Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Brutal Vikings Scene Fans Were Hoping To See In The Final Season

When Vikings first premiered way back in 2013 it was a bit of a shock to see a scripted drama on History, a channel that was known for docuseries programming at the time. But the series, set in the early days of the Viking era, impressed viewers with its lush production design, expansive narrative, and copious amounts of bloodshed. The show may have provided a more empathetic look at the Norse men and women who were feared across Europe during their time than many other artistic depictions in the past, but it still didn't shy away from the brutality of the era.

Throughout the course of its six season run, viewers have been treated to violent raids, people burned alive, crucifixions, and death via molten gold being poured in one's mouth, among other horrors that would make the producers of the Saw movies blush. And the final batch of episodes didn't let up. However, one violent act that season 6B didn't include was a particularly gruesome execution method that was made famous by the show earlier in its run.

The blood eagle — a probably mythical ritualistic execution where the victim has their back cut open and their lungs removed — was first performed in the show's second season and instantly became one of the most talked about moments of the series. In the finale episode, it appeared that the show was planning to end with a revival of the brutal practice. But a last minute change of plans left some fans of the show feeling disappointed.

Why wasn't there a blood eagle in the Vikings finale?

One of the prominent storylines of season 6B is the journey of Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith) and a band of his compatriots from Iceland to the shores of what the drifter Othere (Ray Stevenson) promised was a "Golden Land." When the group arrives, they find that their new home more than lives up to Othere's predictions. They also quickly learn that the Golden Land (the eastern coast of modern day Canada) already has inhabitants of its own, one of whom is the long-lost shipbuilder Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård).

Floki has been living there among the indigenous people for a while, and he makes the proper introductions in the hopes that Ubbe's party will be able to cohabitate in peace. Unfortunately, that project is short-lived. One of Ubbe's men, Naad (Ian Lloyd Anderson), is caught trying to find gold to steal. When he's confronted by a young indigenous man named We'jitu (Phillip Lewitski), Naad responds by slitting his throat. He's quickly caught, and it becomes clear to Ubbe that in order to keep the peace, he must give Naad a severe punishment.

There is a discussion about what should be done, which results in Ubbe declaring, "Othere tells me we are to behave differently here. This is a new world ... but I'm not so convinced. I think that our old laws would serve us very well here. The gods are present ..."

And so, Ubbe sentences Naad to the dreaded blood eagle. But when the time comes to carry out the deed, Ubbe has a last minute change of heart. With Naad in position to receive the brutal punishment, Ubbe instead chooses to quickly put the man down by slitting his throat. It was an act of mercy that left some fans feeling disappointed.

While fans understood the decision, they were still disappointed

Now that the final season of Vikings has officially concluded, fans have taken to the show's subreddit to discuss how they're feeling about the way things wrapped up. User AislingLou started their own thread with the possibly punny title "Who else is gutted we didn't get to see a final blood eagle?" They wrote, "Overall, I enjoyed the final season. Once I thought we were going to see one last blood eagle, I was very excited [...] However, much to my disappointment, Ubbe decided nah."

They were apparently not the only one who was craving one last horrifying murder ritual before Vikings finally said goodbye. User Ghostface1357 replied, "Yeah me too lol. I was so excited for that blood eagle," while jonalbaslawyer agreed and said, "kinda sucks he didn't go through with it."

But a few other fans chimed in to say that they were fine with the show ending things on a slightly less gruesome note. This isn't because it's a bit odd to wish to see someone brutally murdered, but rather, because it made sense thematically.

User Layne-Staley pointed out, "Would've loved to see Ubbe perform the blood eagle, but doubling with Othere telling him not to do the same old things he did in the old world, I think contributes to this decision." User FS1120 agreed with this, adding, "it plays with the idea of moving on from the old ways to basically stop and go OK let's just kill you."

While the lack of blood eagle in Vikings' final episode disappointed fans, there's always hope that the ritual will appear again in Vikings: Valhalla.