Who Will Jonathan Rhys Meyers Play in Vikings’ 5th Season?

***Spoilers for Vikings through Season 4, Episode 18, “Revenge” follow. Spoilers***

If you’re not entirely caught up with Vikings, you may want to back on out of this post right now.

I’m still reeling from the last several fantastic episodes, in particular, “All His Angels” and “Revenge”, when we lost Travis Fimmel’s  unforgettable Ragnar, and his sons exacted their first bit of revenge upon King Aelle. Both scenarios were difficult to watch and so far, it’s impossible to stop noticing Ragnar’s absence (Fimmel played that role to the hilt). Happily,Katheryn Winnick’s Lagertha is infinitely watchable, especially since she took out Queen Aslaug and reclaimed her home. It’s a pleasure to watch the mix of emotions on display as Lagertha simultaneously maintains control, and fears payback for her deeds could strike at any moment. Speaking of, it’s taken a few episodes to warm up to Ragnar and Aslaug’s grown sons, but I’m especially fond of Ivar the Boneless, played with fierce confidence by Alex Høgh. The sheer physical strength it must require to drag himself through scene after scene is boggling, but beyond that, Høgh’s presence and onscreen charisma mimics that of his series father — this actor is one to watch.

Way back in March of last year, when History Channel renewed Vikings for Season 5, it was also announced that Jonathan Rhys Meyers would be onboard, though no news of  who he’d play was revealed. Though many speculated he’d take on Alfred the Great — in fact, it’s incorrectly listed as his role on Wikipedia

— another Irish actor, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo (Sing Street, that’s him on the left, header photo) will play that role.

Rhys Meyers will take on Heahmund, a Bishop of Sherborne (later consecrated as a saint). Series creator, Michael Hirst — who worked with the actor on The Tudorsexplains the part thusly:

I was looking in 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 armor and they fought. His craziness is off the scale, fueled by religious fervor. He’s a wild card who happens to be played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who is himself kind of a wild card.”

Though Vikings is moving forward with a new generation to locations like Iceland and Morocco, Hirst reassures that Lagertha will still be around which, considering recent events (and the Seer’s words), is a huge relief.

Vikings’ fourth series continues Wednesdays on the History Channel; Rhys Meyers will first appear in the February 2nd finale. Season 5 will air later in 2017.

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis has been writing about the entertainment industry for ​over ten years, and is the ​Editor-in-Chief at Oohlo, where she muses over television, movies, and pop culture. Previous Senior News Editor at Pajiba, and published at BUST.

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