'Vikings' season 4 news, spoilers: Showrunner on Ragnar's relationship with Yidu, pair's hallucinogen trip; Alexander Ludwig on Bjorn's future

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Things are heating up in “Vikings” season 4.

Warriors Ragnar (Travis Fimmel), Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), and Rollo (Clive Standen) recently made huge strides in their personal lives, with Ragnar embarking on a spiritual/sexual journey with Yidu (Dianne Doan), Bjorn making off with Torvi (Georgia Hirst), and Rollo finally becoming intimate with Gisla (Morgane Polanski).

In a recent interview with IGN, “Vikings” showrunner Michael Hirst talked about the dynamics between Ragnar, Yidu, and Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) and what’s ahead for the three. According to the “Vikings” boss, Yidu was a solution to the problem of Ragnar and Aslaug’s strained relationship. “I think Aslaug kind of arranges Ragnar to get together with Yidu,” Hirst said. “But from Ragnar’s point of view, it’s liberating to a certain degree.”

Hirst also revealed that the trio’s relationship was inspired by that of John Lennon, his wife Yoko Ono, and her assistant May Pang. “Yoko was afraid of losing John,” the showrunner said. “One of the ways of controlling him was to get her assistant – I mean, this is a very cynical way of putting it, but that’s more or less what happened.”

But the Ragnar-Yidu relationship isn’t just a means of dealing with a difficult marriage. According to Hirst, Ragnar and Yidu’s storyline will have “the most astonishing endgame.”

In the previous episode, the pair holed up in Ragnar’s private cabin, where they went on an intimate drug trip using a powerful and very addictive Chinese hallucinogenic. According to Hirst, the dreamy sequence may not be the last for Ragnar, who, he teased, will have “real problems with that in the longterm.”

Meanwhile, as Ragnar recuperates and experiments with hallucinogens with his new foreign paramour in the current season, Bjorn is out to prove that he is his own man. The character, who has been stepping it up big time in season 4, is posed to become just as strong a character as Ragnar, and may even replace the legendary Viking if and/or when he exits the series.

In the first episode of the current season, Bjorn was shown perusing a map in which eagle-eyed fans were able to spot Italy and the Mediterranean. As Ludwig, who plays Bjorn in the series, told TV Fanatic, this bit was wholly intentional and points to a major detail about his character’s future.

“One hundred percent [intentional], yes and that’s something we’ve known about since the beginning, the beginning of the show,” he said. “So, it’s a very, very cool little addition and I’m really excited for you guys to see where it goes.”

“Vikings” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on History.