SPOILER ALERT: Don't read if you haven't seen "Hell," December 26 by "Vikings".
When the leading man Travis Fimmel left the fourth season of History's "Vikings", his character, Ragnar Lothbrok, was left with five different sons ready to continue his legacy, while the series also announced grants by Jonathan Rhys Meyers ("The Tudors" ) Like the passionate bishop warrior Heahmund.
The latter character, written by the series creator Michael Hirst with Meyers in mind, made a quick impression with the viewers. From his introduction as a Viking opponent, to his alliance with Ivar (Alex Hogh Andersen) by taking over the Kattegat, to fall in love with the Vikings Queen Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) and bring her back to Wessex, the journey influenced many of the show's existing characters .
It made Heahmund's unexpected death in battle on Wednesday's "Hell" episode of the series seem even more sudden. In the scenes that led to his death on the battlefield, the bishop's alliance with the renowned King Alfred (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) became prominent, while Heahmund's vision of hell and dying led him to reject his love for Lagertha in an attempt to cleanse his sin. sin.
"He went into battle that would almost die, cleanse … and yet … I don't know if you took it, but his last word is that he loves Lagertha," says showrunner Michael Hirst. "So he actually dumbs himself in the end. It was pretty nice to me because it reminds us that love is the most important thing."
Adds Meyers: "Heahmund is just a footnote in history [so] There was no precedent to get his character to continue. The character of his character and intensity means that he is much like a Roman light: it must shine clearly, have its effect and go. The film of death was filmed in snow and bitter keel in a fairly closed field, and of course, these scenes must be very intense and quite mechanical to shoot while dealing with arrows, but it has a flow in its manifestation of the circumstances and consequences of his death and what that means for Lagertha. "
Here, Hirst breaks down the bishop's path, what his death means for Christianity in the series ahead, and how Lagertha will handle this last battle in her life in the coming weeks.
At what time did you realize that Heahmund was not destined to live long in this "Vikings" universe?
Heahmund is so extreme in character that he had to die and he had to die completely in battle. He is the kind of character who is simply not interested in survival. He has an extraordinary presence and even thinks of characters such as Richard the Lionheart, who also never died in bed, warriors of the ilk and passion are so extreme that they have to burn themselves out on the battlefield. It is like this rocket that goes up and is brilliant and shines for a while, but then they have to die out and quickly return to the dark. Jonny was perfect for that role, perfect. Of course I had worked with him before [on “The Tudors”] And I knew passion and charisma that he would bring to the role. But I also knew right from the start that it would not necessarily be a long-term role. Everyone plays politics around them, everyone is maneuvered. Everyone. The Vikings do it as well as the scissors. There is a lot of politics in the show, there are many conspiracies, and Heahmund is not a man who does. As soon as he found out that he had been betrayed by an old colleague and his position was taken away, he just murdered the guy without thinking about the consequences. He is not someone who follows a common human path. He doesn't care who we wanted to die. So I knew from the start that he had to have a brilliant death. There is another fantastic battle sequence and the way it was cut together, and the way Alfred talks about the fight at the back of the wagon, before we even know Heahmund was killed, was really spell binding. I was thrilled with the episode.
Did the response to season five mid-season final match inspire you to play with that battle format further in this episode?
No, it wasn't until director Steve Saint Leger came aboard that we started discussing how to shoot the fight and how we could actually make death this great character. I had always had these visions in hell in mind. We know that Heahmund is a Christian warrior. He has many mistakes, but he is a faithful and faithful man. He has lived in sin and ultimately who catches him out and he has these visions of living in hell. I based the weekend's scenes on the Hieronymus Bosch paintings, and we shot many more sequences that were so scary and scary that we didn't hold most of them. We thought less was more in the end, so we went back from hell's visions as poor Heahmund joints.
So the real way it was put together, cut off it, was Steve who said we could bring the end of the fight forward and have Alfred clear what happened before it was revealed. When Alfred starts talking, you think the scissors have lost. But then you realize they have won this great victory, they have defeated the Vikings, but they lost this great Christian warrior. Alfred's speech at the back of that wagon was his age. I was finally and completely convinced that this young man, someone who could become Alfred the Great, was someone who had the potential to deserve that title. So I was thrilled with the way it was shot. I am always happy when a director comes in with an idea that just exceeds what is on the page and puts things in a slightly different order and gives another dramatic weight. That was what happened here, it was completely triumphant. It's a great battle sequence, but it's made better by being framed by Alfred's speech.
Why did you decide not to show the person or people who eventually killed Heahmund in battle?
Because it doesn't matter – Heahmund was bound to die in battle and he would die in battle earlier or later. Who killed him was not very important, what was important was the solution of his relationship with Lagertha and his death, his removal from the political scene. For example, Richard I, whom I thought of in relation to him, was not killed by anyone who was important. When he went to the Crusades and was faced with Saladin himself, he could have been killed by an important knight or someone. But Richard was actually killed later, after the Crusades while he defeated a castle in France for no particular reason, just because. It was a small town, and he defeated it because it was his nature, going to war and fighting. And he was actually killed by a young boy archer. Just one nobody, just a young boy who killed the greatest knight in the world. Sometimes good people are put off by nobodies. Admiral Horatio Nelson was shot at the end of the battle by Trafalgar by a young French marker. Just another no one. John Lennon was shot by Mark Chapman, none. You don't have to have big, significant people kill your characters, you just have to make the point that people are destined for death. There was no way that Heahmund could avoid his own death because he plunged into the fight for light. In some ways he sought his own death, and it didn't matter who killed him. There was never a plotline, there was never a story. The plot line was that he died effectively, I guess. He helped win the fight, and that was the way it was.
Was this episode always to be the Heahmund endpoint, or was it open?
I realized the part when I wrote the last episodes of the season. At first, I didn't have a specific idea. I knew it would be a big blow, probably halfway through 5B, and that there had to be a significant death. But for a while I didn't know. It became clearer to me when I came to write the episode that it had to be Heahmund because I honestly didn't know where to take that sign afterwards. His story with Lagertha was over, he had rejected her for his faith. In a sense he had died on his forehead.
Where does this leave Alfred and the resurrection?
Religion and the concept of Christianity and paganism is something that has always been central to the show and is something I really care about. We had an unlikely alliance between pagans and Christians who helped Alfred defeat the Viking army, but that does not mean that the conflict, the spiritual and religious conflict go away. They never go away. Different people behave differently and react differently to some of these actions. ubbe [Jordan Patrick Smith] Decide to attempt to cement the relationship with Alfred by submitting to Christianity while Bear [Alexander Ludwig] refuse. So it leads to different stories that lead to different consequences. But it is always a living problem for these people. We often forget that religion was not something on life, it is not an ornament or something they do on a Sunday or sometimes think of. This is bred in their bones. This is the way they think of their lives. Christians, as much as the Gentiles, were fundamental in their faith. Alfred's Christianity meant everything. To Christians, if you caught a viking in battle and baptized him in the river, it was not just symbolic. It was real. A Christian would believe in the action of baptism, with all his rituals, had actually changed the heart of that person they baptized. That they would no longer be pagan, that they would be welcomed and embraced by the Christian religion. It is sometimes difficult for us to think so because we are so cynical about these things now. I couldn't have written the show without the religious and spiritual part of it.
At the end of the episode, Lagertha has disappeared. What kind of state is she in, has lost Heahmund, and how does this sound to her well-being in the future?
I have not yet found the place where Lagertha comes out, where there is too much for her. She is really hurt in many ways at the end of the episode. Physically, she hurts, emotionally damages … she hurts in every possible way. But she is so tough that you know how deeply hurt is. You know the pain she is in and she disappears. It is a question whether she can cope with the amount of pain when you feel she has been through everything already, and here she has an even worse burden to bear. But Lagertha is Lagertha. She's something else. We are used to talking about men who are indestructible, they are so tough that they can survive almost everything, and we have a woman who is like that. She does not hide her emotional vulnerability, she does not seem to feel things or she is not hurt. She is someone who talks about it openly. But she is still incredibly difficult.
I can't tell you the number of messages I get – I'm not on social media, but people send me these messages – saying, "Don't kill Lagertha, please don't let Lagertha die." She is symbolic for show now. She represents something very important, especially in today's media and women's portrayal. Most thrillers are about young women being killed in an unpleasant way, and that is what we have to expect. Lagertha is a hardship to it, and I am extremely proud that Katherine and I have designed a character that is most definitely a woman, but also a woman who fights around the corner and is a wonderful, wonderful survivor. I couldn't have been happier talking about Lagertha and her survival opportunity under the most extreme conditions. But we must see because she is in a bad place at the end of that episode.
"Vikings" fly on Wednesdays at 9 am on the story.