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'Vikings' Season 6: Alex Hogh Andersen On Ivar's Ending And More

Vikings Ivar the Boneless Alex Hogh Andersen Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video

When Alex Hogh Andersen made his “Vikings” debut, his character had already been around for two seasons. Introduced at the midpoint of the series’ fourth season, Andersen had to conjure Ivar the Boneless as a fully formed man. The product of a time-jump that saw Ragnar’s sons with Aslaug finally joining Bjorn in adulthood. Brotherly love soon gave way to bitter sibling rivalry and a quest to gain the elusive mantel of their father, and as “Vikings” viewers witnessed, glory would not come quickly.

Be Warned: Spoilers for Season 6B get discussed below this point.

In Season 6B, Ivar wrestles with it all, including the budding sense of conscience. Or at least the need to not act horribly all of the time. By the end of “Vikings,” Ivar has reached the pinnacle of his aspirations minus taking over Wessex. His drive and ambition finally stirs the backbone of Athelstan’s biological son, King Alfred. In the end, Ivar does not survive the finale (learn more here). However, Alex Hogh Andersen’s performance will live on indefinitely.

Ivar started “Vikings” as a raving madman with a strong sinister streak. However, he ended the show in a far more nuanced state as his worst impulses simmered to a boil. Alex Hogh Andersen brought Ivar through an incredible journey this viewer could not have anticipated in the fourth season of “Vikings” as Ragnar met his ultimate fate. In Season 6B, Andersen gets to dig even deeper to unearth a pinch of compassion, a dose of wisdom, and an array of decisive moments.

How did Alex Hogh Andersen feel about Ivar’s final chapter in “Vikings” history? In this interview with Eclectic Pop, Andersen weighs in on Ivar’s surprising death scene and how he felt about Ivar’s ending. His answers may surprise you. On Hvitserk and Ivar’s relationship in “Vikings” Season 6.

ALEX HOGH ANDERSEN:

That would probably be, I got to go with the brother again. So that’s got to be, Hvitserk. So, Ivar and Hvitserk again. Those two, they’re knuckleheads. They can’t figure it out together. You know, they’re trying. They will be trying to figure it out in this last season, and it will be a glorious and heartfelt and cold, but also warm and I’m looking forward to have people seeing that. Yeah.

In the final half of “Vikings” Season 6, Ivar decides to leave Rus and Katia behind despite learning that Katia is pregnant with his child. So, why did Ivar decide to part ways with the mother of his child instead of fighting for her?

ANDERSEN:

Nah, I love that. I think Katia reminds Ivar of massive failure and a side of him that I think he does not like at all, and the side of him that he probably got a little scared of as well. So, I think that’s partly the reason why he left Russia and leaves Russia in Season 6B. I think it reminds him of a massive failure and a human being that he doesn’t want to be. That he learned through tough experiences that he doesn’t want to be. And that he, I think he’s grown as a human being and it was a good thing for him to go and to go to Russia and lose his kingdom, loses his power.

To feel powerless is probably a good thing for him to remind him to be a little humble. And I liked that part about him. I liked where he is in Season 6 and I liked the journey, the personal journey that he’s been on throughout 6A, Season 6A. He’s just become more human, and I get more attached to him as an actor. And I like that. I see him growing and that’s the best thing you can ask for as an actor.

Speaking of growth, one of the people instrumental in Ivar’s emotional awakening is his relationship with Igor in Rus. There’s a very moving scene where he tells Ivar that he loves him. So, why does Alex Hogh Andersen think Ivar did not immediately return Igor’s sentiment, and say that he loved him back?

ANDERSEN:

Because Ivar’s emotionally, he’s stupid emotionally. I just talked about him growing, but there’s a lot of growing left to be done still. I think he has a tough time. I don’t think he ever, ever told anyone that. Maybe Floki. Cause that’s the only one that he was 100% certain of. And I think he keeps that stuff [sometimes]. He doesn’t say “I love you.”

He does not do that to anyone, but his dad, maybe, or Floki, not even to his brothers. So, you know, there’s a warm and heartfelt relationship between him and Igor, but it’s more like his little brother in a way. And fake little brother, someone that he actually, you know, felt good about taking care of and I don’t know why he doesn’t say, I love you back. You have to ask Michael [Hirst, series creator] about that. But I think that he keeps that stuff to himself. Sometimes you don’t have to say it, you can just show it. And I think he did.

Ivar’s ending sees him die in a battle against King Alfred’s forces. For most of his journey, Ivar had appeared fearless and rather impenetrable but before Ivar joins Bjorn in Valhalla, he makes an unprecedented admission: fear. In his last moments, Ivar says that he’s scared. So, in that moment, what is he scared of? Is he thinking there’s no Valhalla after all?

ANDERSEN:

I mean, that moment right there, that was all about me wanting him to be humorous for once and not being an actor, you know, acting. I’ve always seen him as a madness actor who’s acting all the time, acting tough, acting fearless, acting, you know, crazy and all that. And it’s all to disguise who he really is and how fragile he is on the inside.

And in that moment, the very last moment where, you know, when you’re about to die and you’re about to leave this Earth, I just wanted him to be human. I just wanted him to for once show everyone that he’s kind of normal in that he’s like everybody else with me. Cause I don’t believe that no one [is] not scared of dying. I think that’s the most human thing you can ever imagine and experience.

And I liked that about him. I liked for him to be human in that very last moment. And there’s no better way than to tell his brother on his dying bed that, he’s actually scared. I don’t think it has anything to do with him, not believing he’s going to Valhalla or anything like that. It’s being scared of the unknown and that little moment of being uncertain. Knowing that uncertainty, I like that. And I just wanted to show him being fragile in that very last moment and him being a human being and I think that’s touching.

As a longtime “Vikings” viewer, I was pretty moved by Ivar’s surprisingly sentimental final moments. The moving scene came despite everything Ivar had done. When all the chips and armor were down, his humanity emerged. Alex Hogh Andersen had thoughts on that reaction, saying:

ANDERSEN:

Exactly. Exactly. ‘Cause he has been, some would say a douchebag and I would probably be the first one to do that. So, you know, I like for him to be a little humble and a little fragile and a little human just that very last moment. So, I’m happy you felt the experience with that. So that’s great.

After a journey of ambition, revenge (re: Bjorn), hatred (also Bjorn), and in the end – love – Ivar went out of the world, in a surprisingly vulnerable moment. “Vikings” showed Ivar’s entire life journey from the beginning of his life to the conclusion of it. Was it the ending for Ivar that Alex Hogh Andersen?

ANDERSEN:

Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I’m happy. I’m just thinking about him dying and all that. I would love it. I love dying. I mean, I always like doing, you know, it’s a death scene. I’ve done a few in my career and it is tons of fun. And I was like, I think it was a non-vocal thing that was said between Michael Harris and I. And we were like, we didn’t even talk about it, but we just completely agreed that he was probably going to die in that last episode. 

Because I think the show is going to end. No, I should die too. I should go out with a bang. I would rather go out with a bang then, just stay on a boat to new adventure. No, no, no. I would rather go out with a bang and I’m happy, the way it ended, I really am. It felt like closing and it felt like a closure and that was pretty good for me mentally as well. And personally, I liked that full circle kind of thing.

Ivar had quite the journey. He spent most of his life fighting for a place at the top of his father’s legacy. His desire to be seen and heard, played into a lot of his stories through the years. In the final episodes of Season 6, “Vikings” pivoted towards an all-out focus on Ivar following the events of Bjorn and Ivar’s big showdown. With all of that history in mind, out of all of Ivar’s storylines, which one would Alex Hogh Andersen rank as his favorite?>

ANDERSEN:

Of all the storylines that I ever had? Oh, that’s a good question. Oh my God. I don’t know. I liked the last thing here. I liked the last but with him coming back to England and him trying to, I don’t know, fulfill his destiny, in a way. I liked that thing, but I also loved the scene with him and Ragnar in the woods. Just the son and the father trying to reconnect.

I loved those because everyone can relate to that. And everyone, I think liked those themes and understood them and felt them because they were just well written and there was, it was something that you can relate to even today. And that would probably be my favorite storyline. I loved those scenes. And it was great working with Travis [Fimmel, Ragnar] as well.

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You can watch Ivar’s journey unfold from beginning to end on “Vikings” by streaming all six seasons in their entirety on Amazon Prime Video. From Viking battles to rich Russian historical series, there is plenty for you to binge on the streamer.

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