On ‘Vikings’, Bjorn Goes Into the Wild to Prove Himself as King

History Channel

This season of Vikings sets Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) on the same path as a very angry bear. To prove he’s equal to his dad (Travis Fimmel’s Ragnar Lothbrok), Bjorn goes on a journey into the winter wild. “Bjorn becomes ready to take over as king,” Ludwig says. “You’ll see a big change in power.”

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The Vikings

Alexander Ludwig as Bjorn

Bjorn’s walkabout was shot in Canada during harsh blizzard conditions and is part of an ambitious season (the episode order was doubled from 10 to 20 this time around) that includes epic re-creations of battles that required 1,000 extras. “It’s the hardest I’ve ever worked on anything,” Ludwig adds.

But it’s the emotional father-son journey that is key. “Bjorn realizes that if Ragnar is incapable of leading the army, then he has to,” Ludwig says. But Ragnar won’t pass the torch so easily. “At first, there’s jealousy,” Ludwig says, “but eventually you see Bjorn taking care of his father out of love. It’s beautiful.”

Vikings, Season premiere, Thursday, Feb. 18, 10/9c, History