as Kjetill Flatnose, a violent and bold warrior. He is chosen by Floki to join an expedition to set up a colony in a new land. Irish actor Darren Cahill plays the role of Aethelred in the fifth season. Nigerian actor Stanley Amuzie told local media he had landed a small role in the fifth season. The fifth season also includes Irish actor, musician and real-life police detective, Kieran O’Reilly, who plays the role of White Hair. In April 2017 it was announced that Danish actor Erik Madsen had joined the cast for the fifth season, as King Hemming. He spent several months of 2016 on the set of The Last Kingdom, portraying a Viking.
The musical score for the fifth season was composed by Trevor Morris in collaboration with Einar Selvik. The opening sequence is again accompanied by the song “If I Had a Heart” by Fever Ray.
The soundtrack album was released on 27 December 2019 by Sony Classical Records. An additional original song not included in the album is “Skidarima”, written and performed by Einar Selvik and featured in “Homeland”.
Additional non-original music by Norwegian music group Wardruna is featured in the episodes “The Plan” and “A Simple Story”. The featured tracks are “MannaR – Drivande”, “Løyndomsriss”, and “Heimta Thurs”.
In “A Simple Story”, Aethelred is portrayed rejecting the throne in favour of his younger brother Alfred.
In history, after the death of Aethelwulf three of Alfred’s elder brothers ruled, for two, five and six years respectively, all dying before Alfred took the throne in 871. Writing in Forbes, Erik Kain described the storyline as “just a huge unforced error”.
You can find a full index and overview of Vikings here.
- Part 01:
The first two episodes aired together on History as a two-hour premiere, “The Departed”, but were released separately on streaming services and in digital stores, with the first part titled “The Fisher King” and the second “The Departed”.
- Part 02:
Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): David Wellington, Steve Saint Leger, Ciaran Donnelly, Jeff Woolnough. Daniel Grou, and Helen Shaver.
- Writer(s): Michael Hirst.
- Release Date: 29 November 2017 to 30 January 2019.
- Running time: 45 minutes (per episode).
- Rating: 18.
- Country: US
- Language: English.