is returning to raid our television sets once more in season two, but things are only going to get more complicated for Ragnar and friends. In the show's second season our favorite Vikings are besieged on every front, leading to more delicious drama on one of the prettiest shows on television.
In case you need a Vikings refresher, the end of season one left Ragnar triumphant but with plenty of problems on the horizon. His relationship with Lagertha was on the rocks, and a romance with Princess Aslaug comes home to roost in the second season. Things finally come to a head with duplicitous brother Rollo, while monk Athelstan begins to acclimate to the pagan lifestyle.
Want more dirt? Of course you do! Here are nine teases of what's in store for season two:
#1. There's a Time Jump
Vikings managed to pack a ton of story into only nine first season episodes, but the pace of storytelling is nowhere near slowing down in season two. In fact, the second season sees a four-year time jump early on, turning little Bjorn into The Hunger Games' Alexander Ludwig.
#2. Ragnar in Crisis
The drama is very personal for Ragnar in the show's second season. His dalliance with Princess Aslaug has dramatic implications for his relationship with wife Lagertha and son Bjorn.
"He got a bit cocky at the end of last year and now he's lost everything, including his family," series star Travis Fimmel told BuddyTV at San Diego Comic-Con 2013.
#3. Get Comfortable With Aslaug, She's Sticking Around
Many fans weren't exactly excited when Princess Aslaug showed up last season to throw a wrench into the marriage between Ragnar and Lagertha. If you had your fingers crossed Aslaug would disappear into the Viking mists, you should uncross them now. Aslaug shows back up in town and she's got a big surprise for Ragnar: a little bundle of joy.
#4. The Season has Some Big Themes
It's not just about raiding and adventure this year. The canvas of the world expands with the inclusion of Earls played by Donal Logue (of Terriers) and ThorbjÃ¸rn Harr. The political scene is much more present this season, as infighting between the Earls threatens all Ragnar has worked so hard to build.
"Thematically this season is about the loyalty issue, always the faith issue, and love," Gustaf Skarsgard, who plays Floki, told us at Comic-Con.
#5. More Raids!
Of course, Ragnar isn't going to let a little family drama bring him down. The Vikings have sailed West once, and they're certainly not going to let all that treasure go un-plundered.
"It's not about the treasure anymore," Fimmel said about the raids West. "It's about land and it's about his people."
Expect to see more sailing, shipwrecks, and fight sequences in season two. Also notable is a new English king, played by Linus Roache, whose power is much different than Ragnar's, but no less deadly.
#6. The Season Starts With a Bang...and a Huge Battle!
It's impossible to claim Vikings doesn't start the season out strong. The first episode of season two opens with a huge and impressive battle pitting brother against brother. What will it mean for Ragnar and Rollo? Will they both live through the fight? And if they do, will their relationship ever heal from Rollo's betrayal? You'll just have to watch to find out.
#7. Lagertha's Still in the Picture
With Aslaug with child, fans might already be worrying about the fate of badass shield maiden Lagertha. Have no fear, Lagertha is very much still in the picture in the Vikings universe. While she enjoys less screentime than usual in the season's first four episodes, a big storyline beginning in episode four is sure to bring our favorite shield maiden back into play in a major way.
#8. Athelstan is Still Conflicted
Athelstan goes into battle in season two and has seemingly adopted the ways of his Vikings captors. Or has he?
"In season two Athelstan is in a way playing a game that he's one of them. Whether that works out or not, we'll see," star George Blagden told us at Comic-Con. "It's still very much in the balance."
#9. The Show is Still Gorgeous
One thing that will never change about Vikings is how visually striking the series truly is. Since the show shoots on location in Ireland, every panoramic vista puts you smack-dab in the Vikings universe. The production values for Vikings remain high in season two, and if you're watching just for the scenery porn you will not be disappointed.
Need more scope to tide you over? Check out these videos of our Comic-Con interviews with cast members George Blagden and Gustaf Skarsgard, as well as creator/writer Michael Hirst:
What are you looking forward to the most about Vikings second season? Share in the comments!
Vikings season two premieres February 27th at 10pm on the History Channel.
(Image and video courtesy of Morgan Glennon)