Season 4 of Vikings resumes this week, and there are some huge challenges on the horizon for Alexander Ludwig’s character, Björn. Here’s what he revealed about Season 4B in a recent press call. Please note there are some mild spoilers ahead!
Almost immediately, Björn has a choice to make: embark on his own expedition, or go along with his father once again. How much does that struggle between Björn and Ragnar’s goals play into these upcoming episodes?
It’s going to have immense consequences on the way Björn lives his life forever. It’s probably one of the hardest things he’s had to do. He’s assumed all of this responsibility for five years over the kingdom of Kattegat, and suddenly his father has returned and Björn wants to know why. It will plague him for the rest of his life, but he knows that it’s his time to step out of the shadows and to earn the fame and the glory that his father did for going out and exploring.
Björn asks Ragnar to join him on his journey instead of returning to England. Does Björn think this would be a way to keep Ragnar in check, or does he really want his father along on this expedition?
If anything, it’s to protect his father because Björn thinks his father is on a very self-destructive path. He wants Ragnar as close to him as possible because he doesn’t trust that his father won’t do something destructive.
Björn was always close with his Uncle Rollo until the events that went down in the first part of Season 4, which had Björn vowing to kill Rollo. How does the battle at Paris affect their relationship going forward?
It will affect it immensely, and Björn is going to have to make a decision — a political decision — based on his incredibly strong emotions toward his uncle and the future of his people. You’re definitely going to see a theme of Björn dealing with the negative choices one has to make that come as a consequence of assuming so much responsibility and power.
Is there anything you want to do with Björn that you haven’t had a chance to yet, or that you may have suggested and the producers said no?
There’s this thing that the Vikings used to do and it was kind of incorporated by Bluetooth (Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson). He was a Viking. What they used to do was cut lines into their teeth and put ink in there so they didn’t look so pretty when they went to battle and so they could scare everybody. I wanted to do that for the entirety of the show, to look incredibly scary and ugly, but that one was kind of shot down, and understandably so. I always try to push the boundaries. I want Björn to be incredibly dark — and he’s becoming that way — and complex and have many faults that we as humans do.
Björn and Lagertha have always had good relationship, with love and respect for one another. We quickly learn that Lagertha has someone new in her life. How does Björn react to this?
Oh yeah, you’re not going to be happy. He will react to that in a way that I think is completely and utterly unpredictable, but their relationship will always stay the same. I urge you when you do watch the episode — and this is something that we as actors have to remember — is that [Vikings] operated differently. Their moral compass inherently is the same; however, their culture is so different. For example, fidelity. It was up to each and every relationship, whether or not you wanted to be [monogamous]. It wasn’t assumed. Also, when you go to battle, the Vikings were excited to die which was what made them so terrifying. They couldn’t wait to go to Valhalla, so they embraced the killing of somebody, as long as it was done in the right manner. Björn’s relationship with Lagertha will always, no matter what, be unwavering, but you’re definitely going to see some drama arise from [her new relationship].
To you, what is it about Björn that makes him such a special character to play?
What makes Björn so special is the audience’s connection to him since he was a child. They grow up with him as I have. The biggest struggle now is bringing Björn from one stage of his life to another, which I believe I have done successfully, and I’m really excited for the audience to see that. You’re going to see a huge change in 4B. There’s obviously certain milestones in one person’s life that can have the ability to change how they operate forever. That’s something that you’ll see in Season 4B.
Any final teases about what’s coming up on Vikings?
4B was the reason I signed up for this show, the promise that we would get to this season. Of course, I had to be incredibly patient for years until this came, and I’m so happy it’s finally here. There’s a scene in 4B where Björn finally gets his revenge on somebody who has plagued him for quite some time, and I think it’s one of the most hauntingly beautiful things the fans will ever see. It’ll definitely be one of the darkest things they’ve ever seen, but it is going to, if anything, be incredibly impactful.
See Alexander Ludwig on Vikings when it premieres on its new day and time, Wednesdays at 9pm ET/PT on History and History Canada, beginning November 30th.
Photo Courtesy of History